Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 9/1/2011 6:21 PM

Week 2 Lake County football previews

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Nazareth (1-0, 1-0) at Carmel (0-1, 0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. today

Last week: Nazareth d. Benet 17-0; Carmel lost to Joliet Catholic 32-31.

Outlook: After a heartbreaking last-minute loss at Joliet Catholic to open the season, the Corsairs look to bounce back on their home turf. Carmel, the defending East Suburban Catholic champ, did not lose a conference game last year. Moving the football was not the problem for the Corsairs against Joliet Catholic, as new quarterback Brian Brennan (18 carries, 107 yards), halfback Michael Panico (13-139, 3 touchdowns) and fullback Jordan Kos (17-122, TD) each rushed for more than 100 yards. But Carmel lost the turnover battle 2-0, with both a lost fumble and interception leading to points for the Hilltoppers.

Nazareth started 2-0 last year, but dropped six of its last seven games and missed the playoffs. The Roadrunners boast a more experienced team this year, and in their shutout of Benet, they got an interception from Joseph DeSimone, who returned the pick for a touchdown. Nazareth also got a TD throw from QB Sam Poulos to fullback Andrew Bartucci.

-- Joe Aguilar


Stillman Valley (0-1) at Wauconda (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. today

Last week: Stillman Valley lost to Aurora Christian 38-20; Wauconda d. Woodstock 36-14.

Outlook: Stillman Valley, which lost Opening Night, didn't lose its first game last year until the final week of the season, when the Cardinals fell to Illini West 22-20 in the Class 3A state championship game. That snapped Stillman Valley's 27-game winning streak and denied the Cardinals their second straight state title. Their defense, which returns about half their starters, was victimized by Aurora Christian's Western Michigan-bound quarterback Anthony Maddie, who completed 20 of 26 passes for 282 yards and 2 touchdowns. Maddie also ran for 3 scores. Stillman Valley primarily ran the ball against Aurora Christian, with Jake Wold and A.J. Dobson each scoring a rushing TD.

Wauconda QB Branden Rowe posted Maddie-like numbers against Woodstock in the Bulldogs' season-opening win. A 6-4 transfer from Marian Central, Rowe was 14-of-18 passing for 279 yards and rushed 17 times for 113 yards. He tossed 2 TD passes to veteran wide receiver Jake Ziolkowski (6 catches, 121 yards) and one to Austin Piekarski. Wauconda's defense was led by Jake Sherman (4 solo tackles, 2 tackles for loss) and Shawn Sundquist (2 TFL). Jack Botheroyd and Carlos Quinones also recorded tackles for loss, while Eric Dragon had an interception. ... In Week 2 last year, Stillman Valley defeated Wauconda 46-20.

-- Joe Aguilar

Round Lake (0-1) at Grayslake North (0-1)

When: 7:15 p.m. today

Last week: Round Lake lost to Grayslake Central 47-6; Grayslake North lost to Lakes 16-7.

Outlook: For the second week in a row, both teams are keeping it local by playing a Lake County squad. Round Lake needs to eliminate its mental errors after being penalized 13 times for 105 yards against Grayslake Central. Panthers quarterback Anthony Burton threw 3 interceptions, but he completed 6 passes to Andrew Parnell and also showed an ability to elude tacklers and take a hit. A good athlete, Burton rushed for 122 yards, 44 coming on a touchdown run late in the game.

Grayslake North has an athletic QB of its own in A.J. Fish, who completed 12 of 23 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown against Lakes. The Knights were effective taking the ball away, as they recorded 5 turnovers, including interceptions by Jake Geary and Adam Xiong.

-- Joe Aguilar

Urban Prep Charter (1-0) at Libertyville (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. today

Last week: Urban Prep Academy d. Maine West 14-6; Libertyville d. Barrington 23-20 in overtime.

Outlook: The atmosphere won't match Libertyville's season opener at home last week, as the Wildcats won't be wearing camouflage uniforms, honoring military personnel or having Wayne Messmer sing the national anthem. But the home team should be charged up, nonetheless. After all, the Wildcats have a chance to win two games in a row, something they did only once last season in a 3-6 campaign. Quarterback Hutch Herchenbach scored in overtime, on fourth-and-goal from the 1, to give the Wildcats a thrilling win over Barrington. Brian Swift carried 11 times for 127 yards, and Joey Salata scored on a pair of short runs.

