Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010
By Joe Collins
What teams will make the trip to Champaign ... and what teams go home? Comcast SportsNet is your home for the IHSA football playoffs. Check out CSN and CSNChicago.com on both Friday and Saturday nights for up-to-the-minute prep sports news. High School Lites will air on Friday night just after the Blackhawks game. Our high school coverage continues on Saturday night on SportsNet Central -- also after Hawks hockey. We will have highlights of the following games this weekend:
CATHOLIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
Fenwick (6-5) vs. Brother Rice (6-5), 7 p.m. at Toyota Park
The Friars and Crusaders battle for the right to take on the Public League Champion (Morgan Park or Curie) in the Prep Bowl at Soldier Field next Friday. Fenwick has gone toe-to-toe with some of the toughest teams in the state ... which is second nature as a member as a member of Chicagos Catholic Blue conference. They lost close games to St. Rita and Prairie Ridge -- both still alive in the IHSA playoffs. Brother Rice advanced to the Catholic League Championship after beating St. Ignatius 34-7.
Note: Fenwick beat Brother Rice 23-7 in the last week of the regular season.
8A: No. 4 Homewood-Flossmoor (10-2) at No. 3 Mt. Carmel (10-2), noon at Gately Stadium
Maybe its time to start thinking about H-F, not as a nice Cinderella story, but as a serious threat to win state. The Vikings, 1-8 last season, beat Naperville North last week -- a team that upset No. 1-seed York by the way -- 35-28 on the Huskies home turf. Running back Malik Norman was unstoppable again, racking up four touchdowns and 163 yards on the ground. Mt. Carmels defense will be up to the task. After giving up 47 points to Simeon and another 35 to St. Rita in the regular season, the Caravan has shown steady progress. They hit Lyons in the quarterfinals with four sacks and three interceptions, winning 41-10.
8A: No. 4 Maine South (10-2) @ No. 2 Loyola (11-1), 1 p.m.
The last time Loyola gave up more than seven points in a game was about a month ago -- a 24-21 win over St. Rita. The Ramblers have given up a grand total of seven points in the playoffs and theyre coming off an impressive shutout win over Palatine, 14-0. Running back Spencer Perry is equally impressive, rushing for 121 yards and two TDs in that quarterfinal win. Maine South continues to be, well, Maine South. The Hawks have won 10 straight after two losses (Maine South, Schaumburg) and are getting key plays from both sides of the ball, including from sophomore quarterback Matt Alviti. A Hawks win will give them their sixth trip to Champaign since 2003.
7A: No. 2 St. Rita (11-1) @ No. 5 Lake Zurich (11-1), 7 p.m.
If youre a fan of old-school, smash-mouth football, then you might want to head up Route 12 Saturday night to see two of the best defenses in the state. St. Rita dismantled one of the premier option offenses around last week -- shutting out Carmel 21-0. Linebacker Will McNamara had 12 tackles. Their offensive threat, as always, is in the backfield: Jahwon Akui. He scored two TDs in last weeks win. Lake Zurich is riding high after holding one of the highest scoring teams in the state, Simeon, to 14 points. Running back Jacob Brinlee anchors the Bears offense.
5A: No. 6 Montini (10-2) @ No. 1 Kaneland (12-0), 5 p.m.
Two teams with rich playoff histories collide in Maple Park on Saturday evening. Montini comes in as the reigning state champs in 5A. They defeated Marian Central Catholic last week, 24-10, behind Matt Westerkamps two touchdown passes. Kaneland won back-to-back state titles in 1997 and 98 -- two teams that also went undefeated. This years undefeated bunch went to Vernon Hills last week and stormed out with a 37-22 victory. Quarterback Joe Camilere was a force in the victory: four touchdowns and 357 yards. The winner of this game will battle either Richwoods or Glenwood in Champaign next week.
PUBLIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
Curie (8-5) vs. Morgan Park (10-2), 4 p.m. at Gately Stadium
Hows this for a random fact: If Curie wins Saturday, they will qualify to play a 15th game (Chicago Prep Bowl). It would be only the second time in state history that a team would have played 15 games in a season. Of course, the Condors would have to get past a speedy Morgan Park team in the Public League Championship first. Curie has won three straight: Hubbard, Orr and Robeson. Morgan Park is playing their first game since losing to 6A semifinalist Prairie Ridge in the second round.
Our coverage on Friday night includes in-depth analysis of the Montini-Kaneland and St.Rita-Lake Zurich matchups. In our team of the week segment, we visit the south suburbs as the Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings continue their amazing turnaround under the tutelage of new head coach Craig Buzea. And in our Flashback profile, we take a look at the high school career of Northwestern quarterback Evan Watkins.
On Saturdays late edition of SportsNet Central after Blackhawks hockey, we will provide highlights from all of the above games and bring you updates on all 5A, 6A, 7A and 8A games, including the 7A semifinal tilt between Wheaton Warrenville South and Belleville East.
We are your source for playoff highlights, scores and more. High School Lites streams live at CSNChicago.com.