No. 1 Mount Carmel at No. 20 Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Preseason top-ranked Mount Carmel (2-0) has been as dominant as advertised behind a defense that has allowed only three points — on a 51-yard field goal by St. Rita’s Conor Talty — in two games and an offense well-stocked with playmakers. Some difference makers include quarterback Blainey Dowling, who threw for 318 yards and five TDs in Week 1; running back Darrion Dupree; and FBS recruits Asher Tomaszewski (Kansas State) and Danny Novickas (Ohio) on defense. Notre Dame (2-0), coming off a big rivalry win over St. Patrick, is sparked by the Ricciardi twins, quarterback Vincenzo and running back Francesco.
No. 2 Loyola at No. 13 St. Rita, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Like Mount Carmel, Loyola (2-0) hasn’t really been tested yet. The Ramblers offense is running smoothly behind quarterback Jake Stearney, a Colgate recruit, and a deep, talented receiving corps. Brooks Bahr, a 6-6 Michigan recruit who’s among the nation’s top linemen, leads the defense. St. Rita (1-1), in coach Todd Kuska’s final season, is playing its third straight CCL/ESCC Blue opponent. After a rough opening loss to Mount Carmel, the Mustangs rebounded to down Brother Rice last week. Junior back Ethan Middleton, who has a Penn State offer, runs behind a big, talented line.
No. 7 Batavia at Wheaton North, 7 p.m. Friday
After cruising past Phillips in its opener, Batavia (1-1) fell behind 31-0 en route to an eventual 31-16 loss to No. 3 Lincoln-Way East. Now it’s on to DuKane Conference play, where the Bulldogs will try to bounce back behind linebackers Tyler Jansey (Wisconsin) and Jack Sadowsky (Iowa State). Quarterback Ryan Boe (326 yards) and receiver Charlie Whelpley have been an effective combo. Defending Class 7A champ Wheaton North (2-0) lost a lot to graduation, but has allowed just seven points this season behind a defense led by linebacker Ross Dansdill (Holy Cross).
No. 11 Marist at No. 19 Nazareth, 7 p.m. Friday
Marist (1-1) bounced back from a 33-31 opening loss to Glenbard West by rolling past Richards in Week 2. The RedHawks have three FCS recruits: defensive lineman Jamel Howard (Wisconsin), defensive back John Nestor (Iowa) and receiver Ryan Sims (Miami, Ohio). Nazareth (1-1) already has a shutout win over Kankakee in a Week 1 matchup of Class 5A powers. The Roadrunners have a number of two-way standouts, including Justin Taylor (Wisconsin), William Beargie (Princeton) and Zach Hayes.
Kenwood at Taft, 7:30 p.m. Friday
The Public League revamped its scheduling this fall for the top tier of teams, aiming to get them better games in the regular season to prepare for the IHSA playoffs. This crossover is a product of that effort. Kenwood (1-1) has as much top-shelf talent as any team in the state north of East St. Louis, but is working to eliminate mistakes. Among those to watch: defensive backs Kahlil Tate (Iowa) and Kiwaun Davis (Western Michigan), edge rusher Marquise Lightfoot, linebacker K’Vion Thunderbird and running back Davonte Johnson. Taft (0-2), whose two losses have been by a total of six points, is led by two-way lineman Grzegorz Krupa.