Tommy Mister has breathed life in a St. Rita program that appeared to be falling behind Mount Carmel and Loyola in the Catholic Blue. After accounting for more than 400 yards in St. Rita's 28-26 win over Marist in Week 1, the Richards transfer led the No. 7 Mustangs to touchdowns on six of their first seven possessions in last week's 42-7 rout of Danville. A year after failing to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 1999, St. Rita appears to be among the leading contenders in Class 7A.
- Week 3 | Helfgot's 5 games to watch
- Football blog | More intriguing matchups in Week 3
- Football | Helfgot's Week 3 Top 20
- James Butler
St. Rita of Cascia High School, 7740 South Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60620, USA
Harold L. Richards High School, 10601 Central Avenue, Oak Lawn, IL 60453, USA
Lyons Township High School North, 100 South Brainard Avenue, La Grange, IL 60525, USA
St. Francis High School, 2130 West Roosevelt Road, Wheaton, IL 60187, USA
Richards has not missed a beat without Mister. In fact, this could be the best Bulldogs team since the program's last trip to the state finals in 2001. Hasan Muhammad-Rogers, who threw four TD passes in the team's 31-26 victory at Batavia last week after accounting for six in the opener, will be tested Friday night by a Lemont team that has averaged better than 11 wins a season since 2007.
Lyons is playing with fire with its latest slow start. The Lions reached the Class 8A quarterfinals for the third straight time last fall by overcoming a 2-4 start. In 2011 they were 1-2 and 2-3 before hitting their groove. But with the West Suburban Silver arguably stronger than it's ever been and a defense that allowed 62 points and a state-record 675 yards passing last week, the postseason may not include Lyons.
Butler doing it
St. Francis running back James Butler could be the most underrated player in the area. The 200-pound blend of power and speed was ineligible all of last season after transferring from Bartlett. He's making up for lost time with 435 yards rushing in two games, including 254 last week against a Plainfield South defense led by the state's top recruit, LB Clifton Garrett.