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Week 8 Prep Football Capsules

Plainfield South's (3) Tod Bell touchdown catch against Plainfield East on Friday, October 05, 2018 at Plainfield East High School, Plainfield, Ill. Plainfield South won 41 to 7.
Plainfield South's (3) Tod Bell touchdown catch against Plainfield East on Friday, October 05, 2018 at Plainfield East High School, Plainfield, Ill. Plainfield South won 41 to 7.

Lincoln-Way East (7-0)

at Thornwood (1-6)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Thursday

Last season: Lincoln-Way East 49, Thornwood 6

The skinny: Lincoln-Way East has been a dominant force this season and shouldn’t have any problem cruising past a Thornwood team that has given up points in bunches. The Griffins have a dizzying array of offensive weapons both running the football and putting the ball in the air. Led by quarterback Jack Baltz, defenses have no idea what to key on at any given moment. Defensively, it could be argued Lincoln-Way East might be even better, which isn’t a good sign for the T-Birds, who have struggled to score points against teams wildly inferior to what the Griffins possess.

Pick: Lincoln-Way East

Joliet Catholic (4-3) at Nazareth (6-1)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Nazareth 28, Joliet Catholic 6

The skinny: It is officially go time for Joliet Catholic, which needs at least one win to get itself playoff eligible and has to do so against a pair of teams that are 6-1 on the season (Niles Notre Dame is the Week 9 opponent). Nazareth still is regarded as one of the state’s most promising teams to make a run at the Class 7A title, even after last week’s loss to Marist. Joliet Catholic’s hopes for a win here rest entirely in the hands of a running game that was explosive last week in a win over outmanned Marian Catholic and the secondary’s ability to somehow slow down Nazareth’s outstanding sophomore quarterback J.J. McCarthy.

The pick: Nazareth

Joliet Central (2-5) at Oswego (7-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Oswego 42, Joliet Central 14

The skinny: Oswego continues to roll along as the unquestioned dominant team in the Southwest Prairie. The Panthers flexed that muscle by overwhelming the only other previously undefeated team, Oswego East, in Week 7. Joliet Central has made significant strides this season toward competitiveness, but the three-headed offensive monster of Oswego quarterback Noah Parker, running back Charles Coleman and receiver Jamal Fomby likely will be too much for the Steelmen defense to rein in.

The pick: Oswego

Minooka (5-2) at Joliet West (3-4)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Minooka 31, Joliet West 7

The skinny: Both of these teams are riding winning streaks as Minooka ran its streak of success to five with an easy win over Romeoville on Friday, while Joliet West picked up its third straight victory with a win over Plainfield Central. As far as the playoffs go, the win is much more signficant to Joliet West as a loss would give it five losses and effectively eliminate it from playoff consideration. Either way it goes, it has been a nice bounce back for the Tigers, who started the season 0-4. This is not to say Minooka isn’t playing for anything, the Indians are playing to improve their seed, and if they run the table could secure an opening round playoff game.

The pick: Minooka

Plainfield East (2-5) at Romeoville (0-7)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Romeoville 14, Plainfield East 12

The skinny: The recent stretch of schedule hasn’t been kind to either of these teams, as Plainfield East acquired its two victories in the first three weeks of the season and is mired in a four-game losing streak, while Romeoville hasn’t been exceptionally close to putting a check in the win column all season. Plainfield East has had a few moments, but hasn’t been able to sustain them for any significant length of time.

The pick: Plainfield East

Plainfield South (6-1)

at Plainfield North (3-4)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Plainfield North 31, Plainfield South 10

The skinny: Plainfield South sewed up a playoff berth with plenty of room to spare and also might have found a solution to another issue with the offensive emergence of Tod Bell in last week’s win over Plainfield East. Bell scored five touchdowns in the game, which could help the offense close the gap between it and the Cougars’ outstanding defense. Plainfield North’s playoff hopes rest entirely on its ability to run the table. The Tigers will have their hands full getting that done, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

The pick: Plainfield South

Montini (7-0) at Providence (5-2)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last season: Did not play

The skinny: The fourth in a string of games where the opposition has combined for a 25-3 record. The Celtics will need to get on track quickly after taking a forfeit loss to Mount Carmel in Week 7. The only positive that can be taken from that experience is it might give the Celtics a chance to get a bit healthier with the week off. They will need to come in strong against a Montini team that had its fourth shutout of the season in a win over Fenwick in Week 7. The Broncos have allowed only 43 points all season.

The pick: Montini

Thornton (4-3) at Bolingbrook (6-1)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Bolingbrook 22, Thornton 6

The skinny: The Raiders seem to have recovered from their loss to Homewood-Flossmoor early in the season. Bolingbrook’s running game has proved to be more than viable, while the defense has been rock solid almost the entire season. They will battle a Thornton team that is in a bit of a scramble mode trying to get the fifth win it needs to earn playoff qualification status. If they don’t get it here, the Week 9 matchup with Lincoln-Way Central will be a win-to-stay-alive scenario for Thornton.