Urban Prep has gained plenty of recognition off the field for sending its entire graduating class to college two years in a row. On the field, the Lions went 3-6, including 3-4 in the Chicago Public Windy City, last year. "Urban Prep has some good speed at the skill positions and some size on the line," Libertyville coach Randy Kuceyeski said. "Their defense is quick with a lot of blitzing. They have some good hitters on defense and run to the ball fairly well. We will have to contain their speed on the perimeter and we must run the ball and control the clock to keep their offense off the field. We also have to be able to protect our quarterback in order to throw the ball."

-- Joe Aguilar

Mundelein (0-1) at Prairie Ridge (1-0)

When: 7:15 p.m. today

Last week: Mundelein lost to Wheeling 29-20; Prairie Ridge d. Glenbard South 55-12.

Outlook: Mundelein has a stiff test in Crystal Lake. Prairie Ridge, a Class 6A semifinalist the last two years, showed in its season opener why it headed into the season ranked No. 2 in Class 6A. The Wolves feature star fullback Connor Greenwald and big offensive lineman Tom Evans (6-5, 260). Greenwald had a touchdown run against Glenbard South, but the Wolves' big weapon on the ground was junior running back Jordan Getzelman (6-2, 195), who rushed for 135 yards on just 6 carries, busting off TD runs of 34 and 45 yards. Tight end Nick Margiotta is another game-changer. He caught 2 TD passes and also boomed 5 kickoffs into the end zone. Prairie Ridge totaled nearly 500 yards of offense.

Mundelein hasn't had a big-play back in a while, but senior L.D. Frison (5-8, 150) showed in the Mustangs' opener what he's capable of doing. He scored on runs of 85, 2 and 29 yards. Frison finished with 115 rushing yards on just 7 carries.

-- Joe Aguilar

Lakes (1-0) at Woodstock North (1-0)

When: 7:15 p.m. today

Last week: Lakes d. Grayslake North 16-7; Woodstock North. d. Elmwood Park 49-7

Outlook: It's a matchup of two of the newer high schools in the state. Lakes has fielded a varsity team since only 2005, making the playoffs last year for the second season in a row and third time in its history. Woodstock North has posted records of 0-9 in its inaugural campaign two years ago and 2-7 last season. It's the first meeting ever between the two programs. Woodstock North had a promising start to Year 3, rolling over Elmwood Park, as junior running back Adam Haimbaugh scored 3 touchdowns, including one on a kickoff return, and junior quarterback Brian Loftin threw for a pair of scores. The Thunder also got 113 rushing yards and a TD from junior Adam Wade. It's the first time Woodstock North has been 1-0.

In his first varsity start at quarterback, Lakes 6-foot junior Levi Haymaker threw for 101 yards, including a 21-yard TD strike to Justin Bergeron in the fourth quarter that put the Eagles in front. Lakes sealed the win when Direll Clark busted off a 72-yard TD run. Clark finished with 96 rushing yards on 12 carries.

-- Joe Aguilar

Grant (1-0) at Grayslake Central (1-0)

When: 7:15 p.m., today

Last week: Grant def. Johnsburg, 42-0; Grayslake Central def. Round Lake, 47-6.

Skinny: The scoreboard operator at Grayslake Central might be extra busy tonight. Last week, Grant and Grayslake Central exploded for a combined 89 points in their season openers…Grant got the job done on the ground, rolling up 412 total rushing yards in its option offense. "We came out and executed well and I think we caught Johnsburg in a few defensive sets they didn't want to be in. We took advantage," Grant coach Kurt Rous said. "Our offensive line played really well and we were able to get several big runs."…Running back Kyle Whitman broke off a 34-yard touchdown while quarterback Alex Villa scored 2 of his 3 touchdowns from at least 40 yards out. Whitman finished with 129 yards on 9 carries while Villa had 178 yards on 9 carries. Sophomore running back Jonathon Wells added 110 yards.

