Daily Herald's 2016 Season Coverage
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updated: 10/17/2013 5:03 PM

Scouting this weekend's DuPage County football games

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  • Tony Durns of Waubonsie Valley is nailed by Eli Tappin of Neuqua Valley during the Neuqua Valley vs. Waubonsie Valley football game at North Central College Friday.

      Tony Durns of Waubonsie Valley is nailed by Eli Tappin of Neuqua Valley during the Neuqua Valley vs. Waubonsie Valley football game at North Central College Friday.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer


By Kevin Schmit and Dave Oberhelman

Benet (6-1, 3-1) at Marist (4-3, 3-2)

East Suburban Catholic Conference

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

Live video streaming:, followed by postgame highlights.

Last week: Nazareth 28, Benet 18; Notre Dame 45, Marist 35.

Last year: Benet 34, Marist 24.

Outlook: After saying his team may have been a little complacent heading into last week's loss at Nazareth, Benet coach Pat New expects a major bounce back in this crucial ESCC game. Six teams remain within a game of first place with two to play. A victory gives the Redwings control of their destiny in terms of grabbing at least a share of their second straight title. Benet can't afford the crucial mistakes of a week ago. The blocked punt, the fumble inside its own 20. Marist's powerful offense will take full advantage with quarterback Jack Donegan, who threw for nearly 400 yards last week, and Notre Dame-bound tight end Nic Weishar. Benet linemen Nick Surges and Steve Hubona need to bring pressure and take the RedHawks out of their offensive rhythm. Redwings running back Brad Sznajder ran for 150 yards against a stingy Nazareth run defense, but the offense must do a better job with the pass as quarterback Jack Beneventi re-establishes an inconsistent pass game.

Next week: Joliet Catholic at Benet; Marist at Moline.

Geneva (5-2) at Metea Valley (4-3)

Upstate Eight Conference crossover

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

Live video streaming:, followed by postgame highlights.

Last week: Geneva 42, Elgin 20; Metea Valley 52, East Aurora 28.

Last year: Geneva 61, Metea Valley 48.

Outlook: Metea Valley has 5-2 Waubonsie Valley in Week 9 so a win bolsters the Mustangs' hope for a first playoff berth. Geneva's gone as its young offensive line has improved. Early it was mainly quarterback Daniel Santacaterina tossing to receivers Pace Temple, Kyle Brown and Mike Landi. Now Vikings tailback T.J. Miller is rolling and scatback Liam Burns has joined the mix. A quick defensive line and linebacker Wyatt Shodeen will try to make Metea quarterback Blaise Bell jumpy. Perhaps it's Metea's own size and strength up front or a year's experience, but after Bell threw 16 interceptions as a junior he has tossed just 3 picks with 11 touchdowns, 8 of them to wideout Nick Dodson. At 826 yards rushing Jay Parker has an outside chance at 1,000 here, but Metea will need more of X-factor Bryson Oliver on offense, Peyton Mitchell and Paul LaBarbera on defense. Fumbles have recently hit Metea, which must limit Geneva's third- and fourth-down conversions.

Next week: Streamwood at Geneva; Waubonsie Valley at Metea Valley.

Montini (7-0, 5-0) at Aurora Christian (5-2, 3-2)

Suburban Christian Blue

Game time: 7 p.m. Saturday.

Last week: Montini 40, Marian Central 35; IC Catholic 48, Aurora Christian 8.

Last year: Montini 31, Aurora Christian 27.

Outlook: This game between reigning Class 5A and 3A champions once was circled in red. Now it's more like a Red Cross. Aurora Christian coach Don Beebe estimated injuries have claimed 17 of 22 starting positions. "I've never seen anything like this," he said. Earlier this week he said he'd start two freshmen and four sophomores, including the combo of quarterback Ben Weerts to sophomore receiver Eddie Velarde that delivered the Eagles' sole touchdown late against IC. Without the Eagles' usual vertical dimension Legend Smith ran a personal-high 33 times, for 156 yards. Aurora Christian remains healthiest up front, but that will be hard to match against Montini linebacker Mike Maduko (16 tackles last week), defensive linemen Edgar Ruano, Anthony Ferraro and Eric Kibbey. (Dylan Thompson may rest an injury.) Skill spots on both sides of the ball are where Aurora Christian's really hurting. If Broncos receivers Leon Thornton III and Tyler Tumpane find space it could be another long day.

