October 11, 2018

These rankings get tougher and tougher by the week, but that’s why I enjoy doing them.

We’re getting to the cream of the crop now, with just two weeks left in the regular season.

Some teams’ seasons are on life support, and others are one step closer to Week 10. Let’s sit back and watch this unfold.

Here are this week’s Power Rankings:

1. Bishop McNamara (6-1)

Last Week: No. 1

After a two-year absence, the Irish officially are back in the playoffs and ready to wreak havoc on whomever is in their way. But before the playoffs come, they still have business to finish. Aurora Central Catholic, as WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg says, “You’re next!”

2. Coal City (6-1)

Last Week: No. 2

Step 1: Have a winning record. Check. Step 2: Win the Interstate Eight Large division. Check. Step 3: Make the playoffs. Check. Now that that is out of the way, it’s onto Step 4, which is hosting a playoff game. The Coalers can inch one step closer by handling Reed-Custer on Friday.

3. Wilmington (4-3)

Last Week: No. 4

We’re all back to normal in Wilmington. The running game is back in full force, and the offensive line is becoming that solid unit fans have been accustomed to seeing. Now, the team must sustain that momentum with a hungry Streator team rolling into town.

4. Herscher (4-3)

Last Week: No. 4

This Herscher team is pretty Jekyll and Hyde, but it wins when it truly needs to. They stay put at No. 4 this week. Although the win against Peotone was impressive, the Tigers did lose to Wilmington. But back to winning when they need to: That applies again Friday against Plano.

5. Central (5-2)

Last Week: No. 6

I have to be honest: I didn’t have Central making the playoffs before the season started. Not because it wasn’t good but because of the unknown. Well, the Comets are well known now with a high-powered offense that looks unstoppable. My apologies, Central.

6). Peotone (3-4)

Last Week: No. 3

The Blue Devils had it, then didn’t have it; had it again and lost it again. They’re in dangerous territory of missing the playoffs, but the old cliché is there’s nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal. However, rival Manteno has nothing to lose. This could get ugly.

7). Dwight (4-3)

Last Week: No. 10

Can’t deny what Dwight has done during this season. It’s sitting with a winning record it hasn’t seen this decade and are looking stronger. Logan Graham has been running like a man possessed. Three straight wins could turn into four as they stay home for Hoopeston.

8). Watseka (4-3)

Last Week: No. 9

Watseka is playing a dangerous game right now, but at 4-3 it has to like where its sitting. At least for now it does. It showed character and grit by keeping its playoff hopes alive with a comeback win against Seneca. Now here comes another test in P-B-L.

9). Kankakee (4-3)

Last Week: No. 12

What a monster win for Kankakee on Saturday morning — a conference game on the road, and the Kays scored 44 points for the win. If nothing else, that’s the major confidence boost they needed, especially with a trip to Crete looming ahead.

10). Bradley-Bourbonnais (2-5)

Last Week: No. 7

The promising start for the Boilers couldn’t maintain a pulse, and they were eliminated from playoff contention. They can’t play spoiler with 1-6 Thornridge and 0-7 Lockport left, so rack up two wins and end on a high note.

11). Milford-Cissna Park (4-1)

Last Week: No. 11

The Bearcats stay put at No. 11 this week after a 44-point drubbing of Alden-Hebron. These guys really can play, and with only a handful of teams in 8-man, dare it be said a state title could be coming to Milford? It’s possible if this offense maintains.

12). Reed-Custer (2-5)

Last week: No. 8

Tough early lessons create strong foundations for later success, and that’s where Reed-Custer sits right now. Officially out of the playoffs, it still has chances to ruin some other teams’ goals, starting with Coal City. It won’t be easy, but anything is possible.

13). Manteno (1-6)

Last Week: No. 13

The Panthers knew they had a tough game ahead, and sure enough, Coal City was too much to handle. Although the season hasn’t panned out as they’ve hoped, all of that can be erased if they pull out a victory against rival Peotone.

14). Momence (1-6)

Last Week: No. 14

That role of playing spoiler isn’t looking so hot for the Redskins as their defense continues getting torn apart week after week. It doesn’t get any easier as it faces a run heavy attack in Seneca on the road.

15). Iroquois West (0-7)

Last Week: No. 15

Last week, the Raiders faced a run-heavy offense in Dwight and suffered one of their worse losses of the season. Now, they move ahead to face probably the best passing team in the area in Central. Not sure what the game plan is, but the secondary will get a lot of work.

Update hourly