Plainfield South's Nicholas Schultz pivots through Minooka's defense Friday, Sept. 6, 2019,  in Joliet, Ill. The Indians beat the Cougars, 46-6.
Plainfield South's Nicholas Schultz pivots through Minooka's defense Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Joliet, Ill. The Indians beat the Cougars, 46-6. — Eric Ginnard - eginnard@shawmedia.com

St. Laurence (2-0) at Joliet Catholic (0-2)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last matchup: Joliet Catholic 48, St. Laurence 13 (2014 5A Playoffs)

About the Hilltoppers: The Hilltoppers still haven't been able to put it all together, but some credit has to go to the strong competition JCA has seen out of the gates. The defense has done a fairly solid job to date, but the offensive attack isn't firing on all cylinders just yet.

About the Vikings: St. Laurence is off to a strong start but hasn't exact played the stiffest of competiton either. But you have to clear the obstacles in front of you and that's what the Vikings have done largely keyed by the efforts of Nate Thomas, who powered his way to 265 rushing yards in last week's win over Blue Island Eisenhower.

Pick: Joliet Catholic

Providence (2-0) at Brother Rice (2-0)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last matchup: Brother Rice 20, Providence 0 (2018)

About the Crusaders: Brother Rice's core was hit very hard by graduation, but plenty of players have stepped up to fill voids. Providence's offensive line will have to contend with a massively talented Brother Rice defensive line that features Division I caliber talent Justin Jefferson and Denver Warren.

About the Celtics: Providence breezed to an easy win over Morgan Park last week but were far from free of mistakes in the win. It's a luxury they likely can't afford in this week's matchup but the Celtics certainly have enough talent to make a real run at Brother Rice.

Pick: Brother Rice

Joliet Central (0-2) at West Aurora (0-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: First Meeting

About the Blackhawks: It's been a rough indoctornation to the Southwest Prairie Conference for the Blackhawks who still need to deal with a loaded slate of division games once they get out of the crossover portion of their schedule. For the time being, West Aurora is just looking to get itself in the win column.

About the Steelmen: The start of the campaign hasn't been too kind to the Steelmen to start the season. Inexperienced players are picking up some valuable experience and Joliet Central simply needs to make some positive strides so when the competition comes back to its level they'll be ready to pounce.

Pick: West Aurora

Joliet West (0-2) at Oswego East (2-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Oswego East 31, Joliet West 6 (2018)

About the Wolves: The Wolves have been dominant against two opponents that had difficulty matching up. They'd like to keep that roll going, but the offense had better be prepared for a more staunch defense from the Tigers than they've seen the first two weeks. Oswego East quarterback Michael Ford has been rock solid in the early going.

About the Tigers: Although it did not net a victory, Joliet West's effort, particularly on defense in Week 2 was much improved. The Tigers gave Oswego, the undisputed kings of the Southwest Prairie all they wanted before falling late. Tigers running back Trent Howland has been a powerful force in the backfield.

Pick: Oswego East

Plainfield Central (0-2) at Yorkville (2-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Foxes: Things have gone very well for Yorkville as they transition into the Southwest Prairie. Offensively, Josh Beetham has kept the Foxes moving, but perhaps more impressive has been Yorkville's defense, led by South Dakota State recruit Cale Reeder. That unit has allowed just 10 points thus far.

About the Wildcats: The Wildcats have scuffled with the upper echelon teams in the Southwest Prairie, particularly on defense. In order for that to turn around, the Wildcats need to make small strides and hope it snowballs. Plainfield Central does have some tools on offense, but they've yet to click.

Pick: Yorkville

Plainfield East (1-1) at Minooka (2-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Plainfield South 14, Minooka 7 (2018)

About the Indians: Minooka has been red-hot to start the season and its offense seems capable of scoring whenever it sets its mind to it. Quarterback Seth Lehr is a completion machine and he's got a embarassment of riches in regards to offensive weapons to choose from in where to deliver the football.

About the Bengals: After getting some first half jitters out of their system in the season opening loss to Plainfield North, the Bengals have played some pretty sound football. That momentum allowed them to fend off a late charge in last week's win from West Aurora.

