Wih seven weeks in the books, it appears that preseason All-American Craig Drummond is set to make his 2008 debut for Morgan Park.
''I expect him to play next week," Mustangs' coach Lexie Spurlock said on the field Saturday night after his Mustangs had knocked off previously unbeaten Hubbard, "and just in time for the playoffs."
The city playoffs begin in Week 9 and teams that qulify for the state playoffs, leave the city tournament for as long as they are playing in the state tournament.
Drummond, who was one of the most highly recruited players in the nation, broke a bone in his foot and has been on the mend since the summer.
It was refreshing to see a Chicago Public League game, in what has become the city's best football rivalry, where there was no drama about paddling, recruiting or officiating.
The teams played hard and both are headed for the state playoffs.
In the Illini Prairie State League, Morgan Park, Hubard and Simeon are all 3-1 heading into the last week. All three are big favorites this weekend. The tiebreaker for the city playoffs favors Hubbard. It is the defensive points allowed in games between the three. Simeon's 45-43 win over Morgan Park knocked those two teams out of the tiebreaker.
In the "there's no place like home" conference AKA the Catholic League Blue, it all comes down to Brother Rice at St. Rita riday night. Both teams are 6-1 and both are 2-1 in the league.
This week's battle of unbeatens will pit Lemont at Oak Forest Friday night.
Here'a look at this week's Super 25:
1 MAINE SOUTH (7-0) 1
Hosts New Trier on Saturday
Call it "The Drive." Goro Engineers a game-winning drive from his 5 to the Glenbrook South 11 in the last 1:02. Joey Orlando booted a game-winning 28-yard field goal and caught 11 passes that observers felt would have been good from 50 yards out.
2 NAPERVILLE NORTH (7-0) 2
At Wheaton North on Friday
Huskies can't afford to look ahead to its week 9 showdown with WW South. They'll face a Wheaton North team that has been very beat up, but has Northwestern-bound running back Mike Trumpy in the lineup after he missed a week.
3 WHEATON WARRENVILLE SOUTH (7-0) 3
Hosts Glenbard East on Friday
Losing RB Peter Jarrett didn't slow the Tigers down against Wheaton North. A 21-point explosion late in the second quarter ended any doubt in the battle of Wheatons. The sea of Orange made for a nice touch.
4 BOLINGBROOK (7-0) 5
At Sandburg on Friday
With just three starters back from last year, I don't think a lot of people thought the Raiders would be 7-0 heading to Sandburg. The defense took advantage of six turnovers, including a long touchdown run with by Roosevelt Holliday with a ball he stripped away, against Lincoln-Way East Friday. The Brook must avoid a letdown against a Sandburg team that shares first place in conference with them.
5 GLENBARD WEST (7-0) 6
Hosts Lyons on Saturday
This is a big rivalry game for the Hilltoppers. Chris Watt sat out the second half against Downers North, but should be ready. It's hard not to look ahead to Hinsdale Central in Week 9, but coach Chad Hetlet does a terrific job of preparing his team.
6 GENEVA (7-0) 7
Hosts Kaneland on Friday
Vikings are proving to be more than Michael Ratay. Coach Rob Wicinski's team has been pounding people and looks like a team that no one is going to be anxious to see in the state playoffs.
7 THORNTON (7-0) 8
No. 8 Bartlett Sat. at Streamwood
A big fourth quarter got the Wildcats past T.F. North. Did many people see Saturday night's battle with Bartlett as a marquee game? QB Darren Jones and RB Dante Tolbert are coach Bill Mosel's dynamic duo on offense.
8 BARTLETT (7-0) 9
No. 7 Thornton Sat. at Streamwood
The Hawks escaped against Neuqua Valley with a late score. Thornton will present a contrast in styles.
9 HINSDALE CENTRAL (6-1) 11
At Proviso West on Friday
A five-touchdown pass day for quarterback John Whitelaw -- three to Alex Kirk -- too much for York.
10 LINCOLN-WAY EAST (6-1) 4
Hosts Joliet on Friday
The Griffins completely dominated the first half and only led 10-6 against Bolingbrook. The second half the Griffins were victimized by turnovers.
