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Previewing Week 5’s top high school football games

A look at the five best games this weekend.

Joliet Catholic’s Aidan Voss throws the ball during practice.
Joliet Catholic’s Aidan Voss throws the ball during practice.
Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

No. 23 Prairie Ridge at No. 10 Cary-Grove, 1 p.m. Saturday

This game between teams 4-0 overall and in the Fox Valley could determine a lot — local bragging rights in the far northwest suburbs, the conference title and possibly a No. 1 seed in the Class 6A playoffs if the winner goes 9-0 in the regular season. Since 2009, one of these teams has reached the 6A final seven times with Prairie Ridge winning three state titles and Cary-Grove two. This year, Cary-Grove hasn’t been tested, winning by an average of 39 points. Quarterback Jameson Sheehan and fullback Nick Hissong have the Trojans offense rolling. Prairie Ridge squeaked past Jacobs 49-48 last week, stopping the Golden Eagles on a two-point conversion try with 2:33 left, Nathan Greetham ran for 165 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Wolves offense.

No. 25 Crete-Monee at No. 4 Joliet Catholic, 7:30 p.m. Friday

This is the second high-profile matchup for Crete (3-1), which lost 35-20 to Lincoln-Way East in Week 1. The Warriors are coming off a 78-18 rout of Thornwood in which Joshua Franklin accounted for eight touchdowns (two rushing, six passing) and 528 all-purpose yards. Class 4A top-ranked Joliet Catholic’s closest game was a 30-20 win at St. Louis power Cardinal Ritter, a game the Hilltoppers led 23-0. JCA is coming off a 42-0 shutout of Will County rival Providence that packed Memorial Stadium in Joliet. Though Illinois recruits Jordan Anderson and Malachi Hood may have come into the season with a higher profile, quarterback Aidan Voss has also been a big reason for the Hilltoppers’ success.

No. 5 Naperville Central at No. 7 Neuqua Valley, 7:30 p.m. Friday

This could be the first of two matchups between the neighborhood rivals, as the DuPage Valley plans to play a championship game in Week 9. Senior Parker Domschke had a big game last week for Neuqua (4-0, 1-0) with seven tackles as a defensive back and a 56-yard touchdown run on a fake punt. Junior quarterback Mark Mennecke, an effective scrambler, keeps opposing defenses guessing. Naperville Central (3-1, 1-0), whose only loss was on the road to Detroit Central Catholic, specializes in low-scoring games. The Redhawks have not scored more than 20 points or allowed more than 17 this season.

No. 9 Lincoln-Way East at No. 17 Bolingbrook, 6 p.m. Friday

Lincoln-Way East has won 26 straight conference games and has dominated this rivalry with seven consecutive wins. Can the Griffins (3-1, 0-0 SouthWest Suburban) extend those streaks with one of their youngest teams in the 20-year tenure of coach Rob Zvonar, who picked up his 200th career victory last week? Bolingbrook (4-0, 0-0), which will be honoring members of its 2011 state championship team, has some star power this year with the likes of junior safety Damon Walters, who has SEC offers from Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

Simeon vs. Phillips, 4 p.m. Saturday at Gately

This is the week we begin to get a clearer picture of who is the Public League’s best team with two of the four front-runners facing off (Kenwood and Morgan Park are the other contenders). Simeon (2-2) has bounced back from decisive losses to Joliet Catholic and Bolingbrook with a pair of lopsided wins against CPS rivals. The Wolverines’ Malik Elzy, a 6-3, 198-pound receiver, is one of the state’s top juniors and his 13 offers include Illinois, Notre Dame, Michigan and three SEC schools (Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt). Phillips (2-2) has had a similar trajectory, losing to Batavia and Mount Carmel before handling a pair of city rivals. Junior quarterback Tyler Turner is a player to watch.