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Article updated: 10/10/2013 10:12 PM
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Football: Scouting Week 7, Lake County
 

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Football: Scouting Week 7, Lake County
 

NORTH SUBURBAN PRAIRIE

Lakes (5-1, 4-0) at Vernon Hills (2-4, 2-1)

Story Continues Below

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Lakes def. Grant, 40-0; Vernon Hills def. North Chicago, 6-0.

Skinny: Both Lakes and Vernon Hills posted shutouts last week, but the stories on offense were quite different. The Eagles' offensive machine kept rolling, this time with a 40-point effort against Grant. The ground game worked best for Lakes, which finished with 402 rushing yards. Running back Cameron Johnson and quarterback TJ Edwards were a lethal combination, tallying 191 and 99 rushing yards respectively. What makes Lakes tough is that Edwards can seamlessly shift into a big-play passer when the defense stacks the box in an effort to stop the run. The Eagles had just 50 passing yards last week but averaged 160 passing yards in the previous four games. Devyn Cedzidlo and Jake Balliu are two of Edwards' favorite targets…The 6 points that Vernon Hills scored in its shutout of North Chicago was right in range. The Cougars are scoring just 9.3 points per game, fewest in the Prairie Division and second-fewest in the North Suburban. Kyle Thomas provided the only scoring for Vernon Hills. His fourth-quarter touchdown was the game-winner. He ran for a team-best 47 yards on 5 carries. The Cougars managed just 164 yards of total offense against North Chicago.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Wauconda (4-2, 2-2) at Antioch (2-4, 2-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Wauconda def. Round Lake, 34-14; Antioch lost to Lake Zurich, 49-7.

Skinny: It will be a playoff atmosphere in Antioch. The host Sequoits need to win out in order to have a chance to qualify for the playoffs on points. Chances are good as Antioch already has 31 points, most in the North Suburban Prairie. Meanwhile, Wauconda needs to win two of its last three games to qualify for the playoffs with 6 wins. A 5-4 record likely won't cut if for Wauconda, which has just 16 playoff points, which are based on opponent wins. "This is as much a playoff game for (Wauconda) as it is for us," Antioch coach Brian Glashagel said. "I don't think 5-4 will get them in. So they're going to come hard. It's going to be a big game."…Glashagel wants his players to play a complete game. Last year, Antioch's game with Wauconda was close at halftime, but then Wauconda pulled away in the second half. "Last year, it was 'close for a while' in all our games," Glashagel said. "Then, the wheels fell off. We lost pretty much every second half last year."…Antioch is coming off a decisive loss to Lake Zurich. The Sequoits scored only 7 points, on a 14-yard Jacob Lanahan touchdown run. Wauconda prides itself on its defense, too. The Bulldogs are giving up only 13.3 points per game. "Their defense is really good, really stout," Glashagel said. "They've had some close games and their defense has kept them in it."…Wauconda's offense pulled its weight against Round Lake last week. The Bulldogs rolled up 331 yards of offense, including 145 passing yards out of sophomore quarterback Kevin Malisheski. Josh Anderson caught 6 passes for 136 yards. Meanwhile, running backs Michael Prate and Alex Payne were tough to stop. They finished with 97 and 86 rushing yards, respectively.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

NORTH SUBURBAN PRAIRIE

Round Lake (1-5, 0-3) at Grant (1-5, 1-2)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Round Lake lost to Wauconda, 34-14; Grant lost to Lakes, 40-0.