Pick: Minooka

Plainfield South (1-1) at Oswego (2-0)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last matchup: Oswego 22, Plainfield South 15

About the Panthers: Oswego got a little more than they bargained for last week from an inspired Joliet West squad, needing a late touchdown and a safety to finally secure victory. Their offense was also contained in the contest and will need to get back on track against a defense that has a history of being stingy.

About the Cougars: Plainfield South fell victim to the same thing many teams likely will in a humbling loss to Minooka last week. But the Cougars defense won't have time to lick its wounds and will need to bring an effort more indictative of what the program usually delivers. Keith Bronson has been a steady producer in the ground game.

Pick: Oswego

Romeoville (0-2) at Plainfield North (2-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Plainfield North 56, Romeoville 13 (2018)

About the Tigers: Offense has been ample for the Tigers through the first two games of the season. Jaylon Tillman took his turn at the forefront of the offensive attack as the Tigers have been taking turns sharing the spotlight. Through it all, quarterback Adam Smith has been consistently strong.

About the Spartans: Romeoville is simply giving up too many points right now, and this game isn't an ideal for a team that is struggling defensively as the Tigers are playing as if they are in midseason form. The Spartans showed some signs of improvement last week and found the endzone, but still need to make some dramatic strides.

Pick: Plainfield North

Bradley-Bourbonnais (1-1) at Lincoln-Way East (2-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Bradley-Bourbonnais 38, Lincoln-Way East 21 (2016)

About the Griffins: There aren't many teams that can get away with used a weapon like A.J. Henning as something as a decoy, but that appears to be what Lincoln-Way East is doing right now. Devon Williams put together a beast like performance in Week 2 and the Griffins will try to mix things up to keep defenses heads spinning.

About the Boliermakers: Bradley has started the season with a pair of wild games, but odds are they don't have the ammunition to get into a shootout with Lincoln-Way East. Quarterback Keaton Schmidt has racked up over 500 yards of total offense through two games and is a threat to be dealt with.

Pick: Lincoln-Way East

Lincoln-Way Central (1-1) at Lockport (0-2)

When: Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Last matchup: Lincoln-Way Central 46, Lockport 29 (2018)

About the Porters: The Porters have shown flashes of being able to make some big plays on offense this season as Marcos Voulgaris posted some big numbers both throwing and running in a loss to Wheaton Warrenville South last week. But the defense has to figure out a way to stem the tide of the opposition for the Porters to find the win column.

About the Knights: Through two weeks its becoming clear that the Lincoln-Way Central defense is a legitimate force. After holding a high-powered offense from RIchards to just 14 points in Week 1, the Knights completely shut down a solid Bloomington team in an easy victory. Danny Reyna also emerged as an offensive weapon providing four touchdowns in Saturday's win.

Pick: Lincoln-Way Central

Lincoln-Way West (1-1) at Sandburg (1-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Lincoln-Way West 24, Sandburg 14 (2018)

About the Eagles: It's been a bit of a labor offensively early in the season for the Eagles as they've notched just 29 points through two contests. A close battle with state-ranked Hillcrest that ulitmately ended in a loss was an encouraging sign, but the team's inability to pull away from a Chicago Public League team in Week 2 shows the team's inconsistency.

About the Warriors: Lincoln-Way West hopes to keep the ball rolling after what may turn out to be an extremely valuable victory over a quality Evanston team. The Warriors established a powerful running game led by a huge game from bruising runner Caleb Marconi. The Warriors still have a tough remaining schedule and this is a win they really need to pick up.

Pick: Lincoln-Way West

Stagg (1-1) at Bolingbrook (2-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Bolingbrook 55, Stagg 7 (2016)

About the Raiders: The Raiders are off to a robust start after collecting what some thought was an upset victory over St. Charles North in Week 2. The Raiders are following the John Ivlow blueprint of winning in the trenches to set the tone for the rest of the game. Quarterback Devyn Suggs continues to show rapid improvements in leading the offense.

About the Chargers: This doesn't look like an ideal matchup for the Chargers, who struggled in all facets of the game in a 33-0 loss to Grant last week. Stagg's victory this season came over Little Village, a Chicago Public League team that isn't eligible to compete in the state playoffs. Bolingbrook will likely display some needed mercy in this matchup.

