With one-third of the high school football regular season already in the books, this is a good opportunity to review some of the early happenings.
Thunder and Lightning
Perhaps now is the right time to come up with nicknames for Batavia's dynamic backfield tandem of Anthony Thielk and Anthony Scaccia.
Bulldogs coach Dennis Piron talked about the exciting duo moments after weekend's 35-21 victory over longtime rival Geneva.
"Anthony and Anthony, Thielk and Scaccia, it's a nice combination," Piron said after watching the pair combine for 220 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns against the Vikings.
While the "law firm" of Anthony and Anthony has a nice ring to it, I'd like to suggest "Thunder and Lightning" as an alternative.
If you've seen in the Bulldogs in action, you understand what I'm talking about.
Thielk, a bruising 6-2, 215-pounder who also excels on defense, displayed his power when he ran over a would-be tackler on his way to a short-yardage touchdown against Geneva.
Meanwhile, Scaccia, a scatback-type who often seems to get obscured from view by his offensive linemen, certainly has the ability to light up a field.
Last Friday, the 5-7, 150-pounder, ran for 138 yards and a pair of touchdowns, plus has 2 more scores called back because of penalties -- a 51-yard reception from quarterback Micah Coffey and an 80-yard kickoff return.
As if Batavia foes don't need any more reminders, they better get used to trying to slow down Thielk and Scaccia because they're both juniors who have plenty of mileage left on their cleats.
Wild and windy
While the weather conditions were near-perfect for the opening week of the season, the wind wreaked havoc for several teams during last weekend's action.
In Elgin, a shanked St. Edward punt into the wind that traveled just 5 yards left Marmion with decent field position early in the first quarter. Sophomore tailback Jordan Glasgow made the Green Wave pay on the very next play, breaking free for a 61-yard touchdown run that put the Cadets on top for good.
In Batavia, Geneva opened with a 3-and-out offensive series before a 5-yard punt left the Bulldogs in business inside the Vikings' 30-yard line. Two plays later, Coffey connected with Zach Strittmatter on a 23-yard touchdown pass to give the Bulldogs a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
"That's the second week in a row we've had a 3-yard punt," said Geneva coach Rob Wicinski. "Wheaton North (Week 2 loss on Aug. 31) gets the ball at the 26, they (Batavia) get the ball at the 26; you just don't get good starts that way. We have to do better obviously."
At St. Charles North, the North Stars had a punt into the wind that actually went backward. The minus-6 yard kick set up St. Charles East in the red zone and eventually led to Joe Hoscheit's 5-yard touchdown run that gave the Saints a 16-7 lead.
Kaneland football coach Tom Fedderly looked forward to last weekend's clash with defending Northern Illinois Big 12 West champion Sterling.
"We have a lot of respect for Sterling because they have won their side of the conference the last two years and we have won ours the last two years," said Fedderly, whose team's last previous meeting with Sterling resulted in a 23-21 loss in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs in 2008. "This was a really big game for us to see how good we are."
How good are the Knights?
They're plenty tough, evidenced by their 42-0 victory over a previously unbeaten Sterling squad that included a running clock throughout the entire fourth quarter.
Junior quarterback Drew David threw a pair of touchdown passes but was overshadowed by a 227-yard, 4-TD rushing attack and an air-tight defense that held the Golden Warriors to just 78 yards of total offense.
Here's another nickname I'll throw out there, this one for St. Charles East senior 2-way standout Joe Hoscheit -- "Mr. Versatility."
The 6-foot, 215-pound middle linebacker/running back was virtually all over the field during the Saints' 23-13 triumph over cross-town foe St. Charles North.
In addition to his punishing blocking ability, Hoscheit rushed for 32 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 11 carries and caught 5 passes for 89 yards. He sealed the Saints' fifth consecutive victory over the North Stars with a 56-yard TD reception with 1:19 remaining.
Utilized as the up-man on punts, Hoscheit took a direct snap from center and converted a first down with a 2-yard run -- on 4th-and-1 from the Saints' own 20-yard line in a 7-0 game.
"It was like 4th-and-1 on the 15 and Joe is like, 'give me the ball, Coach,'" Saints coach Mike Fields said of Hoscheit. "How can you say no?"
Later during the same offensive series, Hoscheit tossed a 19-yard pass to Brannon Barry on another fake punt on 4th-and-4 from midfield.
"We were going to win or lose with Joe," said Fields. "We decided that early in the week, especially with (tailback) Erik Anderson down (shoulder injury)."
Although the Saints still have 6 regular-season games remaining and perhaps the postseason to look forward to, Fields has already started contemplating life without Hoscheit in a St. Charles East uniform.
"I'm surely going to miss him next year," said Fields.
Midway through the third quarter, St. Charles North's Evan Kurtz ran for 18 yards and a first down on a fake punt from the North Stars' 28-yard line.
Guess who made might what have been a touchdown-saving tackle on the play?
You guessed it … Hoscheit.
"He was in the middle of the field and he caught our guy going down the sideline," North Stars coach Mark Gould said of Hoscheit. "He has more speed than people realize. He's such a good athlete and he's so quick at linebacker -- filling the hole and reading the offense. He certainly is a big part of what they do."
With this being Sept. 11, please take a moment to remember our nation's fallen from this day 11 years ago. Putting things in perspective, most high school seniors from the Class of 2013 were 6- and 7-year-old first grade students back in 2001.
You can reach Craig Brueske at firstname.lastname@example.org