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Article updated: 10/17/2013 10:16 PM
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Football: Scouting Week 8, Lake County
 

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Football: Scouting Week 8, Lake County
 

FOX VALLEY CROSSOVER

Grayslake North (6-1) at Prairie Ridge (3-4)

Story Continues Below

When: 7:15 p.m., today

Last week: Grayslake North def. Grayslake Central, 24-21; Prairie Ridge def. Dundee-Crown, 42-0.

Skinny: Grayslake North won't be fooled by Prairie Ridge's sub-. 500 record. The Wolves, the Class 6A state champs two years ago, are coming off a decisive win over a Dundee-Crown team that's a win away from clinching a playoff berth. Prairie Ridge is all but guaranteed an at-large postseason berth with wins in its next two games, and the Wolves visit 2-5 McHenry next week. Prairie Ridge's 4 losses are all to teams with winning records: Notre Dame (6-1), Jacobs (5-2), Cary-Grove (4-3) and Huntley (4-3). The Wolves got a big lift against D-C from RB Steven Ladd, who had missed the last five games with a shoulder injury. He rushed for a score and tossed an option pass for a TD. Wolves QB Brett Covalt scored twice on short runs ... Grayslake North rallied from a 14-0 deficit after one quarter to Grayslake Central to clinch its second straight playoff berth. QB Merrick Gentile led the way offensively for the Knights, rushing for 147 yards and 2 TDs. His fourth-quarter score was the difference.

-- Joe Aguilar

FOX VALLEY FOX

Woodstock North (1-6, 1-3) at Grayslake Central (3-4, 1-3)

When: 7:15 p.m., today

Last week: Woodstock North lost to Crystal Lake Central, 46-33; Grayslake Central lost to Grayslake North, 24-21.

Skinny: Grayslake Central needs to win its last two games to have a shot at an at-large postseason and, fortunately for the Rams, their schedule looks favorable. Both Woodstock North -- which went 7-4 last season -- and Woodstock are 1-6. Grayslake Central visits Woodstock next Friday. The Rams have lost four straight, all to teams with winning records -- Hampshire (5-2), Crystal Lake Central (6-1), Dundee-Crown (5-2) and Grayslake North (6-1). Woodstock North carries a three-game losing streak into tonight's game, but the Thunder played creditably against Crystal Lake Central last Friday night, trailing only 13-10 late in the opening half before an interception led to a quick score for CL Central. The Tigers' big-play offense then struck for another score in the final minute of the half. Woodstock North got TD runs of 47 and 7 yards from Jordan Plummer, while QB Jimmy Krenger threw for a score and ran for another. ... Grayslake Central jumped on Grayslake North with a pair of TDs and led 14-0 after one quarter last Friday night. The Rams still enjoyed a 21-17 lead in the fourth quarter, but Knights QB Merrick Gentile scored the go-ahead TD.

-- Joe Aguilar

NORTH SUBURBAN LAKE

Lake Zurich (7-0, 4-0) at Libertyville (3-4, 1-3)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

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

Last week: Lake Zurich def. Zion-Benton, 48-14; Libertyville lost to Lake Forest, 38-7.

Skinny: There's plenty on the line in this game. Lake Zurich is trying to put together an undefeated regular season and clinch the Lake Division title. Meanwhile, Libertyville is in survival mode. A loss to undefeated Lake Zurich and the Wildcats will lose all hope for a berth in the playoffs. "Our spirits are high," Libertyville coach Mike Jones said. "We have to answer the bell. Lake Zurich will be intense and we're going to have to match that."…Libertyville, which has lost three of its last four games, would love to match Lake Zurich's results on the defensive end. While the Bears are allowing an anemic 5.4 points a game (with 3 shutouts), Libertyville has been giving up a ton of points this season. The Wildcats' average of 30.4 points allowed is the second-highest in the Lake Division … Libertyville gave up 38 points last week and struggled on the offensive end. The Wildcats' only touchdown came on a halfback option pass from Conor Simpson to Riley Lees … Meanwhile, Lake Zurich's offense had no trouble moving the ball last week. The Bears rolled up 456 yards on Zion-Benton. Quarterback Noah Allgood completed 7-of-9 passes for 158 yards. His favorite target was Brent Sweetwood, who caught 4 passes for 72 yards. Sean Lynch scored 3 touchdowns, 2 on the ground. He rushed for a total of 62 yards on 6 carries.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Stevenson (5-2, 4-0) at Lake Forest (6-1, 3-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

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

Last week: Stevenson def. Mundelein, 35-14; Lake Forest def. Libertyville, 38-7.

