Elk Grove (2-0) at Palatine (1-1)
When: 7 p.m. today at Chic Anderson Stadium
Last week: Elk Grove d. Hoffman Estates 31-0; Palatine d. BG 42-7
Outlook: Though it doesn't count in the division standings, it's still a benchmark game of sorts for both teams. Palatine is taking the first step back to getting healthy as Jesse Bobbitt will start at safety but not receiver after hurting his back on the second play of the season and Chaka Kelly returns to the backfield after sitting out with an ankle injury against BG. John Serio should also get more carries and take some of the load off Alex Nawrot, who found the end zone 4 times last week. Cam Kuksa is still weeks away from returning but the Grenadiers defense will still be ready to go after shutting out Hoffman last week with Kishan Patel and Mike Bishoff making big plays. Adam O'Malley threw for 191 yards last week and will look for targets Travon Royal, Patel and Bishoff.
Hoffman Estates (0-2) at Buffalo Grove (0-2)
When: 7 p.m. today at Grant Blaney Stadium
Last week: Hoffman Estates lost to Palatine 31-0; BG lost to Palatine 42-7
Outlook: Both teams are searching for their first win after challenging early season schedules. Andrew Apel steps in at QB for BG, replacing the injured Brian Kleczynski. The Bison are at a disadvantage in terms of size but will look to combat that with quickness as speedster Ryan Schumi hauled in a 47-yard touchdown pass that pulled the Bison within 6 of Palatine in the second quarter. Hoffman has shown improvement in all three phases but is hoping to cut down on their 11 penalties last week. Kabrian Johnson ran for 40 yards last week.
Prospect (2-0) at Barrington (0-2)
When: 7 p.m. today at Barrington Community Stadium
Last week: Prospect d. Conant 41-21; Barrington lost to Rolling Meadows 41-7
Outlook: Devin O'Hara and company hit the road for the first time to take on a Barrington defensive unit that has impressed Prospect coach Mike Sebestyen despite a rough game last week against the powerful Rolling Meadows offense. O'Hara has already rushed for 10 touchdowns and thrown for 2 more. Jack Tuttle, Stevan Isteefanos and Nikko Gountanis all were near 100 yards from scrimmage and provide options outside of O'Hara. The Broncos will look to pick up the pieces behind QB Daniel Kubiuk against a Knights' defense that has struggled thus far against the pass but allowed Conant only 28 yards rushing.
Rolling Meadows (2-0) at Conant (1-1)
When: 7 p.m. today at Charles O. Feutz Field
Last week: Rolling Meadows d. Barrington 41-7; Conant lost to Prospect 41-21
Outlook: Conant gets to face another explosive offense but it's an entirely different animal than Prospect's run-oriented attack. The Cougars will have to stop strong-armed Meadows QB Jack Milas and a slew of emerging weapons in Andre Campbell, Matt Campbell and Steven Royster. To get back on track, the Cougars will need their defense to contain Milas and keep the ball in the hands of Tim Manczko, who caught 8 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown last week. QB Danny Modelski will lead the Cougars against a Mustang first-string defense that has yet to be scored on this season.
Schaumburg (2-0) at Hersey (1-1)
When: 7 p.m. today at Roland Goins Stadium
Last week: Schaumburg d. Wheeling 35-7; Hersey lost to Fremd 14-7
Outlook: Opponents have found out it's difficult to stop all of Schaumburg's skill players. Juwaan Richard was the man in Week 1 and last week it was Sadarriss Patterson who piled up 123 yards on the ground, including 2 TD's. After stepping in at QB last season, Stacey Smith is finding a variety of ways to contribute with this punt return for a touchdown last week. Hersey ran into a stingy Fremd defense last week but is still optimistic that they will be able to put up points behind versatile QB Quinn Orlandi. His favorite target has been Ed Miklasz, who has already hauled in 4 TD passes this season. Mario Thomas also ran for 50 yards.
Wheeling (1-1) at Fremd (1-1)
When: 7 p.m. today at Hale Hildebrandt Field
Last week: Wheeling lost to Schaumburg 35-7; Fremd d. Hersey 14-7
Outlook: Fremd captured its first victory last week behind a defense that didn't allow Hersey to score in the second half. The Vikings allowed the Huskies only 145 yards of offense and this week, they get a Wildcat squad still searching for an identity on offense. Aside from a late touchdown by Amani Dennis, Wheeling didn't mount much offense. Their defense, however, has impressed coach Brent Pearlman and been a positive in the early part of the season. Darius Burchett and Jeff McGlade combined for 125 yards on the ground for Fremd with Burchett finding the end zone in the first quarter. Viking QB Sam Beutler was an efficient 6-for-8 for 120 yards.
EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC
Joliet Catholic (1-1) at St. Viator (2-0)
When: 7 p.m. today at Forest View Educational Center
Last week: Joliet Catholic d. Robeson 34-26; St. Viator d. Deerfield 21-3
Outlook: In 26 games, St. Viator has yet to find a way to beat Joliet Catholic but with coach Brandon New leading an early season surge, the Lions are ready to take their shot. It all starts with a defense that surrendered only 120 total yards against Deerfield last week. Deerfield only passed 3 times all game but Brent Piechocki and Kevin Hammarlund each had interceptions. That defensive prowess may come in handy against a Hilltopper squad that, according to New, has been passing more than a typical Joliet Catholic team does. It's unclear whether or not USC-bound running back Ty Isaac will play. Mayo Arogundade led the Viator offense last week with 128 rushing yards and 2 TD's.
CENTRAL SUBURBAN CROSSOVER
Maine West (1-1) at Niles West (2-0)
When: 7 p.m. today at Mike Basrak Field
Last week: Maine West lost to Fenton 47-18; Niles West d. Niles North 30-21
Outlook: There were a lot of positives to take away from Maine West's loss to Fenton last week, like the Warrior defense forcing five turnovers and the offense accumulating 219 yards on the ground. Matt Swanson heads up Maine West's triple option attack against Addison Trail's blitzing 4-4 defense. Last week, Swanson ran for 74 yards and 2 TD's while John Manicke also found the end zone. The Warriors defense will have their hands full with an athletic Addison Trail team that runs a spread offense with a lot of zone runs.
WEST SUBURBAN GOLD
Addison Trail (1-1) at Leyden (1-1)
When: 7 p.m. today
Last week: Addison Trail lost to Proviso West 25-0; Leyden lost to Hinsdale Central 17-3
Outlook: Leyden hopes their defense can continue to play well after two solid outings in a row to start the season. The Eagles will need their offense to get back on track with Mike Smith and Mickey Gulo against the defending West Suburban Gold champs. Addison Trail uses a spread attack on offense and typically plays very physical. The Eagle defense, led by quality efforts by Adam Morrison and Quentin Morgan, kept Leyden within a touchdown from tying the game against undefeated Hinsdale Central before a late score set the final margin.
Hope Academy (1-1) at Christian Liberty (0-2)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Hope Academy lost to Hiawatha 14-13; Christian Liberty lost to Rockford Christian Life 24-21
Outlook: The improvement continues for Christian Liberty as they have been within reach in both games this season. Marcus Silva paced the offense in defeat with 120 yards on the ground. Shawn Anderson was relegated to only kicking duties instead of his usual spot at receiver after sustaining an elbow injury but hopes to return this week. Anderson's younger brother Dan also is a little banged up after playing tackle on both offense and defense. Head coach Jim Calkins expects Hope Academy to run plenty of play-action and though there offense may not be as formidable as last season, should still be a tough test for Christian Liberty.