Separated by just 33 miles in Chicago’s western suburbs, high school football stadiums in Wheaton and Glenview will be packed Friday night with league titles at stake for four teams unbeaten in league play.
Two of them are state champions in the two largest of the state‘s eight football classes.
One has a University of Illinois recruit who might be quarterbacking the Illini soon. Another team has averaged more than 48 points per game after losing its first two games.
Take your pick. Both of these games should be gems.
In Wheaton, Illinois recruit Reilly O'Toole
will lead defending Class 7A champion and unbeaten Wheaton-Warrenville South
into a key DuPage Valley Conference clash against Glenbard North (Carol Stream)
. Win, and the 7-0 Tigers will win their league for the second straight year and likely nail down the No. 1 seed in the 7A field with one more week still to play. WW South has lost just one game in two years, to Class 8A champ Maine South in Week 2 last year.
O’Toole has been the dominant quarterback not just in the Chicago area, but all of Illinois. He threw for four touchdowns in the first half of last week’s 56-0 win over West Chicago. In his last three games, big games, O’Toole has passed for nearly 700 yards and 10 touchdowns. The numbers would be even higher, except that O’Toole was taken out of those games early due to lopsided scores.
Glenbard North also is unbeaten at 7-0 and 5-0 in DuPage Valley play. Running backs Phil Jackson
and Evin Natick
, along with strong defensive play, have led the Panthers into title contention for the second consecutive year.
Meanwhile, in Glenview, Maine South (Park Ridge)
and Glenbrook South (Glenview)
will play for the Central Suburban South title — a league that Maine South has dominated for almost 10 years. The similarities are striking. Both teams lost their first two games, and haven’t lost since. Maine South, the two-time 8A champ, has averaged 48.6 points in its last five games; Glenbrook South, which pounded Niles West 56-7 last week, has averaged 44.4.
Maine South sophomore quarterback Matt Alviti, following in the footsteps of former quarterbacks Charlie Goro (now at Vanderbilt) and Tyler Benz (Eastern Michigan), has led the Hawks to 2009-type numbers when they had Indiana freshman running back Matt Perez in the backfield. Paul Preston ran for three scores in last week’s 48-12 win over Waukegan.RECRUITING: UIC lands Simeon, Curie players
* Ahman Fells, a 6-foot-6 forward from 2010 Class 4A Illinois champion Simeon (Chicago)
, and Greg Travis, a point guard from Curie (Chicago)
, have verballed their commitments to the men‘s basketball program at the University of Illinois-Chicago. “He (Travis) is a student of the game and his basketball IQ is off the chart,” Curie coach Mike Oliver told the Chicago Sun-Times.
* Luke Hager, a 6-foot-7 senior forward at Whitney Young Magnet (Chicago)
, verballed to UNC-Wilmington. Hager also had seven other scholarship offers, including Central Michigan and Akron of the Mid-American Conference.
* Ryan Boatright
, a 5-foot-10 point guard from East (Aurora)
, will make his college choice from four offers early next week, according to reports. Boatright has received offers from Providence College, West Virginia, Miami and Depaul. But his final two may be down to Providence and West Virginia. He visited West Virginia last week and will attend Providence's Late Night Madness on Friday, according to the Sun-Times News Group.5 BIG PERFORMANCES …
* Making his first varsity start, Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn)
quarterback Daver Glawe
passed for 206 yards and two touchdowns, leading the unbeaten Hilltoppers (7-0) to a 27-10 victory over York in a game that decided first place in the West Suburban Silver.
* Vernon Hills
defensive lineman Wayne Didier
recovered two fumbles, helping the Cougars post their seventh consecutive shutout win. Vernon Hills forced seven Fox Lake Grant turnovers in the 20-0 victory. Notre Dame recruit Davaris Daniels
scored on an 85-yard punt return. Vernon Hills, which has already clinched the North Suburban Prairie championship, has regular-season games remaining against Lake Forest and North Chicago.
