Previewing Week 2’s top high school football games

It’s a loaded weekend with several matchups between ranked teams.

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Nazareth’s Logan Malachuk, center, looks downfield for a receiver in the first half against Kankakee in Week 1.

Nazareth’s Logan Malachuk, center, looks downfield for a receiver in the first half against Kankakee in Week 1.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

No. 2 Lincoln-Way East at No. 3 Batavia, 7 p.m. Friday

An argument could be made that no team scheduled two more challenging road games to start the season than Lincoln-Way East (1-0), which opened with a dominant 52-12 victory against Kenwood at Gately Stadium. Caden O’Rourke, a quick 6-5 lineman, leads the Griffins’ defense. Braden Tischer is an experienced quarterback who passed for 170 yards and three touchdowns against Kenwood, and senior Nuri Muhammad ran for three touchdowns. Iowa commit Josh Janowski anchors the offensive line. Batavia also opened with a victory against a Public League power, beating Phillips 42-20. The Bulldogs (1-0) also have a proven quarterback in Ryan Boe, who passed for 307 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for a score. Ben Fiegel, who had four tackles for loss, and Kyle Porter, who had an interception, paced the defense.

No. 23 Morgan Park at No. 1 Mount Carmel, 7:30 p.m. Friday

The top-ranked Caravan (1-0) are on a 15-game winning streak. Junior quarterback Jack Elliott had a successful debut as the successor to state champ Blainey Dowling, finishing with 285 total yards and two touchdowns in a 36-33 victory last week against East St. Louis. Wisconsin commit Darrion Dupree, Navy commit Alonzo Manning II and Maurice Densmore are other playmakers for Mount Carmel’s dynamic offense. Morgan Park (1-0) opened some eyes with a 42-0 shutout last week of south suburban power Richards. Multitalented Illinois commit Tysean Griffin leads a group of impact players for the Mustangs that also includes quarterback Marcus Thaxton, receiver Chris Durr and defensive back Jovan Clark.

No. 4 Loyola at No. 19 Naperville North, 7 p.m. Friday

The Ramblers (1-0) won Beau Desherow’s head-coaching debut 45-7 at Grand Rapids (Michigan) Catholic Central. Quarterback Ryan Fitzgerald passed for 98 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 42 yards and another score as Loyola opened a 28-0 halftime lead. Linebacker Colin Scheid paced a strong defensive effort. Four-star Purdue commit Luke Williams has been a standout since he was only the third freshman to play on the Huskies’ varsity. He could leave Naperville North (1-0) with all of the school’s major receiving records. The Huskies rode a 21-0 third quarter to a 35-21 victory last week against Homewood-Flossmoor.

No. 11 Nazareth at No. 5 York, 7:30 p.m. Friday

Nazareth (0-1) gave up two long touchdown runs on Kankakee’s first three offensive plays last week, eventually rallied to tie the score but fell 33-26. Junior Gabe Kaminski, a four-star prospect as an edge rusher, showed his offensive chops by catching a 50-yard pass in the loss. Third-year starting quarterback Logan Malachuk is another playmaker. York (1-0) opened with a 35-17 victory against Glenbrook South. Sean Winton passed for 277 yards and three touchdowns, Luke Mailander had seven catches for 221 yards and a score and Jake Melion ran for 165 yards. Cole Ostendorf, who had 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks, paces the Dukes’ defense.

No. 16 Providence vs. No. 20 Joliet Catholic, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Joliet Memorial Stadium

This bragging-rights game seldom disappoints. Last year, Joliet Catholic prevailed 49-41 in the regular season before Providence flipped the script with a 24-14 victory in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs. Both teams opened with victories out of state. Providence (1-0) knocked off Lake Central (Indiana) 28-21, and Joliet Catholic (1-0) rolled 48-13 at Iowa City. Wisconsin commit Dillan Johnson anchors the Hilltoppers’ defensive line, and HJ Grigsby ran for three touchdowns in the opener.

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