Four Downs: News and notes from Week 2 in high school football

Dynamic St. Rita, Phillips misses out, Lincoln-Way East’s dominance and Nazareth coach Tim Racki’s philosophy

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St. Rita’s Kaleb Brown (35) celebrates with Thomas Ulatowski (16) after scoring a touchdown against Glenbard South last season.

St. Rita’s Kaleb Brown (35) celebrates with Thomas Ulatowski (16) after scoring a touchdown against Glenbard South last season.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

St. Rita has developed into one of the most fascinating football teams around.

The Mustangs feature junior running back Kaleb Brown, possibly the most dynamic and exciting player in the Chicago area. Brown has scholarship offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan and a dozen more powerhouse schools. He’s a top-50 national talent in the Class of 2022.

St. Rita has a handful of other college-bound players, including receiver Henry Wilson, a Western Michigan recruit. The Mustangs almost knocked off top-ranked Loyola in Week 1. They led most of the way and lost 7-3. They routed Montini 51-13 on Saturday.

‘‘St. Rita, I don’t know who is going to touch them in their conference play,’’ Loyola coach John Holecek said after his team beat No. 2 Mount Carmel on Saturday. ‘‘They are a special team. . . . [St. Rita] just had so many athletes and so many disrupters on the front line.’’

The Mustangs host Providence on Friday and round out the season against Marian Catholic, Benet and Notre Dame.

Phillips forced to wait

Phillips had its game against Raby canceled late last week. Raby doesn’t have enough players to field a team this season.

Wildcats coach Troy McAllister exhausted all his options but wasn’t able to find a replacement. That means Phillips will play four games this season at most. The Wildcats will play Westinghouse at Solorio on Saturday.

The football season is following a trend we saw during the COVID-19 basketball season: Teams from schools and leagues with a lot of resources get to play games, and teams in less fortunate circumstances end up barely playing at all.

Play the kids

Nazareth is going to be a stat-keeper’s nightmare this season — but for the best reason possible. Check out what Roadrunners coach Tim Racki told Friday Night Drive’s Josh Welge after his team beat St. Laurence on Saturday:

‘‘These kids have been sitting around for an entire year, they’re only allowing parents into games, there’s no playoffs, [so] I’m going to play every one of my kids — and not just in cleanup time,’’ Racki said. ‘‘These parents, after being shut down, I’m not going to have their kids sitting on the sideline. Whatever the result is on the scoreboard, so be it.’’

That’s the best thing I’ve read from anyone involved with high school athletics in a while. It’s pretty clear why so many of the most talented kids in the area want to play for Racki, isn’t it?

Griffins making a case

On Saturday morning, it looked as though the big showdown between No. 1 Loyola and No. 2 Mount Carmel might not mean as much as expected.

Lincoln-Way East has opened the season with blowout wins against Bolingbrook and Homewood-Flossmoor. That’s about as solid a case as a team can make for the top spot.

Mount Carmel or Loyola had to come out and make a significant claim to the No. 1 ranking, or the Griffins would have taken it over. The Ramblers did that by solidly handling the Caravan.

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