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Daily Herald's 2013 Season Coverage
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Article updated: 9/19/2013 8:20 PM
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Scouting this weekend's Tri-Cities football games
 

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Scouting this weekend's Tri-Cities football games

By Dave Oberhelman

doberhelman@dailyherald.com

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Batavia (2-1, 1-0) at Streamwood (0-3, 0-0)

Upstate Eight River

Game time: 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Last week: Batavia 49, Geneva 20; Waubonsie Valley 56, Streamwood 7.

Last year: Batavia 33, Streamwood 0.

Outlook: After suffering its first regular-season loss since 2010 Batavia got back on the horse against its greatest rival. Leading the way was tailback Anthony Scaccia with 177 yards rushing, 33 receiving. "Sensational," Bulldogs coach Dennis Piron said. Batavia also got great secondary coverage by Michael Moffatt and Forrest Gilbertson. With ace defenders James Millette, Anthony Thielk and Brandon Dean probably resting nagging injuries that secondary play will come in handy against Streamwood quarterback Mason Polich, his receiver brother Noah and receiver Cole Segar. The Sabres mustered 27 yards rushing and 6 first downs last week, but an option offense and different defensive looks will give quarterback Micah Coffey something new to work against.

Next week: West Chicago (0-3) at Batavia, Sept. 27; Larkin (2-1, 1-0) at Streamwood, Sept. 27.

Streator (0-3) at Kaneland (3-0)

Northern Illinois Big 12 crossover

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

Last week: Ottawa 29, Streator 13; Kaneland 48, Sterling 7.

Last year: Kaneland 41, Streator 0.

Outlook: Streator is departing the NIB12 West for the Interstate Eight in 2014-15. Before they leave Kaneland will look to shut down running back Nick Harcar and Drew Muntz, who ran for 153 yards according to Andy Tavegia of The Times. Kaneland coach Tom Fedderly said Streator quarterback Caleb Spears can throw the ball, but Ottawa allowed only 2 completions for minus-2 yards and an interception, one of 3 Streator turnovers. Of import was last week's injury to Kaneland tailback Jesse Balluff. If serious that hurts down the line, but Nate Dyer ran for 97 yards and 3 touchdowns against Sterling. Kaneland will continue to test its depth, Isaac Swithers and Dylan Nauert also repping in the backfield. Streator's Pro-I offense is right up the alley of Kaneland defensive linemen Jaumaureo Phillips, Justin Diddell and Andrew Kray, who allowed middle linebacker Gary Koehring to make 15 tackles. "We're really, really happy defensively," Fedderly said.

Next week: DeKalb (1-2) at Streator, Sept. 27; Rochelle (3-0, 0-0) at Kaneland, Sept. 27

West Aurora (1-2, 0-1) at Wheaton Warr. South (3-0, 1-0)

DuPage Valley Conference

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

Live video streaming: @football.dailyherald.com, followed by postgame highlights.

Last week: Glenbard East 21, West Aurora 0; WW South 17, Wheaton North 13.

Last year: WW South 14, West Aurora 7.

Outlook: Weird to say about a seven-time state champion, but WW South has surprised, beating Glenbard West, Maine South and Wheaton North. West Aurora is winless against the Tigers since joining the DVC but recently has played right with them. Linebackers Isaiah Ruffin, Cody Tinsley and Daquan Cross will have their hands full tackling WW South back Isaiah Campos and Northern Illinois commit quarterback Ryan Graham. Alex Shire has been West's defensive back of the week all three weeks but as coach Nate Eimer said, your free safety shouldn't be the tackles leader. WW South linemen aren't huge but will disrupt rhythm. Blackhawks offensive linemen Hayden Sak, Karl Fowler, Sam Deisher, Stephen Castellanos and Jonathan Evans will set the tone. Keep it close, see what happens.

Next week: West Aurora at Naperville Central (3-0, 1-0), Sept. 27; WW South at Naperville North (1-2, 0-1), Sept. 27.

Wheaton Academy (1-2, 0-1) at Aurora Christian (3-0, 1-0)

Suburban Christian Blue

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Montini 56, Wheaton Academy 0; Aurora Christian 59, Walther Christian 7.

Last year: Aurora Christian 55, Wheaton Academy 7.

Outlook: The news from Wheaton Academy is quarterback Nate Lopez is out with a shoulder injury. That sends strong-armed sophomores David Thrasher and Steven Sellers into the fray. Aurora Christian coach Don Beebe likes the size and mobility of Wheaton Academy's offensive line, though they run right into an Eagles strength, where Jon Czerwinski returns from injury to bolster the defensive line and linebacker positions. Wheaton Academy linebacker John Gemmel is a gamer, but he'll be spread thin defending the Eagles' numerous options including tailback Legend Smith, tight end Jackson Carpenter and receiver Brandon Walgren, who racked up a career-high 152 yards last week. Probably the final football game between these like-minded schools.

Next week: Walther Christian (0-3, 0-1) at Wheaton Academy, Sept. 28; Aurora Christian at St. Francis (3-0, 1-0), Sept. 27.

Chicago Christian (1-2, 0-1) at Aurora C. Catholic (2-1, 0-1)

Suburban Christian Gold

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Live video streaming: @football.dailyherald.com, followed by postgame highlights.

Last week: St. Francis 49, Chicago Christian 0; IC Catholic Prep 21, ACC 14.

Last year: ACC 59, Chicago Christian 19.

Outlook: Matt Schaefer, who started the first three games at fullback for ACC, gets the nod at quarterback. He filled in late last week and twice last season. "When we had the quarterback moving (last week) we were able to get some explosive plays running out of the quarterback position," said Chargers coach Brian Casey. Conversely he's hoping to halt Chicago Christian quarterback Christian Bolhuis and three-year starting running back Colby Roundtree. Against St. Francis the Knights punted more times than they gained first downs. Casey was down after the IC loss, but ACC has conference and playoff goals intact plus a ground game that gained 286 yards last week, 86 by Julian Rios, 63 by Hunter Fiorito.

Next week: Guerin (2-1, 0-1) at Chicago Christian, Sept. 27; St. Edward (2-1, 0-1) at ACC, Sept. 27.

Elgin (0-3, 0-1) at St. Charles North (1-2, 0-1)

Upstate Eight River

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

Live video streaming: @football.dailyherald.com, followed by postgame highlights.

Last week: Larkin 46, Elgin 28; St. Charles East 28, St. Charles North 21 (OT).

Last year: St. Charles North 49, Elgin 0.

Outlook: Like most struggling programs Elgin has a good array of skill players, speed and some size up front but not numbers and depth. Ryan Sitter is a three-year starting quarterback, and Jaylen Clemons' 149 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns paced a 257-yard ground game against Elgin. Three lost fumbles and an interception hurt the Maroons, and that's where a guy like St. Charles North safety Mitchell Riggs comes in. He has 3 picks in 3 games and is joined by surging safety Nick Drawant. The North Stars plan to acknowledge linebacker Reece Conroyd on becoming the program's all-time tackles leader. Offensively, left guard Brendan McCarthy & Co. look to keep Evan Kurtz moving forward. So far the back has run for 524 yards, 7 touchdowns.

Next week: Elgin at St. Charles East (3-0, 1-0), Sept. 27; St. Charles North at Geneva (1-2, 0-1), Sept. 27.

Geneva (1-2, 0-1) at Larkin (2-1, 1-0)

Upstate Eight River

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Memorial Field, Elgin.

Live video streaming: @football.dailyherald.com, followed by postgame highlights.

Last week: Batavia 49, Geneva 20; Larkin 46, Elgin 28.

Last year: Geneva 56, Larkin 23.

Outlook: Yes, the Vikings lost to their nemesis last week but more importantly for the rest of the season coach Rob Wicinski liked what he saw from the ground game. Tailback T.J. Miller's 163 yards rushing was aided by the return of Ryan Powers and more pop and consistency by Quinn Einck and 265-pound sophomore Loundon Vollbreckt. Against zone-reading Larkin quarterback Kemmerin Blalark and tailback Damion Clemons, Geneva defensive ends Billy Douds and Matt Loberg have contain so linebacker Joe Boenzi and interior guys like T.K. Hood and Stephen Kemp can wreak havoc. Up front Larkin has lots of size; Geneva counters with quickness. Consistency and discipline are key. "We need to get mentally healthy," Wicinski said.

Next week: St. Charles North (1-2, 0-1) at Geneva, Sept. 27; Larkin at Streamwood (0-3, 0-0), Sept. 27.

Marmion (3-0, 1-0) at Marian Central (3-0, 1-0)

Nonconference

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Live video streaming: @football.dailyherald.com, followed by postgame highlights.

Last week: Marmion 27, St. Edward 10; Marian Central 81, Guerin 7.

Last year: Marian Central 34, Marmion 7.

