Crystal Lake Central at No. 12 Cary-Grove, 7 p.m. Friday
Crystal Lake Central (2-0, 2-0 Fox Valley) opened some eyes with a 32-21 win over Huntley in Week 1 and then pulled out a 41-34 victory over Jacobs on Colton Madura’s 57-yard touchdown pass to Jake Carnrite in the final minute. Cary-Grove (2-0, 2-0), ranked No. 1 in Class 6A by the Associated Press, has outscored its first two opponents 111-30. Fullback Nick Hissong had 251 of the Trojans’ 352 rushing yards against Crystal Lake South last week.
Marmion at Montini, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Dan Thorpe, a 40-year coaching veteran in his 17th season at Marmion, became the program’s career wins leader with 89 with a Week 1 victory over Bishop McNamara. This starts a challenging stretch for the Cadets (2-0) with St Ignatius, Marist and Fenwick to follow. Montini (1-1), which is projected to be a 3A school this season after being in 5A or 6A in recent seasons, has the defense to make a deep playoff run along with a productive pass-catch duo in Cole Teschner and Julian Turner.
No. 8 St. Rita at No. 1 Loyola, 1:30 p.m. Saturday
These old Catholic League Blue rivals are now in different divisions of the CCL/ESCC super conference, but that hasn’t lowered the temperature on this rivalry. St. Rita (1-1) is still without the area’s top player, Ohio State-bound receiver Kaleb Brown, who was sidelined by injury early in a Week 1 loss to Mount Carmel. But a couple of newcomers stepped up big in last week’s win over Kentucky power Louisville Trinity. Phillips transfer Kyle Clayton ran for two touchdowns and Bremen transfer Ja’Mychael Towns returned a muffed punt snap for a score. Loyola (2-0), led by a typically strong defense and a balanced offense, is coming off an impressive romp past downstate power Rochester.
No. 9 Wheaton North at No. 15 Batavia, 7:30 p.m. Friday
With four teams that have been state-ranked at some point this season, the DuKane is the state’s best Class 7A conference. The pecking order will start to take shape with the beginning of league play this week. Wheaton North (2-0) has plenty of playmakers, including quarterback Mark Forcucci and receiver Seth Kortenhoeven, who teamed up on a 47-yard flea-flicker for a TD on the first play from scrimmage in last week’s 30-7 win over Providence. Batavia (2-0) rallied from 13-0 down at halftime last week to beat Oswego 21-13 as Jalen Buckley ran for 152 yards and defensive lineman Tyler Sapit had three tackles for losses.
No. 25 WW South at No. 18 St. Charles North, 7:30 p.m. Friday
This is another marquee matchup in the DuKane, which went 12-4 in nonconference play. WW South (1-1) will try to get back on track offensively after being held scoreless till the final 15 seconds of a 26-7 loss to No. 14 Neuqua Valley. That may not be easy against St. Charles North (2-0), which has pitched two straight shutouts to open the season behind a defense led by two-way standout Drew Surges and Kyle Nord among others.