CSN's Top 20 preps rankings - Week 5


CSN's Top 20 preps rankings - Week 5

Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011
Posted: 8:11 p.m.

By Joe Collins and Taylor Bell

1 - Maine South (5-0)

Last Week (Ranked 1): Defeated New Trier 40-24

Next Game: Friday at Niles West, 7:30pm

The last team to beat Maine South in conference play was New Trier back in 2000. The Hawks prevented history from repeating itself by scoring 26 unanswered points in the second half after trailing by 10 at the break. A blocked punt by Frank Perrone helped swing the momentum. QB Matt Alviti chimed in with four touchdowns.

2 - Glenbard West (5-0)

Last Week (Ranked 2): Defeated Oak Park-River Forest 41-6

Next Game: Saturday vs. Proviso West, 1:30pm

A huge second quarter carries the Hilltoppers as they cruise to another West Suburban Silver victory. QB Justice Odom collected four touchdowns (three through the air) and Joe Zito rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown.

3 - Mount Carmel (5-0)

Last Week (Ranked 3): Defeated Brother Rice 35-24

Next Game: Saturday at Loyola, 1:30pm

A career-best 240 rushing yards by Brandon Greer helped propel the Caravan on the south side Friday night. The Central Michigan-bound Greer scored three touchdowns (46, 25 and 51) while QB Don Butkus added two more scores. Next weeks game against Loyola is a must-see.

4 - Lincoln-Way East (5-0)

Last Week (Ranked 4): Defeated Sandburg 31-7

Next Game: Friday at Bolingbrook, 7:30pm

Homewood-Flossmoor? Check. Sandburg? Check. Bolingbrook? To be decided Friday. If the Griffins defense can complement the high-powered offense next week, just as it did against Sandburg, then its possible to get their third straight victory over an undefeated team.

5 - Joliet Catholic (5-0)

Last Week (Ranked 5): Defeated Benet 35-0

Next Game: Friday vs. Nazareth, 7:30pm

The Hilltoppers win thanks to another ground assault. Ty Isaac rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns, while Northwestern-bound Malin Jones added 95 more yards and two scores. JCAs defense held Benet to only eight yards rushing.

6 - Glenbard North (5-0)

Last Week (Ranked 6): Defeated West Aurora 31-21

Next Game: Friday at Naperville Central, 7:30pm

The Blackhawks were pesky enough to stop GBNs streak of shutout quarters (15) and hang around in the second half, but they couldnt contain Panther running back Phil Jackson. The senior rushed for 141 yards and had the go-ahead score in the third quarter. He also had an 18-yard scoring run.

7 - Loyola (5-0)

Last Week (Ranked 7): Defeated Gordon Tech 33-7

Next Game: Saturday vs. Mount Carmel, 1:30pm

Well-rounded effort by the Ramblers, highlighted by backup quarterback Peter Pujals three touchdowns (two passing). Starting quarterback Malcolm Weaver got plenty of rest in advance of Saturdays duel against Mount Carmel. Loyolas defense forced four fumbles.

8 - Downers Grove South (5-0)

Last Week (Ranked 9): Defeated Downers Grove North 24-14

Next Game: Friday at Willowbrook, 7:30pm

Running back Josh Williams got it going in the second half, gaining 225 of his 244 yards. His two touchdowns after halftime helped put the game away. South beat North for the sixth consecutive year.

9 - St. Rita (4-1)

Last Week (Ranked 11): Defeated Providence 19-0

Next Game: Friday at Hales Franciscan, 7:30pm

The Mustangs put on a defensive clinic on the south side Friday, intercepting the Celtics five times. Ryan Leonard and Max Kurugar each had a pick-six. St. Rita will step out of conference play for two weeks (Hales, Bishop McNamara) before hosting Mount Carmel October 14th.

10 - Prairie Ridge (5-0)

Last Week (Ranked 12): Defeated Crystal Lake Central 29-0

Next Game: Friday at Crystal Lake South, 7:15pm

The Wolves took care of business in advance of next weeks rumble with the Gators. Prairie Ridge held CLC to 78 total yards. Quarterback Nick Nissen found Jordan Getzelman for a 40-yard touchdown and also tallied two rushing TDs.

