Senior quarterback Austin Swenson of Wauconda and junior cornerback Ryan Parks of Benet have earned the Daily Herald's MVP selection for their performances in Week 8 of the high school football season.
Swenson completed 11 of 16 passes for 244 yards and 3 TDs in a win over Antioch to help Wauconda become playoff-eligible for the first time since 2007.
Parks had 2 interceptions in the second half to help Benet move into a tie for the East Suburban Catholic Conference lead and hand Marist its first loss of the season.
Austin Swenson, Wauconda: Austin turned in a Texas-sized effort against Antioch, as the Bulldogs won 33-6 to become playoff-eligible for the first time since 2007. The senior quarterback completed 11 of 16 passes for 244 yards and 3 touchdowns. "He played a great game for us," coach Dave Mills said, "in a must-win situation."
Scott Andrews, Glenbard West: The 5-foot-8, 170-pound electric junior running back produced a big effort to help clinch another outright West Suburban Silver Conference title for the Hilltoppers. Andrews exploded for touchdown runs of 40, 34 and 8 yards in a 41-7 victory over York. Averaging 15 yards on his 16 carries, he rolled up 236 rushing yards.
Ethan Connor, Huntley: This 6-foot, 195 pound running back pounded the Woodstock defense repeatedly in a 49-21 Fox Valley Conference crossover victory. The senior carried the ball a team-high 23 times for 154 yards and scored 2 touchdowns to help Huntley become playoff eligible for the first time since 2009.
George Edlund, St. Charles North: Coach Mark Gould noted only one North Stars running back has two 200-yard games -- this 5-foot-10, 190-pound senior. Edlund ran 21 times for 220 yards with a 49-yard touchdown run in St. Charles North's 33-24 win over Upstate Eight River foe Larkin. Last year Edlund set the program record with 286 yards rushing against Elgin.
Kevin Hammarlund, St. Viator: Viator's go-to receiver was quite busy in his team's 31-21 victory over Marian Catholic. Hammarlund's 53-yard touchdown got the Lions on the board early and the senior wound up with 5 catches for 190 yards, helping St. Viator become playoff-eligible before an important contest with St. Patrick on Saturday.
Ryan Parks, Benet: In a monumental win over Marist, Parks helped push Benet closer to their first East Suburban Catholic Conference title. The 6-foot-1, 160-pound junior cornerback snared two critical interceptions in a 34-24 victory over the RedHawks. Parks had both picks in the second half including one on Marist's last drive.
Jack Bossong, Fremd: Bossong has been an impact player on one of the area's top defenses all season and the Vikings' 48-7 win over Conant was no exception. In a game Fremd needed to win to stay alive in the playoff hunt, the defensive back tallied 9 tackles, a tackle for loss, a sack and a pass breakup. He also ran for 99 yards and 2 touchdowns on offense.
Brendan Chrystal, Crystal Lake South: With his team trailing by a touchdown late in the third quarter, Crystal Lake South's leading tackler made a game-changing play. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior intercepted a pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown, setting the stage for junior Casey Oliver's game-tying extra point. The Gators won their fourth straight and became playoff eligible when Oliver later booted the game-winning field goal for a 32-29 victory.
Spencer Thomas, West Aurora: In his last game at Zimmerman Field the 6-foot-2, 205-pound linebacker realized a defensive player's dream -- and he did it twice in a 35-9 DuPage Valley win over West Chicago. Thomas returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown, and later scored on a 9-yard fumble return. The senior also made 8 tackles with 4 quarterback hurries.
Colton Moskal, Lake Zurich: Colton provided joltin' hits. The junior linebacker helped spearhead a defensive effort that lifted the Bears to a 21-14 win over Stevenson, handing the Patriots their first North Suburban Lake Division loss. Moskal had a hand in 11 tackles, including 9 solos, while recording 1½ sacks.