Skinny: Round Lake first-year coach Jordan Eder knows all about Grant, having served as an assistant under Bulldogs coach Kurt Rous the last two years. "I am extremely happy for Coach Eder that he got a head-coaching position," Rous said. "When he got it, I told him I hope he goes 8-1 every year. We still talk regularly and he's been over to my house for pizza once this season. And I'm sure at the end of the season we'll sit down and talk about our season." Eder's Panthers have struggled, but they got a big lift last Saturday from QB John Ridley, who returned after missing two straight games due to a knee injury. Ridley threw for 291 yards against Wauconda, while receiver Cole Steger caught 9 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown. Ridley's 74-yard TD pass to Steger had Round Lake up 7-0 after one quarter. ... Grant, which has been plagued by injuries for the second year in a row, will miss the state playoffs for the first time since 2009 and only the second time since 2005. "Our goal now is to win our last three games," Rous said. "Any team we play will be a challenge for us, since our offense has been stagnant and our defense has been hemorrhaging both yards and points. Round Lake matches up very well with us on both sides of the ball. They have some good skill guys and some sizable linemen. It should be a good game, one I'm sure Coach Eder wants badly to win." ... Grant's large injury list includes: Simeon Tate (QB), Taylor Zielinski (backup DB), Angelone Almaznor (backup RB), Jake Bychowski (QB), Tim Hollins (MLB), Francisco Uribe (OL/DL) and Jorell Flemings (backup RB/LB). RB Jeremy Bredwood (neck) should play after missing last Friday's game against Lakes, although he was sick earlier in the week, Rous said. Marshall Clark was ineligible last week but should play this week.

-- Joe Aguilar

NORTH SUBURBAN LAKE

Stevenson (4-2, 3-0) at Mundelein (1-5, 0-4)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Stevenson def. Warren, 21-7; Mundelein lost to Libertyville, 42-15.

Skinny: These two teams have headed in opposite directions since the beginning of the season. After starting 0-2, the Patriots have snapped to attention and won four straight games, including last week's big test at Warren. Stevenson held the high-powered Warren offense, which rolled up 600-plus yards in its previous game, to just a touchdown. Meanwhile, Mundelein opened the season with a bang, defeating Wheeling for its first victory since the 2010 season. But the Mustangs have lost five straight games. "We're still very motivated," Mundelein coach George Kaider said. "There's strong enthusiasm, we're practicing as hard as ever. We're really counting on our seniors to finish strong." Kaider is also counting on a bunch of sophomores. He will be starting seven sophomores against Stevenson, including quarterback Gavin Graves, who completed 10-of-21 passes for 158 yards last week against Libertyville…Graves' counterpart this week, Stevenson quarterback Willie Bourbon, is coming off a 4-interception game last week at Warren. And all of the picks came in the first half. But Bourbon redeemed himself by throwing 2 touchdown passes, one to Matt Morrissey and one to Cameron Green. Bourbon finished with 9 completions (on 18 attempts) and 169 passing yards. Morrissey had 4 catches for 123 yards…Stevenson is averaging 34. 2 points per game while Mundelein is at just 12.7 points per game.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Lake Forest (5-1, 2-1) at Libertyville (3-3, 1-2)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Lake Forest def. Zion-Benton, 40-0; Libertyville def. Mundelein, 42-15.

Skinny: Lake Forest will clinch its fourth straight playoff berth and seventh in eight years with a victory. Libertyville needs to win two of its remaining three games (home against Lake Zurich next Friday, at Zion-Benton) to put itself in position to earn an at-large postseason berth. The Wildcats will try to slow down a Lake Forest offense that's averaging an NSC Lake-best 35.2 points per game. All-state candidate Hub Cirame scored 4 touchdowns, including 3 rushing, in LF's 40-0 win over Zion-Benton last Friday. QB Regis Durbin threw 2 TD passes. The Scouts have allowed only 60 points, second fewest in the division to Lake Zurich (24). "Lake Forest has a very balanced and athletic offense," Libertyville coach Mike Jones said. "They are very well coached and have an aggressive, physical defense. We will have to match their physicality and try to prevent the big play. They run the ball well, and slowing them down will be a challenge. Offensively, we must sustain drives to help our defense out." Libertyville got 4 touchdowns from Conor Simpson last Friday in spoiling Mundelein's homecoming. Simpson (173 rushing yards) ran in for 3 scores and returned a punt for a TD. QB Anthony Monken tossed a pair of TDs to Nick Rossetti.

-- Joe Aguilar

Zion-Benton (1-5, 1-3) at Lake Zurich (6-0, 3-0)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Zion-Benton lost to Lake Forest, 40-0; Lake Zurich def. Antioch, 49-7.

