Week 12 | Helfgot's 5 games to watch

Maine South has scored at least that many points in every game since its 0-2 start.

The talk

Maine South's last state championship followed an 0-2 start, was led by a sophomore quarterback and included a 29-22 victory over Loyola in a Class 8A semifinal in 2010. Maine South also ousted Loyola in '08 and '09.

Helfgot's pick: Loyola 23-21. Per request. Not Loyola's.

Lake Zurich at Wheaton North

When: 6 p.m. Saturday.

Records: Lake Zurich 10-1, Wheaton North 9-2.

On the offensive

Wheaton North QB Clayton Thorson threw for 413 yards and five TDs to overcome a 25-point deficit against Fenwick in the second round. A punishing running game is a Lake Zurich staple, but the Bears are capable of big plays through the air, especially with linebackers Colton Wagner and Colton Moskal seeing action at receiver.

Getting defensive

Lake Zurich, a 20-0 winner over Rockton Hononegah last week, allowed an average of six points in its last six playoff games. Wheaton North's 'D' made last week's comeback possible with a second-half shutout.

The number: 40

Touchdowns by Thorson this season. The Northwestern recruit has thrown for 28 along with 2,772 yards and seven INTs and rushed for 534 yards and 12 TDs.

The talk

Lake Zurich is one victory away from its fifth consecutive Class 7A semifinal appearance and seventh in eight years. Wheaton North hasn't reached the semifinals since 2002.

Helfgot's pick: Lake Zurich 21-14. Semifinal rematch with Glenbard West.

Lake Forest at Batavia

When: 1 p.m. Saturday.

Records: Lake Forest 9-2, Batavia 10-1.

On the offensive