No. 2 T.F. South (3-0) at Reavis (0-3)
When: 7 p.m. today.
Breaking it down: The Rebels last started 4-0 in 2008 when they made the playoffs. Everything went right last week in a 35-14 win over T.F. North. RBs Kenny Jackson scored twice and Giovanni Canty added another. QB Kevin Hallberg is having a fine season and the offensive line did a nice job in opening holes last week. The key for South is to not have a letdown against a winlees team which would like nothing better than to upset a quality team in this South Suburban crossover game. Defensively, LB Rob Sterling has been a dominant force in terrorizing opposing running backs. The Rebels will need to come out early and take control of the game, much like they did against North last week. They should be able to run the ball. The Rams lost 28-20 to Argo last week and have been outscored 60-35 in three games. T.F. South has outscored its opponents 89-43. -- Mike Nieto
T.F. North (2-1, 0-1 SSC Blue) at Bremen (1-2, 0-1)
When: 7 p.m. today.
Breaking it down: Each team enters this contest licking its wounds, as both the Meteors and Braves got rudely introduced to South Suburban Blue football, 2010-style, last Friday. A huge step up from a competition standpoint forced T.F. North to take one step back accomplishment-wise as sister school T.F. South notched a convincing 35-14 win. Meteors coach Artie Rogers admitted the Rebels "kicked our tails," and the Lansingites did so partly by their willingness to gamble. The biggest risk was South running a fourth-down play from its own 25, but it converted and went on to score a touchdown. North's offense also stagnated -- RB Devonte Stevenson was held to 18 rushing yards after piling up 265 over the season's first two weeks. However, the Meteors may have found the perfect antidote to their troubles in Bremen, which is coming off a 36-13 shellacking at Tinley Park's hands. And it could have been worse -- the Titans blew a huge scoring opportunity on one series by fumbling inside the Braves' 5-yard line. One of Bremen's scores also resulted from a turnover and required a "drive" of less than 10 yards. The Braves' lone victory thus far came against a Chicago Public League charter school, while its other defeat was handed down by a so-so Rich Central club by 24 points. Clearly, this is a very winnable game for the locals. -- Ken Karrson
Thornwood (2-1, 0-1 SWSC) at Lincoln-Way North (3-0, 1-0)
When: 7 p.m. today.
Breaking it down: The Thunderbirds had a hard time stopping Thornridge last week, and might face the same fate this week against the Phoenix. The Thornwood offense was effective against the Falcons, with Raheem Gardner and Brandon Lloyd rushing for 87 and 83 yards respectively. QB Devonte Singleton passed for over a hundred yards and a touchdown. Head coach Wilbur Milhouse will need his young team to cut down on penalties (11 for 95 yards against Thornridge) in order to stay competitive against Lincoln-Way North. The Phoenix are 3-0, but their three opponents have a combined record of 1-8. North is the defending champion in the SWSC Red, but a 14-13 squeaker over still-winless Hillcrest could be a sign that the Phoenix are not as strong as last season. North isn't afraid to air it out, led by diminutive QB Jack Irace. His weapon of choice will be senior Nolan Gonciarczyk. Bo Benicac, Colin Hannigan and Tyler Willig provide a number of options for Irace that the T'Bird defense will have to be aware of. An upset victory for Milhouse's club in Frankfort would be the program's biggest win in the last nine years. -- Scott Ritter
Lincoln-Way Central (1-2, 1-0 SWSC Blue) at Homewood-Flossmoor (2-1, 1-0)
When: 7:30 p.m. today.
Breaking it down: The Vikings earned a tough victory last Friday when they fought their way past a dogged Sandburg club. RB Malik Norman was H-F's top offensive gun with 182 rushing yards and four TDs, and the Vikings' defense stood tall when it had to do so. DL Michael Anyiwo led the late stand, foiling an Eagles fourth-down play inside the H-F 15 with a tackle and then adding a sack during Sandburg's final possession of the evening. However, that prevenion unit wasn't without a few glitches -- the Eagles' three scoring marches each consisted of 14 plays and the visitors gained over 330 total yards. That still represented an improvement for H-F from the week before versus Evanston, but it's safe to say all is still not perfect. Fortunately for the Vikings, Lincoln-Way Central should pose less of a threat to their-being than did Sandburg. The Knights have been one of the southern suburbs' better football programs for years, but Lincoln-Way West gets some of the New Lenox-area talent these days, and the Warriors -- who defeated Crete-Monee in Week 2 -- have the superior record thus far. The Knights picked up a 41-12 win over Joliet Central last Friday, but any optimism should be tempered. The Steelmen hadn't collected a touchdown in their first two outings and they amassed over 200 offensive yards in the second half versus Lincoln-Way Central. -- Ken Karrson
St. Patrick (3-0, 1-0 ESCC) at Marian Catholic (2-1, 1-0)
When: 7:30 p.m. today.
Breaking it down: The Spartans are coming off a big East Suburban Catholic Conference-opening win at Benet Academy and are playing their first road game of the season. Byron Munoz blocked a PAT attempt, which turned out to be the difference. Jason Martinez blocked a punt and Cal Roque recovered it for a TD. The special teams have played well for Marian and that will be big tonight against the Shamrocks. These two teams have not met since 2007 when St. Patrick won 7-0, but the Spartans hold a 10-6 advantage in the series. The last time the two played in Chicago Heights, Marian won 40-21 in 2006. Marian's running game with Jeruel Taylor and Trevor Woolfolk has been strong. DB Brandon Woods had an interception last week. The Spartans have a rushing touchdown in each of their three games and six of their nine TDs have come on the ground. The Spartans have outscored their opponents 66-46, while the Shamrocks have outscored their 98-27. QB Ryan Tentler threw for 177 yards and a TD in a 24-7 win over Nazareth Academy.. WR Dennis Lemke caught eight passes. -- Mike Nieto
Thornridge (2-1, 1-0 SWSC Red) at Lincoln-Way West (3-0, 1-0)
When: 7:30 p.m. today.
