O’Brien: Week 2’s four downs

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Alante Brown (3) heads toward the sideline against Curie last season. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

FOUR DOWNS: News, notes and observations from Week 2.

Simeon vs. Phillips, the Public League “Super Bowl,” was always going to be a huge matchup in Week 3. Terrific performances on the road this past weekendby both teams has upped the ante.

The Wolverines traveled to Ohio and beat Trotwood-Madison 33-6. The Ohio powerhouse won the D-III state championship last season and were riding a two-year, 16-game winning streak.

Simeon quarterback Alante Brown, a Michigan State recruit, threw two touchdowns and the Wolverines ran for two scores. Simeon is 2-0, it knocked off Naperville North on the road in Week 1.

Phillips beat St. Louis Chaminade 34-21 in East St. Louis. Alabama recruit Jahleel Billingsley scored three touchdowns and quarterback Leonard Smith rushed for two for the Wildcats (1-1).

The Wildcats have been quite a bit more successful the past few seasons, but last year’s game was very close. Phillips beat Simeon 14-0. This year’s matchup is on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Gately Stadium.

Phillips Joe Thompson and Ronald Pledger break up a pass intended for Simeon’s Marques Ray. Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times.

Phillips Joe Thompson and Ronald Pledger break up a pass intended for Simeon’s Marques Ray. Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times.


Jack Fallon began the season as Loyola’s starting quarterback. He went down with a shoulder injury early in the season opener. The Ramblers haven’t missed a beat thanks to backup Matthew Schiltz, who narrowly lost the preseason quarterback competition to Fallon.

Schiltz, a 6-1, 180-pound senior, finished off the win in Michigan last week and was stellar in the Ramblers’ 40-3 victory at New Trier on Friday. He passed for 244 yards and four touchdowns.

Loyola (2-0) hosts Mount Carmel (1-1) in its home opener on Saturday. The Caravan lost to Maine South on Friday.


Joliet Catholic’s win against St. Rita in Week 1 had many wondering if the Hilltoppers were back. They jumped into the Super 25 and were expected to give IC Catholic a real test on Friday.

That didn’t materialize. IC Catholic, which has won the last two Class 3A state title games by a combined score of 78-0, completely dominated Joliet Catholic in a 42-0 win.

Quarterback Khalil Saunders had 218 yards of total offense and passed for two touchdowns for the Knights (2-0).

IC Catholic will play at Wheaton Academy next week and the Hilltoppers will try to rebound in a road game against St. Viator.

IC Catholic’s captains lift the 3A state championship trophy. Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times.

IC Catholic’s captains lift the 3A state championship trophy. Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times.


There were a couple questions marks for Nazareth in the preseason. Could sophomore quarterback JJ McCarthy step up and lead the Roadrunners’ talented offense? How would Nazareth handle the move up to Class 7A?

The early returns are spectacular. Nazareth knocked off Lake Zurich 25-0 on Friday. The Bears played in the Class 7A state title game last season.

McCarthy, who has offers from several Power Five schools, is living up to his potential. He destroyed Lake Zurich’s vaunted defense in just his second varsity game, passing for 296 yards and four touchdowns.

Senior receiver Michael Love was McCarthy’s favorite target. He caught nine passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns.

The Roadrunners have an East Suburban Catholic game at Marian Central on Friday.

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Want the latest info and analysis on high school football? Our preps team ofMichael O’Brien,Beth LongandAnnie Costabilewill share all the latest news, insights and Super 25 footballrankings in a new livestream show called “Sun-Times Game Week.” You can watch it LIVE every Monday at 4:30 p.m. right here on ourhigh school sports Facebook page.You can also ask questions using the hashtag #SunTimesGameWeek

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