Outlook: Along with St. Francis at Montini this is the first of the big SCC Blue contests. Eighty-one points is a shocking total indicating the disparity between Guerin and the No. 6 team in Class 5A. Before Hurricanes coach Ed Brucker began lifting starters in the second quarter, shifty tailback Ephraim Lee scored 4 rushing touchdowns on 10 carries and also took a 60-yard screen to the house, McHenryCountySports.com reported. Receiver-defensive back Tom Klinger caught 2 touchdown passes and returned an interception 50 yards for another score. Marmion coach Dan Thorpe listed Marian's many positive aspects -- well-coached to the point that quarterback Billy Bahl can audible away from tough spots, multiple receiving options, big play capability, special teams expertise and, somewhat atypical, decent numbers so players don't need to go both ways. Keeping the game close early is a key for Marmion, as well as establishing offensive rhythm and keeping Marian guessing with an inside-outside ground game. The Cadets have the horses to do that with 225-pound Lucas Warren at fullback and Enzo Olabi and Mike Montalbano at wingback; Montalbano ran for 102 yards with 12 tackles at linebacker against St. Edward for a third straight strong overall game. Junior running back Jordan Glasgow remains questionable after "hobbling off" after four plays including a touchdown run, Thorpe said. After Marmion started the season uncertain at kicker and punter, that is now a strength. Punter Nick Ferraro has put 4 of 7 punts inside the 20-yard line, both times last week. Thorpe says there's no pressure here: "Just go up there and let 'er rip."

Next week: Montini (3-0, 1-0) at Marmion, Sept. 27; Marian Central at IC Catholic (2-1, 1-0), Sept. 28.

St. Charles East (3-0) at Neuqua Valley (2-1)

Upstate Eight Conference crossover

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

Live video streaming: @football.dailyherald.com, followed by postgame highlights.

Last week: St. Charles East 28, St. Charles North 21 (OT); Neuqua Valley 40, South Elgin 34.

Last year: Neuqua Valley 34, St. Charles East 0.

Outlook: St. Charles East earned the Crosstown Classic win on Brannon Barry's 10-yard run in overtime. Yet as coach Mike Fields saw last year against Neuqua and Wheaton North, "there's a whole other level out there." Still, Saints quarterback Jimmy Mitchell and receivers like Barry, Mo Flanigan, Mitch Munroe -- 6 catches, 139 yards last week -- and backs Erik Anderson and Ramon Lopez out of the backfield strike Neuqua's greatest area of vulnerability, the secondary. On the other hand, Neuqua's Illinois-bound receiver Mikey Dudek is unguardable, catching 10 balls for 249 yards with last week's game-winner in the last 42 seconds. The Wildcats, celebrating homecoming, threaten to stretch linebacker Jon Finn and the St. Charles East defense with running backs T.J. Scruggs and Nolan Dean. Dudek gives Neuqua the advantage on kick returns but the Saints counter with their own field position master, punter-linebacker Michael Candre, good for 36 yards-plus.

Next week: Elgin (0-3, 0-1) at St. Charles East, Sept. 27; Neuqua Valley at East Aurora (0-3, 0-1), Sept. 27.

Harvard (3-0, 0-0) at Burlington Central (1-2, 1-0)

When: today at 7 p.m. at Rocket Hill

Last week: Harvard 35, Byron 0; Burlington Central 34, Rockford Christian 0

Last year: Burlington Central 21, Harvard 9

Outlook: This will be the 29th and final meeting between the Rockets and a Tim Haak-coached Harvard team. The IHSFCA hall-of-famer plans to retire at the end of the school year. His keys to competing with Central haven't changed much through the years. "I think being able to have our offensive and defensive lines control the line of scrimmage, that's going to be the key, whether we can move them off the ball," Haak said Thursday. The veteran coach said top running back Christian Kramer, who aggravated a shoulder injury last week against Byron, will not play against Central. Quarterback Peyton Schneider, wide receiver Justin Nolen and running back Ben Platt did the heavy lifting after Kramer left last week's game in the first quarter. Schneider and Nolen connected twice for touchdowns and Platt capped a long touchdown drive with a short run to improve the Hornets to 3-0 for the second time in three years. The Rockets have been dealing with their own injury concerns, which last week prompted coach Rich Crabel to move quarterback Casey Matthews to running back while Parth Patel gained his first start at quarterback. Patel, who played the second half in a lopsided loss at Stillman Valley two weeks ago, completed 9 of 12 attempts for 176 yards and a touchdown and did not throw an interception. "We put some people in positions where we thought they could be successful and help the team," Crabel said. "Parth handled the opportunity fine. We hope he can do the same thing against Harvard, which is a pretty senior dominated team with the majority of their kids back from last year. They're pretty good up front with some big kids and they play hard." The Central lines returned only one starter and only one player is a senior, but Crabel said his linemen on both sides of the ball "have been getting a little better every week." Central senior running back Reilly Marino returned to the lineup last week from an ankle sprain suffered in Week 1. He rushed 18 times for 102 yards and a touchdown.

Next week: Harvard at Marengo; Burlington Central at Genoa-Kingston

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