Week 13 previews



Glenbard North at Loyola

When: 1 p.m. Saturday.

Outlook: It’s a rematch of a 2011 semifinal, won 28-13 by Loyola en route to a runner-up finish at state. This time around, the No. 3 Ramblers (11-1) will rely on a defense led by Luke Ford, Jack Rushin and Darby Goodwin to contain Glenbard North RB Justin Jackson, who also is a lockdown DB. QB Brian Murphy is another playmaker for the No. 6 Panthers (11-1), who have won 11 straight since a one-point loss to Batavia in Week 1. QB Peter Pujals, a steadily improving group of receivers and a capable ground game have helped keep Loyola’s offense on track.

Mount Carmel at Neuqua Valley

When: 6 p.m. Saturday, HighSchoolCube.com (audio only with video highlights).

Outlook: The No. 2 Caravan (11-1) is no stranger to the state semis, going 14-5 in this round since 1986. QB Don Butkus and RBs Matt Domer (9.5 yards per carry, 19 TDs) and Draco Smith, along with a defense led by Enoch Smith (20 tackles for loss), will try to get the Caravan back to Champaign. No. 5 Neuqua Valley (12-0), making the longest playoff run in program history, will again ride workhorse back Joey Rhattigan (2,608 all-purpose yards, 37 TDs). But QB Dylan Andrew can make teams pay if they focus too much on the Wildcats’ ground game.


Lake Zurich at Glenbard West

When: 1 p.m. Saturday.

Outlook: In another playoff rematch, No. 1 Glenbard West (12-0) will try to avenge last year’s second-round loss to the Bears. The Hilltoppers ground out a 3-0 home win over Wheaton North last week in the mud and are built for bad weather with a stable of RBs (Joe Zito, Scott Andrews, Devante Toney) and a ball-hawking defense. No. 11 Lake Zurich (10-2) is in the semis for the seventh time since 2002 under its third different coach: Dave Proffitt, who took over when Bryan Stortz left for Rock Island.

Lincoln-Way East vs. Benet

When: 6 p.m. Saturday at Benedictine University, HighSchoolCube.com (audio only with video highlights).

Outlook: No. 4 Lincoln-Way East (12-0) is led by Northern Illinois recruit Tommy Fuessel (1,400 rushing yards, 19 TDs), whom Montini coach Chris Andriano called the best running QB he’s seen in 34 years as a head coach. The Griffins have seldom been tested with 10 wins by at least 15 points. No. 8 Benet (11-1) continued its remarkable comeback from last year’s 1-8 finish by beating Downers North 26-24 in the quarters on Jack Beneventi’s five-yard touchdown pass to Jack Toner as time ran out.


Cary-Grove at Lake Forest

When: 4 p.m. Saturday, HighSchoolCube.com.

Outlook: No. 10 Cary-Grove’s seniors were freshmen when the 12-0 Trojans won the program’s first state title. Now QB Quinn Baker and RB Kyle Norberg will try to get Cary-Grove back to state. In their way is No. 18 Lake Forest (9-3), playing in the second semifinal in program history and first since 1978. QB Andrew Clifford and a takeaway-minded defense have been the keys for the Scouts, whose losses were by forfeit to Lake Zurich during a teachers strike, in OT to Stevenson and by three points to Warren.

Crete-Monee at Lemont

When: 6 p.m. Saturday, HighSchoolCube.com.

Outlook: No. 7 Crete-Monee (12-0) is enjoying the longest playoff run in school history with uncommitted WR/DB Laquon Treadwell – considered the top receiver in the Class of 2013 – leading a talent-laden group. The Warriors survived a scare from Richwoods in the second round, winning 35-32, before shutting down Illinois-bound RB Miguel Hermosillo and routing previously unbeaten Ottawa last week. No. 13 Lemont (11-1), in the semis for the fourth time in six seasons, has two of the best OL around in LSU-bound Ethan Pocic and Tim McAuliffe.


Montini vs. Joliet Catholic

When: 1 p.m. Saturday at Joliet Memorial Stadium, HighSchoolCube.com (audio only with video highlights).

Outlook: The last time these two teams met, it was one for the ages: Montini’s 70-45 win last year’s Class 5A title game. No. 19 Joliet Catholic (8-4) was hit hard by injuries in the regular season. But USC-bound RB Ty Isaac (1,223 yards, 19 TDs), who ran for 515 yards and six TDs in the title game, and running mate Tyler Reitz (851 yards, 13 TDs) are back in action along with Mike Ivlow (885 yards, 16 TDs). No. 15 Montini (10-2) also has overcome health issues and relies on playmakers including WR Joe Borsellino, QB/WR Mark Gorogianis and RB Dimitri Taylor.

Sacred Heart-Griffin at Morris

When: 3 p.m. Saturday.

Outlook: No. 17 Morris (11-1) expected this year’s senior group would be one of its best in years and hasn’t been disappointed. The Redskins, whose only loss was by a field goal to Kaneland in Week 9, are looking for their fourth trip to the finals since 2004. RB Reese Sobol (1,320 yards, 18 TDs) has been a reliable runner for Morris. Sacred Heart-Griffin’s only loss was to Indiana power Cathedral, which is also one win away from a state title.


Alleman at Evergreen Park

When: 6 p.m. Saturday, HighSchoolCube.com.

Outlook: After reaching the quarterfinals last season, Evergreen Park (9-3) is in the semis for the first time in program history. QB Brandon White has led the way for the Mustangs, passing for 1,576 yards and 22 touchdowns and running for 1,011 yards and 14 TDs. Alleman (11-1) will be looking to avenge a 19-18 second-round loss to Evergreen Park in last year’s playoffs.


Aurora Christian at Sterling Newman

When: 2 p.m. Saturday.

Outlook: No. 23 Aurora Christian (11-1), seeking to defend its 3A title, has lost only to Montini (31-27) this season. A switch to a no-huddle offense paid big dividends in the second half of last week’s win over Winnebago, during which Joel Bouagnon ran for 215 yards and four touchdowns.

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