Lockport quarterback Riley Pfeiffer is brought down by Lincoln-Way Central's Colin Shanahan on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, at Lockport Township High School in Lockport, Ill. The Porters defeated the Knights 6-3.
Lockport quarterback Riley Pfeiffer is brought down by Lincoln-Way Central's Colin Shanahan on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, at Lockport Township High School in Lockport, Ill. The Porters defeated the Knights 6-3. — Geoff Stellfox for Shaw Media

Niles Notre Dame (3-0) at Providence (3-0)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last matchup: Providence 28, Niles Notre Dame 19 (1999 Class 5A Playoffs)

About the Celtics: The Celtics were impressive in Friday's win over Brother Rice, particularly in the trenches where the offensive line slowly seized control of the game. Kevin Conway established himself as a dual threat, playing a part in four touchdowns (three rushing, one passing).

About the Dons: The Dons were thought to have been bound for a stepback considering their heavy losses to graduation including standout Ty Gavin, but that simply hasn't been the case. The Dons copped a slight upset over Marist in Week 3 giving them a better chance of a return playoff bid in a tough schedule.

Pick: Providence

Fenwick (2-1) at Joliet Catholic (1-2)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last matchup: Joliet Catholic 35, Fenwick 0 (2004)

About the Hilltoppers: The Hilltoppers narrowly avoided dropping to 0-3 by blocking a late field goal by St. Laurence, which would have made a return to the playoffs a perilous pursuit. It won't be easy getting back to the .500 mark, but another huge performance from sophomore Jordan Anderson could certainly help in that cause.

About the Friars: Fenwick is using a youth movement to get off to a pretty strong start, but weaker opponents in the first two games still make them a bit of a mystery. The sophomore tandem of quarterback Kaden Cobb and wide receiver Eian Pugh have been a potent combination thus far.

Pick: Joliet Catholic

Minooka (3-0) at Joliet Central (0-3)

When: Friday, 6:30 p.m.

Last matchup: Minooka 55, Joliet Central 7 (2018)

About the Steelmen: The Steelmen are likely hoping to just survive the crossover portion of the Southwest Prairie schedule as the contests against the West Division teams have been lopsided thus far. Minooka won't give them any rest either, but the Steelmen would like to build on the offensive attack that allowed them to score for the first time this season last week.

About the Indians: The Indians haven't faced much adversity this season but certainly saw some in Week 3 as an injury to quarterback Seth Lehr led to Minooka to experience a lineup shuffle. Back-up Josh Davis performed admirably in his sted and will likely continue to do so if Lehr's injury is long term.

Pick: Minooka

Oswego (3-0) at Plainfield East (1-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Oswego 49, Plainfield East 0 (2018)

About the Bengals: Plainfield East has shown it has some pluck, hanging in there against each of their West Division crossover games, netting one win. This will be a huge challenge to make that two, but the Bengals passing attack has proven to give some foes problems under the leadership of senior quarterback Joey Morgan.

About the Panthers: Oswego showed a few bruises in their armor when they had to grind out a win over Joliet West in Week 2, but the Panthers demonstrated they aren't quite ready to relinquish their Southwest Prairie Conference domination as they controlled every facet of a Week 3 win over Plainfield South from the get-go.

Pick: Oswego

Oswego East (3-0) at Plainfield South (1-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Oswego East 29, Plainfield South 0 (2018)

About the Cougars: Plainfield South has gotten some very strong offensive production out of Keith Bronson to start the season but could really use some others to come along for the ride. This closes out the crossover portion of Plainfield South schedule and the slate gets easier from here, but this an excellent opportunity for a statement win for the Cougars.

About the Wolves: As fluent as the offensive attack has been with the combined efforts of quarterback Michael Ford and receivers Keion Battle and Michael Miller have dominated foes, the defense has been even better. The Wolves have only allowed two touchdowns through four games, both coming well after the outcome was clearly decided.

Pick: Oswego East

Plainfield North (3-0) at Plainfield Central (0-3)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Plainfield Central 7, Plainfield North 6 (2018)

About the Wildcats: Not a lot has gone right for the Wildcats through the first third of the season and this matchup doesn't look an ideal one to reverse that trend. The hope is that they can get through this one and into the second half of the season where the schedule looks considerably more forgiving.

About the Tigers: Any thoughts that the Tigers might have a little bit of trouble getting the offense going this year with a new quarterback has promptly been proved incorrect in that theory. Adam Smith played a part in four Plainfield North touchdowns in the Tigers Week 3 game and has engineered an offense that has already posted 126 points.

