Glenbard East senior quarterback Joe Kotch and Cary-Grove senior defensive back Zach Marszal have earned MVP honors from the Daily Herald for their performances in Week 7 of the high school football season.
Kotch threw for 328 yards, rushed for 196 yards and had a staggering 7 touchdowns in a victory over West Chicago. Marszal had a pair of interceptions and returned one of them 32 yards for a score in a victory over Huntley that kept the Trojans undefeated.
Joe Kotch, Glenbard East: Kotch was unstoppable in Glenbard East's 60-25 DuPage Valley Conference victory over West Chicago. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior quarterback completed 12 of 20 passes for 328 yards and 4 touchdowns. Kotch carried the ball 9 times for 196 yards and 3 touchdowns to give him a total of 524 yards and 7 scores.
Jesse Balluff, Kaneland: The 5-foot-10, 190-pound running back made sure the Knights got on the scoreboard early and often in a 55-0 Northern Illinois Big 12 East win over Yorkville. Balluff scored on touchdown runs of 6 and 31 yards, and on pass receptions of 17 and 14 yards to help Kaneland stay unbeaten. Playing linebacker on defense, he added an interception.
Zevin Clark, Crystal Lake South: This 5-foot-9, 190-pound senior running back enjoyed a big night in Crystal Lake South's 36-22 victory over Dundee-Crown. Clark carried 27 times for 204 yards, including touchdown runs of 47 and 8 yards to help the Gators win their third straight.
Andrew Matella, Barrington: Matella helped produce the offensive explosion that Barrington had been looking for. The senior wide receiver tied single-game school records with 11 catches, which was set in 1968, and 3 touchdown receptions and also broke Dain Hall's record for receiving yards in a game with 185 in a 49-19 win over Hoffman Estates
Adam Reuss, Warren: A Rolls-Royce rides nice. Warren's Reuss provided a nice ride too. The 6-foot-4 senior quarterback completed 14 of 20 passes for 226 yards and 2 scores in a 42-0 win over Mundelein that kept the Blue Devils in playoff contention. He also ran for a pair of touchdowns, finishing with 29 rushing yards.
Zach Marszal, Cary-Grove: Normally a free safety, Marszal was moved to cornerback to slow Huntley's prolific passing game. Marszal, a 6-foot, 182-pound senior, grabbed 2 interceptions and returned one for a 32-yard touchdown. As a split end on offense, he caught a 42-yard touchdown pass and raced 63 yards on a reverse for another score.
Sam Breen, Marmion: At about 155 pounds, inside linebacker Sam Breen gives up many pounds to many opposing backs. It hasn't stopped him from being among Marmion's most reliable defenders all season. The 5-foot-10 junior made 11 tackles, 2 for loss, and knocked down 2 passes in the Cadets' 14-6 Suburban Christian Blue victory over St. Francis.
Michael Houghton, Prospect: While Prospect's offense struggled to get going in the first half, the defense made sure the Knights stayed ahead of a Hersey squad that had put up 77 points in its previous 2 games. A big part of that was Houghton, who finished with 11 tackles, 5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks. The senior defensive end added a 1-yard punt return for a touchdown to cap the 35-0 win.
Kevin Verkler, Libertyville: Verkler, in particular, was a worker. The senior linebacker was relentless in helping lead the Wildcats to a 3-0 shutout of Lake Zurich. He forced 3 fumbles and finished with 7 tackles, including a pair for loss, as the Wildcats posted their first shutout and became playoff-eligible with their fifth win.
John Mark Wiersema, Wheaton Academy: The 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior linebacker had an astounding impact on the Warriors' 12-7 Suburban Christian Gold win over St. Edward. Of the 52 plays St. Edward ran, Wiersema was in on 27 stops -- 9 solo tackles and 18 assists with a forced fumble. At fullback, his lead block helped spring John Gemmel for the game-winning touchdown.