Maine South was defeated for the first time in 29 games on Friday, a 29-17 loss to Schaumburg that few saw coming.
Defending 6A champion Cary-Grove dropped its first Fox Valley Conference game since 2007, a 27-6 loss to a Crystal Lake Central team it beat 40-0 in Week 1 last season.
But in an opening week full of upsets, nothing approached the double-dose of shock that took place at Soldier Field on Sunday.
Providence and Mount Carmel, Catholic League behemoths with 19 state championships and generations of rich tradition between them, went a combined 0-2 against the beleaguered Public League.
While Simeon's stable of talented athletes was no secret, nobody outside the Wolverines locker room expected 700 yards of offense and a 47-41 victory over Mount Carmel.
The biggest shocker came courtesy of Morgan Park, which pitched a second-half shutout to hand mighty Providence a 16-14 defeat.
Providence, which returns nine starters after finishing second in Class 6A last fall, scored on its first possession but had trouble with Morgan Park's athleticism the rest of the way.
Morgan Park succeeded on two-point conversions following both touchdowns, a 1-yard run by Devone Williams and a 35-yarder by Dae'Shaun Hurley.
"I think we sent a big message to everybody that CPS is a force to be heard from now," said Hurley, who has the unenviable task of replacing four-year starter DaRon Brown at quarterback. "Both of us were underdogs. Since I've been here, CPS hasn't really made any noise in the state playoffs, but we plan to go all the way this year.
"We've got a lot of love for Simeon, until the third week when we play each other … but then after the game it's going to be all love for them again. I think they're in 7A and we're in 6A. We hope they win 7A and we can take 6A."
Loyola impressive in shutout: The graduation of 10 Loyola starters left just one remaining from what might have been the state's best defense last season.
That's one more point than Loyola's new defense allowed in its debut.
Coach John Holecek's stellar reputation grew stronger Saturday after his Ramblers, with one returning starter on each side of the ball, held talented Evanston runner Rendell Massie to 26 yards on 17 carries in a 35-0 Loyola victory.
Loyola allowed an average of 6.4 points a game last fall, giving up seven points or less in eight of its 13 games. The Ramblers dropped a 21-14 decision to Class 8A champion Maine South in a state semifinal.
Smart switch: Thornton's top returning receiver is now its quarterback, while the quarterback who accounted for nearly 3,000 yards of offense last year is playing a variety of roles.
The unusual move looked good Saturday when Charles Knowles threw four touchdown passes — two to Dimitrius Hardwick — in a 55-0 victory over Hillcrest.
Double duty: Habeeb Durojaiye found himself in each end zone with the ball in his hands in the final 74 seconds of Gordon Tech's game on Saturday. The result was a 28-24 Gordon Tech victory over Leo.
With Gordon Tech trailing 24-22, Durojaiye took a slant 60 yards to give his team the lead with 1 minute, 14 seconds remaining. Then with 21 ticks left on the clock, Durojaiye came up with an interception in the end zone to preserve the victory.
Maddie's Aurora Christian debut a winner: Anthony Maddie, who transferred from Joliet Catholic to Aurora Christian in April but was not cleared to play by the Illinois High School Association until Friday, threw five touchdown passes in his debut a day later.
Maddie, a junior who helped Joliet Catholic finish second in Class 5A last season, was 9-for-17 for 189 yards with five touchdowns and one interception in Aurora Christian's 48-14 victory over DuSable.
Griffins halt Coe: Lincoln-Way East had as impressive an opening game as anybody Saturday. The Griffins held Rodney Coe, Edwardsville's bruising blue-chipper, to six yards on eight carries in a 37-14 victory. Coe, a 6-foot-3, 250-pounder, was dropped for a loss on half of his rushes.
Linebacker Pat Meehan was among the standouts for the Griffins, recovering two fumbles to go along with a sack and a blocked a punt.
Top performers, Week 1
Shepard Little, Schaumburg: In uniform for the first time in nearly 22 months, the 5-10, 173-pound senior ran all over two-time defending Class 8A champion Maine South. He gained 248 yards on 31 carries to help Schaumburg end the Hawks 28-game winning streak with a 29-17 victory.
Robert Gregory, Simeon: The junior quarterback accounted for 523 yards of offense and six touchdowns Sunday, throwing for 296 yards on 20-for-27 passing (3 TDs, 0 INTs) and rushing for 227 yards and three scores on 16 carries to lead Simeon to a 47-41 victory over Mount Carmel. Darius Scott (nine receptions, 127 yards) and Horatio Banks (18 carries, 151 yards) got in on the fun.
Matt LaCosse, Naperville North: A strong-armed quarterback who will play tight end in college at Minnesota, LaCosse's legs were the difference in the Huskies 29-28 victory over Neuqua Valley. The 6-foot-7, 225-pound senior rushed for 248 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries, including a 25-yarder that put North ahead with seven minutes to play. He also had touchdown runs of 50 and five yards.
Can't-miss games, Week 2
Maine South at Wheaton Warrenville South (4 p.m. Friday): While Maine South's shocking Week 1 loss to Schaumburg took away some of the luster of the showdown between the Tribune's two top-ranked preseason teams, any reality show fan will tell you live television has a strange effect on people. This one will be televised live nationally on ESPNU, and Maine South finds itself as a decided underdog for the first time in quite some time.
Providence vs. Joliet Catholic (7:30 p.m. Friday at Joliet Memorial Stadium): The neighboring Catholic powers from different conferences will clash for the third straight year, and Providence finds itself desperate to make it three straight over the Hilltoppers. While Joliet Catholic defeated Montini 21-7 on opening night in a rematch of the 2009 Class 5A title game won by Montini, returning 6A runner-up Providence was stunned by Morgan Park 16-14 in the Preseason Prep Bowl at Soldier Field.
Lake Zurich at Cary-Grove (7:15 p.m. Friday): If this wasn't going to be a matchup of 1-0 teams, it was supposed to be because Lake Zurich had to face Fremd in the opener. But while Lake Zurich rallied for three touchdowns in the final seven minutes to beat Fremd, Cary-Grove suffered a rare Fox Valley Conference setback at the hands of Crystal Lake Central. A good showing by the Trojans — win or lose — will indicate that it's too early to write off the defending Class 6A champion.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun