“CSN Chicago’s High School Lites will have cameras across the city and suburbs on Saturday, as all of the state's quarterfinal games have been moved to Saturday's and so has High School Lites. We'll have cameras at many of the top IHSA playoff game played this week. The EDGYTIM Game of the Week will be a Class 8A rematch as Neuqua Valley travel across town to take on Naperville Central in a Battle of Naperville. Can Joliet Catholic end the reign of Montini Catholic this week in Class 5A? Also can Phillips in Class 4A and Leo in Class 1A keep winning and keep the state title dream alive?
No. 5 Maine South (9-2) @ No. 11 Loyola Academy (10-1) Saturday, 12:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Easily two of the top programs in the Northern part of the Class 8A bracket here. The Hawks and head coach Dave Inserra will rely on it's spread offense and a quick and opportunistic defense. Maine South sophomore quarterback Brian Collis has played like an upperclassmen all season, and also keep an eye on Vanderbilt verbal commit offensive lineman Brendan Brosnan along with junior WR-LB Vinny Labus. Loyola will also spread the field on offense and head coach John Holecek's calling card is his defense year in and year out. Loyola senior running back Julius Holley is having an All-State caliber season and the Ramblers defense will need to defend the Hawks speedy and deep backs and receivers, which is easier said than done.
Prediction: Maine South 27 Loyola 21
No. 6 Stevenson (9-2) @ No. 2 Barrington (10-1) Saturday, 6:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Stevenson and head coach Bill McNamara pulled off an impressive 20-16 win last week over Glenbard North. The Patriots were able to break a few big plays in the win and Stevenson junior wideout Cam Green plus junior quarterback Willie Bourbon are both players to watch here. Barrington has played well all season, and the Broncos have a terrific quarterback in senior Dan Kubiuk. The Barrington defense has also played well in the postseason yet will get it's biggest test this week. The biggest question? Will Michigan State verbal commit WR-S Matt Morrissey play this week after sitting out Saturday's win with an injury?
Prediction: Stevenson 31 Barrington 24
No. 3 Oswego @ No. 8 Marist (8-3) Saturday, 7:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Marist has one of the state's most potent offenses this season, yet it's been the defense that has gotten the Redhawks into the quarterfinals. Marist has moved a handful of offensive starters over to defense in the postseason and WR/OLB Nic Weishar (Notre Dame) along with junior WR/S Flynn Nagel have boosted the Redhawks defense. Marist senior quarterback Jack Donegan has been strong this fall, and also keep an eye on senior running back Peter Andreotti and junior RB Jawill Aldridge. Oswego lost it's first two games but has rolled ever since. Head coach Brian Cooney will rely on sophomore quarterback Steven Frank who is already drawing several college looks. Oswego senior RB-LB Bryce Holm (Illinois State) is yet another impact performer for the Panthers.
Prediction: Marist 34, Oswego 38
No. 2 Mount Carmel (10-1) @ No. 8 Downers Grove North Saturday, 3:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Many expected Mount Carmel to be in the quarterfinals, yet not too many outside of the Downers Grove North circle expected to see the Trojans here. Mount Carmel beat rival St. Rita last week as running back Matt Domer (Illinois) once again had a big time performance. The Caravan defensive line features two D1 recruits in Enoch Smith Jr. (Michigan State) and Steven Richardson (Minnesota). Downers Grove North and head coach John Wander again have gotten the Trojans into the quarterfinals for the second straight year after a 5-4 regular season. The biggest question here is can the Trojans get standout quarterback David Edwards and senior WR-LB Vontae Diggs back this week from injury?
Prediction: Mount Carmel 26, Downers Grove North 12
No. 6 Lake Forest (9-2) @ No. 2 Batavia (10-1) Saturday, 1:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Lake Forest always has a balanced offense and running back Hub Cirame has been a force all season, and leads the Scouts running attack. The Lake Forest defense also has some experience and play makers in senior defensive lineman Jack Kutsche and linebacker Trent Williams. Batavia also can put up points with senior quarterback Micah Coffey along with senior running back Anthony Scaccia. The Bulldogs defense is also a strength and keep an eye out on senior linebacker Anthony Thielk. Limiting turnovers and finishing drives with points will be a huge key here.
