No. 6 Homewood-Flossmoor at No. 1 Lincoln-Way East, 11 a.m. Saturday
It gets overshadowed sometimes by the star power on offense, but Lincoln-Way East (4-0, 1-0 SouthWest Suburban Blue) also has a stout defense anchored by Northwestern-bound end Sean McLaughlin. Last week the Griffins held previously unbeaten Bolingbrook to 83 total yards in a 20-10 win. Quarterback Kyle Quinn left that game with an injury, with Michigan recruit AJ Henning picking up the slack by getting more touches out of the backfield. Veteran quarterback Dominick Jones leads H-F (4-0, 1-0), which hasn’t been tested yet, winning by an average of 30 points.
No. 7 Neuqua Valley at Waubonsie Valley, 6 p.m. Saturday
Quarterback Mark Gronowski of Neuqua (3-1, 1-0 DuPage Valley) has been one of the area’s breakout players this season. He accounted for 302 yards and seven touchdowns a wild Week 3 loss to East St. Louis before rushing and passing for second-half TDs in last week’s comeback win vs. DeKalb. Waubonsie Valley (2-2, 0-1) is trying to regroup after falling to nationally ranked Louisville (Ky,) Trinity in Week 3 and letting a 28-17 lead slip away in last week’s loss to Naperville North. One bright spot has been the pass-catch duo of quarterback Ethan Nelson and receiver Sean Clinton.
No. 8 Batavia at Wheaton-Warrenville South, 4:30 p.m. Saturday
Batavia’s Sam Barus had a big week, getting nine tackles and blocking a field goal attempt in a win over Glenbard North before committing to Bucknell. Two-way standout Quinn Urwiler continues to put up big numbers for the Bulldogs (3-1, 2-0 DuKane) with 359 all-purpose yards, seven touchdowns, two interceptions and four tackles for loss. WW South (3-1, 1-1) has the state’s top kicker in Michigan State recruit Jack Olsen, who booted a 53- and 37-yard field goals in last week’s loss to St. Charles East. He had an IHSA-record eight field goals in one game last season.
St. Patrick at No. 10 Notre Dame, 11:30 a.m. Saturday
These longtime East Suburban Catholic foes are in different divisions of the new Catholic League/ESCC superconference, but don’t expect that to take away from the rivalry aspect. Notre Dame (4-0) has been one of the season’s biggest surprises, with statement wins on the road against Marist and Providence. Speedy back Julian Schurr and quarterback Anthony Sayles help keep the Dons balanced on offense. Senior running back Eric Wozny Jr, has been a force for St, Patrick (2-2) the past two weeks, running for 201 yards and two TDs vs. Leo and finishing with 258 total yards and the game-winning TD vs Carmel.
Plainfield North at Oswego, 5 p.m. Friday
Few teams have been as dominant in league play as Oswego, which has gone 60-2 in winning the last seven Southwest Prairie titles. This season, the Panthers are one of five 4-0 teams in the realigned Southwest Prairie West along with Plainfield North, Minooka, Oswego East and Yorkville. Quarterback Cole Pradel leads a prolific offense, completing 65 percent of his passes for 602 yards and six touchdowns. Plainfield North, which handed Oswego its last conference loss two years ago, is led by senior running back Marcellus Moore, a six-time state sprint champ bound for Purdue in football and track.