Sean Studer, of Lincoln-Way Central. | Judy Fidkowski/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 26, 2013 6:31AM
Brother Rice (3-5) at Providence (4-4)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, High School Cube
Outlook: The Crusaders are relegated to playing the role of spoiler, trying to deny the Celtics entry into the state playoffs. Rice will need big games from QB Alex Alarcon (121-of-230, 1,419 yards, 11 TDs), RB Marcus Jones (109 carries, 761 yards, 8 TDs) and WR Luke Mueller (48 catches, 546 yards, 5 TDs). Providence was blanked 14-0 by Mount Carmel in Week 8. Celtics QB Justin Hunniford (110-of-185, 1,260, 10), RB Dominic Lagone (160, 1,052, 16) and WR Miles Boykin (35, 505, 7) should find the going much smoother against an inconsistent Crusaders defense. The Celtics must find a way to get the ball more often to Boykin, a Division I recruit.
Evergreen Park (8-0) at Reavis (5-3)
When: 7 p.m. Friday, High School Cube
Outlook: Reavis needs a win to guarantee itself a spot in the postseason. The Rams, behind QB Jose Romero (59-of-131, 809, 10) and RBs Tyler Liszewski (134, 625, 6) and Calvin Jordan, should be able to move the ball against a Mustangs defense that has struggled at times. The key for Reavis will be slowing down Evergreen Park’s explosive offense. QB Sean Ryan, who took over for injured starter John O’Brien in Week 5, is becoming more confident. No one has been able to slow WR Jacquet McClendon (54, 789, 10), a Division I recruit. RB Keyshawn Carpenter (185, 1,061, 12) is explosive out of the backfield.
Loyola (8-0) at St. Rita (7-1)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Outlook: The mission is simple for St. Rita: win and thus earn a share of the Catholic Blue title with Loyola and Mount Carmel. However, that’s easier said than done. QB Tommy Mister (122 carries, 1,042 yards, 17 TDs; 48-of-98, 840, 6) combined for nearly 400 all-purpose yards during a 38-35 win in Week 8 over Brother Rice. As tempting as it is for the Mustangs to rely on Mister to move the chains, the Ramblers defense likely will force an alternative game plan. St. Rita will need to be creative and get RB D.J. Miles (54, 403, 4) and WRs Julian Crum (16, 357, 3) and Malik Space involved.
Lincoln-Way West (7-1) at Lincoln-Way Central (4-4)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Outlook: West RB Javier Montalvo has been a one-man wrecking crew, averaging 238 yards rushing per game and a whopping 1,432 yards and 18 touchdowns over six games. If Central’s defense somehow can put the brakes on Montalvo, it would better position itself to spring the upset. West QB Justin Keuch (86-of-151, 1,104, 10) is a threat through the air. The Knights’ option attack has been gaining steam, thanks in large part to QB Connor Campbell and RB Sean Studer (97-480, 3). Campbell, though, will need to air it out on occasion to keep the Warriors defense honest.
Crete-Monee (7-1) at Rich Central (8-0)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Outlook: The winner claims the Southland Conference title outright. Crete-Monee has relied heavily on its defense, led by Nyles Morgan and Omari Stringer. The Warriors offense has been inconsistent, but remains dangerous behind QB Frank Douglas (98-of-166, 1,005, 11) and RB Deshaun Smith (63, 637, 3). Few expected Rich Central to be in this position. However, the Olympians defense, keyed by Malik Fountain and Michael Ileobanum, has been dominant. Central is going to need big games from QB Michael Hoover (50, 479, 6; 52-of-89, 928, 6), RB Ahmad McClellan (103, 855, 18) and WR Jeremiah Mitchell.
Compiled by Pat Disabato