Hinsdale Central @ (1) Bolingbrook, Friday 7:00pm
EDGY's Take: The top-ranked Bolingbrook Raiders will draw plenty of attention starting this week. The Raiders feature a stellar defense led by senior DE Micah Dew Treadway (Notre Dame), senior DB Armani McNulty (Ball State), junior LB Tuf Borland plus the Huff twins in senior safety Jacob Huff and senior linebacker Julian Huff, both of whom are committed to Minnesota. Hinsdale Central has a new head coach in former Evergreen Par Dan Hartman. Look for the Red Devils to open things up on offense with senior QB Thomas Ives, along with a very solid group of receivers. The biggest question of all here? What will the Bolingbrook offense look like with former Morris Hall of Fame head coach Dan Darlington calling the offense for the Raiders this fall?
Prediction: Bolingbrook 21, Hinsdale Central 10
Curie @ Argo, Friday 7:00pm
EDGY's Take: Argo and veteran head coach Jim Innis had a very soloed run in 2013, but several key contributors have moved on. Keep an eye on do-it-all senior Corde ONeal for the Argonauts this fall. Curie and head coach James McDonagh gave the Argonauts a game last year (a 30-20 Argo final) and look for the Condors to again play here with Argo. Could this be a must-win already for either team?
Prediction: Argo 20, Curie 13
West Chicago @ East Aurora, Friday 7:30pm
EDGY's Take: Someone will get off to a 1-0 start here. Both teams battled down to the wire in 2013 as West Chicago came away with a Week 9 29-24 win over East Aurora. East Aurora is led by former Chicago Bear Kurt Becker as the Tomcats look to turn around a program that has been playing football since 1893. West Chicago has a new head coach in veteran Ted Monken and the Wildcats will look towards an experienced defense back in 2014 to lead the charge.
Prediction: West Chicago 24, East Aurora 16
(19) Oswego @ (21) Batavia, Friday 7:30pm
EDGY's Take: Oswego will need to be ready to go once they get off the bus in Batavia. Oswego junior QB Steven Frank is already drawing scholarship offers and the Panthers are seldom out-hit. Batavia, the defending Class 6A state champs will need to break in several new faces this season, especially on offense. The Bulldogs will rely on an experienced offensive line led by senior OL Jake Breshears, plus senior TE/LB Noah Frazier and senior LB Jake Hlava. The key here will be how long it takes the Batavia offense to click.
Prediction: Oswego 31, Batavia 20
(8) Naperville Central @ (20) Waubonsie Valley, Friday 7:30pm
EDGY's Take: The defending Class 8A state champion Naperville Central Redhawks will need to reload in several spots this season, yet also have some key starters back this fall. Senior WR/DB Mike Kolzow (Illinois State) is a name to watch along with senior RB Kevin Clifford, junior WR Emmanuel Ragumba and senior LB Bobby McMillen (Iowa State). Waubonise Valley will rely on an experienced defense in 2014 as senior QB Zach Bennema leads an offense with skill, yet is short on varsity experience. The biggest question here might be which sideline can overcome the early butterflies?
Prediction: Naperville Central 19, Waubonsie Valley 13
(11) Montini @ (17) Maine South, Friday 7:00pm
EDGY's Take: It might not look like it on the surface, yet these are two programs very familiar with each other. Both Montini Catholic and Maine South have the same offensive philosophy and offensive looks and both coaching staffs are friends away from the field. Montini Catholic will be a bit green to start the 2014 season, yet the Broncos always reload. Senior WR Leon Thornton (Indiana) is a name to watch along with starting senior QB Chuck Nogle. Maine South will rely on junior QB Brian Collis along with senior WR/LB Vinny Labus. Last score wins?
Prediction: Montini Catholic 36, Maine South 32
(22) Oak Park River Forest @ (13) Lincoln-Way East, Friday 7:30pm
EDGY's Take: This will be a terrific first-time-ever meeting between these two schools. OPRF will look towards senior QB Lloyd Yates and senior offensive tackle Adam Lemke-Dew — both are verbally committed to Northwestern. Lincoln-Way East and head coach Rob Zvonar has an experienced quarterback in senior Mike Weller and the Griffins always have numbers and depth on both sides of the ball. Look for a well-played, hard-hitting game here — something that isn't always the case in Week 1.
Prediction: Lincoln-Way East 24, OPRF 21
Providence @ (25) Joliet Catholic, Friday 7:30pm
EDGY's Take: Both enter this terrific local Joliet-area rivalry game looking for some quick answers to several pressing questions. Providence Catholic will rely on its offensive skills this season as a strength. Senior QB Justin Hunniford has some serious targets in Notre Dame verbal commit WR Miles Boykin along with senior TE Nate Vejvoda (Iowa). The Celtics' biggest question could be upfront on the offensive line. Joliet Catholic graduated yet another All-State running back last spring and the Hillmen will need to find answers in the offensive skills. Joliet Catholic will look towards its defense as an early strength this season — something that would of been unheard of a few short seasons ago as the Hilltoppers have focused heavily the past two seasons in shoring up its defense.
Prediction: Providence Catholic 24, JCA 22
Wheaton North @ (7) Cary-Grove, Friday 7:30pm
EDGY's Take: The preseason hype and rankings have never been higher for Cary-Grove in 2014. The Trojans welcome back 16 starters and none will be as important as the offensive line, anchored by Notre Dame commit Trevor Ruhland and senior OL/DL Michael Gomez. Wheaton North is looking to reload in 2014 and the offense will be looking at starting sophomore Luke Anthony at quarterback this season. Anthony will step for graduated standout Clayton Thorson (Northwestern). Keep an eye on senior WR JP Forccuci along with senior TE Jake Heggeland. Can Cary-Grove's defense slow down the Falcons' passing game? Can the Falcons stop the Trojans power running attack?
Prediction: Cary-Grove 21, Wheaton North 20
Fremd @ (10) Lake Zurich, Friday 7:30pm
EDGY's Take: Just from a ranking standpoint alone this might appear to be a lopsided game, but it's not at all. Fremd and head coach Lou Sponsol has a huge offensive line in 2014 and the Vikings will look to establish run first and foremost. Fremd's offensive line will average 255 pounds this fall and senior Dominic Lombard (6-foot-5, 295 pounds) along with senior Jack Albrecht (6-foot-4, 255 pounds) are keys. Lake Zurich has several new faces starting this season and the lack of overall varsity game experience remains a concern. Junior running back Ben Klett will be a key player this season along with Wyoming commit senior OT Zach Wallace. Can the Bears' speedy defense slow down the bigger Fremd line and running game?
Prediction: Lake Zurich 20, Fremd 19