Week 12’s top five games

No.3 Homewood-Flossmoor (10-1) at No. 1 Loyola (11-0)

The facts: 1 p.m. Saturday

The storyline: The game of the year so far. The winner is the clear favorite for the Class 8A state title. Both teams are fresh off big wins. Loyola beat Stevenson 49-0 and Homewood-Flossmoor topped New Trier 55-7. The Vikings offense has averaged 43-points per game while Loyola’s staunch defense has only allowed 73 points the entire season. Something will have to give on Saturday. Both sides have star-studded rosters, so this has the potential to be a game for the history books.

No. 8 Naperville Central (10-1) at No. 18 Waubonsie Valley (7-4)

The facts: 1:30 p.m. Saturday

The storyline: This rematch from Week 4 features a pair of DuPage Valley foes. Waubonsie Valley surged into the Super 25 after playoff wins over third-seeded and undefeated Edwardsville and Neuqua Valley. The Warriors’ Max Ihry was instrumental in the Neuqua Valley win, running for 190 yards on 36 carries. Waubonsie Valley is the only team to beat Naperville Central this season. The major threat for the Redhawks is defensive back and receiver Emmanuel Rugamba, an Iowa recruit, who had five catches for 136 yards in the second round win over Warren.

Hinsdale South (8-3) at No. 7 Lincoln-Way North (11-0)

The facts: 6 p.m. Saturday.

The storyline: Hinsdale South has surged through the playoffs, with a first round win over Thornton and an impressive 47-7 showing over Oak Forest. Lincoln-Way North is undefeated and coming off one of its closest wins of the season, a 17-10 overtime victory over Richards. Phoenix receiver and kicker Drew Slager did it all in the win. He reeled in a 72-yard bomb from quarterback Ryan Arthur and then kicked a field goal to force overtime. Hinsdale South will counter with defensive lineman, Josh King, a Michigan State recruit and one of the area’s most talented players. Senior running back Marcus Curry has sparked the Hornets’ offense all season.

No. 9 Joliet Catholic (10-1) at No. 16 Nazareth (9-2)

The facts: 1:30 p.m Saturday

The storyline: This is a rematch of one of the season’s wildest games, Joliet Catholic’s 38-35 win over the Roadrunners. Hilltoppers sophomore Ke’Von Love was the breakout star of that game, with four rushing touchdowns. Joliet Catholic knocked off Marian Central, another East Suburban Catholic rival, 47-15 in the second round. Nazareth is one of the most talented teams in the area, led by Notre Dame recruit Julian Love and junior running back Ivory Kelly-Martin. In the second round against Solorio, Kelly-Martin ran 18 times for 240 yards and for four touchdowns.

No. 10 Brother Rice (10-1) at No. 12 Palatine (9-2)

The facts: 2 p.m. Saturday

The storyline: Brother Rice and Palatine have both quietly put together impressive seasons. The Crusaders only loss is to No. 1 Loyola. Palatine lost to Stevenson Week 1 and has been building momentum since losing to Fremd in Week 6. The Pirates knocked off a talented Oak Park-River Forest team 41-26 in in the second round last week as quarterback Zach Oles connected with Matt Lamm for four touchdowns. Brother Rice has the talent to go deep into the playoffs. Junior receiver Ricky Smalling has been huge for the Crusaders this season. He caught 7 passes for 96 yards last week against South Elgin, despite sitting out the first quarter.

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