CLASS 8ANo. 10 Barrington (9-1) at No. 26 Maine South (7-3)When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Last week: Barrington beat Leyden 28-7, Maine South beat West Aurora 42-40
Advancement: Winner plays the winner of Waubonsie Valley/Lincoln-Way East.
Outlook: This is a rematch of a Week 3 game that Barrington won 41-27. In that game, Maine South had difficulty with the vaunted Broncos running game, which gained 285 yards on the ground and 450 yards of total offense. But this could be a different Barrington offense if quarterback Ray Niro can't play after injurying his ankle last week. If Niro can't go, Josh Babicz would move from wide receiver to take over. Babicz played well last week there after the Niro injury, but the Broncos would miss his pass-catching ability. But the real key for Maine South, which has allowed nearly 25 points per game, will be to try to limit Barrington running back Logan Moews, who rushed for 239 yards last week and has 1,418 yards this fall. The Barrington defense, led by Blake Holley, Jackson Perkins, Parker Goodwin, Luke Coon, Ben Streisand and Tanner Long, will look to slow down the Hawks' Greek God backfield of quarterback Nick Leongas and running back Fotis Kokosioulis.
No. 3 Palatine (19-0) at No. 19 Lyons (8-2) When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Palatine beat Notre Dame 34-0, Lyons beat Naperville North 25-23
Advancement: Winner plays the winner of St. Charles East/New Trier.
Outlook: There was a huge sigh of despair from the Palatine crowd came when quarterback Zach Oles left last weekend's victory with a season-ending broken collarbone. But despite losing their leader, Palatine played inspired ball, and the Pirates look to continue that this week. DJ Angelaccio stepped in quite nicely, throwing a touchdown pass while finishing for 127 yards. He has the 6-foot-5 tandem of Jack Grochowski and Johnny O'Shea to help open up the offense for running backs Josh Turner and Courtland Cornelius. But what has been so impressive has been the play of the Pirates defense led Scotty Elter, Brody Muck, Dylan Tapia, Matt Garner, Cortez Hogans and JT Streepy, Jake Moertl and McKenzie Balanganayi. They held Notre Dame to just 11 passing yards last week. Palatine will need to be in top form again this week to slow down Lyons junior quarterback Ben Bryant, who has been receiving lots of Division I looks, including an offer from Wisconsin.
No. 25 Fremd (7-3) at No. 24 Huntley (7-3)When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Last week: Fremd beat Brother Rice 45-42, Huntley beat Stevenson 21-20.
Advancement: Winner plays the winner of Oswego East/Loyola.
Outlook: There were plenty of distractions this week in the Fremd AP Physics class this week. That's because the class, which features many Viking football players, is taught by Huntley head coach Matt Zimolzak. The Vikings hope to show their teacher what force to load is all about with an offense that has exploded in recent weeks. Tommy Josten is coming off a career game, throwing 359 yards and 3 touchdowns. Huntley will have its hands full containing possession receiver Nicky Cecchin and deep threat Mitch Kazmer. But as Zimolzak knows, the Vikes like to run the ball behind their huge offensive line of Ethan Hanson, Zach Nemec, Max Carver, Jake Fleming and Matt Payne. That group has opened up giant holes for Alec Honickel and Joe Schneider. Huntley has won its last 4 and is led by junior quarterback Eric Mooney and defensive end Olalere Oladipo, who is headed to Illinois next year.
CLASS 7ANo. 3 Rolling Meadows (10-0) at Lincoln-Way Central (7-3)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Rolling Meadows beat Thornwood 44-12, Lincoln-Way Central beat Reavis 50-20
Advancement: Winner plays winner of Benet/Normal
Outlook: Rolling Meadows continues to dominate its opponents on both sides of the ball. The Mustangs defense, led by Marco Perez, Nick Delporte, Justin Thompson, Kevin Haltman, Matt Ziemba and Devonte Amos, has been opportunistic all season long. They have allowed just 76 points while scoring an amazing 50. Last week they forced 3 turnovers and blocked a punt as the offense scored each time off the miscue. Asher O'Hara has been solid for the Mustangs at quarterback and is coming off a 2-TD performance. Running backs Delporte and Kevin Lacosse have also been very effective. Meadows will need another defensive gem against a Central team that is averaging 35 points and has scored 40 or more points in 5 games this year. But the Knights have defeated only 2 teams this year with a winning record.
CLASS 6ANo. 13 St. Viator (6-4) at No. 12 Lake Forest &-3)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: St. Viator beat Rockford Boylan 24-13, Lake Forest beat Riverside-Brookfield 40-7.
Advancement: Winner plays winner of Prairie Ridge/Montini
Outlook: St. Viator has been a road warrior this year, with the Lions going 4-1 away from home. For Round 2 of the postseason, they will take their traveling act to Lake Forest, where the Scouts are a perfect 4-0. But Lake Forest didn't beat a team with a winning record in the regular season. St. Viator has never won two playoff games in the same season in its 17 trips to the state playoffs. The Lions do feel that they have things coming together right now. They are coming off an impressive win over the NIC-10 conference champion Boylan, thanks to a defense that came up with 6 sacks. With the defense rolling into form, it takes pressure off an offense that can be explosive. Cole Kmet, who was sidelined earlier this year, has been spectacular, especially in recent weeks. Darreontae Jackson, who is coming off a 142-yard rushing performance to raise his season total to 1,100 yards, has been a key to the Lions' recent roar.