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Daily Herald's 2013 Season Coverage
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Article updated: 9/26/2013 10:57 PM
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Scouting Week 5 in the Fox Valley
 

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Scouting Week 5 in the Fox Valley
 

Woodstock (0-4) at Jacobs (2-2)

When: today at 7:15 p.m.

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Last meeting: Woodstock 30, Jacobs 7 (2008)

Last week: Woodstock North 22, Woodstock 21; Jacobs 42, McHenry 14

Outlook: Jacobs would like to make it a happy homecoming with a third straight win. These programs have not met since Woodstock switched from the Valley Division to the Fox Division of the Fox Valley Conference after the 2008 season. The Golden Eagles have a spring in their step after 2 convincing victories. The defense, led by senior linebacker Greg McLeod, has allowed only 14 points in 8 quarters. The offense has been humming of late. Quarterback Bret Mooney last week found a secondary weapon to balance dependable receiver Hunter Williams. Junior Camden McLain (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) hauled in 5 catches for 123 yards, including touchdown receptions of 37 and 34 yards. Williams had a 37-yard touchdown reception, his fifth of the season. Junior Josh Walker not only returned a kickoff 91 yards, he rushed for a 37-yard score. McHenry ran 85 plays last week, but the Golden Eagles scored touchdowns on 6 of the 38 plays they ran (16 percent). "I think we're coming together at a good time," Jacobs coach Bill Mitz said. "It was important to get that first one against Prairie Ridge. Then we overcame a little adversity after (McHenry) scored, got the onside kick and had the ball for the first 27 plays of the game. But we came back, got things going and sealed the deal after halftime. We're growing as a team and getting better. This week we have to continue to improve and finish every play and, hopefully, we'll be able to take care of business."

Next week: Woodstock at Johnsburg (0-4); Jacobs at Crystal Lake South (1-3)

Crystal Lake South (1-3, 0-2) at McHenry (2-2, 0-1)

When: today at 7:30 p.m. at McCracken Field

Last year: Crystal Lake South 28, McHenry 12

Last week: Prairie Ridge 14, Crystal Lake South 9; Jacobs 42, McHenry 14

Outlook: The Gators have scored 5 offensive touchdowns in 4 games and coach Chuck Ahsmann knows why. "I feel we've moved the ball well, but we have not finished our drives," he said. "We have to find a way not to have a penalty or a play where someone doesn't meet their assignment so we can score some points. If you'd told me our defense would be holding teams to 15 points a game, I'd have thought we'd be better than 1-3. So finishing strong has been our focus all week long." McHenry attacks with a no-huddle offense. The Warriors ran 85 offensive plays last week against Jacobs and gained 341 total yards (190 rushing), but they managed only 2 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the McHenry defense gave up 4 touchdowns of 30 or more yards and the kickoff team allowed a 91-yard return for a score. With 3 losses already, the Gators could be forced to keep their best athletes on the field both ways. That's why fans should again expect to see quarterback Austin Rogers at linebacker this week when CL South is on defense. "We're almost in a situation where it's do or die," Ahsmann said. "He's one of our best players so we have to have him on he field."

Next week: Jacobs (2-2) at Crystal Lake South; McHenry at Cary-Grove (2-2)

Cary-Grove (2-2, 2-0) at Prairie Ridge (2-2, 1-1)

When: today at 7:15 p.m.

Last year: Cary-Grove 35, Prairie Ridge 14

Last week: Cary-Grove 34, Dundee-Crown 0; Prairie Ridge 14, Crystal Lake South 9

Outlook: Offensively, Cary-Grove made progress last week. Junior quarterback Jason Gregoire used his 6-foot-4 frame to connect with five receivers, mainly using a three-step drop. Gregoire completed 8 of 11 attempts for 131 yards, highlighted by a 42-yard pass to Larkin Hanselmann that set up a touchdown. He also threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Matt Sutherland. The Cary-Grove ground game came alive for 266 rushing yards against Dundee-Crown, keyed by freshman fullback Tyler Pennington, who carried 17 times for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns in his debut at the position. Pennington previously played along the defensive line. Sophomore PJ Bardgett (6-0, 245) earned his first start on the offensive line last week. His development allowed coach Brad Seaburg to move third-year varsity lineman Michael Gomez to defensive tackle, where his 250 pounds and raw strength were a welcome addition to a unit lacking bulk. Also on the move last week was veteran defensive lineman Emerson Kersten, who replaced linebacker Danny Nick (out for the season with a torn rotator cuff and torn biceps). Kersten (5-10, 169) came through with 17 total tackles to lead the Trojans. "Emerson is a real special player," C-G coach Brad Seaburg said. "He must go home every night just exhausted because he works so hard in every practice that the other kids feed off his energy." The Wolves elevated sophomore quarterback Luke Annen to the varsity last week against Crystal Lake South. He completed 4 of 9 attempts for 37 yards (1 int.). Annen ran 7 times for 11 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown that gave PR a 13-3, third-quarter lead.

