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 11 state power rankings here. (Record and previoius ranking in parentheses.)
25. Washington (11-0, NR): It took a big-time play to keep their season alive, but that’s what you’d expect from a really solid football team, which Washington truly is. Up next: at Crete-Monee.
24. Edwardsville (8-3, NR): It’s not officially the postseason until Edwardsville makes a run from a lower-seed position. Up next: at No. 1 Lincoln-Way East.
23. Antioch (11-0, 23): Had to survive a heart stopper in a regular-season rematch, but that’s what good teams do this time of the year. Up next: at Niles Notre Dame.
22. St. Charles North (9-3, NR): The Stars are playing like them as of late, seems hard to fathom this group dropped three regular-season games. Up next: vs. No. 21 Wheaton Warrenville South.
21. Wheaton Warrenville South (10-1, 24): Tigers are back in the quarterfinal round, seems like the good old days when they were regulars at this stage. Up next: at No. 22 St. Charles North.
20. IC Catholic (11-0, 20): So far we’ve gotten exactly what we expected out of the top half of the Class 4A draw from the Knights: a pair of dominating wins. Up next: vs. Marengo.
19. Oswego (10-1, 12): Panthers had another tremendous season and the offensive trio of quarterback Noah Parker, running back Charles Coleman and wide receiver Jamal Fomby can certainly take a deserved bow. Up next: Season concluded.
18. Montini (10-1, 18): The Broncos survived their biggest threat in the northern bracket, odds are a little breather is coming this week. Up next: at Evergreen Park.
17. Willowbrook (11-0, 17): Willowbrook is finding ways to end up in the win column week by week, but it will have to be on point to keep making that happen this week.Up next: at No. 2 Batavia.
16. Loyola (8-3, NR): It’s November, so we shouldn't be surprised to see Loyola excelling. Ramblers once again won’t be leaving the 8A field without a big tussle. Up next: at No. 4 Maine South.
15. Gurnee Warren (10-1, 15): Defense has been rock solid all season but will face by far its biggest challenge of the season this week. Up next: at No. 3 Brother Rice.
14. Hillcrest (11-0, 16): We know the Hawks are really good, but starting to wonder how high the ceiling is considering the way they are dismantling good playoff teams. Up next: vs. Cahokia.
13. Phillips (9-2, 14): Got a taste of the Fox Valley Conference last week and will likely have a much tougher time with the best the league has to offer this week. Up next: at No. 7 Cary-Grove.
12. Richards (11-0, 13): Finally tested last week in win over Yorkville, but showed why people think so highly of this team with second-half effort. Up next: vs. Normal West.
11. Homewood-Flossmoor (10-1, 11): People seem to be anticipating a possible Marist-Brother Rice semifinal, but the Vikings will probably have a lot to say in whether or not that actually happens. Up next: vs. No. 6 Marist.
10. Nazareth (10-1, 9): The Roadrunners are doing what they always seem to do in the postseason, put the pedal to the metal until the opponent eventually relents. Up next: at No. 9 Simeon.
9. Simeon (11-0, 7): Win over Lincoln-Way West was far from pretty, but the Wolverines' talent makes up for most mistakes. Up next: vs. No. 10 Nazareth Academy.
8. East St. Louis (9-2, 10): The Flyers are absolutely cruising right now, which makes for a titanic quarterfinal matchup at Gately Stadium. Up next: vs. No. 5 Mount Carmel.
7. Cary-Grove (11-0, 8): Trojans seem focused and prepared for what is yet to come, that’s a good thing considering the massive skills this week’s foe brings to the table. Up next: vs. No. 13 Phillips.
6. Marist (10-1, 4): It wasn’t as clean as Marist might have hoped in a win over Naperville Central, but all that matters now is win and advance. Up next: at No. 11 Homewood-Flossmoor.
5. Mount Carmel (10-1, 6): It was probably a lot closer than many expected against Lake Zurich, but the Caravan won’t have the luxury of being even a bit sluggish this week. Up next: vs. No. 8 East St. Louis.
4. Maine South (10-1, 5): The Hawks have been just romping through people over the last few weeks, this week’s matchup, although a quarterfinal game, still seems too soon. Up next: vs. No. 16 Loyola.
3. Brother Rice (11-0, 2): Grinder mentality really suited them in win over Oak Park-River Forest, will likely need that again this week. Up next: vs. No. 15 Gurnee Warren.
2. Batavia (11-0, 3): So far the bracket has been kind to the Bulldogs, but the challenges will start escalating now. Up next: vs. No. 17 Willowbrook.
1. Lincoln-Way East (11-0, 1): The Griffins are making this look far too easy right now. Up next: vs. No. 24 Edwardsville.