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Article updated: 9/13/2012 8:48 PM
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Football: Scouting Week 4, Lake County
 

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Football: Scouting Week 4, Lake County
 

East Suburban Catholic Conference

Carmel (1-2) at St. Viator (2-1)

Story Continues Below

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Where: Forest View Stadium

Last week: Carmel defeated Marian Catholic, 34-10; St. Viator lost to Joliet Catholic, 33-20.

Skinny: Carmel made a switch at quarterback and the offense not only rolled up a season-high 273 rushing yards, it also led the way to the first win of the season. Former quarterback Josh Walinski flourished in his new role as running back, rushing for a 13-yard touchdown. Meanwhile, new quarterback Nick Grandolfo, formerly the back-up, settled in quickly. He rolled up 122 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. "Josh is probably our best runner, so we wanted to get him making more plays there," Carmel coach Andy Bitto said. "Josh and Nick had been competing all summer for quarterback anyway, so it was easy to just move Nick in and it seems to be working well for both of them."…The Corsairs were their sharpest on offense so far this season. In the previous two games, they rolled up a total of 7 turnovers, which led to a combined 45 points for the opposition. Against Marian Catholic last week, Carmel had just 1 turnover that led to 3 points. "I thought we had a better flow and tempo offensively," Bitto said. "It came down to blocking and execution and that led to more first downs."…The Corsairs also got production out of kicker Steven O'Block, who kicked field goals of 24 and 45 yards…The Carmel defense, led by linebacker Connor Lynde, was a "Perfect 10" against Marian Catholic. "We have 10 goals for our defense every game and they hit all 10 of them," Bitto said. "I can't remember a defense ever doing that."…Defending St. Viator perfectly could be a challenge. The Lions will take to the air often with quarterback Bobby Calmeyn, who completed 19-of-29 passes last week for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns. His main target is wide receiver Kevin Hammarlund. Calmeyn did, however, throw 3 interceptions against Joliet Catholic. Meanwhile, the Lions' top runner is Mayo Arogundade. "This is a big week for us, playing on the road against our biggest rival," Bitto said. "And I think St. Viator is a very good team and much better than last year."

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

North Suburban Prairie

Antioch (2-1, 1-0) at North Chicago (3-0, 1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Antioch def. Vernon Hills, 22-10; North Chicago def. Round Lake, 50-6.

Last year's result: Antioch def. North Chicago52-32.

Skinny: It's taken until Year 4, but with the help of Zion-Benton transfer JaVairius Amos-Mays and equally athletic Arnold Shead, Glen Kozlowski has turned around North Chicago's program. The former Wauconda coach went 1-8 in his first three seasons at North Chicago, but, at 3-0, the Warhawks already have their most wins since a 4-5 campaign under Michael Grenda in 2007. A pair of dynamic athletes in quarterback Amos-Mays and running back Shead, as well as 6-4, 300-pound lineman Jazz Johnson lead the offense. Daminian Martin had 3 interceptions in last Saturday's homecoming win over Round Lake. "They have a crew of playmakers," Antioch coach Brian Glashagel said. "Their QB and RB are big-time, while the supporting cast make plays as well. They remind me a lot of Waukegan (which beat Antioch in Week 2). They have the ability to strike quickly. Koz has done a great job of getting them turned around." ... Antioch got 89 rushing yards and a TD from sophomore QB Alan Taylor in its important win over rival Vernon Hills, while strong safety Anthony Cloe intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble. Austin Klotter was also effective rushing the ball for the Sequoits, gaining 79 yards on 22 carries.

-- Joe Aguilar

Vernon Hills (1-2) at Wauconda (2-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Vernon Hills lost to Antioch, 22-10; Wauconda lost to Grant, 46-39.