Pick: Bolingbrook

Lemont (1-1) at T.F. South (2-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Lemont 28, T.F. South 15 (2018)

About the Rebels: It's hard to get a read on the Rebels in the early going as both of their early victories came against Indiana schools. One thing is for certain though, Lemont's defense will have its hands full slowing down speedster Jamarrion Gaines out of the backfield and dual threat quarterback Isaiah Lewis.

About the Indians: The Indians thought they had the chance to provide a better defensive front this season and so far that looks prophetic. Lemont has given up just 18 points this season to opponents including an impressive domination of Rich Central, a team that upended them last season, to just six points.

Pick: Lemont

Rochelle (1-1) at Morris (1-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Morris 34, Rochelle 30 (2017)

About the Redskins: Morris hasn't had many issues on offense this season, stacking up points with regularity. But the defense is going to have to play better moving forward especially as they move into some more rigorous offensive opponents in future weeks.

About the Hubs: Rochelle has established it has a pretty sound defense front, forcing four turnovers in a Week 2 low-scoring loss to Johnsburg. But the offense has yet to flourish and problem further compounded by an injury to lead runner Ben Harvey. Harvey's status for Week 3 isn't known, but Keegan Davis-Carter will step in if he's unavailable.

Pick: Morris

Coal City (2-0) at Herscher (1-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Coal City 28, Herscher 7 (2018)

About the Tigers: The Tigers were a Class 3A semifinalist last season after catching fire at exactly the right time. This is a different, much younger, version of the Tigers that almost certainly will have trouble matching up with the freight train that the Coalers have become. Sophomore Cody Lunsford has been a monster for Herscher thus far with 233 yards rushing and five scores.

About the Coalers: After rambling through a pair of impressive nonconference wins, the Coalers now shift their focus to the Illinois Central Eight schedule, one that they appear to be a heavy favorite in. Daniel Jezik might not be asked to shoulder so much of the load as he posted nearly 300 yards in the win over Bishop McNamara, but he'll be up for the task if its requested of him.

Pick: Coal City

Reed-Custer (1-1) at Peotone (2-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Peotone 34, Reed-Custer 13 (2018)

About the Blue Devils: The Blue Devils are feeling pretty good about themselves after getting through the nonconference portion of their schedule unscathed. The ground game has been awesome led by Ben Balmer (323 yards) and Sam Biedron (249 yards) as the Blue Devils are averaging 338 yards on the ground per game.

About the Comets: Significant progress was made by the Comets from Week 1 to Week 2, particulary in the passing game where Dylan Garrelts completed 75 percent of his passes to help the cause. Blake Foster also found the endzone four times in just 10 carries in the win over Dwight.

Pick: Peotone

Wilmington (2-0) at Streator (1-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Wilmington 27, Streator 0 (2018)

About the Bulldogs: The Wildcats aren't exactly the opponent you are hoping to see when you're trying to bounce back from giving up 42 points and struggling to stop the run in a Week 2 loss to Morton. Streator may bring a little bit more of a passing game to the table than Wilmington has seen thus far as Streator quarterback Jimmy Tredway attempted 40 passes last week.

About the Wildcats: Wilmington coach Jeff Reents was a little bit concerned about stepping up to play schools with significantly larger enrollments in the first two weeks of the season. But there was no reason for worry as the Wildcats did what they usually do against schools of any size, use a powerful running game to gain complete control of the outcome.

Pick: Wilmington

Seneca (1-1) at Dwight (0-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Seneca 22, Dwight 15 (2018)

About the Trojans: The Trojans will probably be trying to find a way to get Carson Crouch more touches as he amassed 168 yards on just eight chances in the Week 2 loss to Reed-Custer. Dwight's defense tightened up a little bit on the ground between the first and second weeks, but it will have to put the clamps down even more to try to slow a ground-based Seneca squad.

About the Fighting Irish: Although it turned out to be a rather frustrating loss to Ottawa Marquette in Week 2, a lot of encouraging signs can be taken away. Seneca outplayed the Crusaders in the second half scoring a pair of touchdowns from Ryan McCauley to account for the only points of the second half, and having two different chances to possibly tie the game late.

Pick: Seneca