Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 8/29/2013 9:03 PM

Scouting this weekend's DuPage County football games

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By Kevin Schmit and David Oberhelman

Glenbard North at Batavia


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

Last year: Batavia 42, Glenbard North 41.

Outlook: After a tough opening loss last year, Glenbard North won 12 straight games leading up to the Class 8A final. Clearly, the Panthers learned a lot from Game 1. Glenbard North will hit the ground running with Gatorade Player of the Year Justin Jackson, who rushed for 2,600 yards last season. Even with a new quarterback, Brett Gasiorowski, the bulk of the Panthers' experience is on offense. Defensively, the Panthers shore up the linebacking corps by shifting Joe Fierro from the line. Before last year's thriller Glenbard North coach Ryan Wilkens voiced concern over defending Batavia's multitude of offensive options. It won't get easier this year. The Bulldogs return seniors Micah Coffey and Anthony Scaccia at quarterback and running back, respectively. They graduated all-state receiver Zach Strittmatter, but this year's group will keep teams guessing. Batavia's key, though, will be containing Jackson. Senior Anthony Thielk, 6-3 and 220 pounds, is a beast at middle linebacker.

Next week: Carmel at Glenbard North; Richards at Batavia.

Glenbard West at Wheaton Warrenville South Nonconference

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

Last year: Glenbard West 28, WW South 7.

Outlook: Redeveloping into one of the state's top rivalries, Glenbard West has won the last two meetings. The defending Class 7A champions look a little different due to heavy graduation losses, but one of the team's strengths remains. Running back Scott Andrews, who rushed for 1,300 yards, returns along with Jermon Joyner and Devante Toney, who will play defensive line. Safety Hayden Carlson, who suffered a shoulder injury in the title game, is healthy and ready to lead the defense. WW South is on a road of redemption after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Talented as the Tigers are, a win over the Hilltoppers would be considered an upset. It'd also be a sign the program's back in form. Quarterback Ryan Graham returns for a third varsity season, and the running game is strong with Isaiah Campos and Zack Moberg. The defense looks much improved behind defensive back Jake Schultz and a handful of additional returners.

Next week: Morton at Glenbard West; WW South at Maine South.

Maine South at Montini


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

Last year: Did not play.

Outlook: No one can ever say Montini plays an easy nonconference schedule. Their latest Week 1 toughie lost to Glenbard North in last season's Class 8A quarterfinals, has made the playoffs 21 years in a row and won the 8A title from 2008 through 2010. Four-time defending Class 5A champion Montini should be prepared against the Hawks' offense; former Broncos' offensive coordinator Lewis Borsellino has two sons who were receivers there, and once Borsellino joined Montini's staff they went to the spread. Typically any separation between Montini and large-school foes is size and physicality in the box. While Ohio State commit defensive end Dylan Thompson, 6-5, 280, and 250-pound defensive tackle Edgar Ruano should allow linebackers Nile Sykes and Mike Maduko to fly around, the Broncos' offensive line returns only 5-11, 230-pound Anthony Ferraro with starting experience. A focus will be on new No. 1 receiver, Tyler Tumpane, No. 1 wideout at WW South's 7-on-7.

Next week: WW South at Maine South; Montini at East St. Louis.

Naperville North at Neuqua Valley


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

Last year: Neuqua Valley 43, Naperville North 20.

Outlook: Naperville North's strength -- its running game -- remains a focus, but not quite as much as last season. DeSean Brown, Sharad Crosby and Leon Hardy form a great ground trio, although they'll be running behind an inexperienced offensive line that graduated its top seven contributors from a year ago. The Huskies' defense, led by defensive back Danny Schertz and linebackers Ben Brancaleon and Kevin Mlady, must contain the big-play potential of Illinois-bound receiver Mikey Dudek. Neuqua Valley coach Bill Ellinghaus is high on this group, which must prove there's life after graduated back Joey Rhattigan. But T.J. Scruggs has experience and will motor behind a nearly all-new offensive line. Establishing the ground game is the initial focus while two untested quarterbacks find their footing. After a lengthy competition Ellinghaus tabbed senior co-captain Conner Milliren as the starter but said junior Broc Rutter also would play. And watch Dudek return kickoffs.

Next week: Thornton at Naperville North; Neuqua Valley at Naperville Central.

Waubonsie Valley at Naperville Central


Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Waubonsie Valley 34, Naperville Central 14.

Outlook: Waubonsie Valley retools for this District 203-District 204 showdown after graduating a record-setting running back, Austin Guido. The Warriors welcome three-year varsity player Demario Webb as its featured back, only part of what should be a diverse offense under the command of new varsity quarterback Jack Eddy. What really needs to happen for Warriors success against Naperville Central is to contain the passing game. For what it's worth, Naperville Central won a 7-on-7 game 15-9. Redhawks quarterback Jake Kolbe committed to Illinois State in the off-season, and he'll have a tremendous passing partner in receiver Ben Andreas. The running game, with Tyler Joyce, Nolan Davis and Kevin Clifford, must offer balance. The Redhawks' defense appears stout with junior linebackers Bobby McMillen and Jack and Cole Wooldridge. In fact the entire back seven is a strength thanks to the return of defensive backs Jon Lubanza and Dillon Grooss.

Next week: Oswego at Waubonsie Valley; Neuqua Valley at Naperville Central.

Addison Trail at Glenbard South

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

The quick hit: The first year of an intriguing matchup. Can Addison Trail's experienced defense, anchored by linebackers Eric Gilliam and Chris Lacni, match the Raiders' explosive offense led by quarterback Alex Jeske and running back Zach Smith?

Benet at Downers Grove South

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

The quick hit: Benet takes a step up in competition by taking on this opener. Quarterback Jack Beneventi and running back Porter Ontko bring back invaluable semifinal playoff experience. Defensive lineman Steve Hubona is a terror to opposing quarterbacks.

Bolingbrook at Hinsdale Central

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

The quick hit: The Red Devils won't have to deal with electric Bolingbrook quarterback Aaron Bailey, now at Illinois. That's good news for a defense returning only linebacker Jacob White. He and lineman Brian Allen will see plenty of play on both sides of the ball.

Cary-Grove at Wheaton North

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

The quick hit: Wheaton North takes on the runner-up in Class 6A with high hopes this season. Northwestern-bound quarterback Clayton Thorson is completely healed from last year's broken collarbone. The defense must contain Cary-Grove's option offense.

Clark at York

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

The quick hit: After going winless last season, look for York to jump out to a strong start. The Dukes, tweaking their offense to focus less on passing and more on balance, play their first two games against opponents with a combined 2-15 record last year.

Downers Grove North at Lockport

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Fifteen returning starters from a Class 7A quarterfinalist bring high expectations to the Trojans. They'll pound the ground game with Kyle Leto and quarterback David Edwards. Vontae Diggs, Dan Izewski and Joe Hill lead the Trojans' defense.

Grayslake Central at Fenton

Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Fenton debuts a new offense with returning quarterback Willie Wassmann. Gone is the pass-happy set, in favor of a more-balanced look. Look for a statement game from the Bison's experienced defense led by linebacker Phil Espinosa.

Hinsdale South at Romeoville

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Hinsdale South will be without 1,000-yard rusher Arian Toney for the early part of the season, a big loss as the Hornets break in a new set of skill players. Antanas Riskus and 6-6, 245-pound sophomore Josh King power the defensive line.

King at West Chicago

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

The quick hit: A fresh start for West Chicago also brings a new Week 1 opponent. Controlling King's ground game will be key, the province of speedy sophomore linebacker Parrish Benton. Junior Danny Lazzerini looks to establish the run for West Chicago.

Lake Park at Conant

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Coming off an era of two three-year starting quarterbacks, Lake Park has a pair of options behind center in Bobby Accetura and Mike Perry. After being about 70 percent passing last year, look for a 50-50 split thanks to running back Curtwan Evans.

Manteno at Lisle

Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday at Benedictine University.

The quick hit: Manteno threw 34 times for 337 yards and 3 touchdowns in Lisle's 34-22 opening loss last year. The Lions' secondary does not return experience, so linemen like Kyle Dwyer, Kevin Sheahan and 6-6 Shane Murray can help with a strong rush.

Metea Valley at Plainfield East

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

The quick hit: Metea is 2-1 in the season-opening series against the Bengals. Seeking a clean start to 2013 is Metea quarterback Blaise Bell, who'll target returning receivers Peyton Mitchell and Nick Dodson, behind 295-pound all-UEC lineman Brett Boddy.

Noble Street Charter at IC Catholic Prep

Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday.

The quick hit: If last year's game had been a prize fight it would have been an early-round TKO -- IC won 77-6. Many names have changed, but not Clark Brinkman, James Janowski and Randy Leslie, who combined for 4 rushing touchdowns on 9 carries.

Riverside-Brookfield at St. Francis

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: On the road last year the Spartans cleaned the clocks of once-mighty R-B, 57-12. In Wheaton emotions will be proud and high both for the new Kuhn Memorial Stadium and the St. Francis debut of Division I recruit James Butler at running back.

Wheaton Academy at Westminster, Mo.

Game time: 5 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: In this fourth-annual season opener, Wheaton Academy will remember being outscored 27-6 in the second half of a 37-19 loss. Loading up with 290-pound Theo Selvaggio and Taylor Johnson, the Warriors want to stop the run and not wear down.

Willowbrook at Glenbard East

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

The quick hit: These teams combined for 83 points last season, but don't expect that type of offensive explosion with the Rams' many graduation losses. Defensive back Javon York and the Rams must slow down Willowbrook quarterback Brian Johnson.

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