Previewing Week 4’s top high school football games

A look at five of the area’s best games.

SHARE Previewing Week 4’s top high school football games
Brother Rice’s Christian Pierce (1) reacts after tackling Maine South’s Michael Dellumo (22).

Brother Rice’s Christian Pierce (1) reacts after tackling Maine South’s Michael Dellumo (22).

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

No. 8 St. Rita at No. 1 Mount Carmel, 7:30 p.m. Friday

This South Side rivalry is one of the best in the state, and it carries a little more weight this season with St. Rita (3-0, 0-0 CCL/ESCC Blue) back in the same conference as Mount Carmel (3-0, 0-0). The Mustangs in general — and quarterback Jett Hilding in particular — showed plenty of resilience in rallying from a 10-0 halftime deficit to win 20-10 last week at Joliet Catholic. Hilding showed off his dual-threat capabilities, which complement a running game led by DJ Stewart. Caravan junior Jack Elliott has been a capable successor to state-champion quarterback Blainey Dowling. Division I commits Darrion Dupree (Wisconsin) and Alonzo Manning II (Army) are among Mount Carmel’s other offensive playmakers, and Ohio-bound linebacker Parker Startz leads a defense that makes the big plays when they’re needed.

No. 19 Brother Rice at No. 2 Loyola, 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Loyola (3-0, 0-0 CCL/ESCC Blue) has started the process of trying to get stadium lights but for now remains one of the few high-profile programs still playing home games on Saturday afternoon. This is another good one. Brother Rice (2-1, 0-0), whose loss was to Pulaski Road rival Marist by six points in Week 2, is playing its fourth consecutive road game to start the season. Navy commit Randall Nauden led the way in a 28-6 victory last week at St. Ignatius with 171 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Junior quarterback Ryan Fitzgerald is a rising star for the Ramblers. Lineman Joe Kelly was pressed into service as a rare two-way player in a 34-7 victory last week against Marist.

No. 5 Batavia at No. 16 St. Charles North, 7 p.m. Friday

There might be no conference in the state stronger from top to bottom than the eight-team DuKane. That makes for marquee matchups such as this one week in and week out. Ryan Boe was 15-for-20 for 253 yards and three TDs in one half last week for Batavia (2-1, 1-0) in a victory against Lake Park. Nate Whitwell ran for two touchdowns, and nose guard Malachi Smith, safety Chase Osborne and linebacker Jake Feller stood out on defense. St. Charles North (2-1, 0-1), which lost to Wheaton North last week, also has a productive quarterback. Ethan Plumb has accounted for 10 total touchdowns.

Kenwood vs. Simeon, 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Gately Stadium

Each of these South Side Public League powers started 0-2 against tough competition. Kenwood lost to Lincoln-Way East and St. Rita, and Simeon fell to Wheaton-Warrenville South and Sycamore. Kenwood (1-2, 1-0 Public Red) has a roster filled with Division I talent, including four-star edge rusher Marquise Lightfoot (Miami), four-star receiver I’Marion Stewart and running backs Ethan Middleton and Mako Grant. Simeon (1-2, 1-0) is leaning on a defense led by linemen Mikeshun Beeler and Chris Burgess while an inexperienced offense finds its legs.

Nazareth at No. 22 IC Catholic, 7:30 p.m. Friday

Is this a must-win game for defending Class 5A champ Nazareth (0-3, 0-0 CCL/ESCC Orange) after losses to Kankakee, York and Montini? Not quite, now that some 4-5 teams are making the IHSA playoff field. But the Roadrunners surely don’t want to be in elimination mode this early in the season. The talent’s there to run off some victories, with a veteran quarterback in Logan Malachuk and a two-way star in four-star edge rusher/receiver Gabe Kaminski. IC Catholic (3-0, 0-0) has some playmakers of its own in receiver KJ Parker (Iowa) and tight end Ethan Karner (Texas A&M).

The Latest
Gunmen opened fire on a group gathered outside in the 1300 block of South Lawndale Avenue.
Be sure to clean a grill grate when it’s piping hot, immediately after you have removed your food from the grill or following several minutes of preheating.
While Joe Biden doesn’t appear to be stepping away from his candidacy, the best-known political advisers for former Democratic presidents are saying he should.
“Why are all these events in Grant Park? Why can’t these events be moved elsewhere? Why dump all the misery on us?” asks a frustrated reader who lives in the South Loop.
Politicians often point to mental illness as a source of gun violence. That’s rarely the case. Rage, hate and access to guns are usually the cause.