11 GLENBROOK SOUTH (6-1) 10
Hosts Evanston on Saturday
Maine South will remember the Titans. Coach Dave Inserra's first words after his team's dramatic win on Friday night were "We'll see them again in the playoffs. That is a very good football team." If Mike Noll's Titans were under the radar, they are not a secret anymore.
12 ST. RITA (6-1) 13
Hosts No. 14 Brother Rice on Friday
A game for all the marbles in the Catholic League Blue when Brother Rice visits on Friday night. This is a heated rivalry like Mount Carmel. I'm betting both teams are plenty fired up.
13 MOUNT CARMEL (5-2) 14
At Homewood-Flossmoor on Friday
After H-F's run to the Class 8A semifinals last year, this was a game that was circled on a lot of calenders. But the Vikings are 3-4 and a loss when eliminate any chance of a playoff berth. The improving Caravan and QB Jordan Lynch dominated against Loyola and look like the team that everyone had No. 1 in the preseason.
14 BROTHER RICE (6-1) 15
At No. 12 St. Rita on Friday
A loss to Mount Carmel is the only blemish on the Crusaders' record. A friend e-mailed me in the preseason that he though Tom Gibson was the best QB in the league. If it comes down to special teams. Minnesota-bound punter Dan Orseske could give Rice the edge.
15 LOYOLA 5-2 12
Hales on Sunday at Gately
The Ramblers return to Gately Stadium for the second week in a row. On paper, this one shouldn't be much of a contest. With conference play over, Loyola is tuning up for the state playoffs.
16 CARMEL (6-1) 16
Hosts St. Patrick on Friday
The Corsairs have been on a roll since losing at Marist in the rain. The Shamrocks have made games interesting with late heroics.
17 CARY-GROVE (7-0) 17
At Dundee-Crown on Friday
The Trojans took control of the conference with a win over Crystal Lake South. Cary-Grove hasn't lost a conference game since 2003.
18 BARRINGTON (6-1) 18
At Fremd on Friday
This was supposed to be the battle for the Mid-Suburban West title. But Palatine beat both teams. The Broncos score a lot of points, but they surrender a lot too.
19 JOLIET CATHOLIC (5-2) 19
Hosts Marian Catholic on Friday
Tyler Hudetz and Co. started 0-2 and now are two wins away from another East Suburban Catholic title. A Week 1 loss to Carmel was a nonconference game.
20 GLENBARD NORTH (4-3) 21
At Naperville Central on Friday
A battle for third in the tough DuPage Valley. The Panthers' three losses were to teams that are a combined 21-0.
21 LEMONT (7-0) 22
At No. 23 Oak Forest on Friday
Another South Suburban Blue conference title is on the line as the Indians head to Oak Forest, where they won a Class 6A playoff semifinal last November in a wild game. Some big-timers have graduated from both teams, but they just keep winning.
22 WARREN (6-1) 23
At Stevenson on Friday
Warren's only loss, to top-rated Maine South in Week 2, looks a lot better now. Stevenson started slow but has surprised some teams.
23 OAK FOREST (7-0) 24
Hosts No. 21 Lemont on Friday
The Bengals big surprise has been its defense, which lost 10 starters from a year ago. But with its front four of Nate Becker, Marcus Lee, Mohammed Loutfi and Greg Macek, Oak Forest secured a 10th consecutive playoff berth.
24 SANDBURG (6-1) NR
Hosts No. 4 Bolingbrook on Friday
How good are the 6-1 Eagles? Bolingbrook and Lincoln-Way East back-to-back will tell. Sandburg is tied for first with Bolingbrook in the SouthWest Suburban Blue.
25 ANTIOCH (7-0) NR
At North Chicago on Friday
This team was 0-9 in 2006 and 3-6 in 2007. In consecutive weeks, the Sequoits have knocked off Wauconda, Grants and Vernon Hills. That's a turnaround.
On the bubble: Nazareth, Montini, Huntley, Naperville Central, Robeson, Palatine, Driscoll, Plainfield Central, Downers Grove South, Fremd, St. Francis, Lane