POWER RANKINGS: Irish jump, Coal City still on top
The trifecta of football is officially back.
High school Friday, college Saturday and professional Sunday and Monday. Needless to say, all is right in my world once again.
A lot of teams hit the road this week, including two huge matchups (Bishop McNamara and Peotone), so this could be seen as a “prove-it” type of week in the area.
With that being said, here are this week’s Power Rankings:
1). Coal City (2-1)
Last Week: No. 1
Simply put, the Coalers are the most complete team in the area this year. One thing that is worrisome is standout back Connor Skubic leaving the game early and not returning. But on the other hand, it didn’t stop Payton Hutchings from elevating his game and throwing three touchdowns. Streator, good luck stopping this team.
2). Bishop McNamara (3-0)
Last Week: No. 4
The only reason Bishop McNamara isn’t No. 1 is because their strength of schedule so far can’t compare to Coal City’s at this point. However, that’s really about to change with a trip to Elmhurst looming for a date with defending state champion and now-conference foe IC Catholic. If the Irish pull this off, 3A has a huge problem on its hands.
3). Peotone (2-1)
Last Week: No. 3
The Blue Devils stay put at No. 3 this week after a nice win against Reed-Custer. A total team effort saw them run for more than 250 yards as a team and even pass for more than 120 yards. If that happens every week from here on out, they’ll run the table. Lisle presents a tough test this week as the I-8 small could be up for grabs.
4). Herscher (2-1)
Last Week: No. 2
The Tigers are working to solve their quarterback conundrum now that Carter Hendrix is back in the fold. They got quite the wake up call last week against Coal City. Things don’t get easier with a trip to Reed-Custer. The Comets are tricky, but because Nick Klein (Reed-Custer’s offensive coordinator) was theirs last season, they have an idea of what to prepare for.
5). Watseka (2-1)
Last Week: No. 7
Perhaps no players enjoyed a nice confidence boost as much as Anthony Quinn. The senior threw for more than 150 yards and three touchdowns, as the Warriors got back in the win column against Momence. Quinn could do more damage against an Oblong team that hasn’t scored in two weeks.
6). Bradley-Bourbonnais (2-1)
Last Week: No. 6
Although they lost, it was to Lincoln-Way West, so it’s understandable. Can’t fault them for falling to one of the seven best teams in Class 7A. Tremaine Stone continues to shine for the Boilers as a receiver and kick returner. His magic could be the difference against Andrew.
7). Wilmington (1-2)
Last Week: No. 5
Losing back-to-back games is something a Wilmington team hasn’t done in more than 20 years. But here we are. It feels weird to say, but Friday’s game seems like a must-win for the Wildcats — not just to get back in the win column but also for confidence purposes. There’s still a lot of football left to be played.
8). Milford-Cissna Park (2-0)
Last Week: No. 9
These Bearcats can score. A lot. The area’s highest scoring offense put up 58 points as they moved to 2-0 on the season. The Bearcats will stay at 2-0 this week, as they’re off and don’t play. I guess every machine needs to reset and reload.
9). Reed-Custer (1-2)
Last Week: No. 8
The Comets were tested and ultimately came back down to Earth after their loss to Peotone. However, there’s no shame in that. But things don’t get easier with another furious running attack coming at them with Herscher. However, Herscher did give up three passing touchdowns last week, so Josh Loomis’ arm could have a lot of work ahead.
10). Kankakee (1-2)
Last Week: No. 12
The Kays reverted back to some former habits, and it worked like a charm, as they completely bumrushed Ottawa on the ground to collect their first win. Maybe that’s the answer for the Kays, stick with the old system until it doesn’t work. Especially against a Crystal Lake Central team that hasn’t given up less than 40 in their games this season.
11). Central (1-2)
Last Week: No. 13
The young Comets finally got into the win column with a resounding beat down against Westville. They possess one of the best passing attacks in the area and a number of receivers, beginning with the Burrows — Canyon and Chandler. They could be in for another big week against Dwight.
12). Dwight (1-2)
Last Week: No. 11
Teams that execute one-dimensional gameplans typically don’t have much success, and that was the case for the Trojans. They attempted three passes, two of which were intercepted, and mustered just more than 200 yards of total offense. That won’t be good enough against Central. They have to mix things up a little bit.
13). Manteno (0-3)
Last Week: No. 10
The Panthers continue being so close to victory, but the inability to finish and their turnover tendencies have been their plague. They have shown that, despite not having Shane Warren, they still are capable of staying in games. With a trip to Plano upcoming, if they can cut down the turnovers, victory could be imminent.
14). Momence (0-3)
Last Week: No. 14
Momence can’t seem to get past 14 points. It seems as though that is the cutoff point, no matter what tricks the team tries. Maybe a visit to Iroquois West is what it needs just to get itself going this late into the season. At least someone will get their first win of the season.
15). Iroquois West (0-3)
Last Week: No. 15
Back-to-back weeks of being shutout was not what the Raiders needed. Those early signs of optimism are fading more and more by the possession with no sign of anything turning around. While the run defense has been gashed, the pass defense likely will be tested by Mazur and company.