Next week: Montini at Aurora Central Catholic; Aurora Christian at Guerin.

Naperville Central (5-2, 3-2) at Wheaton North (6-1, 4-1)

DuPage Valley Conference

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

Last week: Glenbard North 40, Naperville Central 34; Wheaton North 48, West Aurora 7.

Last year: Wheaton North 45, Naperville Central 0.

Outlook: In the midst of the DVC gauntlet, the Redhawks look to avoid a third straight loss. They can find solace in last week's rally from a 28-0 halftime deficit, but there's no time for leaning on moral victories. A ragged week leading up to Glenbard North included no practice for receiver Ben Andreas and running back Tyler Joyce, and a flu bug plowing through other players. This week has been much better preparation-wise. And, as they showed last week, having playmakers like quarterback Jake Kolbe and receiver Mike Kolzow means the Redhawks are never out of a game. Wheaton North is also healing, most importantly up front with offensive lineman Jesse Dean. The Falcons do plenty of damage with Northwestern-bound quarterback Clayton Thorson and receivers Matt Biegalski and J.P. Forcucci, but expect Thorson to look for lanes to run the ball. Naperville Central linebackers Bobby McMillen and Jack Wooldridge are as good as they get in the DVC.

Next week: Naperville Central vs. Naperville North at North Central College; Glenbard North at Wheaton North.

Wheaton Warrenville South (6-1, 4-1) at Glenbard North (6-1, 5-0)

DuPage Valley Conference

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

Last week: WW South 28, Lake Park 0; Glenbard North 40, Naperville Central 34.

Last year: Glenbard North 27, WW South 21.

Outlook: These teams could combine for 10 points or 80. If history's any indication, regardless it'll be a close one. A Glenbard North win seals at least a tie of its second straight DVC title and eliminates WW South from contention. A Tigers win makes Week 9 a tossup for the title. The top goal for WW South sounds simple but, as everyone else is finding out, it's incredibly difficult. The Tigers need to slow Northwestern-bound running back Justin Jackson, who last week ran for 405 yards to break his own DVC record for rushing yards in a game. What's even more impressive? He had a huge impact on defense with 6 tackles, 3 for loss and a fumble hit. WW South's ground game took a major hit with last week's injury to running back Isaiah Campos, putting more pressure on quarterback Ryan Graham and running back Zack Moberg to move the ball. Glenbard North committed key penalties and allowed too many big plays last week. It can't happen again if the Panthers hope to win.

Next week: WW South at Glenbard East; Glenbard North at Wheaton North.

Downers North (4-3, 1-3) at Proviso West (2-5, 0-4)

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

The quick hit: Another week without injured Trojans quarterback David Edwards, but another win with Vontae Diggs behind center. He threw only three times, but that was enough. Byron Jackson's 93-yard kick return proved the Panthers' big-play potential.

Elmwood Park (1-6, 0-2) at Fenton (4-3, 1-1)

Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Probably needing six wins to reach the playoffs, the Bison must bounce back strong from a loss to Glenbard South. The second half was a struggle, but the Bison were within 21-14 late in the first half. Alex Cowan in the Wildcat was an effective tool.

Glenbard East (2-5, 1-4) at Lake Park (1-6, 0-5)

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

The quick hit: Glenbard East suffered mightily with defensive back Javon York out of the lineup last week, but he'll return for this one. Keeping quarterbacks healthy continues to be a struggle for Lake Park, which again will lean on its Antonio Shenault-led defense.

Glenbard South (7-0, 3-0) at Ridgewood (2-5, 1-2)

Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: As strong as Glenbard South has played, the search for improvement remains constant. Expect a focus on special teams after surrendering a kick return for a touchdown last week. And look for more disruption from defensive lineman Erwin Lane.

