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Article updated: 10/3/2013 11:09 PM
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Football: Scouting Week 6, Lake County
 

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Football: Scouting Week 6, Lake County
 

FOX VALLEY FOX

Grayslake North (5-0, 3-0) at Crystal Lake Central (4-1, 2-0)

Story Continues Below

When: 7:15 p.m., today

Last week: Grayslake North def. Hampshire, 42-14; Crystal Lake Central def. Grayslake Central, 34-10.

Skinny: The only teams yet to lose in FVC Fox play square off in what should be a mighty matchup. "This should be the game for the Fox Division," said Grayslake North coach Steve Wood, whose Knights are the defending FVC Fox champs. "Both teams have played well in conference. CLC has a high-powered offense that will test our defense in both stopping the run and the pass. Our offense will be healthy for the second week in a row, which should make for a great game. The team that limits the mistakes should win the game." Grayslake North (206 points scored) and Crystal Lake Central (150) are the two highest-scoring teams in the division. The Knights also have allowed a league-low 86 points, 1 fewer than the Tigers. Crystal Lake Central boasts QB Kyle Lavand (79-of-129 passing, 1, 075 yards, 7 TD, 3 INT). The senior threw for 284 yards and 2 TDs against Grayslake Central last Friday. Lavand's top target is Jack Ortner (43 receptions, 3 TDs). Tigers RB Ryan Williams has scored 6 TDs. The Tigers' only loss was to Crystal Lake South (14-7) in Week 2. Last Friday night against Hampshire, for the first time since Opening Night, Grayslake North RB Titus Booker (ankle) was at full strength. Both Booker and QB Merrick Gentile rushed for more than 100 yards. The sophomore Gentile led the way, gaining 141 yards on the ground, while throwing for 168 yards and 2 scores. Junior Brad Baker, who had one of the TD catches, leads the Knights with 21 catches.

-- Joe Aguilar

FOX VALLEY CROSSOVER

Grayslake Central (3-2) at Dundee Crown (4-1, 2-1)

When: 7:15 p.m., today

Last week: Grayslake Central lost to Crystal Lake Central, 34-10; Dundee-Crown def. Huntley, 17-14.

Skinny: Grayslake Central is looking to get back on track. After starting out the season with three straight wins, the Rams have lost their last two games. "It's always tough when you hit a tough part of your schedule and you aren't as successful as you were earlier," Grayslake Central coach Ben Ault said. "A big thing for us is to get back to being more consistent offensively and defensively."…Turnovers have played a significant factor in the Rams' last two games. Over the first three weeks of the season, Grayslake Central had 2 turnovers. Over the last two games, the Rams have had more than double that. "We've had six to seven turnovers over the last couple of weeks," Ault said. "We're still only in the second year of this new offense and when you play a well-established team, it can be tough. There is still a learning curve for our kids right now."…After averaging about 28 points per game over the first three weeks, the Grayslake Central offense has scored just 13 points per game over the last two weeks. Last week against Crystal Lake Central, Malcolm Reed did his best to keep the chains moving. He rushed for 105 yards on 15 carries … Dundee-Crown hasn't had trouble at all scoring points this season. The Chargers are averaging 28.4 points per game, second-most in the Fox Valley Valley Division. "Dundee-Crown is obviously on a big upswing, very much improved and hard-nosed," Ault said. "They've got good size and are very focused on defense. We're really going to have to take advantage when we can."…Dundee-Crown coach Vito Andriola used to be the head coach at Grayslake Central. He took the Rams to the Class 7A playoffs in 2003 with an 8-3 record.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

NORTH SUBURBAN PRAIRIE

Grant (1-4, 1-1) at Lakes (4-1, 3-0)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Grant def. North Chicago, 16-12; Lakes def. Wauconda, 36-7.

Skinny: It's the grudge match that Lakes coach Luke Mertens likes to say is the real rivalry game for his team. Many people assume that Antioch is Lakes' archrival, because both schools are in the same district. But Lakes also has a big connection to Grant. "A lot of our kids grew up with the kids from Grant," Mertens said. "We've got a lot of kids who went to junior high (Palombi) with kids from Grant. We know those guys, and it's always a tough, physical game that our guys really get up for."…Mertens is hoping the high emotions of a rivalry game don't derail his players' focus. Last week, he was thoroughly unimpressed with their effort, despite the fact that they defeated Wauconda by nearly 30 points. Along the way, the Eagles racked up a ton of penalties (15 to be exact, for 160 yards). "I don't know how anyone in our program could walk away from that game feeling good about it," Mertens said. "It was just a complete lack of discipline and focus." Despite all the penalties, the Eagles, who lead the North Suburban Prairie in scoring at 41.2 points per game, were able to roll up 408 yards of total offense while staying fairly balanced. Quarterback T.J. Edwards passed for 140 yards while Cameron Johnson rushed for 127 yards … Grant is coming off its first win of the season, a roller-coaster ride against North Chicago that included a kickoff return for a touchdown, a safety and a halfback option touchdown pass to win it. Jeremy Bredwood made that big catch and is the Bulldogs' top option in the run game, which isn't quite as effective now that quarterback Jake Bychowski (ankle) is out. Bychowski ran the option well. Now, the Bulldogs are struggling to find Bychowski's replacement and are rotating between Spencer Lhotka and Simeon Tate … The Bulldogs also had trouble with penalties last week. They were tagged 10 times for 100 yards.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Vernon Hills (1-4, 1-1) at North Chicago (2-3)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Vernon Hills lost to Stevenson, 52-7; North Chicago lost to Grant, 16-12.

