Glenbard South (5-2, 3-0) at IC Catholic Prep (6-1, 3-0)
Metro Suburban Blue
Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Glenbard South 16, St. Edward 13; IC Catholic 59, Wheaton Academy 7.
Last year: IC Catholic 50, Glenbard South 0.
Outlook: Glenbard South was the last Metro Suburban Blue team to defeat the defending Class 3A champion, winner of 14 straight divisional games and the last two titles. Raiders offensive linemen such as Jake Jochums and Demeter Spazowski have a hard task protecting scrambling quarterback Jack Crouch, who accounts for 1,739 yards, 18 touchdowns. Defensively, eliminating big plays is the key; cornerback Rod Rivera and linebacker Nick D'Ambra create big plays themselves. Raiders coach Ryan Crissey hopes to win two of the game's three phases, but the No. 1-ranked team in 3A delivers gamebreakers on both sides of the ball. Two-way tackle Ricky Mysliwiec stuffs the middle so linebackers like Kemon Reese, Kevin Cooke and Khali Saunders can roam. Though the offensive backbone is the 1-2 tailback punch of Lazerick Eatman and Kyle Franklin, who've combined for 1,368 yards rushing, 18 touchdowns, the Knights average 17 yards a catch. Receiver Sean Hipskind is an emerging force.
Next week: Glenbard South at Riverside-Brookfield; Fenton at ICCP.
Fenton (2-5, 0-3) at Wheaton Academy (3-4, 0-3)Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Fenton and quarterback Kyle Cacioppo are out of the playoff picture, but Wheaton Academy will qualify if it can beat both the Bison and then St. Edward in Week 9. Warriors quarterback Ben Thorson will play after resting a leg injury last week.
Riverside-Brookfield (6-1, 2-1) at St. Edward (4-3, 1-2)
Metro Suburban Conference Blue
Game time: 7 p.m. Friday at Greg True Field
Last year: Riverside-Brookfield 56, St. Edward 13
Last week: Riverside-Brookfield 52, Fenton 12; Glenbard South 16, St. Edward 13
Outlook: St. Edward aims to become playoff eligible with a win against the largest school in the Metro Suburban Conference (1,619 enrollment). The Green Wave gave MSC Blue co-leader Glenbard South all it could handle last week, but the offense was held to 88 passing yards. They had been averaging 221 passing yards per game. The teams have played two common opponents. Both were blown out by IC Catholic Prep, the top-ranked team in Class 3A, and both blew out Fenton. Each has a strong offensive line. The Green Wave rushed for 228 yards last week, a bit above their 188-yards per game average. R-B running back Nick Del Nodal last week rushed for 158 yards and 3 touchdowns on 13 carries against Fenton because "their offensive line change the game and moved the line of scrimmage," Fenton coach Matt Lynch told the Daily Herald. The Green Wave defense has taken the ball away from their opponents 18 times, including 11 interceptions. Tyler Holte has a team-high 4 interceptions, followed by Sidney Muhamed with 3. Linebacker Ben Harrington has recovered 3 fumbles. "We can play with this team," St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said of the Bulldogs, "but we have to play a good game. Then anything can happen. There's enough on our side of the ball to clean up that we don't need to worry too much about the other team. If we clean it up, we can play with them."
Next week: Glenbard South (6-1, 3-0) at Riverside-Brookfield; Wheaton Academy (3-4, 0-3) at St. Edward
Aurora Central Catholic (3-4, 2-1) at Chicago Christian (3-4, 1-2) Game time: 7 p.m. Friday
The quick hit: Coming off a 40-12 loss to Ridgewood, the Chargers find themselves in a must-win situation in this Metro Suburban Red matchup. To become playoff eligible ACC must knock off the Knights and find a way to defeat league-leading Elmwood Park (5-2, 3-0) in next week's regular-season finale.