1 Maine South (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 1): Defeated Glenbrook South 35-14
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Lane Tech
PrepsTalk: The Hawks soar into the playoffs with the momentum of their 60th straight conference win. They shook off a 14-0 deficit as Matt Alviti scored four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing).
2 Glenbard West (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 2): Defeated Downers Grove North 26-0
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Elk Grove
PrepsTalk: The Hilltoppers were all business against Downers North; now the scene shifts to the playoffs, where 7As top seed will try to get back to Memorial Stadium for the first time since 2009.
3 Lincoln-Way East (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 3): Defeated Joliet West 42-6
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Plainfield Central
PrepsTalk: Justin Corbett rushed for 90 yards, racked up 90 more in receiving and scored twice. Now the Griffins set their sights on getting back to state for the first time since 2005.
4 Loyola (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 4): Defeated St. Rita 28-7
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Evanston
PrepsTalk: Quarterback Peter Pujals accounted for all of the Ramblers scoring (two rushing, two passing touchdowns) as Loyola takes the Chicago Catholic Blue conference title.
5 Marian Central Catholic (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 5): Defeated Wheaton Academy 41-7
Next Game: 5A Playoffs vs. Wauconda
PrepsTalk: The Hurricanes claim back-to-back Suburban Christian Blue conference championships. The defense against Wheaton was solid, holding the Warriors to only 11 first half yards.
6 Mount Carmel (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 6): Defeated Providence 17-0
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Brother Rice
PrepsTalk: The 'D created six turnovers (four forced fumbles and two interceptions) as the Caravan posted their third consecutive shutout. Next up: a rematch against a Catholic Blue foe.
7 Crete-Monee (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 7): Defeated Rich East 38-7
Next Game: 6A Playoffs vs. Springfield
PrepsTalk: The Warriors trailed briefly, but got rolling on offense with contributions from Kyle Tilley, Lance Lenoir, Laquon Treadwell, DeShawn Smith and Marcus Terrell.
8 Kaneland (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 8): Defeated Morris 33-30
Next Game: 5A Playoffs vs. Belvidere
PrepsTalk: The Knights lived up to the hype, winning the Northern Illinois Big 12 East conference. Drew David found Zack Martinelli for the game winning five-yard score with 27 seconds left.
9 Batavia (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 9): Defeated Elgin 49-12
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Downers Grove North
PrepsTalk: The Bulldogs overwhelm the Maroons and take the Upstate Eight River title for the second straight year. And they get bumped up to Class 7A. How will that factor in their postseason run.
10 Palatine (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 10): Defeated Schaumburg 51-18
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Niles West
PrepsTalk: The Pirates might be peaking at the right time. RB Cam Kuksa (141 total yards, two TDs) is back from an ankle injury. Palatine's only loss was to 5A state champ Montini.
11 Neuqua Valley (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 12): Defeated Bartlett 42-14
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Naperville North
PrepsTalk: Running back Joey Rhattigan scored three touchdowns and now has 45 over his career. The Wildcats win their first Upstate Eight Valley championship since 2006.
12 Cary-Grove (9-0)
Last Week (Ranked 13): Defeated Prairie Ridge 35-14
Next Game: 6A Playoffs vs. Rockford Auburn
PrepsTalk: The Trojans pulled away late to win their first division title since 2009. Marcus Thimios broke open a close game with a 90-yard kickoff return to start the second half.
13 Waubonsie Valley (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 14): Defeated Metea Valley 41-14
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Proviso West
PrepsTalk: Running back Austin Guido --226 yards and four touchdowns against Metea-- set school records for career rushing yards (1,826) and touchdowns (27) in a season.
14 Glenbard North (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 15): Defeated Naperville North 21-14
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Fremd
PrepsTalk: This shows you how competitive the 8A bracket isGlenbard North, the DuPage Valley Conference champs for the first time in 21 years, gets a 4-seed.
15 Wheaton North (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 16): Defeated Wheaton Warrenville South 23-13
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. St. Charles East
PrepsTalk: It's a pretty good time to be a Wheaton North Falcon-- an 8-1 record and they keep their arch-rival out of the postseason. John Peltz: 20-28, 223 yards and three TDs vs. WWS.
16 Bolingbrook (7-2)
Last Week (Ranked 18): Defeated Lockport 34-10
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Sandburg
PrepsTalk: Intriguing first round matchup against a fellow SW Suburban Blue foe who has already beaten Brook. All eyes will be on the injured Aaron Bailey this week. Will he play?
17 Benet (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 19): Defeated Joliet Catholic 31-21
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Andrew
PrepsTalk: Its a storybook season for Benet. Not to look ahead or anything, but what a matchup Benet-Oswego could be in the second round. Stellar D versus a juggernaut offense.
18 Marist (8-1)
Last Week (Ranked 20): Defeated Cincinnati (Withrow) 27-12
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Lyons
PrepsTalk: Quarterback Ian Woodworth had a favorite go-to receiver in Flynn Nagel on multiple scoring strikes. The RedHawks could have a tough road in the 8A bracket, though.
19 Lemont (8-1)
Last Week (Not Ranked): Defeated T.F. North 42-0
Next Game: 6A Playoffs vs. Morgan Park
PrepsTalk: Dont overlook Lemont in 6A. They have shut out five opponents on the season. Their opening round matchup will represent a rematch of last years playoff matchup.
20 Providence (7-2)
Last Week (Ranked 11): Lost to Mount Carmel 17-0
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Bradley-Bourbonnais
PrepsTalk: The Celtics could not overcome turnovers, one of them a fumble that resulted in an 88-yard Caravan touchdown. Brandon Price did rack up 103 yards, but was kept out of the end zone.
Looming and Lurking: Morris, Richards, Lakes, Simeon, Thornton, Homewood-Flossmoor, Glenbrook North, Oswego, Montini, Aurora Christian, Oak Forest.
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