Prediction: Batavia 34, Lake Forest 21
No. 2 Lincoln-Way North @ No. 1 Richards (10-1) Saturday, 6:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Lincoln-Way North will rely heavily on senior RB-DB Julian Hylton on both sides of the ball this week for the Phoenix and head coach George Czart. Richards and head coach Tony Sheehan have one of the top underclassmen groups in Illinois and junior quarerback Hasan Muhammed-Rogers must be accounted for this week. Can North defend the entire field against the speedy Bulldogs? If the Phoenix can avoid an early hay maker from the Bulldogs all the better here. Richards eliminated Lincoln-Way North in last year's opening round.
Prediction: Richards 28, Lincoln-Way North 20
No. 4 Joliet Catholic (10-1) @ No. 1 Montini (11-0) Saturday, 1:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Different year, different players yet the same story line. Joliet Catholic will again look to run the ball with standout running back senior Mike Ivlow. The Hilltoppers defense is much improved in 2013, yet will need to be able to bring it's A-game on Saturday. Montini Catholic is shooting for it's fifrth straight Class 5A state title. The Broncos still have a potent offense led by senior quarterback Alex Wills, yet the defense could be as good or even better than the 2012 state title team. Montini Catholic senior defensive lineman Dylan Thompson (Ohio State) and senior linebacker NIle Sykes are players to watch in the Montini Catholic defense. Expect one of the biggest crowds ever in Lombard.
Prediction: Montini 37, Joliet Catholic 28
No. 6 Lincoln-Way West (10-1) @ No. 22 Sycamore (11-0) Saturday, 1 p.m.
EDGY's Take: The Warriors and head coach Dave Ernst are looking to beat the Spartans this week, something they failed to do back in a3 4-21, Week 1 loss. The Warriors will rely on senior running back Javier Montalvo and the Warriors also will have a handful of starters ready for this game as opposed to the Week 1 meeting. Sycamore and head coach Joe Ryan welcomed back 19 starters from a year ago and that experience and depth has been huge for the Spartans this season whip have dealt with a rash of injuries. Iowa verbal commit WR-S Ben Niemann is a force and also keep an eye on junior quarterback Nick Feuerbach. He was the backup and came in relief in the Kaneland game has has never left the starting lineup.
Prediction: Lincoln-Way West 27, Sycamore 26
No. 9 Phillips (8-3) vs No. 4 Geneseo (10-1) @ Gately Stadium Saturday, 5:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: Phillips has been able to throw the ball all over the field this season behind junior quarterback DeWayne Collins. Collins has nearly 3,700 yards of total offense this season for the Wildcats. The biggest key for Phillips will be defensively. The Geneseo Green Machine is an old school run first, second and third power option game. Senior offensive lineman Nick Verbeck (6'3, 285 pounds) leads a big, strong and very physical Maple Leafs offensive line. Geneseo senior running back Rayce Signbush is the main ball carrier in the Geneseo power option offense.
Prediction: Phillips 37, Geneseo 21
No. 1 Ottawa-Marquette (11-0) vs. No. 6 Leo (9-2) at St. Laurence HS Saturday, 2:00 p.m.
EDGY's Take: The Crusaders have been very solid all season and quarterback Patrick Killealea leads an offense that will look run first yet is also capable of the pass. Leo has been very strong in the postseason in Class 1A after being battle tested all year playing much bigger schools in the CCL Red. Senior running back Theodore Hopkins was named the Lawless Award winner as the Player of the Year in the CCL Red this season. Hopkins along with quarterback Latrell Giles and junior defensive end Terron Bell lead a very fast and athletic Lions team.
Prediction: Leo 34, Ottawa-Marquette 20