First-place battles take center stage

SHARE First-place battles take center stage

If you’re an area high school football fan who’s into big-game hunting, then Friday is the night for you.

In three leagues — the North Suburban Lake, North Suburban Prairie, and Fox Valley Fox — elite teams in the loop will go at it head-to-head, with the winner of each game improving to 6-1 and clinching a playoff berth.

In the Fox Valley Fox, Grayslake North will take its high-octane offense to Crystal Lake Central, which has a tremendous defensive club. The Knights are led by the area’s most productive player, senior quarterback A.J. Fish. In six games, Fish has rushed 115 times for 1,095 yards and 18 touchdowns. He’s also completed 92 of 143 passes (64 percent) for 1,194 yards and eight touchdowns with two picks.

In the North Suburban Prairie, Lakes will play at Grant, with both teams 5-1 overall and unbeaten in league play. The teams met twice last year (once in the playoffs) and Lakes won both times. Lakes features star runner Direll Clark and Grant will counter with speedy Jonathan Wells.

In the North Suburban Lake, Lake Forest and Stevenson will play on Friday night. Both are 5-1 overall, with Lake Forest’s loss via forfeit to Lake Zurich. Last year, Lake Forest, Stevenson and Lake Zurich shared the division title.

Also Friday, North Chicago plays at Vernon Hills, needing a victory to qualify for the playoffs.

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