Chicago Christian (1-1, 0-0) at Aurora Central Catholic (1-1, 0-0)
Game time: 7:30 p.m. today
Last year: Did not play.
Last week: Aurora Central 19, Marengo 7; Eisenhower 23, Chicago Christian 14.
Outlook: Like a lyric from "Rent," it was one thousand, four hundred and forty-eight days since Aurora Central last won at home, Week 8 of the 2007 season against Marmion. Chargers coach Brian Casey - earning victory No. 1 alongside his father, Tim, an assistant - relished it briefly before turning his attention to Week 3. "It was great for the kids to have that taste," Brian said. "They certainly enjoyed it, and on the flip-side of that they understand there's still work to be done." We can't leave behind Marengo, which Chicago Christian defeated 27-21 in the Knights' opener, without one more great Casey quote: "You know the old expression, 'act like you've been there before.' But in reality, they hadn't been there before." Running back Kyle Clechenko certainly hadn't scored 2 varsity touchdowns before, nor returnee Zach Tobin even 1. Those successes were part of an improved ground game that averaged 4.2 yards on first down, alleviating the pressure on quarterback Stewart deWaard. Chicago Christian relies heavily on its three-year starting quarterback, Jason VanderLaan. Out of the split-back veer option VanderLaan targets 6-foot-4 receiver Justin Kamp, whose height will challenge 5-foot-7 Chargers cornerback Jimmy Canning - though Casey assures a variety of coverages. Along with the run offense, Casey sees the key as continued defensive pressure by Kent Brauweiler, John Belovich, Nick Holzer, T.J. Ali and the Brothers Reuland, Mike and Joe, who made 11 tackles last week. "If we get the same amount of pressure in the backfield we've had the last two weeks, (VanderLaan) won't feel very comfortable back there," Casey said.
Next week: St. Edward (2-0) at Chicago Christian, Sept. 17; Aurora Central at Wheaton Academy (2-0).