Week 9′s top five games


Bolingbrook’s Jazontae Howard (6) gives Lincoln-Way East’s Logan Brokop (3) a stiff arm. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.

No. 1 Loyola (8-0) at No. 3 Brother Rice (8-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday

This is the game we’ve been waiting for in the Catholic League. Will Loyola prove that they are the best team in the state? Or will a strong, talented Brother Rice team knock the Ramblers off ther throne? Loyola has shown nothing but experience and discipline all season, and look like the team to beat in Class 8A once again. Brother Rice came on strong Week 1 at Soldier Field and hasn’t taken its foot off the gas. The Crusaders are highlighted by Illinois recruit Ricky Smalling, whose yards after the catch are a game changer.

Bolingbrook (4-4) at No. 2 Homewood-Flossmoor (8-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last season Bolingbrook was the only team in the regular season that took down the Vikings. The same scenario is in place this year as far as the playoff picture. If the Raiders don’t win they don’t get into the playoffs. The Vikings are looking to avoid spoiling an undefeated season the last week of the regular season for the second year in a row. Each team has something big on the line, and expect them to play like it. Bolingbrook has plenty of talent, including Illinois wide receiver recruit Kendall Smith and Wisconsin defensive line recruit Izayah Green-May, who has seen some time at running back. Homewood-Flossmoor has a host of talented athletes, including Northern Illinois commit Tyrice Richie.

No. 4 Neuqua Valley (8-0) at Glenbard North (6-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday

It won’t be easy for Neuqua Vaalley to exit the regular season undefeated. Glenbard North running back Vittorio Tricase has rushed for more than 1,000 yards on the season and two-year starting quarterback Shane Conway continues to connect with Northwestern recruit Jace James for big plays. The Wildcats have their share of star power as well though, with Notre Dame bound athlete Isaiah Robertson, a three-year starter. Robertson has been a part of a staunch defensive effort for a team that has already clinched the DuPage Valley title.

No. 10 Oak Park (7-1) at No. 5 Hinsdale Central (8-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday

Hinsdale Central hosts the Huskies for a winner takes the conference match-up in the West Suburban Silver. The Red Devils have been fantastic on the season, and look to continue their undefeated roll on Friday. Quarterback Josh Bean has been a primary driver of the offense this season and is committed to Columbia. Oak Park has its fair share of offensive firepower, led by quarterback Jeremy Hunt and a standout group of defensive athletes. Both teams have already secured a spot in the playoffs, and are looking to continue to pad their resume going heading into the playoffs.

Wheaton North (4-4) at Waubonsie Valley (4-4), 7:30 p.m. Friday

Both Waubonsie Valley and Wheaton North have a ton on the line Friday. Each team needs a win to secure a spot in the playoffs. Wheaton North hasn’t made the playoffs since 2013. The Falcons triumphed over Naperville Central 45-27 in Week 8 to stay in the hunt. Waubonsie Valley is coming off a close 17-14 loss to Naperville North. Friday we find out which DuPage Valley team has the luck it takes to get that fifth win to advance to the playoffs.

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