Grayslake Central moved the ball effectively on the ground as well. Running back Joey Valdivia ran in 2 touchdowns and amassed 193 total yards. He also caught some pretty passes from quarterback Ray Beckman, including 2 touchdowns. "He's really good, really explosive and he's hard to tackle," Rous said of Valdivia. "Their entire offense was very explosive. They've got a lot of options." One of Beckman's favorite options was receiver Vince Smith, who had 2 touchdown catches (9 and 36 yards). Beckman finished with 232 yards. He completed 8-of-11 passes and threw 4 touchdowns. "We preach being balanced," Grayslake Central coach Nick Goshe said. "We try to be balanced with run versus pass and in who we get the ball to. We try to spread that around, too. I think we have the athletes this year, starting with a very talented quarterback and running back (Valdivia), to do that."

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

New Trier (0-1) at Warren (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: New Trier lost to Schaumburg, 22-17; Warren lost to Maine South, 40-12.

Skinny: Both New Trier and Warren are looking to put the hurt of tough Opening Night losses behind. The pain was administered differently, but stung just the same. New Trier lost in the final two minutes to Schaumburg while Warren had to watch as Maine South ran away with a comfy 28-point victory. "We had a very tough test in Week 1," Warren coach Dave Mohapp said. "But at least you come away knowing what you need to work on. We are very inconsistent in the way we execute,"…Warren managed only 1 touchdown, a 9-yard pass from quarterback Adam Reuss to Mitch Munda. Reuss completed 14-of-27 passes for 125 yards. The Blue Devils' other points were from kicker Patrick Kenney, who booted field goals of 44 and 29 yards. "That 44-yard field goal might have been the longest field goal we've had since I've been here," said Mohapp, who is beginning his 15th season with the Blue Devils. "(Kenney) has a really strong leg and I think he has even more in him (a longer distance) than that. I think he'll do a lot to help our team this year."

New Trier helped itself last week with a big second-half rally. Down 16-3 in third quarter, the Trevians scored on consecutive possessions to take a 17-16 lead. Junior Devin Boehm heated up. He finished with 102 yards on 7 rushes. And quarterback Jack Nykaza ran in touchdowns from 3 and 8 yards out for the Trevians. Nykaza also completed some clutch passes. He finished with 144 passing yards, completing 8-of-17 attempts. The New Trier defense then forced Schaumburg into three consecutive three-and-outs…But Schaumburg rallied and scored the winning touchdown with 1:43 left. "We've always had good games with New Trier. We've played them the last seven or eight years," Mohapp said. "That's a team that can always give you matchup problems. They are very multiple and well run different things at you and they are very tough."

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Cary-Grove (1-0) at Lake Zurich (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Cary-Grove def. St. Charles East, 28-0; Lake Zurich def. Fremd, 35-3.

Skinny: It's the beginning of a new era at Cary-Grove. Bruce Kay, who coached the Trojans for 22 years and won a state title in 2009, retired at the end of last year. But Lake Zurich coach Bryan Stortz isn't expecting Cary-Grove to look much different than last year when these two teams met up in a Week 2 game that his team won, 10-3. "I'm pretty sure that almost the entire rest of staff is still in tact," Stortz said. "And (new Cary-Grove coach) Brad (Seaburg) was an assistant under Bruce for awhile. It's been a quality program for many years so we're expecting to see them running a lot of the same stuff."

Stortz probably wouldn't mind seeing his team do many of the same things it did last week in running away with a 32-point victory over Fremd. "Our overall effort was very good," Stortz said. "We were intense and physical and we were able to get a nice rotation going with our running backs and we kept hitting (Fremd) with fresh legs." Running backs Connor Schrader (13 carries, 142 yards) and Mike Shield (10 carries, 105 yards) combined for nearly 250 yards. Meanwhile, reserve quarterback Steven Kuhn stepped in for injured starter Zach Till (ankle) and scored 2 touchdowns…Till's availability for tonight will be a game-time decision.

