Five high school football storylines to watch in Week 8
Here are five things to keep an eye on in Week 8 of the high school football season.
Where did the big games go?:
Maybe Week 9 when Batavia and St. Charles North meet likely for the DuKane Conference title. Or St. Francis and IC Catholic Prep square off in a matchup of state-ranked teams, and the best of the Metro Suburban's Red and Blue divisions. And a second Naperville North/Naperville Central game after the Redhawks won the first in OT.
This week, however, doesn't have quite as many marquee matchups. The only game between two Daily Herald Top 20 teams in the MSL: No. 2 Hersey and No. 20 Elk Grove. No. 17 St. Francis puts its 7-0 record on the line against 5-2 Riverside-Brookfield in a game that will decide the Metro Red. On Saturday, No. 5 Glenbard West hosts Lyons in another game that looks good on paper.
That doesn't mean there aren't some important games with two weeks left in the regular season.
In the Central Suburban South, Maine South is 3-0 looking to continue its stranglehold on the title and plays a pair of 2-1 teams, Evanston and New Trier, the final two weeks.
Lake Zurich has Mundelein and Waukegan -- a combined 3-11 -- the next two weeks looking to end Warren's run on top of the North Suburban. Wauconda has a 1-game lead over Antioch and Grayslake North in the NLCC and plays Grayslake North next week.
At 2-1 in the MSL East, Elk Grove gets it chance to catch 3-0 Hersey on Friday. Over in the MSL West, it's looking like a Week 9 matchup between 3-0 Hoffman Estates and 3-0 Palatine will decide things.
The Fox Valley could be headed to a 3-way tie with Huntley, Prairie Ridge and Jacobs all at 6-1 and no games left between each other. St. Charles North has made it through the DuKane at 5-0 a game ahead of Wheaton North and Batavia, but two tough tests await against Glenbard North and the Bulldogs. Neuqua Valley is still perfect to lead the DuPage Valley as is South Elgin in the Upstate Eight, Downers Grove South in the WSC Gold and York in the WSC Silver.
Town Jug on the line:
That's what they play for in Elgin every year when the Maroons face Larkin at Memorial Field. Larkin came away with a 30-28 win last year, and a repeat victory will make 4-3 Larkin playoff eligible. Elgin enters at 3-4 and needs to win its final two games to reach the postseason.
Like Larkin, Rolling Meadows sits at 4-3 looking to become playoff eligible. Meadows has qualified for the playoffs 10 straight seasons and 17 of the last 18.
Cary-Grove, the defending Class 6A state champion, has an even longer streak on the line. At 3-4, the Trojans need to beat Burlington Central and Hampshire for an 18th straight playoff appearance.
Congratulations to Grayslake North senior quarterback Jake Donohue, now the school's all-time leader in passing yards (4,948) and completions (353).
Tyson Dewey now sits second all-time in the Lakes record books for most catches in a season with 45 -- he needs 18 more to pass Jake Balliu.