Patch sports reporter Ross Jacobson ranks the North Shore’s best football teams.
Two teams – Niles North and Niles West -- were eliminated from playoff contention in Week 7, but victories from a handful of teams created a logjam of teams that continue to be on the playoff hot seat. New Trier, Evanston, Deerfield and Highland Park all sit at 4-3 while Glenbrook North is 3-4. All five of them will at least one opportunity to play against another North Shore playoff contender in the final two weeks. Patch’s top three teams continue to roll as none of them were significantly challenged on their way to 7-0 records.
is in parentheses.
WEEK 8 RANKINGS
1. (1) – The Hawks were firing on all cylinders against Evanston in a 48-7 victory. Maine South was buoyed by big plays, creating two turnovers on interceptions while Paul Preston ran back his second kickoff for a touchdown this season.
2. Loyola Academy (2) – After a sloppy start, Loyola cruised past Fenwick for a 47-7 victory. Malcolm Weaver had four touchdowns passes, but only completed 15 of 29 throws. The Ramblers get a big test on the road against Brother Rice next week.
3. (3) – North Shore’s defense did its best Chicago Bears imitation, limiting Hope Academy in the red zone and helping pull out a 33-14 win. The Raiders will almost certainly get a playoff home game now, but they are looking for that elusive Northeast Athletic championship first.
4. (4) – The Titans celebrated coach Mike Noll’s 200th win with an all-around effort that resulted in a 56-14 win over Waukegan. The defense created a number of turnovers and the Titans’ trio of running backs was too much to handle as Glenbrook South ensured itself a playoff spot at 6-1.
5. (5) – Make it four straight wins for Deerfield, which easily dispatched of Maine East in a 51-0 win. Against a weaker opponent, Deerfield put the game out of reach early on, scoring 45 points in the first half.
6. (6) – New Trier’s offense was shaky at the start against Niles West, . The Trevians held Niles West to one first down in the first half and Jack Nykaza played well, even without the support of starting RB Danny Olaniyan.
7. (9) – The Giant defense answered the call for Highland Park in a 6-0 victory over Niles North. Down to its third-string running back, Highland Park struggled on offense, but still managed to improve to 4-3 on the season and remain undefeated in the CSL North.
8. (7) – Much like their loss to Loyola Academy to begin the season, the Wildkits couldn’t hang with one of the state’s top teams. They face New Trier next week in a matchup of 4-3 teams looking to solidify their playoff hopes.
9. (8) – Glenbrook North struggled to put away a winless Maine West team in a 21-14 win. Without RB Grant Rushing, the Spartans relied on QB Curt Petty, who led the Spartans on a late drive in the fourth quarter for the win.
10. (10) – Niles North’s slim playoff hopes were vanquished in a tough loss to Highland Park. Niles North had a number of costly turnovers and penalties that prevented them from getting on the scoreboard, but the defense played well and slowed down Highland Park’s running game.
11. (12) – Maine West made it exciting, but couldn’t get its first win of the season against Glenbrook North. QB Jake Korbecki and RB John Manicke had good games for the Warriors and helped Maine West convert three fourth downs on its game-tying drive in the fourth quarter.
12. (11) – against New Trier’s defense. Jeremiah Jordan continues to prove that he is one of the best playmakers in the CSL with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and several electrifying runs.
(Covering the Patch communities of Skokie, Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka, Niles, Highland Park, Glenview, Deerfield, Morton Grove, Des Plaines and Northbrook.)