Skinny: Both of these teams are looking for an emotional lift after disappointing losses last week. "We didn't match the energy that Antioch brought," Vernon Hills coach Tony Monken said of his team's loss to the Sequoits. "We didn't have the same fire we had the previous weeks. We weren't on all cylinders and every time we would get something going, it seemed like we shot ourselves in the foot."…While Vernon Hills didn't have enough energy last week, Wauconda is hoping it didn't expend too much energy frantically digging itself out of the 26-point hole it dug by halftime. The Bulldogs scored 36 fourth-quarter points to make things very interesting but just could never get over the hump. "We had a couple of things happen early and we got into a little bit of a hole and then I think our guys panicked a little bit and things just got worse for us," Wauconda coach Dave Mills said. "That's not the way we want to play the game. But I will say that we saw that our kids will fight, that they won't ever give up. They showed that they'll play hard if they're up by 20 or down by 20."…Wauconda quarterback Austin Swenson came to life in the fourth quarter and almost pulled off the massive comeback with his precision passing. He completed 19-of-29 passes for 302 yards and 4 touchdowns. Two touchdown passes went to Alex Schwickrath and Austin Piekarski was the leading receiver overall with 7 catches for 129 yards. "(Swenson) sure looked good, especially in that fourth quarter," Vernon Hills coach Tony Monken said after watching film on Wauconda. "I don't know if Grant let its guard down a little bit, but you really can't do that in our league. We're going to have to be ready for Wauconda. They showed they have a lot of offensive power."…Vernon Hills' offense wasn't nearly as powerful against Antioch, managing only 190 total yards. Running back Sam Maloof was the most consistent option. He ran for 78 yards on 10 carries. "This will be our second straight week of going against the option," Mills said. "The option Grant runs is a little different from what they do at Vernon Hills, but they're both still very similar. We're going to have to be very disciplined. We just gave up 46 points to Grant and Vernon Hills has some very good runners as well."

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Lakes (2-1, 0-0) at Round Lake (0-3, 0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Lakes lost to Lake Forest, 20-13; Round Lake lost to North Chicago, 50-6.

Last year's result: Lakes def. Round Lake, 55-6.

Skinny: Lakes will try to bounce back after nearly upsetting Lake Forest last Friday night. The Eagles held a 13-7 lead in the second half before allowing the Scouts to score a pair of unanswered touchdowns. Andrew Spencer scored both of Lakes' TDs, the first on a short run and the second on a 23-yard toss from quarterback TJ Edwards. Direll Clark (418 yards, 6.2 average, 3 TDs) leads Lakes' ground attack, while first-year starter Edwards has completed 59 percent of his passes for 310 yards. The Eagles will face a Round Lake team that will be without junior quarterback John Ridley, who banged up his thumb against North Chicago last Saturday. Panthers coach John Coursey said both Ridley and starting defensive back Taylor Stempinski will be out 1-2 weeks. Starting running back Chris Perry missed the North Chicago game due to injury and will be out again this week, Coursey said. "We have had a good week of practice," Coursey said. "Players know this week is a challenge. Lakes can show many different looks on offense and Clark is a fantastic back. Defensively, Lakes is fast and gets to the football. As always, it is not about who we play, but how we play. We continue to improve and prepare each week to win." Round Lake's offense has struggled, but Coursey has seen improvement. "Vs. North Chicago, we had more first downs and had a better time of possession in the first half and were down 22-0," Coursey said. "I was not upset on how we played. Our effort was good. We need to pay attention to some details and we can have some positive outcomes."

-- Joe Aguilar

North Suburban Lake

Libertyville (2-1) at Warren (2-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Libertyville lost to Stevenson, 14-9; Warren defeated Zion-Benton, 34-0.

Skinny: After averaging 43 points per game over the first two weeks of the season, the Libertyville offense hit a snag last week. "We just missed opportunities," Libertyville coach Mike Jones said of his team's 9-point output against Stevenson. "Our defense did a great job and gave us good field position and we didn't come away with much. We had some stalled drives, we shot ourselves in the foot, we missed assignments. We need to be a lot more consistent on offense."…Even though Libertyville has been looking to run more this season with its return to the Wing-T offense, Stevenson was able to hold the Wildcats to 97 total rushing yards. Quarterback Jack Deichl was able to compensate by connecting on 13-of-26 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown pass to Conor Simpson…Libertyville will face another stiff test against a Warren defense that has given up just 6 points over the last two weeks. The Blue Devils also seem to be settling in to their spread offense, which they put in last season after years of running out of the I-formation. "They are much improved from last year now that they're in their second year with the spread," Jones said. "They're also doing a nice job of running out of their offense." In a win over New Trier in Week 2, Davonte Wilcox rolled up 136 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns for the Blue Devils.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Zion-Benton (0-3, 0-1) at Mundelein (0-3, 0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Zion-Benton lost to Warren, 34-0; Mundelein lost to Lake Zurich, 49-0.

