It always happens.
And in Week 1 it happened more than once.
Highly-ranked teams running into a brick wall in the first week of the season.
The most notable "upset" in Week 1 had to be Hinsdale Central's 14-6 victory over Naperville Central.
Naperville Central has drawn a lot of attention in the offseason because of some high profile transfers expected to drastically bolster their offense attack. I was told by someone in attendance that the Redhawks offense never really got off the ground.
In hindsight, it shouldn't be all that stunning. Hinsdale Central isn't exactly a slouch and they aren't deaf either. They've likely heard all summer what was coming and like any smart, successful program would do they put together a plan that gave them the best shot at coming out with a victory.
Moving forward, obviously keep an eye on Hinsdale Central. It's clearly a capable team.
And while the loss should not throw Naperville Central into some sort of panic, they do need a sense of urgency. Next week they host Lincoln-Way East which is then followed to play one of the best teams in Ohio, Pickerington (Central). Sandwiched in between is what appears to be a tough DuKane Conference slate and is capped off by a home date with East St. Louis.
• Yes, Simeon was absolutely demolished in a 55-0 loss to St. Frances Academy of Baltimore. But in spite of that, I'm not really worried about the Wolverines at all.
Having watched St. Frances in their season-opening victory on ESPN the week prior, I learned exactly why some publications have them ranked as the best high school football program in the nation.
Based on what I saw, I wouldn't like many other teams odds against them either. The Wolverines will ultimately be fine and a factor that must be dealt with in 6A.
• St. Rita's victory over Joliet Catholic was a cathartic one for the Mustangs and especially satisfying as they were able to topple a state champion from a year ago.
Sensational sophomore Kaleb Brown was as good as advertised and it was a great start for a team that has a gauntlet schedule to deal with especially in the first portion of the season with the next three weeks featuring: Richards, Loyola and Montini in order.
• When trying to sort out the potential fortunes of 514 teams, sometimes some teams slip through the cracks in the early going,
But I have to admit I was impressed with Benet tonight, a team I didn't know a whole heck of a lot about heading into the season.
The Redwings bullied their way out to a substantial lead against Naperville North, before the game tightened up a bit with Benet settling into a 28-21 win.
Benet is on my radar now.
• The Providence/Willowbrook game was one I was eagerly watching the results of simply to see how it might turn out.
The Celtics emerged with a hard-fought 14-7 victory when they pushed across a fourth quarter touchdown by Kevin Conway. Other than it being a little bit more low scoring than I thought, the game played out much in the same fashion that I thought it would, a real scrap, where both teams had an opportunity to pull out the victory at the end.
• You will have a hard time finding a more fierce rivalry than the one that has been established over recent years between Coal City and Morris.
Morris seemingly has had the upper hand over the Coalers, but the Coalers made for them what was a big statement by packing on 48 points in a 48-33 victory.
It seems reasonable to think the Coalers have what it takes to be a big factor in the the Class 4A race to DeKalb, but we'll find out even more about this football team in next week's showdown with another Class 4A power, Bishop McNamara. The Fightin' Irish trampled Bloom 49-21 in their opener.
• It's easy to look at what Peoria did on Friday night, winning 98-12 over Centennial, and ask how it was allowed to happen.
Peoria's goal is to play significantly faster than the opponent, as explained in a feature for Friday Night Drive this summer by Aaron Ferguson, and apparently the pace was far too much for Centennial, as they trailed 48-0 after one quarter and 70-0 at half.
The running clock isn't allowed to start running until the second half, and it is hard to ask a team to simply stop playing. But one does have to wonder why four more touchdowns were necessary after the break.
This probably won't be the last time we'll talk about this.
• I'm not surprised that Lena-Winslow won its opener. I honestly expect Lena-Winslow to win all of its games. But the complete dismantling of Eastland-Pearl City was a bit of a surprise. EPC is a consistent factor in the Class 2A playoffs on a year-to-year basis. Strap up opponents of the Lena-Winslow, its going to be a bumpy ride.