Simeon (9-2) at St. Laurence (7-5)
Nov. 29, 1 p.m.
The annual Prep Bowl matchup will feature a change. Instead of playing at Gately Stadium each year, the site of the Chicago Catholic League (CCL) versus Chicago Public League matchup will rotate between CCL/East Suburban Catholic Conference and Chicago Public Schools teams.
First up will be St. Laurence hosting a tough Wolverines squad fresh off a win over rival Morgan Park. Simeon running back Chau Smith rushed for 209 yards and 2 touchdowns.
For the Vikings, junior running back Nate Thomas continues to show why he’s one of the best running backs in the state, rushing for 228 yards and 3 TD in the CCL championship game over De La Salle.
St. Laurence is seeking its first Prep Bowl title since 1978.
St. Rita (10-3) vs. Rochester (12-1)
Nov. 30, 10 a.m.
(5A state title game)
Chasing the program’s first state championship since 2006, St. Rita heads to DeKalb to face a Rochester squad that has won seven of the last nine Class 4A state titles. The Rockets bumped up to Class 5A this season.
Sophomore running back Kaleb Brown has been a force for St. Rita, piling up a staggering 1,947 yards and 28 rushing touchdowns. Rochester has given up an average of 25 points a game, so there is potential for Brown and the offense to do some damage.
St. Rita’s “Nobody Defense” will be challenged by Rochester QB Clay Bruno (3,028 passing yards, 39 TD), RB Jacob DuRocher (1,725 rushing yards, 23 TD) and WR Hank Beatty (1,621 receiving yards, 21 TD).
Nazareth Academy (13-0) vs. Mt. Carmel (13-0)
Nov. 30, 4 p.m.
(Class 7A state title game)
This is the matchup football fans were hoping would develop for the 7A bracket.
Junior quarterback J.J. McCarthy, a Michigan recruit, powers a high-flying Roadrunners attack that has averaged almost 37 points per game and has scored at least 38 points in all four of its playoff games.
A ball-hawking Caravan defense must deliver a strong performance to limit Nazareth.
Justin Lynch, Kenenna Odeluga and a solid offensive line just keep making plays on offense. The Mt. Carmel offense hasn’t been flashy, but it’s consistently gotten the job done all year.
Simeon at St. Laurence, 1 p.m.
Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium in DeKalb
Mascoutah/Rochester vs. St. Rita, 10 a.m.
Nazareth Academy vs. Mt. Carmel, 4 p.m.
Tim O’Brien’s Picks:
Record to Date: 99-18
Kyle Garmes’ Picks:
Record to Date: 100-17