Top 5 Chicagoland high school football games to watch in Week 9
The Week 9 slate of top games in Chicagoland could very well wind up being the best week of the regular season by far.
Here are my top games to watch in Chicagoland for Week 9 this weekend:
Mount Carmel (8-0) at Loyola Academy (8-0)
Saturday 1:30 p.m.
Mount Carmel and Loyola Academy have been two of the most dominant teams in Chicagoland all season long and this Week 9 showdown has been anticipated since the beginning of the year.
Mount Carmel and head coach Jordan Lynch has an experienced and talent-heavy lineup on both sides of the football this season. Mount Carmel is getting a big season from senior QB Blainey Dowling who leads a highly effective Caravan pistol attack. Also keep an eye out on several key weapons led by junior RB Darrion Dupree, do-it-all senior WR/DB Damarion Arrington and senior WR Denny Furlong.
Loyola Academy and head coach John Holecek also has serious talent on both sides of the football once again in 2022. Senior QB Jake Stearney (Colgate) is an experienced and talented signal caller and the Ramblers can and will mix things up with both pass and run. Loyola also has a stable of quality backs and receivers including senior WR Declan Ford. The Ramblers defense has always been its calling card — keep an eye on senior DE Brooks Bahr (Michigan) along with ILB Carl Scheid and senior S Johnny Mcguire. Get there early and expect an overflow crowd on Saturday.
Pick: Mount Carmel
Chicago Marist (5-3) at Chicago Brother Rice (5-3)
Friday 7 p.m.
Both Marist and Brother Rice have one of the most highly anticipated and intense rivalry games in all of Chicagoland and someone knew what they were doing when they made this game happen in Week 9.
Brother Rice first-year head coach Casey Quedenfeld has brought his squad along this season after inheriting a team that had very limited varsity experience and has guided it through a loaded schedule in the CCL/ESCC Blue. The Crusaders have balance on offense led by QB Ryan Hartz and his main targets have been senior WR Marty O’Keefe and senior WR Owen Lyons. The Brother Rice defense has some key leaders in senior DT Roderick Pierce III (Wisconsin) along with senior LB Henry Ivers.
Marist head coach Ron Dawczak also brought along a younger but still talented team this season. The Redhawks are always loaded year in and year out. Marist senior QB Dermot Smyth has been solid all season long and keep an eye on RB Marc Coy along with RB Chris Lofgren while WR Ryan Sims (Miami of Ohio) is a key target. Defensively for Marist, senior S John Nestor (Iowa) is one of the state’s best finishers and also keep an eye on senior DT Jamel Howard Jr. (Wisconsin).
St. Charles North (7-1) at Batavia (6-2)
Friday 7 p.m.
Head coach Rob Pomazak has St. Charles North playing impressive football after a Week 1 loss to Palatine. The North Stars will get the football into the hands of standout senior RB/LB Drew Surges early and often while sophomore QB Ethan Plumb continues to impress this fall.
Batavia and head coach Dennis Piron has been able to rebound well from a 1-2 start (losses to Lincoln Way East and Wheaton North) to start the season as the Bulldogs have great balance on offense led by junior QB Ryan Boe while standout senior LB Tyler Jansey (Wisconsin) has also been playing quite a bit of running back. Jansey is a big play threat along with senior RB Ryan Whitwell and WR Drew Gerke. Defensively for Batavia, both Jansey and senior LB Jack Sadowsky (Iowa State) are impact players and leaders for the Bulldogs.
St. Charles North is searching for its first win over Batavia since 2017.
Kankakee at Crete-Monee
Friday 6 p.m.
This huge showdown in the Southland conference has been highly anticipated since last season when Kankakee defeated Crete-Monee 28-20 in Week 9.
Kankakee and head coach Derek Hart have been on fire after a strange 2-0 Week 1 loss to Nazareth Academy. The Kankakee offense has been consistent and QB Larenz Walters will have plenty of weapons including senior WR Karson King along with senior RB Tony Phillips Jr, senior 4 star ranked WR/S Jyaire Hill and senior WR/DB Naz Hill.
Crete-Monee and head coach John Konecki have two major game-breakers in senior WR Joshua Franklin (Western Michigan) along with senior WR Lynell Billups-Williams (Miami Ohio) while senior QB Cory Stennis has been a huge addition to the Warriors attack this fall. Both Joshua Frankiln and Lynel Billips-Williams are also big factors in all three phases of the game for the Warriors this season.
Both sides have more game-breaker types on the field Friday night than any other game in the state.
St. Francis (8-0) at IC Catholic Prep (7-1)
Friday 7:15 p.m.
In simple terms…these two just don’t like each other. This game is easily one of the biggest regular season games in the smaller enrollment classes state-wide this season.
Class 4A ranked St. Francis has gotten it done behind a big play offense led by junior QB Alessio Milvojevic who leads a spread attack and his key target in WR Dash Dorsey along with a very capable running game. St. Francis senior 3 star ranked OL/DL TJ McMillen (Illinois) — the son of head coach Bob McMillen — has been a mainstay for the Spartans since his freshman season and is the team leader.
Class 3A state ranked IC Catholic Prep and head coach Bill Krefft’s only loss this season came in Week 2 against 4A state power Joliet Catholic (23-22) in Joliet. The Knights will rely on QB Dennis Mandala along with some talented two way starters in junior WR/S KJ Parker and RB/DB Denzell Gibson and both are also keys in a ICCP defense that is also salty and well schooled this season.
Pick: St Francis