Four Downs: News, notes and observations from Week 8

Nazareth now has the state’s longest winning streak, Elgin or East Aurora will make the playoffs and more.

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Nazareth coach Tim Racki looks on during the game against Notre Dame.

Nazareth coach Tim Racki looks on during the game against Notre Dame.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

All of a sudden Nazareth has gone from 6-1 to 8-0 and holder of the state’s longest winning streak.

The Roadrunners knocked off undefeated Notre Dame on Friday and a few hours before that had their only loss of the season, a Week 1 defeat to St. Louis Cardinal Ritter, overturned because Cardinal Ritter used an ineligible player. 

The St. Louis Post Dispatch published a story on Tuesday claiming that Cardinal Ritter used an ineligible player in the game. The player, Bill Jackson, rushed for 109 yards and had a 56-yard touchdown run.

Jackson was suspended for the Week 1 game because he was ejected from Cardinal Ritter’s previous game, the Class 3A state title game last season.

On Friday, the Missouri State High School Activities Association forced Cardinal Ritter to forfeit all seven of its games so far this season and the IHSA changed Nazareth’s record to 7-0.

“If the IHSA wants to put us [undefeated] that is fine,” Nazareth coach Tim Racki said. “So this will be the first time we have ever had an asterisk on the schedule. We lost the game and that is how we are taking it.”

Roadrunners quarterback JJ McCarthy, a Michigan recruit, also says he still considers the game a loss. But it will officially go down as a win.

IC Catholic, which had won 33 consecutive games, lost to St. Francis on Friday so the Roadrunners’ streak of 15 wins since losing to Marist in Week 7 last year is now the state’s best.

Drought breakers

East Aurora hasn’t made the playoff since 1982. Elgin hasn’t qualified since 2010. One of those streaks will be broken in Week 9. The Tomcats and Maroons are both 4-4 and will play in Elgin on Friday.

The Maroons started the season 0-4 but knocked off crosstown rival Larkin in Week 8 to cap a four-game winning streak and earn a shot at the playoffs.

Southwest Prairie Showdown

Minooka lost to Loyola in the first round of the Class 8A playoffs last season and has won every game since. The Indians are 8-0 for the first time since 1971.

Oswego knocked off Yorkville on Friday to set up a major Week 9 showdown with the Indians. Whichever team pulls out the victory will likely be a No. 1 seed in the Class 8A state playoffs.

Two-sport star

Willowbrook senior Everett Stubblefield has made a name for himself in basketball the past few seasons. His breakout on the football field is happening this season.

Stubblefield caught three touchdown passes against Morton on Friday. He hauled in scoring grabs of 67, 68 and nine yards and finished with six catches for 185 yards.

The Warriors are 7-1 this season, only losing to Providence.

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