Breaking it down: Thornridge's 43-20 win last week over district rival Thornwood got the Falcons off to a good start in SWSC Red action. In the process they sent a message to the rest of the conference: Thornridge is more than just Mika'il McCall. QB Derrick Martin threw for 170 yards and three touchdown passes, including two to playmaker Gary Ford. McCall still rushed for 124 yards though, giving him 471 on the young season. For the second straight week DB James Wilson and the rest of the Falcons defense had a strong second half. But Thornridge will need 48 minutes of solid defense to take down Lincoln-Way West in New Lenox. The undefeated Warriors, in just their second year of varsity football, beat Crete-Monee in week two and upset Bradley-Bourbonnais on the road last week. West will rely heavily on senior running back Nick Bellamy, who needed only one half to top the 100-yard mark against B-B. QB Justin Butterfield can also get the job done with his arm. On defense, West senior linebacker Kevin Kintzel will lead the effort to stop the multi-faceted Falcon attack. This game marks the start of a tough three-game stretch in which Thornridge will also face conference favorites Bradley-Bourbonnais and Andrew, and a win over the Warriors would get the Falcons off to a good start. -- Scott Ritter
No. 1 Thornton (3-0, 1-0 SWSC Red) at Bradley-Bourbonnais (2-1, 0-1)
When: 7:30 p.m. today.
Breaking it down: The Wildcats play their first night game of the season and are coming off an emotional 27-24 overtime wn over Andrew in their SouthWest Suburban red opener. RB Damien Bell scored the game-winner and has been unstoppable this season. He also had a 42-yard run and rushed for 181 yards. QB Charles Knowles is expected back after leaving last week's game with an injured right shoulder. Dimitrius Hardwick stepped in and got the job done. LB Motrell Fuller leads a tough defense which had not given up a touchdown until last week. Thornton has played well and Bell and RB Jamal Towns have a good offensive line to run behind. WRs Terrell Franklin, Jamel Frazier as well as Hardwick give Thornton a fine receiving trio. The Boilermakers lost 27-20 to LincolnpWay West and also lost star RB Brandon Moliga (broken ankle). Diamond Armstrong will move from LB to RB. QB Ryan Keener has a decent arm and his favorite target is WE Jo'Vaughn Shivers. -- Mike Nieto
Crete-Monee (1-2, 0-0 SAC) at Rich East (2-1, 0-0)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday.
Breaking it down: The Warriors finally broke into the win column last Saturday, but it was no thing of beauty, at least on the offensive side. Crete-Monee was guilty of a couple turnovers against King and its completion percentage was below 50 percent. Lexus Jackson picked up some of the slack on special teams by running back a punt 50 yards for a score, but the Warriors need to accelerate the pace and become more of an offensive threat. One bright spot in their 22-0 win was their defense's ability to render inconsequential the Jaguars' primary weapon, RB Devon Robinson -- after piling up 467 rushing yards in King's first two contests, Robinson was held to just 22. A large share of the credit for that went to two very large Crete linemen, Aaron Davis and John McCaskel, whose combined 632 pounds effectively clogged Robinson's running lanes. Those two and their prevention-side pals will get a test from the Rockets, who possess a couple dangerous backs in Richard White and Darshay Ladd. Rock Island Alleman slammed the door on Rich East last Friday, which the Warriors must also do. This could be a defensive struggle -- in six games, the Rockets and Crete have given up just 57 points between them. What makes that number even more impressive is that three of the schools that have been faced -- Alleman for Rich East, T.F. South and Lincoln-Way West for Crete -- currently boast perfect records. -- Ken Karrson
No. 3 Mt. Carmel (2-1, 1-0 Catholic League Blue) at Loyola (3-0, 1-0)
When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Breaking it down: The Mt. Carmel defense may have turned a corner last week in the Caravan's CCL Blue opener against Fenwick. Led by Jon-Stefan Bodnar's three sacks and Pat Toomey's interception, the Caravan absolutely shut down any Friars attack. The performance was a far cry from the defense's week one collapse against Simeon. Meanwhile, the offense has not been stopped yet this season, averaging 42 points per game. Michael Banks had a quiet game against Simeon, but sophomore Draco Smith proved to be another threat in the backfield. QB Chris Sujka continues to keep the option rolling, putting up 145 yards of offense and three touchdowns in just over a half of action last Saturday. This is Mt. Carmel's fourth straight game which is either on a Saturday or Sunday. It has not played on friday night yet, but hosts De La Salle in Week 5. Undefeated Loyola already has victories over perennial powerhouses Montini and Providence, as well as a 35-0 romp over Evanston in week one. The Ramblers are coached by Marian Catholic alum and former NFL star John Holecek. The Loyola offense is led by QB Malcolm Weaver, who has eight touchdown passes through three games, but the Ramblers' defense is their bread and butter. Led by senior linebacker Patrick Mulroe, Holecek's defensive unit has yielded just two touchdowns and 16 total points this season. Mt. Carmel leads the all-time series 33-17-4, but the Ramblers topped the Caravan twice in Gately Stadium last year, including a win in the quarterfinals of the class 8A playoffs. -- Scott Ritter