Skinny: Vernon Hills will face a North Chicago squad that has squandered fourth-quarter leads in both of its losses. The Warhawks are in must-win mode, as they need to need to capture two of their remaining four games to become playoff eligible, and that might not even be enough to earn an at-large berth. They still have 4-1 Warren and 4-1 Lakes on their schedule, before finishing up with Round Lake. "North Chicago has a very aggressive and athletic defense," Vernon Hills coach Bill Bellecomo said. "I know they are experienced on defense. (Khalil) Rogers is a talented LB. No. 20 (nose guard Jaime Romero) plays with a high motor. They will bring 7-8 guys on every play." North Chicago star Arnold Shead, a Division I prospect, was slowed by an ankle injury early in the season but never missed a game and has continued to play at a high level. His last-minute touchdown scamper against Wauconda two weeks ago was the game-winner for coach Glen Kozlowski. "Shead is an explosive athlete who is capable of taking it the distance on any given play, but he isn't the only weapon on offense," Bellecomo said. "Koz has done a nice job utilizing all his athletes on the offensive side of the ball. We need to to play 48 minutes of football on Friday. This is a playoff game for us, and I think our kids have the right mind set this week." Vernon Hills managed just 53 yards of total offense in its loss to Stevenson last Friday.

-- Joe Aguilar

Round Lake (1-4, 0-2) at Wauconda (3-2, 1-2)

When: 1 p.m., Saturday

Last week: Round Lake lost to Antioch, 41-6; Wauconda lost to Lakes, 36-7.

Skinny: The Wauconda defense took its lumps last week, allowing 36 points to Lakes. It was an unusually high number for the Bulldogs, who typically allow just 13.2 points per game. That makes Wauconda the second-stingiest defense in the North Suburban Prairie … On the other side of the spectrum, Round Lake has given up nearly 34 points per game, most in the Prairie. Over the last three weeks alone, the Panthers have allowed 46.7 points per game in losses to Lakes, Lake Forest and Antioch. "We've had a rough few weeks, but we're doing fine," said first-year Round Lake coach Jordan Eder. "The kids understand that this is part of the process of turning things around and it's going to take time to get to where we need to be," Eder said. "We need to work on our speed and strength and that's going to come in the off-season. Right now, we've just going to concentrate on making the plays that are right in front of us. We've had opportunities, but we just aren't making the plays we need to."…Last week against Antioch, junior running back Chris Perry made some nice plays, rolling up 76 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. But the Panthers aren't operating at full strength and are still awaiting the return of starting senior quarterback John Ridley, who has been out for the last two weeks with a knee injury. He is probable for this game … Wauconda is also hoping for the return of one of its big guns in the passing game. Senior wide receiver Alex Schwickrath has been out with a knee injury and is day-to-day. "Wauconda is a really tough team and it's going to be tough to face them on their homecoming," Eder said. "We just need to execute and we'll use our extra day of preparation to put in as much extra work as we can."

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

NORTH SUBURBAN LAKE

Stevenson (3-2, 2-0) at Warren (4-1, 2-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Stevenson def. Vernon Hills, 52-7; Warren def. Libertyville, 59-10.

Skinny: The most pressing question heading into this game is whether or not the Warren scoreboard will be able to handle such a potentially heavy workload. Expect scoring all over the place between these two explosive offenses. Stevenson averages a North Suburban Lake Division-best 36.8 points per game, while Warren is nipping closely behind with 36.2 points per game, second-best in the division … In fact, Warren is coming off one of its most prolific offensive games in head coach Dave Mohapp's 17-year tenure. The Blue Devils rolled up an eye-popping 660 total yards last week against Libertyville. And that was almost equally distributed between running yards (322) and passing yards (338). "You want your offense to be as balanced as possible and we've really tried to work on that," Mohapp said. "We try to mix it up to keep the defense off-balance." Warren quarterback Andrew Nickell completed 14-of-23 passes, including 3 touchdowns against Libertyville. Two of his receivers hit the 100-yard mark. Zack Rappel had 6 catches for 130 yards and Caleb Reams added 2 catches for 100 yards. Meanwhile, Cedric Sanders and Max Sorby had big days on the ground, rushing for 134 and 99 yards respectively … Stevenson is coming off a big game, too. The Patriots hit the 50-point plateau for the first time this season in last week's blowout of Vernon Hills. After a couple of big offensive explosions in the previous two games, Stevenson is averaging 49.6 points per game over the last three weeks. Quarterback Willie Bourbon is a threat to run or pass. His favorite targets are two Division I prospects, Matt Morrissey, who has committed to Michigan State, and Cameron Green, a junior who is getting Big Ten offers. "That's a very talented team, the whole package," Mohapp said. "You're not going to run into a team like Stevenson very often, where they've got so many weapons all over the field. It should be a good game because both teams can really move the ball."

