Providence's Justin Hunniford | File photo
Hyde Park at Marian Catholic, 6:30 p.m.
Thornridge at Joliet Central, 6:30 p.m.
Andrew at Bremen, 7 p.m.
Bloom at Thornwood, 7 p.m.
Curie at Argo, 7 p.m.
De La Salle at Bradley, 7 p.m.
Hillcrest at Stagg, 7 p.m.
Indianapolis Arsenal Tech at Richards, 7 p.m.
Joliet West at Tinley Park, 7 p.m.
Kenwood at Oak Lawn, 7 p.m.
Lemont at Plainfield South, 7 p.m.
Phoenix at Oak Forest, 7 p.m.
Plainfield East at Rich Central, 7 p.m.
Rich East at Eisenhower, 7 p.m.
Rich South at Mendota, 7 p.m.
T.F. South at Crete-Monee, 7 p.m.
Urban Prep-West at T.F. North, 7 p.m.
LaSalle-Peru at Lincoln-Way North, 7:15 p.m.
Lincoln-Way Central at Sandburg, 7:15 p.m.
Lincoln-Way West at Sycamore, 7:15 p.m.
Chicago Christian at Westmont, 7:30 p.m.
DuSable at Marist, 7:30 p.m.
Harlan at Homewood-Flossmoor, 7:30 p.m.
Leo at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Lockport at Downers Grove North, 7:30 p.m.
Oak Park-River Forest at Lincoln-Way East, 7:30 p.m.
Providence vs. Joliet Catholic (at Joliet Memorial Stadium), 7:30 p.m.
Reavis at St. Laurence, 7:30 p.m.
Shepard at Niles North, 7:30 p.m.
Evergreen Park at Lake Station Edison, 8 p.m.
Ag. Science vs. North Grand (at Gately Stadium), 9:30 a.m.
Thornton vs. Morgan Park (at Gately Stadium), 7:15 p.m.
DETROIT SPORTS COMMISSION PREP KICKOFF CLASSIC
(at Wayne State)
Brother Rice vs. Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) Brother Rice, 2 p.m.
CATHOLIC LEAGUE PRESEASON KICKOFF CLASSIC
(at Toyota Park)
Mount Carmel vs. Philadelphia St. Joseph’s Prep, noon
St. Rita vs. Simeon, 6 p.m.
Updated: September 30, 2014 6:26AM
Providence vs. Joliet Catholic
at Memorial Stadium
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Outlook: The Celtics boast two of the area’s finest receivers in Miles Boykin and Nate Vejvoda, who combined for 75 catches and more than 1,300 yards last season. The fact that each stands 6-3 adds another element of difficulty for opposing defenses. QB Justin Hunniford returns for the Celtics after passing for 1,873 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2013. Providence boasts a pair of quality RBs in Sean Diehl and Richie Warfield. Joliet Catholic has an established back in Nick Borgra, who totaled 951 yards and 13 TDs last season. QB Cade Earl returns, looking to increase his passing totals of 388 yards and three TDs. The longer the Hilltoppers offense can remain on the field, the longer Boykin and Vejvoda sit on the sideline, which would benefit Joliet Catholic.
Reavis at St. Laurence
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Outlook: A year ago, the Vikings won the inaugural Battle of Burbank, 44-16. The Rams are looking to provide a much better fight this time around. For that to happen, Reavis will need big games from playmakers Isiah Alpuche, Travis Liszewski, Calvin Jordan and Vinnie Vertucci. Each will see time on defense, which could result in second-half fatigue. Fans can expect to see some trickery by Reavis, especially during special teams. Despite a 5-4 record, the Rams failed to accumulate enough points to qualify for the 2013 playoffs. A win here could set the stage for a big season. St. Laurence, too, is looking to take the next step after finishing 1-8 and 4-5 the past two seasons. The Vikings will be led by WR/DB Mike Sterna, WR Andy Gamboa and WR/DE Matt Gurgone.
T.F. South at Crete-Monee
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Outlook: This season opener hasn’t been kind to the Rebels the past two seasons, with the Warriors recording 43-6 and 38-7 victories, respectively. T.F. South needs to find a way to avoid turnovers and sustain drives, which will keep Crete-Monee’s offense on the sideline. The Rebels have an experienced QB in Cody Petrich, who has a pair of dynamic playmakers at his disposal in RB Torian Lewis and WR Jerome Barker. This is a young Crete-Monee squad, but one that has plenty of weapons in QB Frank Douglas, WRs Elijah Douglas, Juwuan Treadwell, Marcus Kidd and Kevin Pate and RB Clint Ratkovich. The problem for the Rebels is many of those Crete-Monee players double on defense and are apt to produce a pick-six moment or cause a turnover that kills momentum. However, the Warriors having multiple two-way players may benefit T.F. South in the long run.
Brother Rice at Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (Michigan)
When: 2 p.m. Saturday
Outlook: The outcome of this matchup between out-of-state sister schools could say a lot about what to expect from the Crusaders the rest of the season. Bloomfield Hills has won nine state championships, including the last three. It also brings a 22-game winning streak into the contest. This is a formidable opponent for coach Brian Badke’s squad. However, with 15 starters returning, big things are expected from the Crusaders, who finished 3-6 last season. QB Alex Alarcon, RB Marcus Jones and WRs Zach Hayes, Julian Blain and Ricky Smalling provide the Crusaders with playmakers. The key for the Crusaders will be on defense and whether the line, led by Kevin Furlong and Robert Woods, can apply some pressure in the Bloomfield Hills backfield.
Mount Carmel vs. Philadelphia St. Joseph’s Prep at Toyota Park. Bridgeview
When: noon Sunday
Outlook: A young Mount Carmel squad, with only one starter back on offense, should get a stern test from St. Joseph’s, the top-ranked team in Pennsylvania and ranked No. 8 nationally by Football News. Here’s the deal: Everyone, including an out-of-state program like St. Joseph’s, knows exactly what the Caravan is going to do. It’s a matter of stopping Mount Carmel’s option attack, which is easier said than done. Junior QB Anthony Thompson is running the show for the Caravan and he’ll have a bevy of skilled but somewhat inexperienced backs in A.J. Lewis, Jaquan Bunton and Niko Vjestica. What should be comforting for Caravan fans is the O-line averages 270 pounds, which will help the offense purr, even against a nationally ranked foe.
Compiled by Pat Disabato