Four Downs: News and notes from Week 4 in high school football

Brother Rice is for real, Palatine is back, the Fox Valley Super Bowl looms and a scheduling rant.

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Brother Rice’s Jack Lausch (8) runs the ball against Loyola.

Brother Rice’s Jack Lausch (8) runs the ball against Loyola.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Brother Rice lost on Friday, but the Crusaders didn’t disappoint any neutral observers.

Marist’s 28-16 loss at home to a young Mount Carmel team definitely presents some questions about the RedHawks as a legitimate state title contender. That isn’t the case with Brother Rice’s Week 4 defeat.

Crusaders quarterback Jack Lausch was electric. The senior was 16-for-25 passing for 292 yards, rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns and just had the look of a talented leader that is going to do what it takes to win.

Brother Rice nearly got the ball back with a minute left and a chance to win. It feels like Lausch would have found a way to get the Crusaders in the end zone.

Providence transfer Aaron Vaughn was very solid as well with 15 carries for 83 yards.

There are clearly some defensive issues to work out. But facing Loyola was a big jump in quality from Brother Rice’s first three opponents. The Crusaders will be a much more experienced bunch when they head to Mount Carmel for a showdown Week 6.

Palatine shocks Maine South

Palatine was ranked No. 18 in the preseason, but a lot of that was based on Iowa-bound receiver Jake Bostick, who is out injured.

The Pirates showed they are still a major threat by knocking off Maine South 20-19 on Friday. Junior quarterback Grant Dersnah connected with junior Nate Branch on a 24-yard touchdown pass to put Palatine ahead and senior Kam Lewis sealed the win with an interception.

Fox Valley fun

The big match up in the northwest suburbs is on Saturday. Undefeated Cary-Grove hosts undefeated Prairie Ridge.

The Trojans scored on their first seven possessions against McHenry in Week 4. Here’s a wild stat: senior running back Drew Magel has 252 yards and five touchdowns on just seven carries in the last two games.

Prairie Ridge squeaked by Jacobs last week. The Wolves defense stopped Jacobs on a two-point conversion to seal the win in the final minutes.

Someone please fix this

Around 5,000 fans crammed into Memorial Stadium in Joliet on Friday to watch Joliet Catholic host Providence. There was tailgating and just a generally great high school football atmosphere.

That’s a rivalry game that needs to happen every single year. It’s been six years since the teams met up.

There’s a similar issue going on here in Chicago. St. Patrick and Notre Dame haven’t played each other since 2019. The teams don’t have a game scheduled this season.

All four of these teams are in the massive CCL/ESCC conference. Those are two rivalries that need to be played every single season. It’s important for high school football.

The Notre Dame-St. Patrick football game is annually the most-read football game story on the Sun-Times’ website. It doesn’t matter if the teams are ranked or what their records are. It’s a game that matters to the community.

Joliet Catholic-Providence is just as important Will County. The CCL/ESCC needs to figure this out.

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