[Shaw Media file photo]
22. Niles Notre Dame (7-1, NR): The Dons are another team squaring off with a team desperate to break into the playoff field, but Ty Gavin and crew won’t let that happen without a serious fight. Up next: vs. Joliet Catholic.
21. Rolling Meadows (8-0, 24): Really good teams find a way when they are challenged. The Mustangs certainly did that in a showdown victory over previously undefeated Hersey. Up next: at T.F. North.
20. IC Catholic (8-0, 20): Shouldn’t be much trouble running the regular-season table this week before it is welcomed into the Class 4A playoff fray for the first time. Up next: vs. Riverside-Brookfield.
19. Hillcrest (8-0, 22): The 5A field is right to fear the Hawks, who are proving to be an explosive team on both sides of the football. Up next: vs. Bremen.
18. Gurnee Warren (7-1, 25): Flying under the radar no more, win over Stevenson gives it a feather in its cap. The lone loss to Barrington in Week 1 seems like a long time ago. Up next: at Mundelein.
17. Willowbrook (8-0, 18): The Warriors face a team that is hoping to scare up an upset to earn a playoff bid, but odds are Willowbrook will complete the undefeated regular-season slate. Up next: at Downers Grove South.