Last year's result: Zion-Benton def. Mundelein, 22-7.

Skinny: Mundelein hasn't won a game since ending the 2010 season by edging Zion-Benton 14-13, a victory that prevented the Mustangs from going winless. Mundelein started the season promisingly by nearly defeating Wheeling but since then has been outscored by perennial state powers Prairie Ridge and Lake Zurich 114-7. The Mustangs are trying to snap a 12-game losing streak. "We continue to get better each week, even though the outcome or scores of the games don't reflect it," Mundelein coach George Kaider said. "We have a group of players that refuse to quit and have committed themselves to building a winning football program. Our youth and inexperience has made the past two weeks very difficult to be competitive. However, I see the improvements on many levels within our team." Zion-Benton has been outscored 77-25 in losses to Deerfield, Evanston and Warren. "We face a tough challenge (tonight) with a quality team," Kaider said. "Zion-Benton has played very good competition and have competed well with all three teams. They have a fast defense that gets to the ball well and some very good skilled players on offense. I am most impressed with the effort their players compete at. It is clear that the Zion players will play hard and not quit as well."

-- Joe Aguilar

Lake Zurich (2-1, 1-0) at Lake Forest (3-0, 0-0)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Lake Zurich def. Mundelein, 49-0; Lake Forest def. Lakes, 20-13.

Last year's result: Lake Zurich def. Lake Forest, 16-6.

Skinny: In order for there to be a football game tonight, the Lake Forest teachers strike needs to be avoided in time to allow Lake Forest students to go to school today. Otherwise, Lake Zurich will win by forfeit. It would be a shame if there is no game since these are two of the NSC's most successful programs, and their recent games between each other have been competitive. "No question," Lake Zurich coach David Proffitt said. "The last couple of years we've had very good games. We, as a program, really hope we can play (tonight)." Even if the strike were to end, and there were to be football tonight, both teams have had to deal with the obvious distraction this week. "For the coaches, yes, it has been difficult," Proffitt said. "For the players, I can't answer that. I'm not sure, but I don't think (the strike has been a distraction). I think our young men have practiced all week planning for a game and planning on playing a game." ... Lake Zurich got back on the winning track against Mundelein after a Week-2 loss at Cary-Grove and played well, Proffitt said. The Bears got a pair of defensive touchdowns on "scoop and scores" from middle linebacker Colton Moskal and outside linebacker Robert Rossdeutcher. LZ quarterback Jake Stauner did get nicked up against Mundelein and is day-to-day. "He practiced sparingly this week," Proffitt said. ... Lake Forest has been playing consistently on both sides of the ball, having outscored its opponents 71-20. If there's no game tonight, Lake Zurich will be spectators. "You could schedule another game," Proffitt said. "But at this late date, it's not worth the aggravation."

-- Joe Aguilar

North Suburban Conference crossover

Stevenson (2-1) at Grant (3-0)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Stevenson defeated Libertyville, 14-9; Grant defeated Wauconda, 46-39.