Skinny: Two of the state's best match up in an NSC Lake showdown, with Stevenson trying to contain Scouts' all-state running back candidate Hub Cirame. The 6-foot, 200-pound senior has scored 23 touchdowns and has five 4-TD games. Only Lake Zurich is has kept Cirame off the score sheet. Cirame is a threat catching the ball, as well, and against Libertyville last Friday night he returned the opening kickoff 76 yards for a score. Lake Forest's only loss was to Lake Zurich, 21-10, in Week 5. The Scouts are ranked No. 6 in Class 6A in the AP poll. ... Stevenson, which is ranked eighth by the AP in Class 8A, has rebounded from its 0-2 start to win five in a row. Cameron Green caught 3 TD passes from Willie Bourbon in the opening half against Mundelein last Friday night, before getting the second half off. Stevenson's defense answered the challenge against Warren's high-scoring attack two weeks ago and will need to be up to the task again tonight to stop Cirame.

-- Joe Aguilar

Mundelein (1-6, 0-5) at Warren (5-2, 2-2)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Mundelein lost to Stevenson, 35-14; Warren def. North Chicago, 61-38.

Skinny: Warren coach Dave Mohapp is worried only about securing Win No. 6, which would qualify his team for the playoffs. But the Blue Devils' sixth win of this season would also be a milestone win for Mohapp. A win over Mundelein would make Mohapp the winningest football coach in Warren history. Win No. 108 for Mohapp would put him just ahead of Mike Kunkle. "It's nice," the ever-humble Mohapp said. "But without question, our goal on Friday is to solidify a spot in the playoffs." A win for the Blue Devils seems to be a sure thing, on paper. Mundelein has lost six straight games and is allowing the most points in the Lake Division (35.6 ppg). But Mohapp has never been one for making assumptions. "We better be ready to play because Mundelein is a very competitive football team," Mohapp said. "Coach (George) Kaider has done a great job over there in just his second year. Mundelein is well-coached and well-prepared and a much improved team from last year. It's a team that has been very competitive with everyone in our league this year. Physically, they are matching up with people now. I don't know that they did that last year."…Mundelein quarterback Gavin Graves, who is just a sophomore, also continues to improve. He was 11-of-17 for 129 yards and no interceptions last week. Getting in the end zone is still a challenge, though. Mundelein averages only 12.9 points per game, second-fewest in the Lake … Defensively, the Mustangs continue to get strong leadership and big plays out of outside linebacker Albert Mota … Last week, the Warren offense, which is tied with Lake Forest for highest scoring average (35.6 ppg) in the Lake, reached the 600-yard mark for the second time this season. The Blue Devils got a monster rushing game out of Max Sorby with 295 yards and 2 touchdowns on 28 carries. Meanwhile, quarterback Andrew Nickell completed 11-of-18 passes for 173 yards.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

NORTH SUBURBAN PRAIRIE

Antioch (3-4, 3-1) at Grant (2-5, 2-2)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Antioch def. Wauconda, 27-17; Grant def. Round Lake, 54-21.

Skinny: Despite winning two of its last three games, Grant is out of the playoffs. But the Bulldogs have the opportunity over the next two weeks to play postseason spoiler. Antioch needs to win out to have a chance of being eligible for the playoffs on playoff points. Meanwhile, Grant's Week 9 opponent, Wauconda, also needs to win out to qualify with six wins since its playoff points are low. "Our games against Antioch are always very competitive anyway," Grant coach Kurt Rous said. "I don't think there's any love-loss between us and them."…Grant has won its last three games against Antioch but has been hobbled this season by injuries to key players, including starting quarterback Jake Bychowski. He's been out since the third week of the season with an injured ankle. After a revolving door under center, junior Spencer Lhotka seems to have settled in at quarterback for the Bulldogs. He completed 6-of-13 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown last week against Round Lake. He also rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown. The Bulldogs also got a solid 72 rushing yards out of running back Jeremy Bredwood, who had been nursing a neck injury for the previous three weeks … Antioch also piled up the rushing yards last week, 278 against Wauconda. Cam Corey had 115 yards on 16 carries. He also ran in a touchdown. "They run an option that is similar to what we do. It's pretty much the same thing they've always been doing," Rous said of Antioch. "It makes it a little easier week for our scout team to prepare. We're also going to have to be ready for their size. They have some pretty big guys on the line."

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Lakes (6-1, 5-0) at North Chicago (3-4, 1-3)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Lakes def. Vernon Hills, 42-7; North Chicago lost to Warren, 61-38.