Next week: McHenry (2-2) at Cary-Grove; Prairie Ridge at Huntley (2-2)

Huntley (2-2, 0-1) at Dundee-Crown (3-1, 1-1)

When: today at 7:15 p.m. at the D-C Bowl

Last year: Huntley 31, Dundee-Crown 28

Last week: Cary-Grove 34, Dundee-Crown 0; Crystal Lake Central 34, Huntley 27

Outlook: D-C coach Vito Andriola didn't have confidence in the passing game early on. That was why D-C attempted only 12 passes through 3 games. Junior quarterback Jeff Atherton completed 7 of those attempts for 65 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. The Chargers fell behind early last week and Atherton put the ball in the air 8 more times, connecting on 6 passes for 41 yards. With teams loading up the box to stop a running game that has produced 927 yards, thanks to Cordero Parson, Caleb Parson and TJ Moss, D-C will have to throw the ball more often or see its heir running game overwhelmed by too many defenders at the point of attack. "We're working on it, that's for sure," Andriola said of the passing game. "That has been our primary focus." The Huntley defense allowed 280 passing yards last week. "I honestly think they'll throw the ball on us to try to get people out of the box," Huntley coach John Hart said. "So it's our job to play excellent pass defense. Our No. 1 goal is to get them to throw." Senior Mike Andrews leads Huntley with 2 interceptions. Dundee-Crown will be without two starting offensive linemen; center Brad Spandenburg was hurt early in the Cary-Grove game and will likely miss two weeks, his coach said. Senior lineman Trent Hanselmann is out for the second straight week. Huntley running back Jake Scalise left last week's game due to a lower back bruise but returned to practice on Monday and is expected to play, Hart said. Scalise has rushed for 228 yards and 2 touchdowns. Fellow senior Mitchell Kawell leads Huntley in carries (77), rushing yards (369) and touchdowns (5). Quarterback Blake Jacobs has completed 48 of 90 attempts for 519 yards and 6 touchdowns without throwing an interception. Junior Josh Esikiel has 19 receptions for 197 yards and a touchdown while junior Brandon Altergott has 112 yards receiving and 4 catches -- all of them for touchdowns.

Next week: Grayslake Central (3-1) at Dundee-Crown; Prairie Ridge (2-2) at Huntley

Hampshire (3-1, 1-1) at Grayslake North (4-0, 2-0)

When: today at 7:15 p.m.

Last year: Grayslake North 54, Hampshire 22

Last week: Hampshire 35, Grayslake Central 16; Grayslake North 21, Johnsburg 13

Outlook: Off to its best start since 2007, Hampshire must win this road game to maintain realistic hopes of contending for the FVC Fox title. They face a stiff test against the undefeated Knights and sophomore quarterback Merrick Gentile (6-0, 195). He has completed 37 of 64 attempts for 513 yards and 8 touchdowns. Gentile also leads Grayslake North in rushing with 545 yards and 10 touchdowns on 85 carries (6.4 avg.). "They have an explosive offense and we're going to have our hands full trying to stop them," Hampshire coach Dan Cavanaugh said. "It's a big game and we're excited about it. It's a good undefeated team like last week. We have to go out there and do what we do." The Whip-Purs have struck a nice balance offensively between rushing (986 yards) and passing (642 yards). They are led offensively by senior running back Nick Kielbasa (96 carries, 569 yards, 8 TD), junior quarterback Nick Mohlman (34 of 51, 642 yards, 8 TD) and senior receiver Tim Jansen (24 rec., 534 yards, 7 TD). Hampshire picked off 3 passes last week for a season total of 7. Trey Schramm leads the way with 2 interceptions. The Hampshire defense gets a lift this week from the return of inside linebacker Ben Bednarek from injury. Junior lineman Stephen Kirkwood also returns after missing two weeks.

Next week: Woodstock North (1-3) at Hampshire; Grayslake North at Crystal Lake Central (3-1)

Burlington Central (1-3, 1-1) at Genoa-Kingston (2-2, 2-0)

When: today at 7 p.m.