Pick: Plainfield North

West Aurora (1-2) at Romeoville (0-3)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: First Meeting

About the Spartans: Like many of the teams in the Southwest Prairie East, the Spartans have had a tough time matching up in the crossover encounters. They are facing the lone team to lose a crossover game out of the West Division, but the Spartans will have to improve rapidly especially on defense to be the third East team to get a crossover win.

About the Blackhawks: West Aurora got in the win column in a big way in last week's win over Joliet Central as Blackhawk quarterback Will Tammaru had a field day in the victory. The Blackhawks really need to even out their record as they head into what appears to be brutal division play next week.

Pick: West Aurora

Yorkville (3-0) at Joliet West (0-3)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: First Meeting

About the Tigers: The schedule maker was absolutely cruel to Joliet West out of the box as they may have faced the best three teams in the Southwest Prairie in succession right out of the box. The resilency of the Tigers will be tested here as Yorkville may not be at the same level of the first three Joliet West opponents, but is their confidence too shaken to bounce back fully.

About the Foxes: Yorkville's transition into the Southwest Prairie has gone very smoothly for the Foxes thus far, but an argument can be made that we don't really know that much about the Foxes yet as they've played the three programs that have struggled the most recently in the league. The Foxes offense will certainly get a sterner test from the Tiger defense than they have earlier in the year.

Pick: Yorkville

Andrew (2-1) at Lincoln-Way West (2-1)

When: Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Last matchup: Lincoln-Way West 14, Andrew 13 (2018)

About the Warriors: The Warriors have consistently got great offensive production from Caleb Marconi on the offensive side of the ball, but its the defensive unit anchored by linebacker Brett Carberry that has been really turning heads recently. After the unit slowed a dynamic Evanston backfield down in Week 2, they tossed a shutout in the win over Sandburg last week.

About the T-Bolts: Andrew traded punches with highly touted Homewood-Flossmoor in Week 3 before eventually fading in the second half in a loss. This could be a pivotal game for both teams playoff aspirations as both squads have a number of challenging contests later and could really use this W on their respective season cards.

Pick: Lincoln-Way West

Bolingbrook (3-0) at Lincoln-Way East (3-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Lincoln-Way East 31, Bolingbrook 0 (2018)

About the Griffins: The machine rolls on as the Griffins picked up an easy victory over Bradley-Bourbonnais in Week 3. The offensive diversity provided by the numerous weapons at the Griffins disposal seems to be giving opposing defenses all kinds of trouble, while the defense unit has been sharp as a tack so far.

About the Raiders: Bolingbrook's quest for respect continues here. The Raiders already have what many consider to be a marquee win in their pocket with a win over St. Charles North. But this is a bigger fish to attempt to fry and to do it the Raiders have to dominate in the trenches which is something they've managed nicely so far.

Pick: Lincoln-Way East

Bradley-Bourbonnais (1-2) at Lincoln-Way Central (1-2)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last matchup: Bradley-Bourbonnais 27, Lincoln-Way Central 17 (2016)

About the Knights: The Knights defense has been amazing so far this season, but for success to happen on a more regular basis the offense has to provide some more. The Knights held Lockport scoreless for four quarters, but an inability to produce anything on offense on their own part led to an overtime loss.

About the Boilermakers: The Boliermakers struggled just like most everyone does in a loss to Lincoln-Way East, but they posted plenty of points in splitting a pair of nonconference games with Rock Island (win) and O'Fallon (loss) and provide a challenge for most defenses. Dual threat quarterback Keaton Schmidt must be contended with.

Pick: Lincoln-Way Central

Homewood-Flossmoor (3-0) at Lockport (1-2)

When: Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Last matchup: Homewood-Flossmoor 53, Lockport 24 (2018)

About the Porters: As expected, the George Czart-led Porters made some early season improvements and those came in the form of a herculean defensive effort that kept Lincoln-Way Central scoreless until they emerged with a 6-3 overtime victory. This game might be a mountain too high, but don't be surprised if Lockport makes a better run at that one might think.

About the Vikings: The Vikings hit a little bit of a speed bump last week against Andrew before breaking away in the second half. Although the talent gap looks as if it favors H-F, they'd be best served to not look past a Lockport squad that might be flying high after their first win since 2017.

Pick: Homewood-Flossmoor

Oak Forest (0-3) at Lemont (2-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Lemont 47, Oak Forest 0 (2018)

About the Indians: After a disappointing Week 1 loss to St. Charles East where they posted just six points, Lemont has been on a serious roll. There's no reason to indicate that can't happen here against Oak Forest, who has struggled both offensively and defensively to start the season. Wide receiver Anthony Sambucci has been a consistent force for Lemont.

