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Week 6 Prep Football Capsules

Lincoln-Way Central defensive back Ian Troester intercepts a pass for Lincoln-Way East's Chase Anderson on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, Ill. The Knights fell to the Griffins, 38-0.
Lincoln-Way Central defensive back Ian Troester intercepts a pass for Lincoln-Way East's Chase Anderson on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, Ill. The Knights fell to the Griffins, 38-0.

Benet (3-2) at Joliet Catholic (3-2)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Marist 42, Joliet Catholic 14

The skinny: It seems odd to be calling this a must win for Joliet Catholic’s playoff hopes, but it is pretty close. Of the Hilltoppers’ remaining four games, three are against pretty strong opponents, including a date against Class 7A’s No. 2 ranked team, Nazareth, in Week 8. Joliet Catholic needs to win at least one of those games to ensure a playoff berth, and Benet looks like the best chance after scoring only one touchdown in each of their past two games (both losses).

The pick: Joliet Catholic

Joliet Central (2-3) at
Plainfield South (4-1)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Plainfield South 42, Joliet Central 0

The skinny: Joliet Central already is in rarified air after picking up its second win of the season last week against Plainfield Central. The Steelmen have only won two games one other time since splitting into two schools from Joliet Township in 2010. Plainfield South took its lumps in its first loss of the season to Oswego East, but only needs one more win to secure a place in the postseason.

The pick: Plainfield South

Minooka (3-2) at Plainfield Central (1-4)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Minooka 27, Plainfield Central 0

The skinny: After losing its first two games of the season, Minooka has regrouped nicely and now appears well positioned to make a repeat appearance in the postseason. Last week’s win over Plainfield North was pivotal in that cause, and the recent surge of running back Noah Ellens gives the team an offensive anchor moving forward. Things have slipped a bit for Plainfield Central, particularly on offense as the Wildcats have scored only
39 points through five games.

The pick: Minooka

Oswego (5-0) at Romeoville (0-5)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Oswego 43, Romeoville 6

The skinny: Oswego is playing as well as ever right now, and it is reasonable to hope that the Panthers simply show some mercy in this one. Romeoville has struggled this season, particularly on offense, and they and Oswego are on entirely different levels right now.

The pick: Oswego

Oswego East (5-0) at
Plainfield North (2-3)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Oswego East 7, Plainfield North 6

The skinny: Plainfield North has begun to paint itself into a bit of a corner in regards to the playoffs and will need a big effort in this game to keep them from the playoff danger zone. In order to do that, they will have to deal with an Oswego East defense that has been incredibly stingy giving up points. A loss would require Plainfield North to win the rest of its games just to reach the minimum standard.

The pick: Oswego East

Plainfield East (2-3) at Joliet West (1-4)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Joliet West 44, Plainfield East 22

The skinny: Plainfield East was progressing nicely through the first three weeks of the season, but the Bengals have gotten off track in the past two weeks having been outscored, 73-14, in a pair of losses. Any chance of earning a playoff berth needs to come with a win against the Tigers, who played well in their first win of the season against Romeoville in Week 5. Joliet West would like to piece together a run of five straight wins to earn a playoff berth after starting 0-4, and while that seems improbable, the Tigers have shown signs of capabilities better than their current record.

The pick: Joliet West

Hope Academy (4-1) at Providence Catholic (4-1)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last season: Providence Catholic 56, Hope Academy 14

The skinny: Hope Academy has an impressive season going for a Class 2A team and earned a feather in its cap with a win over St. Laurence in Week 5. Providence also beat St. Laurence earlier this season and more convincingly, but the Celtics had better be careful to not overlook Hope, who has some interesting weapons despite not nearly as much depth. Providence’s schedule gets more difficult following this week, so it would be best served by locking up win No. 5 this week.

The pick: Providence Catholic

Bolingbrook (4-1) at Lockport (0-5)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Bolingbrook 42, Lockport 21

The skinny: Bolingbrook spread the offense around to get back on track with a win over Bradley-Bourbonnais in Week 5 and will look to continue that trend. The Raiders can clinch a playoff berth with a Week 6 win, and while other opportunities remain on their schedule, they’d prefer to lock it up now. Lockport has shown continued signs of improvement, but still haven’t been rewarded for it with a victory. It will be an uphill climb for the Porters here as well.

The pick: Bolingbrook

Homewood-Flossmoor (5-0)
at Lincoln-Way East (5-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Lincoln-Way East 29, Homewood-Flossmoor 7

The skinny: Lincoln-Way East looks every bit the top team in the state right now. The defense had its third straight shutout for the first time in program history. The offense was further bolstered by the return of A.J. Henning. But the defense will be taxed to try to turn in a fourth straight shutout against a very good offense from Homewood-Flossmoor led by running back Leon Tanna. Slowing Lincoln-Way East’s offensive attack is something no one really has done this season, but H-F has the capability to shut down top flight offensive units. This truly is a battle of two elite teams.

