Fremd (3-2, 1-0) at Palatine (4-1, 1-0)
When: 7 p.m. today at Chic Anderson Stadium
Last week: Fremd d. Barrington 24-7; Palatine d. Hoffman 48-7
Outlook: Both teams are off to good starts in division play and looking to stay at the top of the West in this crosstown rivalry that Fremd leads all-time 28-17. Palatine gets the talented Jesse Bobbit back after the safety sat out the last two weeks. The Pirates have gotten big contributions from Eric Theis and Alex Nawrot in Cam Kuksa's absence, but the running game has also been solid with John Serio and Chaka Kelly, who had 3 touchdowns last week. Kuksa is expected to be back from his broken ankle next week against Conant. There will be no surprises from Fremd, who will look to pound away behind running back Jeff McGlade and control the ball so their defense can stay fresh. Aside from a 71-yard run, the Fremd defense allowed Barrington only 108 yards of offense, so going up against a Palatine squad averaging 43.6 points per game will be a good test.
Hoffman Estates (0-5, 0-1) at Conant (4-1, 1-0)
When: 7 p.m. today at Charles O. Feutz Field
Last week: Hoffman lost to Palatine 48-7; Conant d. Schaumburg 30-21
Outlook: Conant is going for its third Mayor's Cup in as many weeks and coming off two emotional victories. The Cougars will aim to get off to a better start than last week when they had to rally in the fourth quarter to win. Sophomore Elias Gardner has emerged as a reliable target to complement Tim Manczko (610 rec yards, 12 total TD) for quarterback Danny Modelski, and the Cougars can also run with Jacobi Sims. The Hawks will look to quarterback Eric Brooks to lead them to the upset. Harry Wright and Kabrian Johnson are options out of the backfield for Hoffman.
Schaumburg (4-1, 0-1) at Barrington (2-3, 0-1)
When: 2 p.m. Saturday at Barrington Community Stadium
Last week: Schaumburg lost to Conant 30-21; Barrington lost to Fremd 24-7
Outlook: Both teams came into their West openers riding high and both suffered setbacks. Barrington is in danger of picking up its fourth loss, which would make for a tough path to the playoffs with Palatine and Conant still on the schedule. The Broncos have been unstoppable in their last two home games, outscoring their opponents 82-16. Daniel Kubiuk struggled throwing the ball in sloppy conditions last week but his mobility helped him rush for 125 yards and the team's lone touchdown. Schaumburg is coming off a game in which it led by 14 at half and 7 after three quarters but were unable to mount much offense in the second half. The Saxons have excelled on special teams this season but a poor snap on a punt and allowing a fake punt by Conant were costly, as were 12 penalties for 108 yards.
Hersey (2-3, 1-0) at Buffalo Grove (1-4, 0-1)
When: 7 p.m. today Grant Blaney Stadium
Last week: Hersey d. Elk Grove 33-30 (2OT); BG lost to Prospect 34-14
Outlook: Hersey ended its 3-game losing streak in a big way last week and looks to continue that momentum against a BG squad that has lost two in a row as the two teams compete for the Fireman's Cup. The Huskies stuck with the ground game more than usual against Elk Grove and Mario Thomas rewarded that plan with a season-high 127 yards and 2 overtime touchdowns. Quinn Orlandi was turnover-free and did a much better job of managing the game after 5 interceptions in the previous 3 games. It will be Andrew Apel's fourth start at quarterback for the Bison and coach Mike DiMatteo has liked the junior's improvement. Scott Smithern found the end zone for the first time this season in last week's game and Ryan Schumi is a threat as a receiver and runner.
Prospect (3-2, 1-0) at Rolling Meadows (4-1, 1-0)
When: 7 p.m. today at Robert A. Hoese Athletic Field
Last week: Prospect d. BG 34-14; Meadows d. Wheeling 35-9
Outlook: Two contrasting styles square off in this East heavyweight fight. Quarterback Jack Milas (1,233 pass yards, 17 TD, 1 INT) leads Meadows' aerial attack and will look to spread the ball around to targets like Andre Campbell, Jacob Grant, Austin Reed and Matt Campbell. Meadows coach Matt Mishler has liked the way his defense, led by linebacker Adam Pavlakis, has performed thus far and will need another good performance to contain Prospect's running attack that produced 388 yards last week. At the top of the Mustangs' scouting report should be quarterback Devin O'Hara (837 rush yards, 12 TD). But Meadows will also have to be aware of Jack Tuttle and Stevan Isteefanos, who both had at least 15 carries last week and each scored touchdowns.