Skinny: Grant is coming off a wild victory over Wauconda, in which a combined 53 points were scored between the two teams in the fourth quarter alone. Up by 26 points at halftime, thanks to strong running by Jonathan Wells and Kyle Whitman, Grant had to hang on for dear life to fend off a determined Wauconda team that scored 36 points in the final 12 minutes. "There was no celebrating for us after that game," Grant coach Kurt Rous said. "Wauconda played a great fourth quarter. For us, it felt like we lost. I've felt better after some losses."…Almost losing a huge halftime lead wasn't even the most disturbing issue for Rous. He lost four defensive starters to injury, including a very serious injury to junior cornerback Christian Gomoll. In trying to make a tackle, Gomoll was himself hit by another player and suffered a broken neck in three places. He was taken away in an ambulance and eventually airlifted to a Chicago hospital. The good news is Gomoll didn't need surgery and will likely make a full recovery. "Some of our guys have taken cards down to him and some people have organized a fundraiser for him," Rous said of Gomoll. "He said he had some feeling when he was on the field. It's good to know he should be just fine."…Besides Gomoll, the Bulldogs saw three other players go down with injuries. Senior cornerback Jesse Ramirez hurt his knee and is likely out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, cornerback Keion Miller suffered a concussion and linebacker Jake Bychowski hyperextended his elbow. "Losing four starters sure didn't help our cause with Wauconda," Rous said. "Things just started to snowball and we couldn't stop them. All four of those guys will be out this week, which will be a little unnerving against a team like Stevenson."…The Bulldogs gave up 405 yards to Wauconda and seemed especially vulnerable to the pass. Wauconda quarterback Austin Swenson threw for 302 yards. Stevenson quarterback Willie Bourban, just a sophomore, is also coming off a big passing game. He rolled up 180 yards on 17-of-27 passes, finding Alan Velev and Matt Morrissey most often. "Our glue has been Willie Bourban. He holds our team together," Stevenson coach Bill McNamara said. "He does a nice job of understanding what a defense gives him and offensively we've been pretty consistent."…Defensively, the Patriots are preparing for a new look. "Grant runs the option and that's an offense our kids aren't that familiar with," McNamara said. "We're going to have to be physical and disciplined and we're going to have to tackle well. Grant is a very talented team." Against Wauconda, the Bulldogs got 191 rushing yards out of Wells and 94 out of Whitman.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Fox Valley Fox

Grayslake Central (1-2, 0-1) at Woodstock (1-2, 0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Grayslake Central lost to Hampshire, 46-20; Woodstock lost to Crystal Lake Central, 21-14.

Last year's result: Grayslake Central def. Woodstock, 35-0.

Skinny: Grayslake Central has allowed 77 points to Grant and Hampshire the last two weeks, and that kind of defense is not something the Rams are used to playing. They're coming off a 46-20 defeat to Hampshire. The last time Grayslake Central allowed that many points was in its 2008 season finale against Prairie Ridge, which won 52-20. ... Woodstock's 52-7 win over Chicago Noble Street Charter in Week 2 has been sandwiched by losses to Wauconda (21-7) and Crystal Lake Central (21-14). The Blue Streaks saw Crystal Lake Central march 95 yards late in the fourth quarter to break a 14-14 tie. Woodstock got one of its scores on a 22-yard TD pass from quarterback Alan Hafer to Mitch Kohley on fourth-and-9.

-- Joe Aguilar

Johnsburg (0-3) at Grayslake North (2-1)

When: 7:15 p.m., today

Last week: Johnsburg lost to Woodstock North, 41-0; Grayslake North defeated Jacobs, 56-21.

Skinny: The contrast between these two teams is stark on the offensive side. Grayslake North is averaging 44 points per game while Johnsburg has scored a total of just 14 points on the season and was shutout last week…Grayslake North quarterback AJ Fish, named the Chicago Bears high school player of the week, was a big part of the offensive explosion last week against Jacobs. He rushed for 4 touchdowns and threw for 2 more in rolling up massive numbers in both phases. Fish ran for 153 yards on 19 attempts while completing 19-of-28 passes for 323 yards. "AJ has just taken off," Grayslake North coach Steve Wood said. "He's rushed for almost more yards in the first three games than he did all of last season. And he's passing the ball so well. His versatility has been so big for us." Receiver Anthony Diggs was one of Fish's favorite targets. He hauled in 8 passes for 140 yards, including 2 touchdowns against Jacobs. One of Diggs' touchdown catches went for 60 yards….For Grayslake North, a program that has never been to the playoffs in its six-year existence, the huge win against always-tough Jacobs was a defining moment. "We needed one of those," Wood said. "We've been able to beat the teams that aren't always so good, but we've struggled against the good teams and we needed to prove we belong with those teams and I thought we did a good job of that against Jacobs."…The Grayslake North defense, led by linebackers David Collins and Jesse Davis, was tough last week against Jacobs, which scored on its first series but then didn't get its second first down of the game until its last drive of the first half. "Our defense was the key," Wood said. "Last year, Jacobs rushed for 400 yards on us and we couldn't tackle them to save our lives. This year, we were much better defensively. As much as our offense scored, it was our defense that really won us the game."…Looks like Johnsburg quarterback Nick Brengman will have his hands full again. He went up against Jacobs two weeks ago and wasn't nearly as productive as Fish was. Brengman threw 3 interceptions against the Golden Eagles.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

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