Last year: Burlington Central 24, Genoa-Kingston 16

Last week: Harvard 17, Burlington Central 13; Genoa-Kingston 42, Rockford Christian 21

Outlook: Just when the Rockets were getting used to a new offensive backfield configuration, another injury forced a change. Parth Patel, who started the last 2 games at quarterback, left Monday's practice with concussion symptoms and is unlikely to play this week, coach Rich Crabel said. Casey Matthews, who split time last week between running back and quarterback, will again be Central's signal caller. He started the first 2 games at that position. Junior Trevor Davison returns from an injury this week to fill Matthews' spot at running back alongside senior Reilly Marino. Both Matthews and Marino are two-way starters. Got all that? "We'll be fine in the backfield," Crabel said. Genoa-Kingston opened the season with losses to St. Edward and Rockford Lutheran but bounced back to defeat perennial league power Richmond-Burton, 29-28, in Week 3. "They won the conference at the sophomore level last year and they are pretty talented," Crabel said of the Cogs. "They have some good team speed and some good people up front. It will be another battle for us. The biggest thing defensively is staying disciplined. Offensively, we need more consistency."

Next week: Marengo (0-4) at Burlington Central; Winnebago at Genoa-Kingston

St. Edward (2-2) at Aurora Central Catholic (3-1)

When: today at 7 p.m.

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

Last year: Aurora Central Catholic 25, St. Edward 7

Last week: IC Catholic Prep 21, St. Edward 17; Aurora Central Catholic 38, Chicago Christian 6

Outlook: Last week's loss to IC Catholic Prep was costly in that it put the Green Wave in a virtual must-win position this week. It's not out of the realm of possibility that St. Edward could compete with Marian Central (3-1) and St. Francis (3-1) in Weeks 8 and 9, but St. Edward will be a considerable underdog against each. Thus, the next 3 games against ACC, Chicago Christian (1-3) and Wheaton Academy (1-3) are virtual must-wins if St. Edward intends to reach the 5 wins necessary for playoff consideration. "We've got to have the next three in a row and this week will be the toughest of the three," St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. "We have to eliminate the mental mistakes we've been making in the red zone: penalties on third-and-4, linemen making poor decisions on assignments, fumbles and interceptions. Those are all mental mistakes. Every playoff team stumbles at some point during the year. Hopefully, our guys have cleared their stumbling block and learned from it without it costing them their season." IC Catholic Prep defeated ACC two weeks ago, 21-14. The Chargers are led by 6-1, 225-pound quarterback Kyle Reily and senior running back Julian Rios, who last week rushed 9 times for 145 yards and a touchdown. St. Edward senior running back DaVontae Elam has 88 carries for 663 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Next week: Chicago Christian (1-3) at St. Edward; Aurora Central Catholic at Walther Christian (1-3)

Elgin (0-4, 0-2) at St. Charles East (3-1, 1-0)

When: today at 7:30 p.m. at Norris Stadium

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

Last year: St. Charles East 58, Elgin 14

Last week: Elgin Neuqua Valley 54, St. Charles East 28

Outlook: Last week's contest against St. Charles North was used as a learning experience for the Maroons before they ever took the field. First-year coach Kyle Rohde, who said before the year that being a good student would be a priority for any Elgin football player, put his money where his mouth is. Though they were all eligible by IHSA standards, Rohde suspended five players for the first quarter and a key running back for the entire first half because their grades did not meet the standard he set for players in his program. "I think the kids are starting to understand the expectations I have for them with grades and off-the-field (behavior)," Rohde said. "To start the game my starting fullback lined up as a wide receiver and my wingback had to play tight end. But I have to set the tone for the whole program. We can't try to go win right now and then keep beating our heads against the wall next year with grades. I think the underclassmen are starting to buy in so we should be OK in the future." Rohde said his defense must adhere to the game plan against St. Charles East, which has not scored fewer than 28 points in a game this season.

Next week: East Aurora (0-4) at Elgin; St. Charles East at Geneva (2-2)

Larkin (2-2, 1-1) at Streamwood (0-4, 0-1)

When: today at 7:30 p.m. at Millennium Field

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

Last year: Streamwood 27, Larkin 0

Last week: Geneva 41, Larkin 34; Batavia 56, Streamwood 14

Outlook: District U-46 foes lock horns in an Upstate Eight River matchup. Larkin nearly defeated Geneva on the road last week and needs a win to stay in the playoff hunt. Streamwood is looking for its first win of the season. The Sabres are staying positive after 3 straight losses to 3-1 teams by margins of at least 42 points. "Morale is up right now," Streamwood coach Mark Orszula said Thursday. "Our kids have responded well. It's a confident group that knows they've played a tough schedule. Mentally, I think we're in a good spot. A lot of these kids know each other from youth football. It's not a bad thing to know your competition; it makes you work harder." Orszula said the offense has been working to improve the running game. The Streamwood defense spent the week game planning for Larkin's speed threats, headed by senior tailback Bubba Clemons. Last week against Geneva, Clemons ran for touchdowns of 90 and 80 yards and caught a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kemmerin Blalark. "I kept getting texts every time we had a big play," said Larkin coach Mike Scianna, who missed the game while recuperating from reconstructive knee surgery three days earlier. "We have to have the same effort this week or it will be just like Week 2, when we had to go to overtime against a team we should beat (West Chicago). Streamwood is really big. They might be the biggest team we've seen so far." Scianna said he will coach against Streamwood, his alma mater. Larkin will take the field without two-way lineman Quentyn Jackson (6-3, 290), who left last week's game with a knee injury.

