Mount Carmel's Matt Domer

Mount Carmel's Matt Domer celebrates scoring his second touchdown against Brother Rice in the first half Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. (Rob Hart / Chicago Tribune / October 3, 2013)

No. 1 Mount Carmel at No. 2 Loyola

When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Records: Mount Carmel 5-0, Loyola 5-0.

On the offensive

Matt Domer, Mount Carmel's Illinois-bound running back, has lived up to his reputation. His speed as the dive man in the option and Mount Carmel's overpowering offensive line make for a confounding combination to scheme against. Julius Holley and the Ramblers' ground game need to be at least effective enough to keep the defense guessing.

On the defensive

Loyola has a knack for slowing down high-scoring offenses by figuring out what to take away and what to live with from a matchup perspective. The veer option is designed to prevent that because, in theory, taking something away always leaves something else open. Caravan LB Nick Johnson and DB Deontae Brown have helped Big Ten-bound tackles Steve Richardson and Enoch Smith rush the passer.

The number: 1.

Mount Carmel loss — to Loyola in overtime — on the way to its 11th state-championship last fall. Also the ranking of the winner of this game.

The talk

There will be plenty of it before the game as Loyola is staging an ESPN Gameday-type event starting at noon.

Helfgot's pick: Loyola 21-20. No conviction here, but Ramblers rate the edge only because Mount Carmel is coming off an emotional road win against St. Rita.

No. 9 Naperville Central at No. 12 Wheaton Warrenville South

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Records: Naperville Central 5-0, Wheaton South 4-1.

On the offensive

Naperville Central has achieved an almost perfect 50-50 balance of rushing and passing yardage, with Illinois State-bound QB Jake Kolbe leading the way in both departments. Kolbe has thrown 11 touchdowns passes — six to Mike Kolzow and four to Ben Andreas — without an interception. Wheaton South likes to win low-scoring games with defense and special teams, but it needs to run the ball effectively with Isaiah Campos and Ryan Graham to trigger that plan.

On the defensive

Averaging 45.6 points per game has taken the focus off how good Naperville Central has been on this side of the ball. The Redhawks have recorded three shutouts against the lower rung of the DuPage Valley Conference. Wheaton South gave up a season-high total in its surprising 21-14 loss to Naperville North last week.

The number: 12.