August 07, 2022
Analysis | Friday Night Drive


Steve Soucie: What we learned from Week 3

94 schools found their way to 3-0

The list of undefeated schools was whittled down considerably on Friday night.

94 schools found their way to the exclusive 3-0 grouping (eight more 2-0 teams will play on Saturday in attempt to join them).

It's a smaller number than usual at this point and it's hard to tell at this point why exactly that's the case.

And while there are a healthy number of teams in that group that are exactly who you might have expected to find through three games, there are several others that you might not have guessed would find themselves in that group.

Jacobs upset win over Huntley last week puts them in this group and if you would have bet on Jacobs and Cary-Grove being the lone undefeated squads in the Fox Valley after three weeks, you probably would have got some funny looks, but you'd be right.

Huntley's ability to turn around from that loss in Week 2, to topple Prairie Ridge this week shows that the league may have a few more wrinkles in store than originally thought.

The CCL/ESCC Conference merger also continues to provide some intriguing results. Mount Carmel's win over Montini secured them as a real player moving forward, but Providence's victory over Brother Rice wasn't exactly expected and proved for a second time this year that the Celtics are most certainly for real.

Other interesting results from the league came in the form of Marmion who upended De La Salle to become one of the scarce group of 3-0 teams, and Joliet Catholic's late game block of a St. Laurence not only knocked the Vikings from the ranks of the undefeated but kept the Hilltoppers from having to dig out of an 0-3 hole to start the season.

Notre Dame's win over Marist could be marked as a moderate surprise. But despite some signficant graduation losses it appears the Dons aren't ready to cede all the progress the program has made.

Marian Catholic was another team that was bumped from the ranks of the undefeated with its loss to Marian Central Catholic. But it was a competitive effort, which is much more than can be said of Spartans efforts in league play in recent years, as they haven't won a league game in over a decade.

Six teams still have spotless records in the CCL/ESCC membership.

The DuPage Valley also had a very, very interesting night.

The league only had one team out of six win in its membership. But every last one of those five losses can be considered a notable one.

In fact, Neuqua Valley came dangerously close to pulling one of the largest upsets in the state for the early portion of the season losing 50-48 to East St. Louis.

A 2-point conversion failed at the end of the game which denied a chance at overtime and it was one of those rare situations where a loss might actually raise a team's stock simply because of the quality of the opponent and closeness of contest.

Waubonsie Valley found the going rough in Kentucky as they lost to the top team in the Bluegrass State, Trinity, by a 50-6 score and as expected Naperville Central dropped to 0-3 with its loss to Pickerington Central.

DeKalb dropped a matchup with downstate Edwardsville, while Naperville North also dropped a game to an out-of-state opponent, Massillon Perry.

All told, it looks like the DuPage Valley is going to be good for one thing once they lock horns in league play: utter and complete chaos.

The DuKane Conference does appear to have multiple playoff caliber teams in its midst, but the math simply doesn't work for all of them to get into the postseason.

The score that upset the apple cart a bit this week was Glenbard North's victory over St. Charles East.

The two teams came into the contest with opposite records but Glenbard North's win allowed them to at least move back into the discussion for a possible at-large berth as a loss would have put them at 0-3. It still isn't going to be easy, but at least now there's a flicker that could grow into a fire.

Speaking of 0-3 teams there are 81 schools that already have found themselves in that predicament (with more likely to be added on Saturday), those schools face epic uphill climbs just to get back into the conversation. That list also includes some schools you would not expect to find there.

Steve Soucie

Steve Soucie

Steve Soucie has been the Sports Editor at the Joliet Herald News since August of 2018. Prior to that, Soucie worked at the Kankakee Daily Journal and for Pro Football Weekly.