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Top 5 Chicagoland high school football games to watch in Week 8

8 months agoEdgy Tim

“Edgy Tim” O’Halloran provides the Top 5 Chicagoland high school football games to watch in Week 8. Head to EdgyTim.Rivals.com for more coverage.

Several conference races are still to be determined as we enter the final stretch run to the IHSA state football playoffs. 

Palatine (5-2/3-0) at Barrington (7-0/3-0) 
Friday 7:30 p.m.

The Mid Suburban West conference is still up for grabs but the winner of this game will take a huge step towards capturing the conference crown. Palatine and head coach Corey Olson have relied on the Pirates offense led by QB Tommy Elter and a solid play action passing game, while senior RB Dominik Ball (Tulane) remains one of the state’s best big play running backs this season. Ball will run behind a Palatine offensive line featuring 4 underclassmen starters who have all made rapid improvement since Week 1 and keep an eye on junior OG Parker Brault who is already drawing Division 1 recruiting attention. The Palatine defense also has some highly sought after names especially on the defensive line in junior 4 star ranked DL Jaylen Williams (6-foot-6, 280 pounds) and senior DE Filip Rolek.

Barrington and veteran head coach Joe Sanchez have been able to bring this Broncos team along after playing several key names last season as underclassmen. The Barrington offense has been downright explosive led by junior QB Nick Peipert who scored the game winning one yard touchdown run while also throwing for nearly 375 yards and 3 touchdowns in beating Hoffman Estates last Friday 35-31. Barrington senior RB Dillon Fitzpatrick leads the running game while Peipert’s main targets are WR/DB Will Nazha and WR Matt Maruschand while on defense senior DE/OLB Devan Van Ness has been a key impact player for the Broncos defense this fall. 

Can the Barrington offense still be effective if the weather is rainy as predicted for this Friday night? Would rainy poor conditions benefit Palatine and RB Dominik Ball? Can the Palatine defense limit the amount of touches that the Barrington offense gets on Friday night? 

Pick: Barrington 

Oswego (5-2/1-2) at Minooka (5-2/2-1)
Friday 7 p.m.

The Southwest Prairie West conference showdown is always hard fought and very physical year in and year out. Oswego and head coach Brian Cooney started off the season with a 4-0 record but has since lost two of its last three games including last week’s 17-0 shutout loss to Yorkville. The Panthers have also been hit hard recently by the injury bug missing key starters last week including senior DL Taiden Thomas along with WR Jeremiah Cain last Friday and Oswego will lean on QB Brett Connolly along with junior LB Carson Cooney while hoping to get good news from the injury list on Friday night.

Minooka and head coach Matt Harding had a nice bounce back win last Friday 27-3 over Plainfield North as senior QB Nathan Maul had his best passing performance of the season while leaning on a talented group of offensive skills led by senior RB Joey Partridge along with TE Carson Jacoby. The Indians defense has been steadily improving all season and senior DE Caden Garcia is a leader and a key play makers for Minooka’s defense this fall. 

Will Oswego have a fully healthy starting lineup on Friday night? Can the Minooka offense continue to take positive strides again this week and put point on the board against an always tough Oswego defense? 

Pick: Minooka 

Sandburg (5-2/3-0) at Lincoln Way East (7-0/2-0)
Friday 7 p.m.

Sandburg and head coach Troy McAllister have posted two straight quality wins over Homewood Flossmoor and Bolingbrook and the last time the Eagles played Lincoln Way East in Frankfort they pulled off a stunning 30-27 upset win over the highly favored Griffins. Deja Vu all over again in 2023? The Eagles offense is led by sophomore RB Luke Basiorka along with QB Anthony Shelton and both operate behind a big and physical offensive line led by senior Zach Barrett (6-foot-3, 270 pounds).

Lincoln Way East’s veteran head coach Rob Zvonar once again has the Griffins playing terrific football. The Griffins offense is anchored by senior QB Braden Tischer along with a steady running game with both RB Nuri Muhammed and junior RB Zion Gist and a big and experienced offensive line anchored by senior Josh Janowski (Iowa). The Lincoln Way East defense remains the program’s calling card and junior DE Caden O’Rourke is a name to watch along with a deep and physical group of linebackers led by senior Conner Durkin.

Can the Sandburg defense get the football away from the Lincoln Way East ground and pound running game? Can the East defense stop the Sandburg run game and force them into multiple unwanted down and distance passing situations? 

Pick: Lincoln Way East 

Glenbard South (7-0/7-0)  at Glenbard East (6-1/6-1)
Friday 7 p.m.

This battle for the Upstate 8 conference will be determined this Friday. Glenbard South and head coach Ryan Crissey were able to get past rival South Elgin 14-13 two weeks ago, the Raiders’ first win over the Storm since they joined the conference in 2018. The Raiders has been a strength over the past few seasons as senior QB Michael Champagne has been a starter since his freshman season, while senior 4 star ranked WR Cam Williams (Notre Dame) is as dangerous and explosive as any high school player in the State of Illinois. The Raiders also have some key names to watch on the defensive side of the football including senior OL/DL Jack Anderson along with junior DE Saif Kokoszka.

Glenbard East and veteran head coach John Walters continue to get the Rams playing at a high level and they will be heading to the IHSA state playoff field for the 5th straight season in two weeks. Glenbard East will rely on QB/LB Blake Salvino along with RB Matt Lawson and senior WR/DB Eric McClain (Ball State) is a two way starter and impact player for the Rams this season.

Can the Glenbard East defense limit the big play ability of the Glenbard South offense? Can the Glenbard East offense control time of possession and also finish drives with points?  

Pick: Glenbard South 

York (6-1/3-1) at Lyons Township (5-2/4-1)
Saturday 1:30 p.m.

It’s homecoming on Saturday at Lyons Township and nothing better to celebrate than bringing in an angry, upset York team that’s coming off a 28-7 upset loss to Glenbard West. York and head coach Mike Fitzgerald will look to bounce back this Saturday behind an offense that up until last week has been both balanced and efficient. York senior QB Sean Winton has been impressive while senior RB Jack Melion and senior WR Luke Mailander (Illinois State) have been consistently productive so far this season. The Dukes defense has also been a strength this season and keep an eye on junior 3 star ranked Joseph Reiff (Notre Dame).

Lyons Township and head coach Jon Beutjer have now won three straight games after also losing to Glenbard West back in Week 4 and the Lions have a deep and experienced starting lineup with plenty of star power as well. Lyons Township senior QB Ryan Jackson is a true dual threat quarterback leading the offense and also keep an eye on RB Danny Carroll along with junior WR Travis Stamm while senior 4 star ranked OL/DL Eddie Tuerk (Illinois) leads a big and physical line play this season. 

Can the Lyons Township defense limit the amount of touches that the York offense gets on Saturday? The longer the York offense is on the sidelines on Saturday, the better for Lyons Township. Can Lyons stay focused this week with the various distractions from homecoming and beat York? 

Pick: York

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