High school football: Week 9’s top games

No. 1 Mount Carmel at No. 2 Loyola, 1:30 p.m. Saturday

The most anticipated game of the season kicks off just hours before the IHSA playoff pairings are revealed, and it will have major seeding implications. Both teams are 8-0 overall, 2-0 in the CCL/ESCC Blue and have steamrolled opponents all year; the only one-score win for either was Mount Carmel’s 28-21 road victory at Brother Rice in Week 6. Both have savvy senior quarterbacks: Mount Carmel’s Blainey Dowling and Loyola’s Jake Stearney, a Holy Cross recruit. Among the other playmakers: running back Darrion Dupree and defensive linemen Asher Tomaszewski and Danny Novickas of Mount Carmel; defensive lineman Brooks Bahr and tight end Jack Parker of Loyola.

No. 14 Crete-Monee at No. 19 Kankakee, 6 p.m. Friday

The Southland title is at stake in this meeting of two teams that are rolling into the playoffs. Crete (6-2, 5-0) has won six straight after opening losses to Lincoln-Way East and defending Indiana Class 2A champ Andrean, while Kankakee (7-1, 5-0) is averaging 45 points a game since losing 2-0 to Nazareth in Week 1. Crete is paced by a pair of multitalented Mid-American Conference recruits: Josh Franklin (Western Michigan) and Lynel Billups-Williams (Miami, Ohio). Four-star Kankakee cornerback Jyaire Hill, the state’s top uncommitted senior, is No. 3 in Illinois and 202nd nationally in the 247Sports composite rankings.

No. 16 St. Charles North at No. 18 Batavia, 7 p.m. Friday

St. Charles North (7-1, 6-0) is looking to win the DuKane outright, while Batavia (6-2, 5-1) is seeking a share of the title with the North Stars and possibly Wheaton North (7-1, 5-1). Drew Surges, who has a couple service academy offers, is a productive two-way player for North with 681 total yards and 70 tackles. Batavia’s defense, led by Power Five linebackers Tyler Jansey (Wisconsin) and Jack Sadowsky (Iowa State), has allowed just 27 points during a five-game winning streak.

No. 10 Marist at No. 23 Brother Rice, 7 p.m. Friday

The Pulaski Road Super Bowl is for playoff seeding as well as bragging rights, with both teams heading in at 5-3 overall, 0-2 in the CCL/ESCC Blue. Converted receiver Dermot Smyth has 1,352 passing yards and a 104.9 quarterback rating for Marist, while Iowa-bound defensive back John Nestor (41 tackles, two interceptions) and lineman Jamel Howard (Wisconsin) lead the defense. Ricealso has a defensive lineman committed to Wisconsin: Roderick Pierce III.

No. 24 St. Francis at IC Catholic, 7:15 p.m. Friday

It’s the unofficial Metro Suburban title game, matching Red champ St. Francis (8-0) and Blue winner IC Catholic (7-1). Two-way lineman TJ McMillen, an Illinois recruit, sets the tone for St. Francis, which is outscoring opponents by an average of 47-9. Versatile junior KJ Parker, who has Iowa and Wisconsin offers, paces IC, whose loss was a one-pointer to Joliet Catholic.

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