The pick: Lincoln-Way East

Lincoln-Way West (3-2)
at Sandburg (2-3)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Lincoln-Way West 27, Sandburg 13

The skinny: Lincoln-Way West traded blows with highly touted Homewood-Flossmoor for three quarters before letting the game get away from them in the second half. That’s a good sign for the Warriors despite the loss, as odds are they won’t face a team as good over the remainder of the season. Sandburg got off to a good start at 2-0, but things quickly have gone off the rails with three straight losses where it has only managed 14 points.

The pick: Lincoln-Way West

Stagg (2-3) at Lincoln-Way Central (3-2)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last season: Lincoln-Way Central 57, Stagg 14

The skinny: Things simply did not go well for Lincoln-Way Central against the state’s premier team, Lincoln-Way East. But if we’ve learned anything about the Knights it is that they usually respond well to character building exercises. The Knights also dropped their opener to an excellent Richards team and then responded with a solid effort in beating a good Lincoln-Way West team. That doesn’t bode well for Stagg, which currently is riding a two-game winning streak, but did so against bottom tier conference opponents.

The pick: Lincoln-Way Central

Morris (3-2) at DeKalb (4-1)

Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. Friday

Last season: Morris 19, DeKalb 10

The skinny: Life is rough for members of the Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division this season. Morris, which dropped its first conference game of the season to Yorkville, has to get at least one win in its final three conference games to make the playoffs. Simply put, that’s not going to be a cakewalk. It starts here with a DeKalb team that will be chomping at the bit after a one-point loss at the hands of Kaneland, another team Morris will challenge in Week 5. Every one of the five teams in the league is capable of beating the other on a given night.

The pick: DeKalb

Bremen (2-3) at Lemont (2-3)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Lemont 42, Bremen 0

The skinny: You’d be hard pressed to come up with the last time Lemont was below .500 in the middle of the season, but here we are. Fortunately, the schedule softens considerably in the second half of the season (other than a Week 7 against Richards), and Lemont should be able to get itself on a bit of a roll. Bremen likely won’t provide much resistance. One of the two Braves victories was by forfeit.

The pick: Lemont

Coal City (4-1) at Sandwich (3-2)

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last season: Coal CIty 27, Sandwich 20

The skinny: The Coalers have been heavily reliant on a strong defensive this season and there’s little reason for that to change. However, the reliance might become more necessary if an injury that sidelined quarterback Payton Hutchings early in a Week 5 win over Plano proves to be serious. The Coalers do have a bruising running game that could offset some of that absence if required.

The pick: Coal City

Herscher (3-2) at Wilmington (2-3)

Kickoff: 6 p.m. Friday

Last season: Did not play

The skinny: The Wildcats haven’t been below the .500 mark through five games of the season since 1995. That’s a testament to the stability of the Wildcats, but it has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride this season. Odds are the Wildcats will right the ship enough to get themselves into the playoffs, but this matchup is a pivotal one towards that quest. Herscher, too, has had its ups and downs after romping through the nonconference schedule. Interstate Eight opponents have proven to be much tougher.

The pick: Wilmington

Plano (2-3) at Peotone (3-2)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Did not play

The skinny: The Peotone hopes to break the pattern of a win followed by a loss that they have carried through the first five weeks of the season. Last week’s win over Wilmington was a big one for the program, as the Blue Devils hadn’t toppled the Wildcats since 2001. But the gains from that win would be washed away with a misstep here against a Plano team that has steadily been improving after a rough start to the season. Even so, Peotone appears to have momentum on its side with a eye towards bigger things.

The pick: Peotone

Reed-Custer (2-3) at Lisle (5-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Lisle 28, Reed-Custer 6

The skinny: Reed-Custer already has made some tremendous strides this season, one of which was beating a Manteno team it had not defeated since 2009. But this might be too large of a step to expect the Comets to make. Lisle is having one of its better seasons in recent memory and has its eyes on running the table after beating long-time nemesis Wilmington earlier in the season and edging out Peotone a week later.

The pick: Lisle

Dwight (2-3) at Momence (1-4)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Momence 43, Dwight 10

The skinny: The Trojans picked up a much-needed win over Watseka to revive their playoff hopes on the season. In order to keep the momentum going, Dwight will have to figure out a way to get past a Momence team that has given it a lot of trouble in previous seasons. Fortunately for Dwight, Momence really has struggled to put things together this season despite the presence of a strong-armed quarterback in Kobey Mazur and University of Minnesota recruit Jason Bargy.

The pick: Dwight

Seneca (2-3) at Iroquois West (0-5)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Did not play

The skinny: Seneca’s last two losses in Sangamon Valley Conference play were a bit disappointing, but the schedule lines up relatively well for the Fighting Irish over the next few games to make a run at a playoff slot. First up is Iroquois West, a team that has struggled mightily to stay competitive in most of its games this season. Seneca’s ground game led by Logan Bruss should be enough to get them through here.

The pick: Seneca