Daniel Santacaterina of Geneva and Michael Mariella of Vernon Hills have earned Daily Herald MVP honors for the performances in Week 8 of the high school football season.
Santacaterina, a junior quarterback, led the Vikings to a wild 49-45 win over Metea Valley with 373 yards passing and 4 touchdowns.
Mariella picked off a pair of passes in the end zone to help the Cougars past Round Lake 35-21.
Offensive players of the week:
Daniel Santacaterina, Geneva: The Vikings earned playoff qualification with their sixth win in a 49-45 Upstate Eight Conference crossover win at Metea Valley. They needed all of their junior quarterback's 373 yards passing to do so. Santacaterina completed 11 of 19 passes with 5 touchdown strikes, of 57, 36, 70, 45 and 41 yards.
Mike Brey, Lakes: Starting in place of injured running back Cameron Johnson, Brey had a day. The senior, a regular starter at linebacker, rushed 14 times for 182 yards and 4 touchdowns, as the Eagles clinched the North Suburban Prairie Division title with a 51-34 win over North Chicago. He scored a fifth TD on a scoop and score from 32 yards out. He also had 11 tackles.
Travious Brown, Streamwood: This sophomore running back's big day helped lead the Sabres to victory for the first time under new coach Mark Orszula. The 5-foot-5, 180-pound workhorse carried 25 times for 177 yards, highlighted by a 4-yard touchdown run, as Streamwood toppled Elgin 41-30.
John Gemmel, Wheaton Academy: In the Warriors' 48-27 Suburban Christian Gold victory over Chicago Christian, the 5-foot-7, 190-pound senior running back approached his own program rushing record of 290 yards, set last season as a junior. Gemmel ran for 240 yards on only 12 carries, with touchdown runs of 9, 56 and 16 yards.
Garrett Groot, Fremd: The senior running back has emerged as a touchdown-making machine in the latter part of the season. In Friday's 36-27 victory over previously unbeaten Schaumburg, Groot rushed for 167 yards, and, for the second straight week, had 4 touchdowns.
Defensive players of the week:
Michael Mariella, Vernon Hills: The senior cornerback has demonstrated a nose for the football the last two seasons. He showed off his instincts and athleticism again in the Cougars' homecoming-spoiling, 35-21 win over Round Lake. He had 2 interceptions in the end zone -- giving him 6 picks for the season -- and also broke up three passes.
Johnny Frederickson, Burlington Central: This defensive back helped seal the Rockets' 41-28 victory over Rock Falls. Burlington Central led its final home game of the season in the fourth quarter, 35-24, when the 133-pound junior picked off a pass at the Rock Falls 45-yard line and raced to the end zone for a touchdown that iced it.
Jordan Hassan, Glenbard West: The Hilltoppers' defense dominated Addison Trail in a 55-0 victory, thanks in much part to the play of Hassan. The 5-foot-10, 205-pound senior linebacker notched 11 tackles while adding 2 sacks and 4 tackles for loss. The Hassan-led defense allowed a total of only 109 yards and 6 first downs.
Roman Padilla, Aurora Central Catholic: The junior strong safety made 10 tackles, 2 for loss, saving his best for last in a huge 13-12 Suburban Christian crossover win against Marmion. The 190-pound Padilla scored the winning touchdown on a 9-yard run early in the fourth quarter. With 1:31 left his interception at ACC's own 34 clinched the win.
Matt Wary, Elk Grove: Wary had a game-changing effort as the Grens kept their postseason hopes alive and well with a 27-7 victory at Wheeling. One one series, Wary came up with a third-down sack and followed up by blocking the punt on the next snap as Elk Grove took control of the game.
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