Week 1: Scouting the East Suburban Catholic
Benet at St. LaurenceGame time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: St. Laurence beat the Redwings last year, but both teams used the game as a springboard to the state semifinals. The Vikings must make up for graduated three-year running back Fayezon Smart. Devin Petersen returns to anchor Benet's defense.
St. Viator at Rolling MeadowsWhen: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last year's result: Rolling Meadows 30, St. Viator 7
Outlook: This has become one of the great opening-week rivalries in the Northwest suburbs, albeit a bit one-sided as Rolling Meadows has won all three meetings. Rolling Meadows is coming off of the best season in school history with its 11-1 record. But the Mustangs graduated 17 seniors from that team and will look to quarterback Arek Kleniuk to get things started for them this year. Meadows' strength will be in its secondary. St. Viator began last season slowly but finished with a flourish to qualify for the playoffs to go 6-5 on the year. The Lions return Bryce Hellgeth at quarterback along with 6-4 wide receivers Matt Doersching and Ben Whalen.
Richards Bulldogs (7-3) at Carmel Corsairs (5-5) When: 7:30 p.m., today
Skinny: The last time Richards was on the schedule, Carmel was entering its "golden age" of football. In 2001, Richards handed the scrappy Corsairs a heart-breaking 10-0 loss in the Class 6A semifinals. It was only the second loss of the season for Carmel. The following season, Carmel won the 2002 Prep Bowl with one loss. And then in 2003, the Corsairs ran the table and ran away with the Class 6A state championship, blowing past Bloomington in the title game in Champaign, 54-26, to finish 14-0. "It's been awhile since we've played (Richards), but I do know that they are very athletic," Carmel coach Andy Bitto said. "But they are also very young."