With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it means that the high school football season is growing closer to its end in Class 8A with this week’s semifinals. In one game, the 11-1 Glenbard North Panthers face the 11-1 Loyola Academy Ramblers on Saturday at 1 p.m. The other semifinal has the 11-1 Chicago Mt. Carmel Caravan facing the 12-0 Neuqua Valley Wildcats Saturday at 6 p.m.
Glenbard North is coming off a 29-23 upset win over undefeated Maine South on the road while Loyola defeated Palatine 19-7 for their tenth straight victory on the season. Glenbard North has won 11 straight games after losing their season opener and played several close games this season, which could be important. Loyola’s only loss came in Ireland and have given up just 21 points over their last five games. These are two teams on a big-time roll heading into this semifinal rematch from last season but I think Loyola just has too much defense again. I’ll take Loyola Academy 21-6.
In the other semifinal game, Mt. Carmel rolls in after a 45-10 win against Lyons while Neuqua Valley stayed unbeaten with a 23-20 win over conference rival Waubonsie Valley. The only game Mt. Carmel lost this season was to Loyola and the Caravan have given up just 89 points this year. Neuqua Valley has scored 520 points for the season and can score points in a hurry. It is important for Neuqua Valley that this game is at home and I believe that could be a big factor in this one if Neuqua Valley wants to win which I think they will. I’ll go with Neuqua Valley 27-20.
I love the chance of seeing Loyola Academy playing Neuqua Valley with two talented teams in Illinois’ biggest class. I would like to see if Loyola can avenge losing in the title game from last year.