Week 5: Scouting the East Suburban Catholic
Benet (3-1, 2-0) at Nazareth (4-0, 2-0)
Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Benet 30, St. Viator 27; Nazareth 32, Carmel 13.
Last year: Benet 26, Nazareth 21.
Outlook: Benet's defense has stepped up when necessary, especially the ballhawks in the secondary. Billy Lawler became the latest defensive back to snare 2 interceptions in a game, joining Ben Cooney and Connor Reid. They'll be tasked at slowing a Roadrunners offense that can go spread or power with its diverse offensive talent. Last week Devin Blakely rushed for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also returned a punt for a touchdown and had a second return called back on a penalty. Between him, running back Dylan Smith, rotating quarterbacks Zach Stevens and Bobby Grimes and others, Benet will have its hands full on defense. The Redwings' offense has shown the ability to keep up with most teams thanks to dual-threat quarterback Matt Boyle and a slew of receivers featuring Jack Eschenbach and Nick Keyes. Last week, however, it was Anthony Adams stepping up with two clutch catches. Nazareth defensive lineman Isaiah Lee is committed to Iowa State.
Next week: Marian Catholic at Benet; Joliet Catholic at Nazareth.
Carmel Corsairs (0-4, 0-2) at St. Viator Lions (2-2, 1-1)
When: 7:30 p.m., today
Last week: Carmel lost to Nazareth, 32-13; St. Viator lost to Benet, 30-27.
Skinny: Carmel is looking to its biggest rival for a boost. The Corsairs desperately need a win against St. Viator to keep alive their chances at the playoffs this year. Carmel sneaked into the playoffs last year with a 5-4 record as amassing ample playoff points (for a 5-4 berth) is almost never a problem for teams in the rugged East Suburban Catholic Conference ... Last week, Carmel could not stop Nazareth's rushing game, which rolled up 3 rushing touchdowns behind the impressive running of star running back Devin Blakely ... Carmel got both of its touchdowns from backup running back Mikey Lucas, who was playing in place of injured starter Sean Lynch for the second straight week. Lucas, who was also impressive in Week 4 with 100-plus yards, scored on a 52-yard run. He also caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Athan Kaliakmanis ... Down 23-11 last week against Benet, St. Viator stormed back to take a 27-23 lead with 16 straight fourth-quarter points. But then Benet scored the winning touchdown with 20 seconds remaining to hand St. Viator its first East Suburban Catholic Conference loss ... The Lions got all 3 of their touchdowns from running back Jack Scislowski. He finished with 171 yards on 19 carries. St. Viator also got 2 field goals from quarterback Bryce Hellgeth (28, 27 yards). Hellgeth completed only 9-of-29 passes for 69 yards and had 4 interceptions ... Last year, St. Viator defeated Carmel, 17-10. This is a game Viator has to have if the Lions would like to qualify for the playoffs this year. The Lions have been very good offensively led by Hellgeth, who has thrown for 277 yards and 3 TDs. But it has been the running attack that has given the Lions their roar. Jack Scislowski has rushed for 347 yards while Elijah Black has gained 288 yards and Hellegth 111 yards. Carmel is off to its worst start in recent memory with the Corsairs averaging just 14 points per game while allowing 35 points per game.