Previews of Week 8’s top five high school football games

Breaking down the best games of Week 8.

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Notre Dame’s Julian Schurr (2) and Anthony Sayles (7) wait for play to resume during the game against Montini.

Notre Dame’s Julian Schurr (2) and Anthony Sayles (7) wait for play to resume during the game against Montini.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

No. 10 Hinsdale Central at No. 5 Glenbard West, 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Glenbard West (7-0, 4-0 West Suburban Silver) isn’t known as the Hitters for nothing. The quick, aggressive defense that has been the program’s calling card has been as good as ever this season, allowing just 22 points since a 45-28 season-opening win over Maine South. Senior linebacker Greyson Metz, who has 15 Division I offers, leads that unit. Hinsdale Central (7-0, 4-0) has a productive pitch-catch duo in quarterback Michael Brescia and receiver Braden Contreras, who have teamed up for 10 touchdowns.

Prairie Ridge at Cary-Grove, 7 p.m. Friday

These teams have dominated Class 6A in recent years, with Prairie Ridge earning back-to-back titles in 2016-17 and Cary-Grove winning last season. This year, they’re in a three-way tie for the Fox Valley Conference lead with Huntley, an 8A team with wins over both. Don’t be surprised if this game is low-scoring: Cary-Grove (6-1, 6-1) has allowed only 36 points this season, while Prairie Ridge (6-1, 6-1) has given up just 62. Both teams have capable fullbacks leading balanced offenses: Cary-Grove’s Blake Skol (813 rushing yards) and Prairie Ridge’s Carter Evans (655 yards).

No. 3 Nazareth at No. 8 Notre Dame, 7:15 p.m. Friday

Defending 7A champ Nazareth is 6-1, but may have its season-opening loss reversed in the wake of allegations that Cardinal Ritter (Mo.) used an ineligible player in the game. Meanwhile, the Roadrunners prepare to face their longtime East Suburban Catholic Conference rival in a game that features plenty of offensive firepower. Nazareth (6-1) has quarterback JJ McCarthy, a Michigan commit who’s the state’s top junior, and a host of talented receivers including Tyler Morris and Landon Morris. Notre Dame (7-0) is equally capable in the run and pass game with quarterback Anthony Sayles and running back Julian Schurr.

No. 11 Bolingbrook at No. 7 Homewood-Flossmoor, 7 p.m. Friday

This SouthWest Suburban Blue matchup has major implications for Class 8A playoff seeding, with both teams sitting at 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the conference. Bolingbrook had one of the state’s most highly recruited juniors in defensive back Justin Walters, whose 14 offers include Notre Dame and five Big Ten schools. Seniors who have caught recruiters’ eyes include 6-5, 300-pound offensive lineman John Williams, a Cincinnati recruit; tight end Trevor Borland (Buffalo); and quarterback Devyn Suggs (Yale). Oregon recruit Marcus Harper, a 6-4, 290-pound offensive lineman, and third-year starting quarterback Dominick Jones are mainstays for H-F.

Antioch at Lakes, 7:15 p.m. Friday

Antioch (6-1, 5-0 Northern Lake County) has won six in a row since a season-opening defeat against Lake Forest. A tougher loss came in week six when junior quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis, a Minnesota recruit, was knocked out for the season with a broken collarbone. The Sequoits still have his brother and fellow Minnesota commit, receiver Dino Kaliakmanis on an offense that’s averaging 32 points a game during its winning streak. Senior defensive back Brandon Burdette had a big game for Lakes (5-2, 4-1) in last week’s win over Grayslake Central with an interception return for a touchdown and seven tackles.

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