11 - Bolingbrook (5-0)

Last Week (Ranked 13): Defeated Homewood-Flossmoor 41-28

Next Game: Friday vs. Lincoln-Way East, 7:30pm

The Raiders prove theyre for real, sprinting out to a 27-0 lead and leaving a talented H-F team in its wake. Quarterback Aaron Bailey had three rushing touchdowns, the last one a 66-yard scamper to make it 41-7 in the second quarter. Which Southwest Suburban Blue team will remain undefeated after week six: The Brook or LW East?
12 - Crete-Monee (5-0)

Last Week (Ranked 14): Defeated Kankakee 35-7

Next Game: Friday vs. Bloom, 6:00pm

Quarterback Marcus Terrell and LaQuan Treadwell hooked up for two long first quarter touchdowns (59 and 53) as the Warriors cruised in Southland Conference play. Kenneth Kidd added two rushing touchdowns in the second quarter to put the game out of reach.

13 - Lake Zurich (4-1)

Last Week (Ranked 15): Defeated Mundelein 41-7

Next Game: Friday at Libertyville, 7:30pm

The Bears carved up the Mundelein defense early and often. Quarterback Zach Till scored three touchdowns and running back Connor Schrader added two more. The meat of the North Suburban Lake conference is on deck: at Libertyville, at Stevenson and then a home date against Lake Forest.

14 - Crystal Lake South (5-0)

Last Week (Ranked 16): Defeated McHenry 46-6

Next Game: Friday vs. Prairie Ridge, 7:15pm

Six sacks and a steady ground attack paced the Gators in the Fox Valley. Fullback Karl Mikulec rushed for 84 yards and three touchdowns. The stage is set for Fridays battle against Prairie Ridge. CLS beat the Wolves in the 2010 regular season 24-20, but lost to them in the playoffs 37-10.

15 - Morris (4-0)

Last Week (Ranked 17): Defeated Yorkville 35-7

Next Game: Friday vs. Sycamore, 7:30pm

It was the (QB) Austin Feeney and (RB) Jake Ruettiger show in the Big 12 East conference. Feeney passed for 161 yards and three touchdowns while Ruettiger added two more scores. The Redskins gave Yorkville their first loss and Friday theyll welcome another 4-1 team (Sycamore).

16 - Lemont (5-0)

Last Week (Ranked 19): Defeated Tinley Park 49-20

Next Game: Friday at Bremen, 7:00pm

Quarterback Damon Aleman (150 yards, 3 TDs) and Jay Taylor (2 receiving TDs) helped Lemont in a battle of unbeatens. The cream has risen to the top in the South Suburban Blue. The Indians take on fellow 5-0 team Bremen Friday for control of the conference.

17 - Geneva (5-0)

Last Week (Ranked 20): Defeated St. Charles North 54-7

Next Game: Friday vs. Batavia, 7:30pm

Senior running back Parker Woodworth found the end zone three times as the Vikings were never seriously threatened, leading 27-7 after the first quarter. The 5-0 Batavia Bulldogs await with Streamwood (also 5-0) following in week seven.
18 Marian Central (5-0)

Last Week (Unranked): Defeated Aurora Central Catholic 50-7

Next Game: Friday at St. Edward, 7:30pm

The Hurricanes join the CSN Top 20 after a couple of marquee wins. They defeated Montini in week four and trounced ACC Friday. Marian must now learn to be road warriors, as each of their four remaining regular season dates are away from Woodstock.

19 - Homewood-Flossmoor (3-2)

Last Week (Ranked 9): Lost To Bolingbrook 41-28

Next Game: Friday at Lockport, 7:00pm

The Vikings dug themselves a 41-7 hole at halftime and could not recover. Quarterback Tim Williams went 14 for 30, with 212 yards and three touchdowns. Another tough test awaits, as H-F must now travel to Lockport to take on the 4-1 Porters.

20 - Carmel (3-2)

Last Week (Ranked 10): Lost to Wayzata (MN), 33-27

Next Game: Friday at St. Patrick, 8:00pm

The Corsairs got two touchdowns from Michael Panico, one off them via kick return, but could not trip up the Minnesota Class 5A state champs. Brian Brennan hooked up with tight end Alex Young on a 12-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to six but Carmel could come no closer.

Looming and Lurking: Brother Rice, Stevenson, Addison Trail, Antioch, Wheaton North, Simeon, Streamwood, Bremen, Batavia, Glenbrook South, Oak Forest, Jacobs, Kaneland, Grayslake Centray, Cary-Grove.

What can the Cubs expect from the Cleveland Indians in the World Series?

What can the Cubs expect from the Cleveland Indians in the World Series?

CSNChicago.com’s Dan Hayes and JJ Stankevitz saw plenty of the Cleveland Indians while covering the White Sox in 2016, and set their sights on what kind of a challenge the Tribe will provide the Cubs in the World Series.


