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Top 5 Chicagoland high school football games to watch in Week 6

9 months agoEdgy Tim

“Edgy Tim” O’Halloran provides the Top 5 Chicagoland high school football games to watch in Week 6. Head to EdgyTim.Rivals.com for more coverage.

Week 6 of the 2023 IHSA football season in Chicagoland brings several key matchup from both a conference championship and state playoff seeding impact. 

Batavia (4-1/3-0) at Geneva (5-0/3-0)
Friday 7 p.m.

One of the oldest rivalries in the State of Illinois here as Geneva will host Batavia in the 105th meeting between these two schools going back to the first game played in 1913 (won by Geneva 12-7 in Batavia). Batavia and head coach Dennis Piron have been rolling since a Week 2 14-13 last second loss to 8A state ranked Lincoln Way East as the Bulldogs are getting a Player of the Year season so far from senior QB Ryan Boe (North Dakota State) along with a Batavia defense that is fast and physical. Batavia has won the past 12 meetings with Geneva by a combined score of 443-123 and that includes 7 straight shutout wins from 2017 to the 2021 season.

Geneva and head coach Troy Thorgesen are looking to get back in the fight and many in and around the Dukane Conference feel that the Vikings program is again on the winning track. The Vikings have a strong core of starters on both sides of the football led by junior 4 star ranked national recruit WR Talyn Taylor along with QB Nate Stempowski while also possessing a strong running game led by senior RB Troy Valez and junior RB MIchael Rumoro. The Vikings defense also has talent and is very senior heavy this fall  led by senior LB Tommy Diamond.  

Can the Geneva defense limit the big play Batavia offense? Can the Batavia defense limit Geneva’s Stempowski to Taylor big play connection? Can the Batavia running game control the clock and time of possession? Can the Geneva running game wear down the Batavia defense? Can Geneva avoid the big Batavia early knockout punch and make this a 15 round fight to the end? 

Pick: Batavia 

Hersey (5-0/1-0)  at Prospect (4-1/1-0)
Friday 7 p.m.

Both Hersey and Prospect have been ruling the top of the Mid Suburban East conference over the past several years and once again the winner of this game will get a very large head start on potentially winning the conference title along with a high seed in Class 7A. Hersey and head coach Tom Nelson will rely on a big play spread offense led by junior QB Colton Gumino and his main targets include senior WR Carson Grove (Northwestern) along with junior D1 recruit TE Logan Farrell. The Hersey defense has pitched three straight shutouts heading into this showdown with Prospect and overall has allowed just 26 points in 5 games so far this season.

Prospect and head coach Dan DeBoeuf also possesses a potent offensive attack while the Knights defense collected 4 interceptions in last Friday’s 51-7 win over Rolling Meadows. Prospect is getting a big season from QB Jack Skoog as Skoog will get the football into the hands of several strong backs and receivers including RB Noah Easter and the Knights offense is no question balanced and hard to defend. 

Can the Prospect defense slow down the high flying Hersey offense? Can the Prospect spread offensive attack win time of possession and finish off longer drives with points? I can see a high scoring game here on Friday night and this rivalry game is always close.  

Pick: Hersey

Glenbard South (5-0) at South Elgin (5-0)
Friday 7 p.m.

Once again Glenbard South and South Elgin are two of top teams from the Upstate 8 conference. Glenbard South and head coach Ryan Crissey has an experienced team led by four year starting QB Mike Champagne whose main target remains Notre Dame 4 star ranked WR Cam Williams along with a strong group of receivers and backs. The Glenbard South defense has also been solid all season long but will get it’ biggest test this Friday against an always physical South Elgin power running game.

South Elgin and veteran head coach Dragan Teonic has yet to lose to Glenbard South since the Raiders joined the Upstate 8 conference back in 2018. South Elgin will lean on QB Jack Ginnan whose main target this season is WR George Ishmael along with a host of quality backs led by RB London LeFlore. The Storm’s defense hasn’t allowed a second half point this season and will get it’s biggest test this Friday trying to slow down and limit a Glenbard South offense built on big plays. 

Can the Glenbard South offense get out of the gates quickly on Friday night and force South Elgin into a potential offensive shootout? Can the South Elgin offense run the football, win time of possession and keep the Glenbard South offense on the sidelines?

Pick: South Elgin

York (5-0/2-0) at Downers Grove North (5-0/3-0)
Friday 7:30 p.m.

The champion of the West Suburban Silver conference title could very well wind up being the winner of this terrific showdown Friday night. York and head coach Mike Fitzgerald have proven this season that the Dukes are far from a one year wonder after making it to the Class 8A state semifinals a season ago. York has gotten a big season so far from QB Sean Linton along with senior WR Luke Mailander (Illinois State) plus senior RB Jack Melion and the Dukes overall balance on offense is again a strength this fall for the York offensive attack. Defensively, York will look towards junior Notre Dame commit DE Joseph Reiff along with senior LB Cole Ostendorf and the Dukes defense has been just consistently good all season.

Downers Grove North and head coach Joe Horeni has the Trojans program back playing at a very high level in 2023. The Trojans also have balance on offense with senior RB Noah Battle leading the ground game while sophomore QB Owen Lansu has more than lived up to the high expectations for this season on the North side. The Downers Grove North defense is fast and very physical and senior 3 star ranked LB Cael Brezina (Iowa State) is a leader on and off the field this fall. 

Can either team control the time of possession on Friday night along with playing a clean, mistake free football? Can the York defense get the football back early and often Friday night and allow its offense to have multiple touches? Look for a very hard hitting, physical ball game on Friday night and expect this game to be close for all four quarters. 

Pick: York

Antioch (5-0/3-0) at Wauconda (4-1/3-0)
Friday 7 p.m.

This annual battle will spotlight two of the top teams from the Northern Lake County Conference when Antioch travels to Wauconda. Antioch and head coach Brian Glashagel has been explosive on offense this season led by senior standout RB Nick Day along with RB Martin Cohen while QB James Sheehan has also been effective running the Sequits offense along keeping all comers off balance with a strong play action passing game this season.

Wauconda and head coach Chris Prostka has the Bulldogs playing well with its only loss on the season coming back in Week 2 to Kaneland 40-14. The Bulldogs also have balance on offense led by senior RB Connor Vanselow, who is one of the top running backs this season in the Northern suburbs while QB Logan Olsen has improved each week this season. Antioch’s lone regular season loss in 2022 came to Wauconda 16-14 and are the Sequoits looking for some payback this time around? 

Can either team slow down the other’s big time running backs in Antioch’s Nick Day and Wauconda’s Connor Vanselow? Could this wind up being a close game again and come down to the last possession? 

Pick: Antioch

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