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Libertyville (2-3, 0-2) at Mundelein (1-4, 0-3)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Libertyville lost to Warren, 59-10; Mundelein lost to Zion-Benton, 34-14.

Skinny: The rivalry game features two teams that have been giving up too many points. Playing maybe the two best offenses in the NSC, Libertyville yielded 49 points to Stevenson and then 59 to Warren. The back-to-back defeats leaves the Wildcats needing to win three of their last four games to become playoff-eligible. After tonight, they face Lake Forest (4-1), Lake Zurich (5-0) and Zion-Benton (1-4). "We better be ready to play, because (Mundeelin) will be ready to go Friday night," said Libertyville coach Mike Jones, who's aware that it's the Mustangs' homecoming. "They run the ball well and are a physical football team. They will line up and hit you on both sides of the ball. We must be able to run the ball to sustain drives. Our inconsistency on both sides of the ball has hurt us the past couple of weeks. We hope to improve on that this week." Libertyville QB Anthony Monken (63-of-112 passing, 775 yards) has developed good chemistry with Riley Lees and Jake Mansfield, each of whom coincidentally battled him for the starting QB job. Lees caught a TD pass from Monken against Warren and has 13 receptions this season, while Mansfield has become the Wildcats' leading pass catcher with 20 receptions. ... Mundelein, which features speedy RB Emanuel Jones, has cooled off since its Opening Night win over Wheeling. The second-half was the Mustangs' demise in losses to Highland Park (Week 2) and Zion-Benton (last Friday). Chance Lindsey scored both of Mundelein's touchdowns, including one on an interception return, against Zion-Benton.

-- Joe Aguilar

NORTH SUBURBAN CROSSOVER

Antioch (2-3) at Lake Zurich (5-0)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Antioch def. Round Lake, 41-6; Lake Zurich def. Lake Forest, 21-10.

Skinny: The Lake Zurich defense was given its best test of the season in last week's victory over Lake Forest. But even though the Bears, who are allowing just 3.4 points per game, allowed 10 points, they still held Lake Forest to 30 points below its average. The trick this week will be for the Bears, who have posted 3 shutouts in five games, to quickly adjust to an offense they don't see often: the option. Antioch ran well last week in a big win over Round Lake as sophomore Griffin Hill rolled up 119 yards on 7 carries. Alan Taylor added another 95 yards. But the Sequoits also mixed in a healthy dose of passing as quarterback Zach Andre completed 6-of-8 passes for 194 yards. "They are physical and they will get after you," Lake Zurich coach Dave Proffitt said of Antioch. "They've got a nice line and a back (Hill) that has speed. We just can't make too much of the fact that we don't see their kind of offense much. Otherwise, you start talking yourself into believing you're playing a team with a special weapon."…Lake Zurich scored 14 fourth-quarter points to pull out last week's win. Ben Klett accounted for both scores. He had 99 yards on 10 rushes. Meanwhile, quarterback Noah Allgood kept the Lake Forest defense on its toes, mixing in 164 passing yards on 11-of-20 attempts.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC

Carmel (1-4, 1-2) at Marist (3-2, 2-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Carmel lost to Nazareth, 27-17; Marist lost to Joliet Catholic, 49-27.

Skinny: A loss will keep Carmel out of the state playoffs for the second straight year, and it's a scenario that seems likely since the Corsairs still have Joliet Catholic (5-0) and Notre Dame (5-0) on their schedule. Marist, which had a three-game winning streak snapped in losing to undefeated Joliet Catholic last Friday, plays back-to-back undefeated opponents in Notre Dame and Benet after tonight. Carmel has scored an ESCC-low 93 points, while Marist has given up a league-high 162 points. The RedHawks jumped on JCA early, taking a 13-0 lead before the Hilltoppers even touched the ball. But JCA pulled even by halftime and owned the second half. QB Jack Donegan, who threw for 301 yards against JCA, leads the Marist offense, which has scored 192 points (99 more than Carmel). Carmel led Nazareth 17-14 in the fourth quarter, only to fail to protect a lead in a game for the fourth time this season. Corsairs QB Nick Grandolfo threw for a score and ran for one. Fullback Joy Hoy rushed for 152 yards on 19 carries.

-- Joe Aguilar

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