The American League’s second-best offense has slowed down considerably in the postseason as its .635 OPS ranks seventh among 10 playoff teams in 2016. But the Indians have received enough clutch hitting from part-timer Coco Crisp and their star in the making, shortstop Francisco Lindor, to make the most of their stellar pitching in the playoffs.

In the regular season, the Indians finished second in the American League in runs scored (777) in part because of an aggressive approach on the base paths and even though the team’s best player, Michael Brantley, was limited to 43 plate appearances because of injury. The Indians ranked second in the majors in extra bases taken with 186, two ahead of the Cubs, according to baseball-reference.com. The team also finished second in the majors with an extra bases taken percentage of 45 and led the AL with 134 stolen bases in 165 tries (81 percent).

The offense is centered around designated hitter Carlos Santana, who blasted a career best 34 home runs and posted an .865 OPS. First baseman Mike Napoli and second baseman Jason Kipnis also established career highs in homers with 34 and 23, respectively. Kipnis finished with 68 extra-base hits, including 41 doubles.

Third baseman Jose Ramirez picked up much of the slack for a team that also was without projected outfielder Abraham Almonte for half the season because of a suspension for PEDs. Ramirez had 46 doubles among his 60 extra-base hits and produced an .825 OPS in an outstanding all-around campaign that could garner him a few MVP votes. Rookie Tyler Naquin also filled a big void in the outfield with 14 homers and 43 RBIs in 365 plate appearances.

So far, Indians manager Terry Francona has divided up the plate appearances among his outfielders in October. Only right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall has received consistent playing time as the Indians have platooned Crisp, Naquin, Rajai Davis, who stole 43 bases this season, and Brandon Guyer.

-- Dan Hayes


Andrew Miller may be having the best postseason a relief pitcher has ever had. The big-ticket trade deadline acquisition threw 11 2/3 innings in the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox and ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays, striking out 21 while allowing only five singles and two walks (that’s good for a laughable .132/.171/.184 opponent slash line). Manager Terry Francona hasn’t been shy about using Miller early in games, too — he inserted the 6-foot-7 lefty in the fifth inning of Cleveland’s ALDS Game 1 win over the Red Sox, and half of his six playoff appearances this year began in the sixth inning or earlier. Miller’s ability to throw multiple innings will put pressure on the Cubs to score early and often against the Indians’ rotation.

Francona’s willingness to use Miller early has been critical toward helping maximize the success of a starting rotation without two of its three best arms in the postseason. Carlos Carrasco (fractured gone in right hand) won’t pitch in the World Series, though Francona hinted that fellow right-handed All-Star Danny Salazar (strained flexor muscle in right forearm) could return to start in the World Series. Right-hander Trevor Bauer, who sliced his right pinky open while repairing his drone and only managed to record two outs before his finger gushed blood in Game 3 of the ALCS, will start Game 2 or 3.

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With or without Salazar and/or Bauer, though, Cleveland’s rotation has been effective. Corey Kluber is the unquestioned ace of the staff and allowed only two runs over 18 1/3 innings in three postseason starts, which stands as a continuation of his strong regular season numbers (18-9, 215 IP, 3.14 ERA, 3.26 FIP). Josh Tomlin has had a short rope, only throwing 10 2/3 innings in his two starts, but allowed three runs in that span with 10 strikeouts and three walks. Rookie left-hander Ryan Merrett threw 4 2/3 shutout innings in a clinching Game 5 win over the Blue Jays last week, too, showing no signs of “shaking in his boots” in his first postseason start.

The rest of Cleveland’s bullpen -- which tied for the second-best ERA in the American League (3.45) in the regular season -- has found success in addition to Miller in the playoffs. Hard-throwing closer Cody Allen has looked unflappable in five save opportunities, allowing five hits and three walks with 12 strikeouts. Right-handers Dan Otero (3.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) and Bryan Shaw (5.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR) have been go-to options if Miller can’t bridge the gap between the starting pitcher and Allen, too.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that Cleveland has found pitching success in the playoffs, even with so many injuries, given their 3.86 staff ERA ranked 7th in baseball.

-- JJ Stankevitz


Nobody has been as outstanding of a defensive team as the Cubs in 2016. But, the Indians are still near the top of the second tier team and have proven a remarkably improved squad over the past two seasons. Much of their improvement stems from the stellar play provided by Lindor, who ranked second in the majors in Ultimate Zone Rating (20.8) among shortstops and fourth in Defensive Runs Saved with 17, according to fangraphs.com. Combined with Kipnis, who ranked sixth in UZR (7.3) among second baseman, the Indians have a strong double play combo. Ramirez also proved to be a steady defender at third base after taking over as the full-timer following the release of Juan Uribe.

