Mount Carmel at St. Rita
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, WCIU Ch. 26.2 (The U Too)
Outlook: Is Week 4 too soon to talk about must-win games? Probably, though 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the Catholic League Blue is not a place No. 14 Mount Carmel (1-2, 0-1) wants to be. The Caravan haven’t lost to any slouches, but coach Frank Lenti’s teams have never been about moral victories. They’ll be looking to be more productive offensively with a run game led by Jaquan Buntyn (314 yards, 6.5 per carry, 3 TDs) and A.J. Lewis (293 carries, 5.9 per carry, 3 TDs). DL Deandre Greer will be a key defensively. No. 9 St. Rita (3-0, 0-0) also is looking to keep moving the ball on the ground with Tyre Lee (464 yards, 8.3 per carry, 5 TDs), who has two straight 200-yard games. DB Marty Bechina (five interceptions) and LB Matt Mitchell lead a defense that has allowed a league-low 34 points.
Lake Forest at Stevenson
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Outlook: Being the smallest school in the conference hasn’t been much of an issue for Lake Forest (3-0, 1-0 North Suburban Lake). The Scouts have held their own against the big boys and gone on deep playoff runs in Class 6A the past two seasons. They look primed to do so again with a diversified offense led by RBs Wes Janeck and Quinn Julian and QB Danny Carollo. No. 1 Stevenson (3-0, 1-0) has designs on a big postseason of its own in Class 8A with QB Willie Bourbon throwing to a deep group of receivers including Cameron Green, Jack Sorenson and Tyler Vincent. Bourbon also was effective as a runner in a Week 2 comeback win vs. Homewood-Flossmoor.
Naperville Central at WW South
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Outlook: The loser of this game won’t have to wait long for revenge. With the DuPage Valley Conference down to six schools this season, the Week 4 matchups (which won’t count in the league standings) will be repeated, at the opposite site, for a conference game in Week 9. No. 12 Naperville Central (2-1, 0-0) has improved significantly on offense since an opening loss to Waubonsie Valley and has some playmakers in WR Mike Kolzow and RB Kevin Clifford. LB Bobby McMillen leads a quick, physical defense for the Redhawks. No. 24 Wheaton Warrenville South (1-2, 0-0) has a mobile quarterback in Josh Prueter (405 total yards) and a Division I receiver in Western Michigan recruit Keishawn Watson.
Marian Central at Nazareth
When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday, HighSchoolCube.com
Outlook: Marian Central (3-0, 1-0 East Suburban Catholic) has been a quarterback factory in recent years, producing stars such as current Minnesota redshirt freshman Chris Streveler. This year’s Hurricanes have another good one in 6-4, 214-pound Miami (Ohio) recruit Billy Bahl. No. 11 Nazareth (3-0, 1-0) has an explosive offense of its own with a big, experienced line that returns four starters: 6-6, 290-pound Jack Shutack, 6-4, 275 Mike Owens and the Kilcommons twins, 6-3, 285 Patrick and 6-4, 300 John. They’ve done a great job of blocking for RB Nolan Dean and protecting QB Jonah Beauduy, who combined for 393 yards last week against St. Patrick. The Roadrunners haven’t been seriously tested, with an average margin of victory of 34 points.
Check out more of the area’s best matchups here: