Week 3 of the high school football season is in the books. A third of the way to the postseason and some interesting storylines are developing around the Fox Valley.
The biggest headline going into Week 4 belongs to Vito Andriola and his Dundee-Crown Chargers. D-C started Andriola's second season at the helm last fall 2-0 and then fell off the map, finishing 3-6.
But on Friday night at the D-C Bowl, the Chargers took a major step forward when they hung on for a 14-13 win over Crystal Lake South, quite possibly D-C's most quality win on the football field in 10 years or more. It's been 20 years since a Dundee-Crown football team started a season 3-0.
Now comes another challenge, this one even greater than CL South -- it's called Cary-Grove, aka The Hunted.
The defending state Class 6A runner-up Trojans proved Friday night they have no intention of giving up their Fox Valley Conference Valley Division crown without a fight. Down 13-9 to Huntley late in the game, coach Brad Seaburg's crew manufactured a game-winning TD to start the conference season where they left off -- on top.
So when D-C travels to Al Bohrer Field next Friday, the place should be electric. One thing we know about Dundee-Crown fans is they'll come out of the woodwork for a football winner, something the D-C faithful have been yearning for for, well, a long long time. And Cary-Grove's football following is second to none in the FVC. Week 4 in Cary promises to be special.
Jug stays on west side: Larkin won't have to find something to replace the Town Jug with. The Royals' 46-28 win over Elgin kept the town's football prize on the west side for another year and put the Royals at 2-1 heading into next week's River meeting against Geneva. Elgin, meanwhile, is now 0-3 but the Maroons had some fight in them after getting down to Larkin. Coming up is a tough one with St. Charles North, which lost a heartbreaker in overtime to St. Charles East Friday.
Hawks on the board: OK, so it took East Aurora, now a loser of 47 straight, for Bartlett to get its first win of the season but we're kind of thinking it won't be the Hawks' last. East coach Kurt Becker, the former Bear, made some pretty pointed comments after the game about a Bartlett hit that took out East's quarterback but hey, when your program has a 47-game losing streak it's pretty easy to take shots at the other guy. Come on Kurt, this is high school football not the pros. Keep your negative comments to yourself or at least don't air your thoughts to reporters.
So close: One of the advantages of working in the office on Friday nights has become the ability to be on football.dailyherald.com and use video from High School Cube to keep up on things. And let me tell you, the last 10 minutes of Friday's South Elgin at Neuqua Valley game was exhilarating. Playing a state-ranked team on its field to open the conference season was no easy task for 0-2 South Elgin, and despite the fact the Storm left Naperville 0-3, coach Pat Pistorio's team fought the Wildcats to the bitter end before falling 40-34. East Aurora comes to town next week so look for Pistorio to get his first win as a head coach, sending East to its 48th straight loss.
First wins: Jacobs and Burlington Central broke into the win column in their conference openers after going 0-2 in nonconference games. Now the key will be to sustain the winning momentum if they're going to make a push for the playoffs. The Golden Eagles and Rockets each have tough assignments in Week 4 with McHenry and Harvard on their respective schedules.
And, the first losses: Huntley, St. Edward and Hampshire fell from the ranks of the unbeaten and now have to focus on getting back on track. All three will get a test in their bounce-back ability in Week 4. Huntley hosts Crystal Lake Central (2-1), St. Edward welcomes IC Catholic Prep to Greg True Field and Hampshire hosts Grayslake Central next week.
When you only play once a week, it's easy to look at the schedule and project. But it's also obvious any team that does that right now around the Fox Valley could regret it.
Six weeks to go. Put on your seat belts everyone, it's surely going to be a roller coaster of a ride.