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updated: 9/27/2012 9:41 PM

Scouting this weekend's DuPage County football games

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  • Wheaton Warrenville South quarterback Ryan Graham will lead the Tigers into action against West Chicago on Friday night.

      Wheaton Warrenville South quarterback Ryan Graham will lead the Tigers into action against West Chicago on Friday night.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer


By Kevin Schmit and Dave Oberhelman

Benet (4-1, 1-1) at St. Viator (3-2, 1-2)

East Suburban Catholic Conference

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Benet 44, Marian Catholic 6; Notre Dame 49, St. Viator 20.

Last year: St. Viator 28, Benet 0.

Outlook: To stay alive for its first conference title since winning the Catholic Metro Green in 1998, this is a must win for Benet. St. Viator will see a much better offense than it saw in last season's shutout and a much more diverse unit. Behind Nick McTarnaghan and Porter Ontko the Redwings have rushed for at least 125 yards in four of five games. Sophomore quarterback Jack Beneventi will face an aggressive Lions defense looking to atone for last week's struggles. As for St. Viator's multiple offensive looks, the Redwings are wary of running back Mayo Arogundale, who rushed for 77 yards in last week's loss. Defensively, the Redwings lean on an experienced defense that returned nine starters. In last week's dominant win defensive lineman Charles Melka was named the unit's player of the week. Linebacker Jack Crain also had a strong performance. If the game comes down to special teams Benet's in good hands with John Duvic, who last week nailed three field goals.

Next week: Nazareth at Benet; St. Viator at Washington, Ind.

Glenbard West (5-0, 3-0) at Proviso West (4-1, 1-1) West Suburban Silver

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Glenbard West 49, Oak Park 0; Proviso West 14, York 0.

Last year: Glenbard West 51, Proviso West 13.

Outlook: Ever since Glenbard West's Week 4 win over Hinsdale Central, the Hilltoppers have been trying to heal from various injuries. Thanks to last week's lopsided score coach Chad Hetlet was able to sit running back Joe Zito and linebacker Contrell Silmon while playing Vanderbilt-bound receiver Nathan Marcus sparingly on only a couple drives. All three are ready to roll for this one, which promises to be a hard-hitting showdown. Look for Glenbard West to take advantage of its tremendous depth to wear down Proviso West and its many two-way players. For all the players in and out of the Hilltoppers' lineup, one constant has been quarterback Henry Haeffner, who last week completed 11 of 13 passes for 130 yards. Marcus remains the go-to guy in the passing game, but Luke Domask emerged with 5 catches for 75 yards and 2 scores with Marcus on the sideline. Containing receiver Demetrius Streeter is the goal for Glenbard West's defense.

Next week: Addison Trail at Glenbard West; Proviso West at Downers Grove North.

Naperville Central (3-2, 3-0) at Glenbard North (4-1, 3-0)

DuPage Valley Conference

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Naperville Central 24, Wheaton Warrenville South 13; Glenbard North 28, West Aurora 14.

Last year: Naperville Central 10, Glenbard North 6.

Outlook: Naperville Central coach Mike Stine calls this traditional matchup "rock em, sock em" football. No doubt this will be a physical game thanks to both offenses that typically focus on the run. The Redhawks, however, have shifted toward the pass with quarterback Jake Kolbe and receiver Ben Andreas, who last week scored first-quarter touchdowns on a punt return, pass reception and pass completion. Jimmy Nashert, out last week with a mild concussion, is expected to return to bolster the receiving corps. Glenbard North's Justin Jackson, known for his 1,028 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, is just as important on defense in the Panthers' secondary. Will he be on Andreas or Nashert? Naperville Central's defense already faced Waubonsie Valley's Austin Guido and Neuqua Valley's Joey Rhattigan, but slowing Jackson may be the Redhawks' toughest challenge. If Glenbard North needs to throw it, keep an eye on the Brian Murphy-to-Ryan Storto combination.

Next week: Wheaton North at Naperville Central; Glenbard North at WW South.

Willowbrook (4-1, 2-0) at Downers Grove South (1-4, 1-1)

West Suburban Gold

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Willowbrook 53, Proviso East 14; Downers Grove North 27, Downers Grove South 20.

Last year: Downers South 49, Willowbrook 13.

Outlook: The records look vastly different but make no mistake, this is Willowbrook's biggest game of the season thus far. The Warriors haven't beaten Downers South since 2006, and a win would make Willowbrook playoff eligible. It'd also put the Warriors a step closer to six wins and a guaranteed playoff berth. Willowbrook's offense has been dynamic, starting with junior quarterback Brian Johnson, who's thrown for 1,420 yards and 14 touchdowns. Running backs Jeremy Barnes and Brandon Smith each boast more than 400 rushing yards, although Smith left last week's game early with an injury. The X-factor on offense is third-year starter Dom Battaglia, who can do it all for the Warriors. Third-year defensive lineman Nick Kilianek and fellow lineman Joe Gallinsky lead that side of the ball for the Warriors, but pressure will be on the secondary to slow Downers South quarterback Mike Zebold. Receiver Kaylon Miller is a touchdown machine. Javon Turner's also a scoring threat.

Next week: Leyden at Willowbrook; Downers South at Proviso East.

Wilmington (4-1, 3-0) at Lisle (3-2, 2-1)

Interstate Eight Small

Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday

Last week: Wilmington 31, Seneca 0; Lisle 40, Dwight 0.

Last year: Wilmington 52, Lisle 14.

Outlook: Lisle will need near-perfect play, no turnovers and a break or two to snap the four-time defending I8 Small champion's 24-game division win streak. Should the Lions pull it off -- they almost did in 2010, losing 35-28 in overtime -- only 1-4 Westmont stands between a share of the title. What makes coach Jeff Reents' Wildcats scary, other than huge offensive tackles Derrick Romano and Josh Fowler, is besides the usual punishing ground game quarterback Sean Laromatis has passed for 6 touchdowns the last two games. Lisle coach Dan Sanko preached mental toughness and the need to force long drives, which starts with defensive linemen Adam Grego, Zach Trussell, Tyler Schech and Jared Arellano. The Nick Saul-to-Dawon Burrell passing combo is sharp, but a ground game with Bailey Welch and Cliff Krause, who ran for 113 yards and 3 touchdowns last week, would help keep Wilmington from teeing off. "They pose problems at every aspect of the game," Sanko said.

Next week: Reed-Custer at Wilmington; Lisle at Westmont.

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