GAME OF THE WEEK: (4A-4) St. Francis to (2A-RV) Bishop McNamara | Sports

(4A-4) Saint Francis (5-1) to (2A-RV) Bishop McNamara (3-3)

Players to watch: QB Alessio Milivojevic, C / DT TJ McMillan

Spartans in attack: Irish fight fans remember Tommy Rittenhouse giving them adjustments for years, but the former Spartans quarterback is now at Illinois State University. Sophomore Milinojevic was handed the keys to offense this fall and took full control of an electric squad that has scored at least seven touchdowns in three games this season.

Spartans in defense: St. Francis has come close to a gold standard for Class 4A football in recent years, and while the aforementioned high-octane offense has largely helped them gain attention, it is defense this season that has taken him to the next level. Led by McMillen, who has offers from more than a half-dozen Power Five conference schools, the defensive line is big and nasty, and blitz linebackers often follow behind them, looking to wreak havoc in the back. -field.

Players to watch: LB / FB Mel Hay, OL / DL Kaden Mondy

Fightin ‘Irish in attack: The last time the Irish took the field, they scored 77 points and gave kicker Jackson Mills the chance to set a new school record for extra points in a game. There won’t be so many opportunities on Friday against a big Spartans front, but the Irish have an experienced group of offensive linemen who just need to give running back Tony Phillips a split second to find a hole and quarterback. -rear Brady Bertrand the time to find his receivers downstream.

Fightin ‘Irish in defense: Depth is tested for the Irish, who will be without linebacker Jaydon Wright, with other players such as Hay, perhaps the heart and soul of the unit, playing through their own nagging injuries. The secondary will be busy and will need to be locked from the jump, but there’s a ton of experience there, and it’s a unit that has shown all season long that they are capable of playing both the pass and the the race.

To take: It’s the last home game of the regular season for McNamara’s co-coach Rich Zinanni, who hopes to see as many of his former players and colleagues as possible in the stands. The Irish know they need this one for their playoff hopes, but Zinanni doesn’t often let his team lose focus on when or the task at hand. Bishop McNamara 28, Saint Francis 27

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