Barrington (2-2) at Fremd (2-2)
When: 7 p.m. today at Hale Hildebrandt Field
Last week: Barrington d. BG 40-10; Fremd lost to Meadows 27-14
Outlook: Both teams like to play a tough brand of football, and this contest is sure to feature plenty of it. The Broncos revived their season against Prospect two weeks ago and haven't looked back. Justin Dragosz has rushed for over 100 yards in back-to-back weeks and quarterback Daniel Kubiuk has shown improvement for a team that led 33-3 at halftime last week. Matt Isola has proven to be a reliable target for quarterback Sam Beutler. Jeff McGlade leads a ground game that has outrushed its opponent in three straight weeks. But the Vikings will need to take better care of the football after 4 lost fumbles last week against Meadows.
Conant (3-1) at Schaumburg (4-0)
When: 7 p.m. today at Gary Scholz Stadium
Last week: Conant d. Elk Grove 26-14; Schaumburg d. Prospect 28-19
Outlook: It's the second Mayor's Cup in as many weeks for Conant, but there is a lot more on the line as two of the top teams in the West look to start division play strong. Schaumburg is the lone unbeaten team in the MSL and if they plan to stay that way, will need an answer for Tim Manczko. In addition to his offensive prowess, Manczko has been a leader on defense with acrobatic interceptions the last 2 weeks and 13 tackles from the safety position against Elk Grove. The Cougars will try to avoid the big play as the Saxons have scored in nearly every way imaginable this season with their wealth of athletes such as Sadarriss Patterson, Cole Reyes, Juwaan Richard and Stacey Smith.
Palatine (3-1) at Hoffman Estates (0-4)
When: 7 p.m. today at Dennis Garber Stadium
Last week: Palatine d. Hersey 49-14; Hoffman lost to Wheeling 26-20 (OT)
Outlook: Palatine traditionally start to hit their stride as division play begins, and that could make things difficult for a Hoffman Estates' squad still searching for their first win. The Pirates offense has been difficult to stop, even without the services of Cam Kuksa and Jesse Bobbitt. But with guys like Alex Nawrot and Eric Theis available for quarterback Ethan Olles, Palatine hasn't skipped a beat. It will be a good test for a Hawks defense coming off of 4 turnover performance against Wheeling. The only problem for Hoffman has been converting those takeaways into scores, which they will surely need to do to hang with Palatine. Kabrian Johnson will look to make a similar impact as last week, when he ran for a 68-yard touchdown and finished with 101 yards.
Elk Grove (2-2) at Hersey (1-3)
When: 7 p.m. today at Hersey- Roland Goins Stadium
Last week: Elk Grove lost to Conant 26-14; Hersey lost to Palatine 49-14
Outlook: Both teams are trying to end losing streaks as Elk Grove has dropped their last 2 while Hersey is on a 3-game slide. Hersey coach Dragan Teonic is looking for a more consistent effort on every play from his team. Huskies signal caller Quinn Orlandi will need to utilize wideouts Ed Miklasz and David Jackowski, who combined for 21 catches and 203 yards in the loss to Palatine. Elk Grove looks to regroup after letting games slip away the last 2 weeks. The defending East champs are hoping to simplify the offense led by quarterback Adam O'Malley. The Grenadiers will be without the services of offensive lineman Johnny Assimakopoulos but will get Dylan Edwards back from injury.
Buffalo Grove (1-3) at Prospect (2-2)
When: 7 p.m. today at Prospect- George Gattas Memorial Stadium
Last week: BG lost to Barrington 40-10; Prospect lost to Schaumburg 28-19
Outlook: Prospect has hit a bump in the road after losses the last 2 weeks, but coach Mike Sebestyen liked the improvements his team made after a bad loss to Barrington. It's all about the ground game for the Knights, led by quarterback Devin O'Hara and Steven Isteefanos, who ran for 185 and 98 yards last week, respectively. Should the Knights need to pass, O'Hara has targets like Nikko Gountanis and Andrew Hajek. BG will also look to keep the ball on the ground with Scott Smithern and Ryan Schumi, who combined for 178 yards last week against Barrington.
