High school football: Steve Soucie's Week 5 state power rankings

Joliet Herald-News sports editor Steve Soucie brings more than two decades of Illinois high school football knowledge to Shaw Media. Follow him on Twitter @thesouc and check out his Week 5 state power rankings here. (Previous record and ranking in parentheses)

1. Lincoln-Way East (5-0, 1): A.J. Henning is back, and the Griffins’ defense tossed their third straight shutout. The rich get richer. Up next: vs. No. 5 Homewood-Flossmoor

2. Nazareth (5-0, 2): Sophomore J.J. McCarthy is just throwing darts all over the place. The Roadrunners look sharp. Up next: at Carmel

3. Brother Rice (5-0, 3): Another really strong defensive showing against a solid football team. Up next: vs. St. Rita

4. Batavia (5-0, 4): Pushed early against previously undefeated Wheaton Warrenville South, but the Bulldogs did what they usually do and wore down the opposition. Up next: vs. Geneva

5. Homewood-Flossmoor (5-0, 5): It took some time for the Vikings to gain separation from Lincoln-Way West, but they go into this week’s showdown in fine form. Up next: at No. 1 Lincoln-Way East

6. Maine South (4-1, 9): The Hawks put upstart Evanston back in line in the north suburbs and continue to pile up wins despite lacking full health. Up next: vs. Niles North

7. Chicago Mount Carmel (4-1, 7): Defense continues to stymie opponents by following Week 4’s shutout of De La Salle by allowing a solitary score to Marmion in Week 5. Up next: vs. St. Ignatius

8. Simeon (5-0, 9): The Wolverines’ high-octane offense continues to stack up the points. Simeon is averaging 39 points a game. Up next: vs. Raby

9. Oswego (5-0, 10): It appears that district rival Oswego East might be the only hope for a close matchup in the Panthers’ Suburban Prairie schedule. Up next: at Romeoville

10. Richards (5-0, 11): The Bulldogs have smashed their way through most of the South Suburban foes to date. Regular-season tests now look few and far between. Up next: vs. Argo

11. Marist (4-1, 13): Only one less-than-daunting challenge on the slate before the big showdown with Nazareth in Week 7. Up next: at Marian Catholic

12. Cary-Grove (5-0, 12): The depth in the Fox Valley is impressive, but all of those teams clearly are in chase mode behind the Trojans. Up next: at McHenry

13. Phillips (3-2, 14): Removed a bit from the spotlight, Phillips has outscored opponents, 89-6, over the past two weeks. Up next: at Curie.

14. Stevenson (4-1, 6): Surprising overtime loss to Lake Zurich, but it likely will be a small bump in the road for the Patriots. Up next: at Mundelein

15. Willowbrook (5-0, 15): This week appears to be the last substantial hurdle for Willowbrook after last week’s dispatching of Hinsdale South. Up next: at York

16. Glenbard West (4-1, 17): Once again the Hilltoppers appear to have rebounded successfully from a Week 1 loss to Maine South. Up next: vs. Lyons

17. Hinsdale Central (4-1, 20): The defense is doing its job, allowing only six points over the past two weeks. Up next: at Proviso West

18. Waubonsie Valley (5-0, 22): Beating a solid team twice in a season is always a challenge. Because of a scheduling quirk, that’s what the Warriors will have to do here. Up next: at Neuqua Valley

19. IC Catholic (5-0, 21): The Knights bounced back nicely from a Week 4 scare, hanging another huge number on a pretty good opponent. Up next: at Aurora Central Catholic

20. Evanston (4-1, 16): Didn’t get the result they were looking for against Maine South, but few manage that anyway. The Wildkits are worth monitoring down the stretch. Up next: at No. 24 New Trier

21. Naperville Central (3-2, 24): The Redhawks still can’t breathe easy, as the last two weeks of their schedule feature teams with a combined 10-0 record currently. Up next: vs. Naperville North

22. East St. Louis (4-1, 25): One thing is not in question: The Flyers know how to keep scoreboard operators busy. They posted 74 in a Week 5 win over Collinsville. Up next: vs. Belleville West

23. Montini (5-0, 23): The sledding definitely got tougher for the Broncos last week, and it will continue to do so through the remainder of their slate. Up next: at No. 25 Loyola

24. New Trier (4-1, NR): The Trevians have been the definition of a grinder-type team thus far, but that grind seems to lead to wins more often than not. Up next: vs. No. 20 Evanston

25. Loyola (3-2, 19): The Ramblers aren’t quite right at the moment and needed overtime to get past St. Ignatius to avoid falling below .500. But it is hard to argue with the track record and easy to believe Loyola will figure it out. Up next: vs. No. 23 Montini

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