Next week: Batavia (3-1) at Larkin; Streamwood at St. Charles North (2-2)

Bartlett (1-3, 1-1) at Waubonsie Valley (3-1, 1-0)

When: today at 7:30 p.m. at Dick Kerner Stadium

Last year: Bartlett 10, Waubonsie Valley 0

Last week: Metea Valley 20, Bartlett 6; Waubonsie Valley 56, West Chicago 7

Outlook: Bartlett must play the No. 10 team in Class 8A on its homecoming. It will be a subdued homecoming, however, in light of the death last Saturday from cancer of the mother of Waubonsie Valley quarterback Jack Eddy. The Warriors attended her funeral on Thursday. Eddy and his cousin, Brock Westwood, a defensive back, practiced Monday and Tuesday and intend to play against Bartlett, according to a report. This season Eddy has completed 39 of 58 attempts for 523 yards and 7 scores. He has also rushed for 42 yards and 4 touchdowns. Junior running back Tony Durns has 218 yards and 4 touchdowns and returned a kickoff 91 yards last week. Senior running back Jon Fizer has carried 53 times for 331 yards and 5 touchdowns. "They are a good team, a good option team," Bartlett coach Tom Meaney said. "We're just trying to get better. We've had a couple of good practices this week, so we're happy with the progress. We just have to come out and execute better. We're leaving too many points on the field because of too many breakdowns. We'll have one play forward, one play backward. We have to be more consistent and we can't keep shooting ourselves in the foot like we have." Bartlett has turned the ball over 6 times in 4 games.

Next week: Bartlett at West Chicago (0-4); Waubonsie Valley at South Elgin (1-3)

South Elgin (1-3, 1-1) at Metea Valley (2-2, 2-0)

When: today at 7:30 p.m.

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

Last year: South Elgin 28, Metea Valley 21

Last week: South Elgin 48, East Aurora 20; Metea Valley 20, Bartlett 6

Outlook: Though it took South Elgin until Week 4 to earn a victory, there is still a path to the playoffs for the Storm. That scenario requires a win at Metea Valley. The Mustangs hope to maintain their unblemished record within the Upstate Eight Valley behind tailback Jay Parker, who last week rushed for 178 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries, giving him 544 yards and 4 TDs. Senior quarterback Blaise Bell completed 11 of 18 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown without an interception against Bartlett. "Our No. 1 goal on defense is to control the perimeter," South Elgin coach Pat Pistorio said. "(Metea) is right there with Neuqua Valley in terms of speed, which I saw first hand at the Bartlett game last week. And they do a good job on special teams getting the wall set up and getting their playmakers the ball." The South Elgin offense will face a three-man defensive front for the third straight week. Running back Shawn Griffin has exploited two such defenses for over 300 yards combined the past two weeks. Pistorio lauded Griffin's physical play. "He's great between the tackles and he's a great blocker, too," the coach said. "He attacks the linebacker on plays we need him to and he's taking on slide protection on the ends. You usually hold your breath when a running back is blocking an end, but he does a good job of it."

Next week: Waubonsie Valley (3-1) at South Elgin; Metea Valley at Neuqua Valley (3-1)

Westminster Christian (0-4, 0-4) at Alden-Hebron (2-2, 2-2)

When: Saturday at 1 p.m. at Alden-Hebron Field

Last week: Hiawatha 40, Westminster Christian 27; Rockford Christian 56, Alden-Hebron 0

Outlook: No one said it was going to be easy. The Warriors are focused on the immediate: obtaining the first victory of their inaugural varsity season. The Giants and Warriors have faced a common opponent: Luther North. Alden-Hebron defeated Luther North 21-12; Luther North defeated Westminster Christian 44-26. Offense has not been a problem for Westminster. The Warriors are averaging 19.3 points and 292 total yards per game, paced by junior quarterback Max Tucker (67 of 137, 668 yards, 4 TD, 4 int..), freshman receiver Scotty Graziano (18 rec., 323 yards, 2 TD) and senior running back DeShawn Bloom (38 carries, 205 yards, 3 TD), Problem is, Westminster surrenders 45.8. ppg. "We're just waiting for God to bless us with our first victory," coach John Davis said. "But we have to play better defense. We just can't keep giving up 40 points a game."

Next week: Rockford Christian Life (3-1) at Westminster Christian; Alden-Hebron at Mooseheart (3-1)

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