* Simeon (Chicago)
quarterback Robert Gregory
passed 60 yards for a touchdown and ran 50 yards for a score, with both plays coming in the first quarter of a 55-6 win over Lincoln Park. None of Simeon’s starters played after the first quarter as the Wolverines won their seventh straight.
* Mount Carmel (Chicago)
quarterback Chris Sujka, an Indiana University baseball recruit, ran for two touchdowns and passed for two more, all in the first half of a 42-7 Chicago Catholic League Blue win over Brother Rice.
* Thornton (Harvey)
running back Damien Bell rushed for 250 yards and two touchdowns in a 32-27 Southwest Suburban Red win over Lincoln-Way West. However, the game-winning play came on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Charles Knowles to Jamel Frazier with 10 seconds left.3 TO WATCH …* Hubbard (Chicago) (7-0) vs. Morgan Park (Chicago) (6-1) at Gately Stadium, 7 p.m. Friday:
In their final regular-season game, these two teams meet for the Chicago Illini Prairie State championship. Both are 4-0 in league play. Junior quarterback Quinten Skanes
leads Hubbard, but the Greyhounds will have their hands full with Morgan Park, which has scored 128 points in its last two games.* Sycamore (7-0) at Kaneland (Maple Park) (7-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday:
These Class 5A unbeatens meet in a showdown for the Northern Illinois Big 12 East title. Both are 3-0 in league play. Kaneland has scored a league-high 299 points and given up a league-low 75.* Chicago Public League boys soccer final, Kelly (Chicago) (14-5-2) vs. Washington (Chicago) (15-0-2) at North Park University, 7 p.m. Friday:
Kelly is in the Public League final for the third time in four years after goals by Oscar Rios and Jose Herrera in the Trojans’ 2-0 win over Farragut in the semifinals. Washington, a 1-0 winner over Juarez in the semifinals, is playing in its first final.STORYLINES AROUND CHICAGOLAND:
* Kapri Bibbs
' rushing record didn’t last long. Less than two weeks after the Plainfield North
running back’s 520-yard, seven-touchdown performance grabbed national headlines for breaking a state record, the IHSAA discovered it wasn’t a state record after all. In 1996, DeAndre Hooper of Austin High School, a Chicago Public League school on the city’s west side, rushed for 593 yards against Near North High School. Matt Troha, an assistant executive director with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), said the original mistake was an oversight. Hooper’s record had been listed in the National Federation of State High School Association’s record book, but not in IHSA’s record book. In the meantime, the numbers keep going up for Bibbs. He rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns last week in a 35-34 overtime loss to Minooka, pushing his season total to 1,887 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns.
* Neuqua Valley (Naperville)
, the top team in soccer-rich DuPage County in Chicago’s western suburbs, was among the No. 1 seeds named in the Illinois Class 3A boys soccer tournament. Defending Class 3A champion LaGrange Lyons is the No. 2 seed in the Summit Argo Sectional, behind Berwyn-Cicero Morton. Lyons will begin its title defense Tuesday at St. Ignatius College Prep, when it meets Chicago Kennedy or Farragut in the second round of regional play. Neuqua Valley will play Plainfield North or Aurora Waubonsie Valley on Tuesday in a regional that it is hosting. The 3A finals are Nov. 6 in Naperville.
* Catholic Academy (Joliet)
boys’ basketball coach Jeremy Izzo, a former student manager and graduate assistant with the University of Illinois men’s basketball program, died Oct. 8. A former high school player who had to give up the game due to a heart condition, Izzo had only been head coach at Joliet Catholic since 2009. “Jeremy was a great guy. He was a man of character,” Joliet Catholic High School Principal Jeffrey Budz told the Sun-Times News Group.Paul Bowker, an online and newspaper sports journalist for 25 years and the author of two Major League Baseball books, covers the Chicago area for MaxPreps. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.