Skinny: This looks like another potential shutout for Lake Zurich, which led Antioch 42-0 at halftime last Friday. Antioch scored a third-quarter TD with a running clock to deny the Bears their fourth shutout. Lake Zurich has outscored its six opponents 191-24. Six Bears -- Zane Lodico, Ben Klett, Noah Allgood, Brent Sweetwood, Nick Tsiapas and Nate Repplinger -- scored TDs against Antioch. Klett scored on runs of 41 and 14 yards, hiking the sophomore's season total to a team-best 13. Zion-Benton has scored the fewest points (53) of any team in the entire NSC. The Zee-Bees' only win was a 34-14 decision over Mundelein in Week 5. They have been shut out three times.

-- Joe Aguilar

NORTH SUBURBAN CROSSOVER

North Chicago (3-3) at Warren (4-2)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: North Chicago lost to Vernon Hills, 6-0; Warren lost to Stevenson, 21-7.

Skinny: A win will make Warren playoff-eligible and will essentially clinch a postseason berth for the Blue Devils. Warren's high-powered passing game was limited last Friday against a red-hot Stevenson team. The Blue Devils look to bounce back against an athletic, physical North Chicago defense that has been the Warhawks' strength all season. North Chicago's 67 points allowed are the fewest in the NSC Prairie. The Warhawks, however, have scored only 22 points in their last three games. Warren QB Andrew Nickell continues to put up great passing numbers. He's thrown for 1,537 yards and 12 touchdowns, while completing 67.5 percent of his passes. The Blue Devils boast six players with double-digit receptions, led by WR Zach Rappel (26), WR Javon Charleston (22) and RB Max Sorby (18). WR Caleb Reams (14 receptions) leads the Blue Devils with 5 TD grabs. Warren LB Ravon Spruill intercepted his third pass of the season against Stevenson. It was one of 4 interceptions for the Blue Devils.

-- Joe Aguilar

FOX VALLEY FOX

Grayslake Central (3-3, 1-2) at Grayslake North (5-1, 3-1)

When: 7:15 p.m., today

Last week: Grayslake Central lost to Dundee-Crown, 30-14; Grayslake North lost to Crystal Lake Central, 35-6.

Skinny: It's a crosstown rivalry game and both teams need to get back on track after a loss. So expect the intensity level to be high in Grayslake. The host Knights will be intent on resetting their offense, which was uncharacteristically quiet in last week's loss. Grayslake North still leads the Fox Division in scoring at 35.3 points per game but was averaging more than 40 points per game before being held to just 2 field goals by Bernard Drewno last week. The Knights will be looking for a stronger effort out of the offensive line. Sophomore quarterback Merrick Gentile wasn't as effective as usual last week because he was hurried, sacked or tackled for loss at least a dozen times…Grayslake Central is muddled in a three-game losing streak and the defense has been taking its lumps. The Rams were giving up just 12 points a game over the first three games, all wins. But over the last three games, Central is allowing 33 points per game.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC

Joliet Catholic (5-1, 3-1) at Carmel (1-5, 1-3)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Joliet Catholic lost to St. Patrick, 22-21; Carmel lost to Marist, 35-23.

Skinny: Joliet Catholic could be walking into a hornet's nest. The Hilltoppers are coming off an emotional 1-point loss last week, have a killer commute up to Mundelein and are playing a team that has absolutely nothing to lose. Carmel fell out of contention for a playoff spot with its loss last week. But the Corsairs aren't about to check out on the season. "Our kids haven't quit," Carmel coach Andy Bitto said. "We've had a lot of good things happen this season, we just haven't been able to get over the hump. But we're emphasizing the positives and the kids are still going hard. And maybe we'll catch Joliet Catholic (at a good time)."…Bitto says that, like his team, the Hilltoppers are banged up. Their quarterback and three linemen are hurt. "They've got a really good running back, though. We're going to have to stop him and score at least 28 points to win," Bitto said. "But for the last 10 years, we've been competitive in every game with Joliet Catholic. I don't expect that to really change."…Carmel is averaging only 19.3 points per game, second fewest in the East Suburban Catholic Conference. Meanwhile, Joliet Catholic rolls up a league-best 39.7 points per game.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

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