Rolling Meadows (3-1) at Wheeling (2-2)
When: 7 p.m. today
Last week: Meadows d. Fremd 27-14; Wheeling d. Hoffman 26-20 (OT)
Outlook: For Rolling Meadows, it's not about what they've done, but what's ahead. That's the attitude the Mustangs will take into a game against a Wildcats squad coming off an exciting win. Jack Milas has used a variety of targets this season and the latest to emerge have been Jacob Grant and Austin Reed. Wheeling hopes to hang tough behind the effort of Sam Yoshino, who's return to the lineup last week gave the Wildcats a big lift when they needed it most. Isaac Branch has put together a few good games in a row running the ball and will need to produce to hang with a Meadows team averaging 36 points this season.
EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC
St. Viator (3-1, 1-1) at Notre Dame (3-1, 1-1)
When: 7:30 p.m. today
Last week: St. Viator d. Carmel 28-25; Notre Dame d. Marian 22-9
Outlook: Every week is a new hurdle for the Lions to climb. Last week was the first time in 6 years that St. Viator beat Carmel and this week, they get a Notre Dame squad that they haven't beaten in at least 5 years. Viator quarterback Bobby Calmeyn has developed quite the connection with wide receiver Kevin Hammarlund, who made several key catches last week on his way to 112 yards. Mayo Arogundade gives the Lions a power runner to go along with Calmeyn's arm. Defensively, Viator will need to win the turnover battle like they did last week by recovering 2 fumbles and pulling down an interception.
CENTRAL SUBURBAN NORTH
Highland Park (0-4) at Maine West (1-3)
When: 7:30 p.m. today
Last week: Highland Park lost to Niles West 25-20; Maine West lost to New Trier 28-7
Outlook: It's a fresh start for Maine West as they have dropped their last 3 games heading into their division opener. Highland Park may be winless this season but they have shown they are capable of hanging with some quality teams, like narrow losses to Niles West and New Trier. Maine West struggled early last week but regrouped to shut out New Trier in the second half. Matt Swanson makes the Warriors go with his decision-making as an option quarterback and will need a similar effort to last week, when he rushed for 103 yards and the team's only touchdown.
WEST SUBURBAN GOLD
Leyden (3-1, 2-0) at Hinsdale South (4-0, 2-0)
When: 7:30 p.m. today
Last week: Leyden d. Downers Grove South 27-21; Hinsdale South d. Addison Trail 42-14
Outlook: Hinsdale South has gotten off to a quick start, outscoring their opponents 183-35. It will be a great test for a Leyden defensive unit, led by linebackers Adam Morrison and Ivan Nevarez, that has allowed only 38 points. The Eagles offense hit its stride in the win over Downers Grove South as quarterback Mike Smith totaled 230 yards of offense. Starting running back Mickey Gulo went down with an injury but Aaron Whigam stepped in and ran for 140 yards behind the strong offensive line of Javier Rhoades, Raul Molina, Erik Herrera, John Dyer, Gunnar Schiferl and David Flores. Gulo will play tonight but Whigam will see action in the backfield as well.
Alden-Hebron (2-2) at Christian Liberty (0-4)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Alden-Hebron d. CICS Longwood 45-8; Christian Liberty lost to Mooseheart 33-22
Outlook: A motivated Christian Liberty squad is still looking for a breakthrough and its first win, but the Chargers have certainly been close. If they are going to pick that first win, another big game from Marcus Silva won't hurt. The running back ran 36 times for 199 yards and after Alex Glynn ran for a 76-yard touchdown, Christian Liberty get out to a 14-12 lead. The next step is closing the deal, something coach Jim Calkins is confident his kids will be able to do. Christian Liberty ran for 404 yards last week and will look to control the ball and keep their defense fresh.