Benet (6-1, 5-0) at Marist (6-1, 5-0)
East Suburban Catholic Conference
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Benet 38, Joliet Catholic 21; Marist 44, Nazareth 14.
Last year: Benet 29, Marist 25.
Outlook: The ESCC title chase likely hinges on this outcome. Benet's improving offense faces the league's best defense, allowing only 7 points a game in ESCC play. The RedHawks, traditionally known for an explosive offense, boast some of the state's top defensive talent in Yale-bound linebacker Micah Awodiran, Kansas-bound defensive back Robert Topps and junior lineman Elijah Teague. Benet's offense also has surged while averaging 38 points the last four weeks. Third-year quarterback Jack Sznajder has been steady all year, and Marty Dosen added a big boost to the unit since his return to running back. As much attention as Marist's defense gets, the offense remains potent. The good news for Benet is its defense continues to get healthier. Defensive back Erik Jones and linebackers Ryan Liszka and Dan Veselik each have returned to the lineup from injury in recent weeks. The RedHawks have shown spark in their ground game with Delonte Harrell and quarterback Morgan Taylor.
Next week: Carmel at Benet; Marist at Joliet Catholic.
Nazareth (3-4, 1-4) at St. Viator (5-2, 4-1) at Forest ViewWhen: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Nazareth 49, St. Viator 22
Outlook: With their victory last week, the Lions all but assured themselves of a trip to the playoffs under first-year head coach Dave Archibald. The Lions, who have won 3 in a row, have become very dangerous offensively. Cole Kmet, who missed the first part of the season with an injury, has returned to make 15 receptions for 288 yards. Darreontae Jackson has been a force running the ball, gaining 851 yards, while quarterback Brian Hellgeth has managed the offense well and has thrown for 483 yards. Defending Class 5 A champion Nazareth has fallen on hard times this season after losing 4 of its last 5 games and would be eliminated with a loss.
Carmel Corsairs (4-3, 3-2) at St. Patrick Shamrocks (4-3, 2-3)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Carmel def. Marian Central, 45-38 2OT; St. Patrick lost to St. Viator, 27-21.
Skinny: Carmel had its most prolific offensive showing of the season last week in a double overtime victory over Marian Central. After scoring only 10 points in each of the previous two games, the Corsairs unloaded for 45 points, their most in a game this season … Carmel, which has won two straight games, lost all-state fullback Rondel Jamison to a broken foot. So it was running back by committee last week. The Corsairs got as least 65 or more rushing yards from three players. Quarterback Jeremy Streutzel ran for 87 yards, Sean Lynch for 72 yards and Zaire Barnes for 67 yards … St. Patrick has a balanced offense between the run and the pass. Quarterback Anthony Mazzenga completed 13-of-27 passes for 225 yards last week against St. Viator. Meanwhile, running back Nikolas Childress rolled up 93 yards on 18 carries.