Week 11 preview: Naperville Central hosts Marist in second round of playoffs

Marist's Billy Skalitzky (9) trots in for a touchdown. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

If it weren’t for a season-opening loss to Brother Rice, Marist would be in discussion as possibly the most impressive team in the area this season.

Now the RedHawks (9-1) get a chance to continue their march toward the 8A state championship with a second-round road game against Payton Thorne and Naperville Central on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Marist has only allowed more than seven points once in the last seven weeks and that was in a 34-13 blowout of highly-regarded Nazareth and star quarterback JJ McCarthy.

The RedHawks beat a good Stevenson team 28-6 in the opening round of the playoffs.

Naperville Central (7-3) has scored more than 34 points in all but two games this season. Thorne is contender for Player of the Year and has a several talented receivers to target, including Sam Jackson, Jared Suchevits and Cade McDonald.

Class 8A
Oak Park (8-2) at No. 6 Brother Rice (10-0) 6 p.m. Saturday

Brother Rice, the top seed in the Class 8A playoffs, faces a tough second-round test Saturday at 6 p.m. against 16th-seeded Oak Park. The winner will face Warren or Hinsdale Central in the quarterfinals.

The Crusaders, led by running back Jessi Plunkett, had little trouble rolling past Zion-Benton with a 49-0 first-round victory. They’ve posted four consecutive shutouts dating back to the start of October, including an impressive 31-0 road blowout of Montini. Few teams in the state have been playing better football over the last month.

Oak Park earned its spot in this game by defeating New Trier, 34-16, last week. Since starting the season with a 1-2 record, the Huskies have won seven straight games, including a 10-7 road upset of Glenbard West on Oct. 13. If the Oak Park defense can step up like that again Saturday, a big playoff upset is possible.

Class 8A
Barrington (7-3) at No. 4 Homewood-Flossmoor (9-1), 1 p.m. Saturday

Barrington, coming off a 23-14 win over Oswego East last week, seems to have found its groove again since a three-game losing streak in September. However, Homewood-Flossmoor should provide a much tougher challenge, especially with the game being held in Flossmoor. The Vikings’ stout defense has allowed 17 combined points in four games since since being pummeled in a 48-6 loss to Lincoln-Way East.

Class 7A
No. 5 Simeon (10-0) at Lincoln-Way West (8-2), 1 p.m. Saturday

Ever since a statement win over Phillips in early September, Simeon has been overwhelming teams week after week. The Wolverines’ latest victory was a 46-0 thrashing of Rockford East in the opening round of the Class 7A playoffs. Lincoln-Way West, meanwhile, keeps grinding out wins, including a 24-17 road win over Harlem last week. Can the Warriors pull off a big upset at home?

Class 6A
No. 20 Prairie Ridge (8-2) at No. 17 Phillips (8-2), 1 p.m. Saturday

The only game between Super 25 teams this week pits Phillips against Prairie Ridge at Gately Stadium. The Wildcats nearly got upset a week ago before Jahleel Billingsley’s second-half heroics powered the team to a 30-24 win over Lake Forest. Prairie Ridge, which had no trouble with Hinsdale South in a 38-14 first-round victory, won’t be an easy out, either.

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  • Southside Johnny

    LWE 37 – GW 14
    BR 28 – OPRF 17
    Pulling for the upset GE vs ESTL! GE needs to play a near perfect game to advance…

  • West sub fan

    Lincoln way east 34
    Glenbard west 14

  • Jason

    **** Homewood at Barrington

  • Ralphie

    I believe Glenbard West is going to give LWE a real game Saturday at Duchon Field

  • Ralphie

    There is a fantastic matchup with LWE going to Glenbard West in a matchup of the 2012 7A championship game, two of the greatest coaches and programs in the state. Michael doesn’t seem much impressed with it though.

  • Metal Bleachers are Best

    I’m with Wesbaby…

    Marist 38 Naperville Central 14
    – Central’s defense can’t stop Marist
    Brother Rice 34 Oak Park 7
    – OPRF will get lucky and score a TD
    Homewood Flossmoor 24 Barrington 7
    – Barrington can’t keep up with HF
    Simeon 29 Lincoln Way West 9
    – Simeon is very, very good
    Prairie Ridge 26 Phillips 7
    – The seeding did not help Phillips this year

  • West sub fan

    Naperville Central 20 Marist 14
    Oak Park 21 Brother Rice 14
    Homewood Flossmoor 27 Barrington 7
    Simeon 29 Lincoln way west 21
    Prairie ridge 10 Phillips 7

    • Wildcatfan

      Phillips Defense is the Truth, they will shut down that Triple option, no team has been able to run on them. I’m not sure if Prairie Ridge can throw the ball or not, but this will be a good Game.

      • Roxman

        Wildcat Fan. Phillips has never seen the triple option. PR is going leave them looking and pointing at each other as assignments are missed and PR rolls up the yards and points as well as uses up the clock. I expect Phillips to get frustrated and make a lot of mistakes they wouldn’t ordinarily make. Phillips did not beat a decent team all season. This isn’t 4A or 5A now Phillips. You are playing with the big boys.

        • Wildcatfan

          @Roxman I totally agree we haven’t seen it before, but these boys are coached well, and are very athletic, I know it going to be a good battle, and 6A is tougher than I thought, FOX VALLEY IS LEGIT.
          Pickerton Central is Nationally ranked thats was a quality lost this year.
          Saturday is couple of days away see you at Gately Stadium.

          • roxman77

            Wildcat Fan, I would hardly call a 49 – 18 drubbing a quality loss. A quality loss is one to a good team in which your team played them tough

    • Wesbaby

      Not so fast West sub fan.

      Wesbaby says:
      Marist 28 Naperville Central 20
      Brother Rice 35 Oak Park 21

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