Here’s a look at the top five games for Week 2 of high school football in the Chicago area. For more info on these games, you can watch the new “Sun-Times Game Week” livestream show where Beth Long, Michael O’Brien and Annie Costabile preview these big games, share the new Super 25 rankings and more. Watch here.
Game of the Week:
No. 14 Naperville Central (0-1) at No. 1 Lincoln-Way East (1-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday
A battle of heavyweights in Frankfort. Naperville Central has one of the toughest opening schedules in the state. The Redhawks lost 35-34 to Hinsdale Central last week and need to pick up some momentum, a tough task against the defending Class 8A state champions. Lincoln-Way East junior Devon Williams stepped in at running back last week for AJ Henning and had 24 carries for 176 yards and three touchdowns. New quarterback Jack Baltz started slow for the Griffins, but found his rhythm as the game went on. Naperville Central quarterback Payton Thorne will provide a stiff test for Lincoln-Way East’s defense. He passed for 345 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1.
More top games in week 2:
No. 23 Joliet Catholic (1-0) at IC Catholic (1-0), 7:15 p.m. Friday
The Hilltoppers jumped out of the gates with a 30-20 win against St. Rita in Week 1. Joliet Catholic is usually very dangerous when it is a reliable running back and it appears Keenan Hailey will fit the bill this season. He rushed for 233 yards and three touchdowns against the Mustangs. IC Catholic sophomore running back Kyle Franklin also had a huge season opener with three touchdowns in the Knights in a 50-14 win against Belleville Althoff.
No. 6 Nazareth (1-0) at No. 8 Lake Zurich (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Lake Zurich executed a masterful defensive performance in 20-7 Week 1 win against Fremd, highlighted by a Luke Dwyer defensive touchdown. Nazareth measured up well in a 20-6 win against St. Louis Lutheran North (Mo.), a team that advanced to the state semi-finals last season. One of these teams will have to take things to the next level to remain unbeaten.
No. 9 Oswego (1-0) at Minooka (0-1), 7 p.m. Friday
Minooka began the season ranked No. 16 in the Super 25, but lost its opener 14-7 to Plainfield South. Week 2 brings highly-regarded Oswego, a team that continues to put together strong results behind running backs Charles Coleman and Jamal Fomby. The Panthers notched a 35-0 win over Plainfield Central in Week 1. Will Oswego continue to dominate or can Minooka get a massive conference win?
No. 15 Richards (1-0) at St. Rita (0-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday
The Bulldogs beat Lincoln-Way Central 17-7 last week, but it wasn’t the prettiest win. Big plays from Iowa recruit Sebastian Castro and junior running back Lashon Williams were key. The second big test has arrived. St. Rita is hoping to rebound from a 30-20 loss to Joliet Catholic. It feels like this game could be a season-defining moment for both teams.
Sun-Times high school football stories:
Watch Sun-Times Game Week every Monday at 6:30 p.m.
Want the latest info and analysis on high school football? Our preps team of Michael O’Brien, Beth Long and Annie Costabile will share all the latest news, insights and Super 25 football rankings in a new livestream show called “Sun-Times Game Week.” You can watch it LIVE every Monday night at 6:30 p.m. right here on our high school sports Facebook page. You can also ask questions using the hashtag #SunTimesGameWeek