Skinny: These two teams seem to be going in opposite directions. Lakes clinched its third straight Prairie Division title and has won 6 straight games after its Week 1 loss to Grayslake North. And North Chicago has lost its last three games after starting 3-1. But one similarity between Lakes and North Chicago is the potential for offensive fireworks on both sides. Lakes leads the Prairie Division in points at 41.1 per game while North Chicago showed off its big-play capability last week and hung 38 points on Warren. "We're going to have to work really hard to contain their speed and athleticism," Lakes coach Luke Mertens said of North Chicago. "We've got to prevent those big plays from happening. They kill your team, but they also give the other team so much momentum."…North Chicago quarterback Arnold Shead can make big plays on the ground or through the air. He rushed for 226 yards last week against Warren and also completed 5 passes for 129 yards. He also scored 5 touchdowns, one of which was a 55-yard touchdown pass to Jamero Shelton … The quarterback situation at Lakes is in flux. Starter TJ Edwards is out with a hand and knee injury. His backup, Ethan Sage, also went down with an injury last week. Junior Jake Balliu took over, but showed a lot of promise as he finished out the Vernon Hills game. He ran for 66 yards and completed a couple of passes … Edwards might be able to be back for the playoffs but until then, sophomore running back Devyn Cedzidlo will need to continue to pick up the slack. He did that last week with 110 yards and 3 touchdowns on 12 carries.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

NORTH SUBURBAN CROSSOVER

Wauconda (4-3) at Zion-Benton (1-6)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Wauconda lost to Antioch, 27-17; Zion-Benton lost to Lake Zurich, 48-14.

Skinny: This is a must-win game for Wauconda, which likely will not have enough playoff points to secure an at-large berth. The Bulldogs need to beat Zion-Benton and then get another win at home against 2-5 Grant in Week 9 to guarantee themselves a spot in the state playoffs. Wauconda has ridden its defense all season, as only Lakes (84) has allowed fewer points in the NSC Prairie than the Bulldogs (107). Zion-Benton has scored an NSC Lake-low 67 points, and 34 of those came in a Week-5 win over Mundelein. The Zee-Bees have been shut out three times. ... Wauconda, which averages 20 points per game, got back WR Alex Schwickrath (knee) against Antioch last Friday night. Schwickrath provides a complement to fellow WR Josh Anderson, whose big-play ability has manifested itself the last two games with 5 TD receptions.

-- Joe Aguilar

NORTH SUBURBAN PRAIRIE

Vernon Hills (2-5, 2-2) at Round Lake 1-6, 0-4)

When: 1 p.m., Saturday

Last week: Vernon Hills lost to Lakes, 42-7; Round Lake lost to Grant, 54-21.

Skinny: Out of the playoffs, both Vernon Hills and Round Lake are looking to close out the season strong. Round Lake is out to get its first Prairie Division win while Vernon Hills would love to improve on last season's 2-7 record. "Our kids are excited to get back at it because they still have goals they can accomplish," Vernon Hills coach Bill Bellecomo said. "We really want to win the last two. But it's going to be a challenge. Round Lake isn't a typical Round Lake team. They are giving teams everything they can handle this year. They've got a young coach (Jordan Eder) who is really motivated and they've got some really good players."…The Panthers are happy to have quarterback John Ridley back in the fold. He missed multiple games this season with an injury but was active last week in a loss to Grant. He completed 23-of-46 passes for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns. Chris Washington caught 4 passes for 76 yards … Vernon Hills would love to put up those kinds of numbers on the offensive end. The Cougars are averaging just 9 points per game, fewest in the North Suburban Conference. "It's been frustrating for us," Bellecomo said. "Our run game is not where we envisioned it would be. Our lack of beef on the line has also hurt us." Meanwhile, sophomore quarterback Connor McNamara has been trying to settle into his spot after being pressed into duty when senior starter Jordan Freibrun went down early in the season with a broken leg. McNamara completed 17-of-30 passes last week for 151 yards. But he also threw 2 interceptions … The good news for the Vernon Hills offense this week is that the Round Lake defense is allowing 36.6 points per game, most in the Prairie.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC

Carmel (1-6, 1-3) at St. Patrick (4-3, 2-2)

When: 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Hanson Stadium

Last week: Carmel lost to Joliet Catholic, 37-14; St. Patrick def. Marian Catholic, 42-21.

Skinny: Carmel can play spoiler in the Saturday matinee on Chicago's northwest side, as the Shamrocks need to win one of their remaining two games to become playoff-eligible. Since a 40-0 loss to 6-1 Mt. Carmel in its season opener, St. Patrick has averaged 29 points per game. The Shamrocks have won three in a row after starting the season 1-3. They're led offensively by RB Jeremy Molina, who rushed for 165 yards and 3 TDs, including a 76-yard burst, against Marian Catholic last Saturday at Hanson Stadium. Molina had 267 rushing yards, including 2 TDs, in a Week-4 loss to Marist. Shamrocks QB Zach Fuller had 3 TD passes against Marian Catholic. ... Carmel has scored an ESCC-low 130 points, while allowing 175. The Corsairs trailed Joliet Catholic 23-7 at halftime and were down 30-7 in the third quarter. FB Joe Hoy scored on a 51-yard run and QB Nick Grandolfo had a 4-yard TD run.

-- Joe Aguilar

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