About the Bengals: The season to date has been a bit of disaster for Oak Forest. The Bengals managed just two touchdowns in their first two games, both losses. They then stepped up their productivity to 28 points, but surrendered 42 to Tinley Park in a loss that marked the first win of the season to the similarly struggling Titans.

Pick: Lemont

Morris (2-1) at Plano (2-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Reapers: The Reapers are getting into the meat of their conference schedule now and after a relatively light start to the season odds are they are going to find the sledding much more difficult from here on out. Plano forced six turnovers and held Ottawa to negative rushing yardage last week, but faces a much more able offense this week.

About the Redskins: Morris went into grinder mentality to eventually pull away from Rochelle which puts them on the path to getting back to the playoffs. Winning games like this are an absolute must in that quest as there on some perilous opponents waiting for Morris later in their schedule. Zach Reddinger will probably be too much for Plano to handle.

Pick: Morris

Manteno (1-2) at Wilmington (3-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Wilmington 39, Manteno 20 (2018)

About the Wildcats: Wilmington has always been a punishing ground-based offense, but they seemed determined to crank it up to another level. The Wildcats ran for over 400 yards in a win over Streator in Week 3, while Jake Rodewald stacked up over 200 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Wilmington's defense could stand to tighten up, and past history says it probably will.

About the Panthers: Manteno hasn't had much trouble offensively this season, but allowing a bunch of points have negated some of that offfensive success. However in a Week 3 win over previously undefeated Lisle, Manteno put it all together. Caleb Borkenhagen paces the offense from the quarterback position and last week it posted nearly 400 yards in gains.

Pick: Wilmington

Peotone (3-0) at Coal City (3-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Peotone 30, Coal City 24 (2017)

About the Coalers: The Coalers have been a wrecking ball in the early season and the ease that they demolished a Class 3A semifinalist from a year ago in Herscher last week has to give the rest of the Illinois Central Eight Conference pause. Daniel Jezik had a light workload in the rout, but odds are that will increase substantially in this contest.

About the Blue Devils: The Blue Devils are averaging 322 yards rushing per game in the arly going and odds are that number will probably go down as it tries to run into the eye teeth of a excellent Coal City front seven. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the Blue Devils will be stopped cold, its a gritty bunch that will likely find a way to move the football.

Pick: Coal City

Streator (1-2) at Reed-Custer (1-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Streator 38, Reed-Custer 7 (2015)

About the Comets: The Comets have had trouble gaining momentum this season, but some of that credit needs to go to the opposition where Peotone held Reed-Custer to just 137 yards of offense in Week 3. Dylan Garrelts continues to show promise at quarterback, but its going to be a gradual process in Illinois Central Eight Conference play.

About the Bulldogs: The Bulldogs did a few things well against Wilmington in Week 3, but in order to be successful improvements have to come on defense as the Wildcat offense carved them up fairly well. Offensively, Streator is heavily based in throwing the ball and odds are it will end up in the hands of Trever Murphy who finished with 155 yards receiving last week.

Pick: Streator

Dwight (0-3) at Clifton Central (3-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Clifton Central 46, Dwight 23 (2018)

About the Comets: The Comets are a potent team this season and is benefitting from playing a whole bunch of young players last season. Junior quarterback Jay Lemenager has already posted some big numbers this season. Clifton Central is currently the No. 3 ranked team in the Associated Press Class 2A poll.

About the Trojans: Things started OK for the Trojans in a Week 3 matchup with Seneca, but after an early touchdown that gave them a lead things went downhill as the Fighting Irish posted 28 unanswered points to take control of the game and eventually the victory. Dwight's offense will likely be hard pressed to get much going in this one as Central's defense can put the clamps down.

Pick: Clifton Central

Seneca (2-1) at Paxton (2-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Paxton 32, Seneca 16 (2018)

About the Panthers: Paxton is off to a pretty solid start this season with its one loss coming at the hands of the defending Class 2A state champions from GCMS, a game that they led at halftime. Paxton comes into this contest fresh off a rout victory over Iroquois West, and whatever success the Panthers have in this contest will likely come on the ground.

About the Fighting Irish: This is the kind of toss-up game that the Fighting Irish need to emerge with a win in if they hope to avoid the same fate that they had last year when they finished with a 4-5 record and ended the season one win short of the postseason field. Considering two state-ranked teams and undefeated team still lurk later in the schedule this is a pivotal game.

Pick: Paxton