The pick: Bolingbrook

Lincoln-Way Central (5-2)

at Sandburg (3-4)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last season: Lincoln-Way Central 42, Sandburg 0

The skinny: The Knights pulled off a solid all-around win over Champaign Centennial in Week 7. The challenge gets a little sterner this week with Sandburg, a team that still is trying to hang on to its playoff aspirations. But Sandburg has to find a way to slow down a Lincoln-Way Central offense that uses a number of running backs, led by Justin Ellis, to wear down the opposition.

The pick: Lincoln-Way Central

Lincoln-Way West (5-2) at Stagg (2-5)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last season: Lincoln-Way West 38, Stagg 14

The skinny: The Warriors ground out a victory against a solid Thornton team, leaning on its defense and the running combo of Caleb Marconi and Donte Barber to carry the offense. They likely will try to follow the same blueprint against Stagg, a team that has struggled defensivly. Lincoln-Way West still is trying to keep itself in the mix for an opening-round home playoff game, and a win would help keep those hopes intact.

The pick: Lincoln-Way West

Lockport (0-7) at

Peoria Notre Dame (4-3)

Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. Saturday

Last season: Did not play

The skinny: The Porters continue to scuffle their way through the season, as Lincoln-Way East was far too much for them to handle in Week 7. An odd nonconference matchup with Peoria Notre Dame awaits them, and the Irish are a difficult team to read. They have scored points in bunches at times, but also have surrendered them in bunches. Lockport has shown flashes this season against opponents closer to its level, and despite the difference in record, Lockport might be able to hang in there in this game.

The pick: Peoria Notre Dame

T.F. South (6-1) at Lemont (3-4)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Lemont 54, T.F. North 22

The skinny: Despite a significant disparity in the records of these teams, there are plenty of reasons to believe that the Indians can get their record back to .500 and keep their playoff hopes alive. The two teams have five common opponents, and in all five of those games the margin of victory, or in one case defeat, all favor Lemont. The Indians’ defense has been pretty strong in most of its games and will be leaned upon to carry the day here once again.

The pick: Lemont

Morris (3-4) at Kaneland (5-2)

Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. Friday

Last season: Kaneland 20, Morris 14

The skinny: Morris officially has painted itself into a corner in regards to the playoffs. The Redskins must win out to get into the field, but to do that they’ll have to figure out a way to beat a good Kaneland team on the road. Morris certainly is good enough to be a playoff team, but a brutal nonconference schedule where the three teams they played are a combined 17-4 followed by a Northern Illinois Big 12 East schedule that could be easily classified as powerful might have been too much.

The pick: Kaneland

Coal City (6-1) at Reed-Custer (2-5)

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last season: Coal City 40, Reed-Custer 0

The skinny: Coal City looks like a viable team to make a run in the Class 4A playoffs now that it finally seems to be getting healthy. The Coalers have been anchored by a strong defense all season, but now that they are developing a potent 1-2 punch in the backfield with Daniel Jezik and Connor Skubic they are becoming a team that looks like a tough out. Reed-Custer’s progress despite just a 2-5 record shouldn’t be ignored. The Comets have given nearly every opponent they have had this year a much better battle than previous incarnations of the team.

The pick: Coal City

Manteno (1-6) at Peotone (3-4)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Peotone 41, Manteno 13

The skinny: The Blue Devils put themselves behind the 8-ball in playoff pursuits with a close loss to Herscher. Peotone’s close but no cigar season continued as three of its losses have come by a total of six points. Peotone needs to win out to remain playoff eligible but if it manages to do so it does have an issue with playoff points as nonconference opponents have only supplied two points to their cause. Peotone’s quest to get back to the .500 mark must come at the hands of Manteno as the “Battle for Route 50” is one that is fierce in nature.

The pick: Peotone

Streator (2-5) at Wilmington (4-3)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Did not play

The skinny: Wilmington seems to have gotten things back on the tracks, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. The Wildcats have posted giant numbers on that side of the ball in back-to-back wins over Herscher and Reed-Custer which should set them up well for the stretch drive. But the Wildcats would be well served to not look past Streator. Although it is 2-5, they’ve been very competitive in the majority of its games.

The pick: Wilmington

Hoopeston (2-5) at Dwight (4-3)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Dwight 34, Hoopeston 8

The skinny: Dwight is still in position to earn a playoff slot but will likely need six wins to get an at-large berth. To do that, it will not only need to topple the Cornjerkers in Week 8, but will need to deal with a solid 5-2 Paxton team to close the season. Logan Graham has been an absolute beast for Dwight over the past few weeks and that trend should continue against a Hoopeston team that struggles defensively.

The pick: Dwight

Momence (1-6) at Seneca (3-4)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Last season: Did not play

The skinny: Seneca’s playoff hopes took a devastating hit with a last-minute loss to Watseka in Week 7. The opportunity presents itself for Seneca to get back to the .500 mark against a Momence team that has really struggled to put things together despite the presence of a strong quarterback in Kobey Mazur. If Seneca can get past Momence, they will have to lock horns with a Bismarck-Henning team, currently 6-1, to try to get to the five-win plateau to qualify.

The pick: Seneca