Fremd (3-2, 0-1) at Palatine (5-0, 1-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Fremd 49, Palatine 19
Outlook: This is the 50th "Battle of the tracks" with Fremd holding a 30-19 lead in the series. But in the last eight years, the teams are 4-4 with all but last year's game decided by a touchdown or less. There aren't many secrets between the two teams with many of the players off the field friends from their days of playing youth football. Fremd's defense, led by Jimmy Walsh, Jake Haas, Zach Nemec and Austin Schwantz did a great job on Barrington last week in the first half. They will try to slow down Palatine's high-powered offense, which is averaging 40 points per game and is led by Zach Oles, Josh Turner, Jack Grochowski and Johnny O' Shea.
Hoffman Estates (4-1, 0-1) at Conant (0-5, 0-1)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Hoffman Estates 30, Conant 29
Outlook: The Mayor's Cup is up for grabs as both teams look to turn things around. Hoffman had been off to its best start since 1988 before a disappointing loss to Palatine last week in which the Hawks gave up more points (49) than they had in their first 4 games combined (33). With their playoff hopes at stake, the Hawks need to regain that edge defensively. They face a Conant team that has struggled offensively, scoring 41 points over the first 5 games. But the Cougars have been on the upswing in recent weeks, thanks to the play of sophomore Brenden Spates.
Schaumburg (4-1, 1-0) at Barrington (5-0, 1-0)When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Last year: Barrington 35, Schaumburg 28
Outlook: Barrington continues to run over opponents and is coming off an impressive 333-yard offensive performance last week. Teams continue to play the guessing game against the Broncos, keying on either running back Logan Moews or quarterback Ray Niro. But when opponents pick wrong, Barrington has made them pay, with Moews running for 710 yards this year and Niro for 703. With Barrington and Palatine getting most of the MSL West focus, Schaumburg has quietly won four in a row. The Saxons' defense, which and struggled earlier this season, has begun to play up to coach Mark Stilling's preseason expectations. Meanwhile, offensively, Schaumburg has averaged 34.5 points during that stretch with Jordan Salgado leading the way with 681 rushing yards.