Glenbard West (6-1) at Addison Trail (2-5)

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

The quick hit: The Hilltoppers are thin at fullback with Donahvon Vaughn and Sam Brodner out for the year. That puts Devante Toney full-time on offense, with spare use on the defensive line. Blazers QB Mike Rybarczyk shined last week with 200 passing yards.

Guerin (2-5, 0-5) at St. Francis (3-4, 1-4)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Four straight losses to opponents who are a combined 23-5 have temporarily slowed the Spartans. The skid hasn't created doubt, however. "We have great kids and their work ethic has been outstanding," said St. Francis coach Greg Purnell.

Hinsdale Central (4-3, 2-2) at Oak Park (6-1, 4-1)

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

The quick hit: After struggling for consistency behind center, Red Devils junior Thomas Ives settled in at quarterback during last week's 17-7 win over Hinsdale South. Oak Park is a tough place to play, but the Red Devils need a win to clinch a postseason berth.

Lyons Twp. (3-4, 2-2) at York (3-4, 1-3)

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

The quick hit: With both teams needing to win out to qualify for the playoffs, expect a pitched atmosphere. Fits and starts have plagued the Lions, and York hopes to take advantage by dictating tempo with its ground game quarterbacked by Charlie Rose.

Morton (1-6, 1-4) at Hinsdale South (3-4, 3-1)

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

The quick hit: Last week's loss by the Hornets, who have only 25 playoff points, may be crushing for their postseason chances. Option quarterback Robert Regan showed he also can throw the ball, passing for 166 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown strike.

Naperville North (4-3, 3-2) at West Aurora (1-6, 0-5)

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

The quick hit: Three straight wins have the Huskies powering toward a playoff berth, something they'd pretty much clinch with a win over the Blackhawks. Their defense gets a major boost with the return from injury of Kevin Mlady and Ben Brancaleon.

Peotone (5-2) at Lisle (4-3)

Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Lisle, with just 29 playoff points, may need six wins to reach the playoffs. Lions defensive linemen Zach Trussell, Kevin Sheahan, Kyle Dwyer, Jack Hennessey and Jared Arellano gear up to hold the line against Peotone's larger yet agile offensive front.

Proviso East (0-7, 0-4) at Downers South (4-3, 4-0)

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

The quick hit: In a season that started with a pair of losses, Downers South would clinch a share of the WSC Gold title with a win. Defensive lineman Caleb Konney now leads the team in interceptions after snaring two in last week's win over Willowbrook.

Walther Christian (2-5, 2-3) at IC Catholic Prep (4-3, 3-2)

Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday.

The quick hit: The Knights' 43 playoff points are more than enough; now to lock it up with that fifth win. The Knights clicked on all cylinders last week, Clark Brinkman and Jordan Rowell going nuts on offense, Riley Ricobene and Sam Symeonides on defense.

Waubonsie Valley (5-2, 3-1) at East Aurora (1-6, 0-4)

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

The quick hit: Waubonsie can't allow a mental letdown after last week's Neuqua game, and coach Paul Murphy won't let that happen. Attention to kick coverage against the improved Tomcats is big, as is re-establishing Jack Eddy's deep ball to Christian Gibbs.

West Chicago (0-7, 0-4) at Neuqua Valley (6-1, 4-0)

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

The quick hit: A healthy Danny Lazzerini at tailback is crucial to West Chicago's hopes in the Upstate Eight Valley game. Neuqua back T.J. Scruggs will run right at the Wildcats' Parrish Benton. Quarterback Broc Rutter has completed 69 percent of his passes.

Wheaton Academy (3-4, 2-3) at Chicago Christian (2-5, 1-4)

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

The quick hit: Allowing St. Edward 500 yards rushing postponed the Warriors' playoff goals. With Marian Central up next they need this for a chance. They'll ride tailback John Gemmel and quarterback David Thrasher, who threw 3 touchdowns to Marino Costello.

Willowbrook (5-2, 3-1) at Leyden (2-5, 2-2)

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

The quick hit: The Warriors struggled last week with Downers South's physical play up front, and that'll be a challenge again. The Eagles lean on 205-pound running back Aaron Whigham while Willowbrook hopes to control the ball with quarterback Brian Johnson.

*-Live video streaming:, followed by postgame highlights.

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