Wheeling (2-3, 0-1) at Elk Grove (2-3, 0-1)
When: 7 p.m. today at Robert Haskell Stadium
Last week: Wheeling lost to Meadows 35-9; Elk Grove lost to Hersey 33-30 (2OT)
Outlook: An Elk Grove squad with high pre-season expectations will look to right the ship against Wheeling. The Grenadiers played a good second half of football last week and may have found a new weapon with linebacker Mikey Maize at running back. Maize, who ran for 111 yards and 2 touchdowns, could be a good complement to Emmanuel Amofa and Travon Royal. Wheeling's offense featured plenty of Yoshino last week, as quarterback Matt and running back Sam combined for all 100 of the Wildcats' rushing yards.
EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC
Benet (4-1, 1-1) at St. Viator (3-2, 1-2)
When: 7:30 p.m. today at Forest View Educational Center
Last week: Benet d. Marian 44-6; St. Viator lost to Notre Dame 49-20
Outlook: St. Viator looks to get back on track after a performance that wasn't up to coach Brandon New's standards. Tied at 14-14 last week, Viator let one slip away despite early touchdowns from Mayo Arogundade and John Balas. Junior quarterback Bobby Calmeyn will look to get Viator back on track with wideouts Kevin Hammarlund and Ben Dickey. The Lions are facing a Redwings defense that is returning 10 of 11 starters from last year and is allowing just 8.8 points per game this season. Benet's sophomore quarterback Jack Beneventi will look for wideouts Jack Toner and Jack Euritt. Porter Ontko ran for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns last week in the win over Marian.
CENTRAL SUBURBAN NORTH
Maine West (1-4, 0-1) at Deerfield (1-4, 0-1)
When: 7:30 p.m. today
Last week: Maine West lost to Highland Park 42-21; Deerfield lost to Glenbrook North 42-14
Outlook: Preparing for an option team is usually pretty difficult, but the Maine West defense has the luxury of practicing against its own option offense in practice every day. Coach Chris Hare is hoping that repetition will pay off in tonight's game against the defending North champions. Maine West's running attack was productive once again in last week's loss to Highland Park. John Manicke ran 25 times for 125 yards and a touchdown, helping shoulder some of the load usually placed on quarterback Matt Swanson, who ran for 84 yards and a touchdown.
WEST SUBURBAN GOLD
Morton (2-3, 1-2) at Leyden (4-1, 3-0)
When: 7:30 p.m. today
Last week: Morton d. Addison Trail 20-6; Leyden d. Hinsdale South 17-14
Outlook: Leyden has put itself in the driver's seat in the Gold and controls its own destiny. The defense led the way again against Hinsdale South, holding the Hornets passing attack to 95 yards as Aaron Whigham had 1 of Leyden's 2 interceptions. The Golden Eagles' pass rush has been a key component to the defense's success as defensive tackles Quintin Morgan and Javier Rhoades have been able to put constant pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Ivan Nevarez and Adam Morrison blitzing from their linebacker posts have helped, too. Quarterback Mike Smith leads the offensive with Mickey Gulo, who ran for 86 yards and caught a 41-yard touchdown pass last week.
North Shore County Day (4-1, 4-1) at Christian Liberty (0-5, 0-5)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Last week: North Shore County Day d. Hiawatha 39-22; Christian Liberty lost to
Outlook: Christian Liberty featured an expanded passing attack in the second half that produced 122 of their 253 total yards last week. The Chargers are hoping for more of that from quarterback Gabe Grob, who was able to find Alex Glynn and Shawn Anderson for big games. The running game with Marcus Silva and Dan Glad will still be featured plenty as well against a Raiders team that is tied with Mooseheart for second in the conference.