Though the club has missed the presence of starting catcher Yan Gomes, it has handled his absence extremely well. Not only does replacement Roberto Perez rate among the game’s best pitch framers, he also threw out 13 of 26 runners who attempted to steal a base with him behind the dish.

-- Dan Hayes


Francona won two World Series trophies with the Boston Red Sox, including the one in 2004 that ended that franchise’s 87-year title drought. He’s led Cleveland to two postseason berths since taking over in 2013, and the Tribe haven’t had a losing record in his four years at the helm.

The 57-year-old has been lauded for his aggressive use of Miller in the playoffs, deploying the lights-out lefty as a study bridge between a starting rotation beset by injuries and dominant closer Allen.

First baseman/catcher/designated hitter Santana is hardly a prototypical leadoff man, but he’s hit first in six of Cleveland’s eight games in the postseason after leading off 85 games in the regular season. And that’s the batting order position he’s been most effective from --- In the regular season, Santana hit .260/.385/.502 with more walks (67) than strikeouts (60) as a leadoff man. Francona’s willingness to eschew stolen bases and speed on the base paths has put early pressure on starting pitchers by having Santana on base so frequently.

Said Cubs starter Jon Lester, who pitched for Francona in the Red Sox 2007 championship run: “I know that manager on their side’s going to be prepared, I know their coaching staff’s going to be ready.”

-- JJ Stankevitz

Jon Lester says Cubs haven’t done anything yet: ‘Nobody likes second place’

Jon Lester says Cubs haven’t done anything yet: ‘Nobody likes second place’

As Cubs players and generations of fans celebrated Christmas in October, Jon Lester had to be The Grinch for a moment. Sure, the Cubs would party from Saturday night into Sunday morning, probably get “a little bit” drunk and enjoy the franchise’s first National League pennant in 71 years. But the reality of the Cleveland Indians would set in once the Cubs got rid of this hangover.

“We ain’t done anything yet,” Lester said during the Wrigley Field celebration after the Cubs eliminated the Los Angeles Dodgers. “Nobody likes second place.”

There are enough Boston Red Sox connections in this World Series that Lester already knows what to expect, starting with Indians manager Terry Francona, who became a father figure as he dealt with a cancer scare as a rookie.

There are ex-teammates from those championship teams in 2007 (Coco Crisp) and 2013 (Mike Napoli, Andrew Miller) at Fenway Park. There is the accumulated experience from throwing 119 postseason innings (2.50 ERA) and becoming one of the best big-game pitchers of his generation.

“I don’t want to sound like a smart-ass, but we got a long ways to go,” Lester said. “I know that manager on their side’s going to be prepared. I know their coaching staff’s going to be ready. I know their players are going to be ready, just based on one player alone, and that’s Mike Napoli. I know what he brings to the table. He helped transform our 2013 team.

“Come Tuesday, we got to put the gloves back on. We got to get ready to fight and grind and do what we’ve done well all year. We got four more games to win.”

After limiting the Dodgers to two runs in 13 innings, and being named the NL Championship Series’ co-MVP along with Javier Baez, Lester should be a worthy Game 1 starter opposite Corey Kluber, the 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner.

This is why Lester took a leap of faith with Cubs bosses/ex-Red Sox executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer and chairman Tom Ricketts’ family and what had been a last-place team in 2014.

Two seasons into the $155 million contract that signaled the Cubs would be serious about contending – and not just in the Baseball America/Baseball Prospectus prospect rankings – the franchise has won 200 games and four playoff rounds and remained in position to dominate for years to come.

“Theo and Jed and the front office and Tom and all these guys had a belief,” Lester said. “I believed in that belief. The talent here speaks for itself. I didn’t do anything – I came here because I wanted to win in Chicago. I’m just happy to be here and be a part of this and get to this point.

“(But) we’re four hard wins away from doing what we set out to do in spring training.”

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As bright as the future looks on the North Side, Lester will be 33 next season and his left arm has already accounted for more than 2,000 innings during his decorated career. John Lackey turned 38 on Sunday. Jake Arrieta only has one more season before becoming a free agent.

The Cubs built their franchise around young hitters, with the idea that they can figure out the pitching later with free agents, change-of-scenery trades and bounce-back guys. Easier said than done. They have a true No. 1 starter now in Lester, who as a free agent watched a recruiting video that imagined what it would be like when the Cubs win the World Series.

“This isn’t it,” Lester said. “It’s been a tough playoffs for us to this point and it’s only going to get tougher. We’re going to enjoy it. We’re going to show up Tuesday in Cleveland ready to play. We’ll see what happens.”