Cary-Grove starting quarterback Corey Laktas was in tip-top shape last week in running for 2 touchdowns. He finished with 156 yards on 17 carries in the Trojans' option offense that netted a total of 389 rushing yards. Junior Ryan Mahoney added 128 yards on 19 carries.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Glenbrook South (1-0) at Stevenson (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Glenbrook South def. Prospect, 34-10; Stevenson lost to Lyons, 24-19.

Skinny: There's always a lot to examine in a season opener. And not all of it is about Xs and Ox. Stevenson coach Bill McNamara was watching closely last week against Lyons how his team handled the adversity of multiple turnovers, including 4 interceptions that put the defense back on the field quickly and for long stretches. "We still had a never-say-die attitude, even with all the adversity we faced," McNamara said. "We had a number of unfortunate things happen to us, but the kids responded positively and gave us a chance to win the game with two minutes left. They pushed through."

Stevenson had advanced to the Lyons' 33-yard line with 1:44 left, but quarterback Matt Micucci threw one of his 4 interceptions to end the game. "We have all the confidence in the world in Matt," McNamara said. "I think the nerves of his first start got to him a little bit and he was kind of pressing sometimes. But I think we're going to be able to count on him doing a lot of really good things for us this season."…On the plus side, Micucci completed 13 of 23 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown to Troy Radtke…Glenbrook South quarterback Mac Zabriske is coming off a solid performance in which he completed 8-of-12 passes for 148 yards and 4 touchdowns…Defensively, the Titans forced 3 Prospect turnovers. "Glenbrook South is very strong up front on both sides," McNamara said. "They've got really powerful kids on the line. This is going to be a war to see who can control the line of scrimmage."

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Wheaton St. Francis (1-0) at Vernon Hills (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Wheaton St. Francis def. Riverside-Brookfield, 20-14; Vernon Hills def. Chicago Dunbar, 58-34.

Skinny: With all the success Vernon Hills has had in the past, it hasn't always been easy to schedule nonconference games. "It's a case that the better you get, the harder its is to find teams to play. A lot of the schools our size just don't want to play us so we end up playing schools that are much bigger than us every year," said Vernon Hills coach Tony Monken, whose Class 5A team opened with 8A Dunbar last week. "That's why we're so happy we got this game. St. Francis is one of the few Class 5A schools in the area and they won a state championship (in 2008). It's a very good opponent with program numbers similar to us. It's going to be a heck of a game."

Vernon Hills is coming off a wild game against Dunbar in which it took a 16-0 early lead, allowed Dunbar to score 18 unanswered points and then scored the final 21 points of the game to get the victory. The Cougars rolled up the rushing yardage behind Jarrett Wood (166 yards on 7 carries and 3 touchdowns), Dylan McNamara (83 yards on 19 carries and 2 touchdowns) and Sam Maloof (81 yards on 4 carries and 2 touchdowns)…St. Francis also runs a potent rushing offense that gained 2,168 yards last year. Last week, Jack Petrando had 2 touchdowns for St. Francis and Jeff Rutkowski had the other. They run behind 290-pound junior tackle Kyle Bosch, who has scholarship offers from Stanford, Arizona, West Virginia and five Big Ten teams. "It could be one of those games where whoever has the ball last wins the game," Monken said. "This will be two great programs going at it."

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw


Antioch (1-0) at Waukegan (1-0)

When: 1:30 p.m., Saturday

Last week: Antioch def. Lake Forest Academy, 14-12; Waukegan def. North Chicago, 35-6.

Skinny: Antioch is coming off a narrow win over Lake Forest Academy in which linebacker Zach Freundt made the difference on the scoreboard. He notched a safety in the second quarter on a sack of the quarterback that gave Antioch the 2-point win…The run-oriented Sequoits didn't stray from tradition in the season opener. They got the ball into the hands of shifty running back Dan Arden, who scored on a 33-yard run. Quarterback Josh Anttila scored the other touchdown and finished with 66 yards on 9 carries…Antioch got a Week 2, 25-14 win over Waukegan last year that paved the way to a 7-3 finish. Waukegan was 3-6 in 2010.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw