St. Edward (4-4, 0-4) at Wheaton Academy (5-3, 1-3)
Metro Suburban Blue
Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Riverside-Brookfield 56, St. Edward 13; Wheaton Academy 53, Fenton 7.
Last year: Did not play.
Outlook: At 38 playoff points (combined wins by opponents) St. Edward is a likely win-and-in. In 2014 Wheaton Academy missed a playoff spot by the fourth tiebreaker, number of playoff opponents. Owning an iffy 34 "points" the Warriors don't want to leave it to chance. To get that sixth win they'll have to play pass defense. Quarterback Dylan Mlinarich, one of the rare Green Wave players to stay healthy, has thrown for 2,579 yards, 30 touchdowns, 19 interceptions. St. Edward, led by sophomore Angel Garcia's 391 yards rushing, averages 322 passing to 71 rushing. Four players have caught at least 33 passes led by Tyler Holte with 52 for 649 yards, 7 touchdowns. The Warriors, though, anticipated the pass superbly last week with linebacker Dimitrie Skakavac's 40-yard pick-6 one of 5 Wheaton Academy interceptions plus a Nori Kasai sack. Due to injury St. Edward is down to sophomore linebackers who must diagnose Harrison Taylor's jet sweeps and Kent Harmon between the tackles. Does the battered and bruised Green Wave have enough left in the tank to knock off the Warriors and qualify for the playoffs for the fourth straight year and sixth time in eight seasons? Two more St. Edward players went down last week -- linebacker Ben Harrington and defensive lineman Dom Hartke -- continuing an unlucky, season-long trend. Sophomore James Estes will play linebacker and sophomore Jordan West, the team's backup quarterback, will play defensive end. "I wouldn't count the Wave out," St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. "We've been pretty gritty the last couple of games against some pretty good schools. We managed to put three quarters togther both times but came up short. If we play four quarters and make some plays we hope to be in this game at the end." The projected cutoff for 5-4 teams to be included in postseason play is 36. St. Edward has 38 points already and would likely be in with a win. The Warriors have 34 points and must get to 6 wins to take the suspense out of Saturday night's pairings announcement. Wheaton Academy is coming off a 53-7 win over Fenton. St. Edward lost to Fenton 53-50 three weeks ago. "They are going to come out running the ball and their running game gives us concern with all the injuries we've had on defense," Rolando said. "It's a playoff game for both teams."
IC Catholic (8-0, 4-0) at Fenton (3-5, 1-3)Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: After successive 50-0 victories IC quarterback Luke Ricobene & Co. pursues the program's first 9-0 record. On Fenton's senior night, despite the odds coach Mark Kos seeks a disciplined 48 minutes to send out seniors like tackle Angelo Duvall in style.
Riverside-Brookfield (6-2, 3-1) at Glenbard South (5-3, 3-1)Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Glenbard South feels good about this game for second in the Metro Suburban Blue. Sean Cooke and Jack Crouch will run inside and out -- until R-B loads the box, then Crouch throws to Mike Paprota, Ryan McConville, Peter Jeske and Bryan Maroney.
Aurora Central Catholic (7-1, 3-1) at Elmwood Park (3-5, 3-1)
When: 7:15 p.m. Friday
Quick hit: The Chargers enter this battle for second place in the Metro Suburban Red averaging 42.6 points per game. ACC senior quarterback Johnny Belskis has completed 58 of 81 passes for 1,012 yards and 13 touchdowns. Senior receiver Griffin Zajac has 27 catches for 693 yards and 9 scores. Junior running back Ryan Cerza leads the 24 schools in the Fox Valley area in rushing yards (1,133 on 157 carries) and rushing touchdowns (22).