Carmel (5-3, 4-2) at Benet (6-2, 5-1) Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Benedictine University in Lisle.
The quick hit: Benet's hopes for an ESCC title faded with its loss to Marist, but the Redwings can improve their playoff seeding with a win. Benet loves to lean on its defense, and it's no wonder with players like safety Alec McEachern, who picked off two passes last week. Finishing with six wins is Carmel's No. 1 objective this week. Like any team, the Corsairs want to end the regular season on a winning note. But even if that doesn't happen, Carmel is a near-certain playoff qualifier anyway. The Corsairs enter Week 9 with more playoff points (48) than any other Class 7A team in the state. If they end up with five wins, the Corsairs' playoff points should get them in with no problem…Carmel is on a roll. The Corsairs have won three straight games and four of the last five. Each of those last five games has been decided on the last possession. During that stretch, the Carmel defense has come up with some clutch stops and turnovers while kicker Matt Hellen has made some clutch kicks…The Carmel offense has been performing well despite the loss of top running back Rondel Jamison to an ankle injury in Week 4. Junior Zaire Barnes has taken on more of the rushing load and is coming off 103 rushing yards last week against St. Patrick…Benet, which had its six-game winning streak broken last week, sometimes uses two quarterbacks, although Jack Sznajder gets most of the touches. He had 183 passing yards two weeks ago in a big win over Joliet Catholic. Meanwhile, Marty Dosen is often the featured running back for Benet. He had 133 rushing yards against Joliet Catholic.
Notre Dame (5-3, 4-2) vs. St. Viator (5-3, 4-2)at Robert Morris University, Arlington HeightsWhen: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Notre Dame 34, St. Viator 14
Outlook: At one point this season, Notre Dame was 4-1. More recently, it's been a tough road for Notre Dame, as it has dropped two of its last three -- and both of those losses came against ESCC foes St. Viator has beaten, Carmel Catholic and Marian Central. A victory for the Lions, who hope to overcome a disappointing Week 8 loss at home to Nazareth, would assure them of a postseason spot, and a less dominant opponent in the first round.