No. 9 Phillips vs. No. 25 Simeon 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Gately Stadium
What’s come to be known as the Public League Super Bowl takes on added urgency this year as the Chicago Teachers Union considers whether to go on strike. Simeon (3-1) already had a bye week because of a scheduling issue in Week 2, and can ill afford to miss any more games. The Wolverines are big and experienced on both lines and have the Public League’s top uncommitted senior in three-star cornerback Chau Smith. Phillips (5-0) is led by a pair of D-I recruits: cornerback Ronald Pledger (Western Michigan) and defensive tackle Demerick Morris (Temple).
No. 16 Brother Rice at No. 4 Loyola, 1:30 p.m. Saturday
These teams met twice last season, with Rice dominating the regular-season meeting 35-3 and Loyola winning 13-3 in the 8A championship game. This year, Rice (4-1, 1-0 CCL/ESCC Blue) has relied on an experienced defense led by one of the state’s premier linemen, Justin Jefferson, and a running game paced by junior back Willie Shaw. Loyola (3-2, 0-1) has been tinkering with its offensive rotation, using two quarterbacks and multiple running backs, while getting an inexperienced defense up to speed.
No. 22 St. Charles North at St. Charles East, 7:30 p.m. Friday
The Fox Valley is a hotbed of high school sports and this is one of the areas’s greatest rivalries. Both teams have diversified offenses. Quarterback Kyler Brown, receiver Ryan Thiesse and running back Nick DeMarco are among the playmakers for returning Class 7A runner-up St. Charles North (4-1, 3-0 DuKane). St. Charles East (4-1, 2-1) counters with quarterback Nathan Hayes, receivers Clay Conn and Nathan Hull, and back Cole Conn.
No. 12 Montini at No. 10 Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m., Friday
After graduating one of the state’s premier two-way players in Ty Gavin and facing a move up to Class 8A, Notre Dame (5-0, 1-0 CCL/ESCC Green) was under the radar coming into the season. But the Dons have been stellar on both sisdes of the ball, allowing just 8.4 points per game and getting consistent production from quarterback Anthony Sayles and running back Julian Schurr on offense. After splitting time at quarterback last season, senior Deontay Bell of Montini (4-1, 1-0) has emerged as a force this fall. In a Week 4 win over St. Rita, he passed for 305 yards and ran for 203 more.
Prospect at No. 20 Hersey 7:30 p.m. Friday
The Mid-Suburban East is one of two Chicago-area conferences with three unbeaten teams (the Southwest Prairie West is the other). Two of those teams meet here, with Hersey (5-0, 1-0) coming off a 78-20 romp past Wheeling that broke the program scoring record. Quarterback Jordan Hansen led the way in that one, running seven times for 226 yards and four touchdowns. Prospect (5-0, 1-0) -- which hosts Rolling Meadows, the league’s other unbeaten, next week -- has had good production from quarterback Gary Moeller and running back Luke Zardsin.