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Edgy Tim's 5 games to watch breakdown

Edgy Tim

On High School Football

4:03 PM PDT, September 6, 2012

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Marist at Nazareth

When: 1:30 Saturday.

Records: Marist 2-0, Nazareth 2-0.

On the offensive

Senior QB Ian Woodworth has a deep and talented group of receivers, including D-I standout junior Nic Weishar. The RedHawks can run the ball, too, led by junior Peter Andreotti. Nazareth's backfield is its strength, led by seniors Rudy Romagnano and Josh Moore. Don't sleep on QB Jake Bartels in this East Suburban Catholic Conference opener.

On the defensive

Marist needs to continue the improvement it has shown this season if it wants to make a deep playoff run in a loaded 8A field. Junior DT Marcus Pitts (6-foot-2, 277 pounds) and senior DL Joshua Hickey (6-1, 255) need to help the line win in the trenches. Nazareth's best defense could be its running game.

The talk

The two tied for the conference crown last season, and both could be right at the top again this year. Winner gets a leg up in that race.

The number

169: Combined points scored this season by both teams.

Edgy's pick: Marist 42-27. Expect a track meet. Marist's offense finds a way to win.

Stevenson at Libertyville

When: 7:30 Friday.

Records: Stevenson 1-1, Libertyville 2-0.

On the offensive

Stevenson put up 27 points but couldn't get its running game going last week against Homewood-Flossmoor, and that is a concern. The Patriots are loaded with sophomore QB Willie Bourban, senior RB Anthony Bozin, sophomore WR/CB Cameron Green and junior WR/S Matt Morrissey. Libertyville has put up a ton of points but will face its toughest test yet. QB Jack Deichl and RB Connor Simpson are players to watch.

On the defensive

Stevenson had issues last week reading H-F's option, so I suspect it will shore up its run 'D' this week. Libertyville has a ton of experience, and will need it in this North Suburban Lake opener.

The talk

Libertyville might have one of its best teams in a while. A win this week would go a long way toward proving it. Stevenson is young but talented.

The number

0: Points Libertyville scored the last time these two met.

Edgy's pick

Stevenson 21-17. Stevenson needs to get its running game going.

Elk Grove at Palatine

When: 7 Friday.

Records: Elk Grove 2-0, Palatine 1-1.

On the offensive

Junior QB Adam O'Malley is off to a great start after Elk Grove won the Wheaton South 7-on-7 tourney. Keep an eye on senior WR/DB Kishan Patel and junior WR/DB Mike Bishoff on both sides of the ball. Palatine senior QB Ethan Olles has had a big season, and the Pirates have a deep group of skill players, including senior WR Alex Nawrot and a running backs corps that goes three deep.

On the defensive

Elk Grove has allowed six points. Senior DL/OL Dan Egan (6-3, 250) is the leader. Palatine gave up big points in a Week 1 overtime loss to Montini, but was much better last week, when a handful of starters returned against Buffalo Grove.

The talk

This has the makings of being the best of the Mid-Suburban crossovers this week. Both are expected to make the playoffs.

The number

747: Difference in enrollments between Elk Grove (2,004) and Palatine (2,751).

Edgy's pick: Palatine 28-27. Great matchup between two teams on the rise . Palatine has a distinct size advantage up front, but the Grens have speed.

Wheaton North at Naperville North

When: 7:30 Friday.

Records: Wheaton North 2-0, Naperville North 1-1.

On the offensive

Wheaton North has been putting up some points with its two-QB system of senior John Peltz and junior Clayton Thorson. Wheaton North will run the ball with senior Patrick Sharp. Naperville North's running game is punishing and its offensive line one of the best. Keep an eye on senior QB Johnny Brown and Iowa commit OG Colin Goebel.

On the defensive

Wheaton North has shut out Bartlett and held Geneva to a touchdown. Naperville North's played better last week in a 34-20 victory over Thornton, but will be tested in a big way this week.

The talk

Could this be the "Year of the Falcons" in the DuPage Valley? This will be the first of many tests.

The number

1,285: Pounds, combined, of Naperville North's starting offensive line.

Edgy's pick: Wheaton North 34-21. Too much offense from the Falcons in this DVC opener.

Mount Carmel at De La Salle

When: 7:30 Friday.

Records: Mount Carmel 2-0, De La Salle 2-0.

On the offensive

Senior QB Don Butkus triggers the belly option for the Caravan and is a threat to run or pass. RB Draco Smith (Northern Illinois) along with a deep group of offensive skill players will put the Meteors to the test. De La Salle also has put up big points, led by junior RB Mikale Wilbon and a big offensive line led by junior OT Jamarco Jones (6-5, 285). De La Salle junior QB Shelby Spence (could be a big factor in the Meteors' attack.

On the defensive

Watch out for Mount Carmel junior DT Enoch Smith Jr. (6-3, 285), senior LB D.J. Romero (Illinois State) and senior DB Vince Speller. De La Salle has allowed 13 points in two games, including a 34-0 shutout of Gordon Tech last week.

The talk

De La Salle is feeling good so far, but a win over the Caravan would be huge. This has trap game written all over it for Mount Carmel. Expect Frank Lenti to have his Caravan even more focused this week.

The number

5: Number of juniors in this game with scholarship offers.

Edgy's pick: Mount Carmel 27-24. I wouldn't be shocked to see De La Salle pull off an upset. Time of possession and finishing drives with points will be huge for both teams.