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Top 5 Chicagoland high school football games to watch in Week 3

11 months agoEdgy Tim

“Edgy Tim” O’Halloran provides the Top 5 Chicagoland high school football games to watch in Week 3. Head to EdgyTim.Rivals.com for more coverage.

Chicago St. Rita  (2-0) vs Joliet Catholic at Joliet Memorial Stadium (2-0)
Friday 7:30 p.m.

St. Rita and first year head coach Martin Hopkins are off to a good start so far this season, including last Friday’s 33-20 over Kenwood Academy. Look for St. Rita to rely on a balanced offense and keep an eye on senior QB Jett Hilding, senior RB Derrick “DJ” Stewart and junior RB Nick Herman while the Mustangs defense and special teams are always a strength in this traditional Chicago Catholic League power.

Joliet Catholic and head coach Jake Jaworski are coming off an impressive 19-0 win over rival Providence Catholic last Friday as the Hillmen defense force 5 turnovers in the win. The JCA offense is led by senior RB HJ Grigsby along with senior QB Anthony Munoz while the defensive name to watch is senior DT Dillan Johnson. Johnson, who is committed to Wisconsin for both football and wrestling continues to be a force on the Hilltoppers defensive line this fall.

Can St. Rita get it’s ground game going against the JCA defense? Can the JCA offense consistently move the football and finish off long drives with points on Friday night? 

Pick: St. Rita 

Palatine (2-0) at Maine South (1-1)
Friday 7 p.m.

Palatine and head coach Corey Olson posted a nice bounceback win last Friday over Buffalo Grove 42-17 after a tough Week 1 loss to St Charles North. The Pirates feature some major headline names this season led by senior RB Dominik Ball (Tulane) along with junior 4 star ranked Jaylen Williams (6-foot-6, 280 pounds) and senior DL Filip Rolek while senior QB Tommy Elter does a nice job in the play action passing game.

Maine South also lost a rough Week 1 10-7 loss to Brother Rice as then starting QB Jack DeFilipps left with a first quarter injury and did not play in last week’s 28-7 win over Warren Township. Maine South has been getting impressive play so far from backup QB Constantine Coines who’s a major threat with his arm and his legs in leading the Hawks spread offensive attack. The Hawks also have several other key play makers including RB Michael Dellumo, senior WR/DB Evan Agosto and a quick and very athletic defense.

Can the Palatine offense consistently move the chains against the Maine South defense, and in turn keep the Maine South offense off the field and on the sidelines Friday night? Can anyone get a handle on Palatine RB Dominik Ball for four quarters this season? 

Pick: Maine South 

Loyola Academy (2-0) at Marist (1-1)
Friday 6:30PM

Loyola Academy and first year head coach Beau Desherow have posted two straight wins to start the season against Grand Rapids Central Catholic and last Friday over Naperville North. The Loyola defense had two pick six interception returns for touchdown in the 28-6 win over Naperville North and despite a new head coach the Loyola Academy game plan and effectiveness remains the same in 2023. Loyola Academy has several key names to watch including junior QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (son of former Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald), senior RB Drew MacPherson and a big offensive line anchored by senior OL Kyle Baltazar while the defense will lean on senior OLB/DE Ethan Hogg and an impressive starting lineup.

Marist and head coach Ron Dawczak were able to beat rival Brother Rice last Friday 30-24 as QB Owen Winters was impressive leading the Redhawks spread offense.  Marist this season is playing several new faces in the starting lineup on both sides of the football, but the overall talent level remains as high as ever. Marist will look towards senior RB Marc Coy along with junior DL Brad Fitzgibbon as leaders with big game experience.

Can Marist go toe to toe on each side of the line of scrimmage against one of the physically biggest teams in Loyola this season? 

Pick: Loyola Academy 

Naperville Central (2-0) at Lockport (2-0)
Friday 6:30PM

Head coach Mike Ulreich has Naperville Central playing lights out defense while the offense has been able to get just enough done to win back to back games to start the 2023 season against two quality opponents in Hinsdale Central and Plainfield North. Naperville Central on offense will look towards QB Jack Cook and hopefully RB Nicholas Zbycut can return from a Week 2 injury which limited his carries last Friday. Also keep an eye on senior OL Grant Ellinger (Virginia) along with senior DL Maverick Ohle (Ohio) for Naperville Central.

Lockport and head coach George Czart posted an impressive 37-22 road win last Friday over Wheaton North as the Porters will look towards a balanced offensive attack led by senior QB Drew Gallagher and RB Johnny Wesolowski and a big physical offensive line. The Lockport defense, which is always a calling card for this program welcomes back 7 returning starters from a season ago and also features a strong kicking game with senior Nate Blazewski.

Can Naperville Central unlock its offense this week against an always tough Lockport defense? Can Lockport also find a way to dent a Naperville Central defense that has allowed just 13 points in two games so far in 2023? 

Pick: Lockport

Downers Grove North (2-0) at Glenbard West (1-1)
Saturday 1:30PM 

Glenbard West and head coach Chad Hetlet returns home this Saturday after losing last Saturday 10-0 to St. Louis private power Desmet in the annual Scholars Classic in East St Louis. The Hilltoppers’ biggest issue right now is finding a way to start to generate more offense this season after its only touchdown so far in 2023 came off a Week 1 94-yard Mason Ellens kickoff return. The Hilltoppers defense remains a strength for West and keep an eye on senior LB Ben Starmann along with DE Danny Coffey and junior DB/RB Mason Ellens.

Downers Grove North has lost 16 straight meetings against Glenbard West, but the Trojans will look to snap that streak this week behind RB Noah Battle along with sophomore QB Owen Lansu and a defense that has been consistently strong so far in 2023.

Can a young DGN team go into Glenbard West on a Saturday and beat the Hilltoppers on the shores of Lake Ellyn? It’s much easier said than done. I’m expecting a really close, physical and hard hitting game on Saturday. 

Pick: Glenbard West 

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