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POWER RANKINGS: Shuffling the deck

October 3, 2018

Friday was one of the most unpredictable weeks I ever have seen covering high school football.

But that’s the beauty of the beast. It creates more chaos, and, quite frankly, it’s thoroughly enjoyable.

Six teams are 3-3, two teams are knocking on the door with 5-1 marks, and one more can inch closer this week.

Prepare yourselves for total anarchy. Here are this week’s Power Rankings:

1. Bishop McNamara (5-1)

Last Week: No. 1

Tyshon King ran for more than 100 yards and three more touchdowns and didn’t play in the second half. That’s the third time that’s happened this season. The Irish are an offensive bulldozer who are playoff bound. Stay healthy — that’s all they have to do now.

2. Coal City (5-1)

Last Week: No. 2

Coal City is near full strength once again, and it showed with a shutout against Sandwich. Asa Cooper was a one-man wrecking crew offensively and defensively, and Connor Skubic was worked by into the rotation. The Coalers can’t overlook Manteno, which has nothing to lose.

3. Peotone (3-3)

Last Week: No. 3

Although Peotone got annihilated by Plano, it stays put at No. 3 because of head-to-head victories. The running game went M.I.A., and the Blue Devils failed to sustain momentum after their win against Wilmington. Friday at Herscher is a must win.

4. Wilmington (3-3)

Last Week: No. 7

I can’t move Wilmington above Peotone for now because of the head-to-head loss. But Conner Dempsay looked like his usual self, as did Wilmington, putting up 63 on Herscher. It might need 63 more points to beat Reed-Custer, which is very desperate for a win to stay alive in the playoff chase.

5. Herscher (3-3)

Last Week: No. 5

Friday was a major step backward. The Tigers’ defense gave up more than 500 rushing yards and simply were overmatched and outpowered by Wilmington. Another tough test heads their way with Peotone. Both teams, at 3-3, need this win. You won’t want to miss this one.

6. Central (4-2)

Last Week: No. 8

Man, oh man, is Central’s offense explosive. This isn’t your ground-and-pound team; this is a Big 12 air-raid type of offense, and it’s exciting to watch. That’s now four in a row, and now the Comets have a chance to potentially clinch the SVC this week at P-B-L.

7. Bradley-Bourbonnais (2-4)

Last Week: No. 5

The Boilers did not see this one coming. Metea Valley has scored only 36 points all season but found away to put up 28 and put a huge damper of the Boilers’ playoff aspirations. Now with Homewood-Flossmoor coming to town, it’s all or nothing.

8. Reed-Custer (2-4)

Last week: No. 9

The Comets were so close to pulling out the biggest win in program history probably in the past 10 years. They led late against Lisle but couldn’t get over the hump, putting their playoff hopes on life support. They will have a tough test stopping Wilmington’s running attack.

9. Watseka (3-3)

Last Week: No. 6

Watseka scored first and scored last. Problem was it didn’t score in between while Central dropped 46 on the Warriors. Back to the drawing board after back-to-back losses. They hit the road against a run-heavy Seneca team, and I hope they figure it out.

10. Dwight (3-3)

Last Week: No. 11

Dwight moves up a spot this week after escaping with a victory against Momence. Three wins is something Dwight only has seen once in the past eight seasons, so progress is being made. They will look to make it three-straight against Iroquois West.

11. Milford-Cissna Park (3-1)

Last Week: No. 10

The Bearcats suffered their first loss across state lines to Newman Catholic. They were able to put up 34, which is impressive considering NC is the No. 1 team in the state of Wisconsin. The Bearcats look to rebound at home Friday against Alden-Hebron.

12. Kankakee (3-3)

Last Week: No. 12

Kankakee also stays put at No. 12 after a victory against Rich South. The Kays were in a similar situation last season at 3-3 and lost their final three games. They’ve been winless on the road so far. They have a Saturday afternoon game at Bloom; maybe an extra day of preparation makes the difference.

13. Manteno (1-5)

Last Week: No. 14

Playing spoiler worked out perfectly for Manteno, as Streator’s playoff hopes took a hit, and the Panthers earned their first win of the season. They will try to do it again, but Coal City is much tougher than Streator. And the game is at Coal City.

14. Momence (1-5)

Last Week: No. 13

I can’t blame Momence for going for the win instead of the tie and overtime. I like risk takers, and that’s exactly what the team was. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, so the Redskins drop a spot. They will hit the road this week at Georgetown-Ridge Farm.

15. Iroquois West (0-6)

Last Week: No. 15

The Raiders still are searching for that first win of the season. The running game with Nolan Ahlden seems to be there; the problem is there isn’t much else yet. They will try to spoil Dwight’s postseason hopes Friday.

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