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Daily Herald's 2013 Season Coverage
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Article updated: 10/24/2013 9:14 PM
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Football: Scouting Week 9, Lake County
 

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Football: Scouting Week 9, Lake County
 

FOX VALLEY FOX

Grayslake Central (4-4, 2-3) at Woodstock (1-7, 1-4)

Story Continues Below

When: 7:15 p.m., today

Last week: Grayslake Central def. Woodstock North, 28-12; Woodstock lost to Crystal Lake Central, 48-27.

Skinny: It's win or go home for Grayslake Central. Of course, even with the playoff-minimum fifth win that they could earn on Friday, the Rams will also need enough playoff points to earn their third playoff berth in the last four years. "When you come to the end of the season, it's really nice to have something to play for," said second-year Grayslake Central coach Ben Ault, whose team finished 2-7 last year. "Our kids have known for a while now about how we can still make it with four losses and they know that now we just have to take care of business."…Last week's win over Woodstock North stopped a four-game losing streak for the Rams, who began the season with three straight wins. "We had a very difficult middle part of our schedule," Ault said. 'We needed that win to get back on track and now we've given ourselves and chance to make the playoffs."…The Rams enter their season finale with 36 playoff points (based on opponent wins). Ault believes 38 points should do the job in Class 5A. "I think 38 is the magic number this year," Ault said. "I think for sure we'll finish with 38 points and maybe even 40. I think a team with 40 points has not gotten into the playoffs just one time. It would give us a good chance, but you never know."…Running back Malcolm Reed is coming off a big game for the Rams. He rolled up 106 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries against Woodstock North. Meanwhile, quarterback Alex Lennartz completed 8-of-14 passes for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown … Woodstock's only win this season came against Johnsburg. The Blue Streaks give up an average of 37.8 points per game, most in the Fox Valley Fox.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Grayslake North (6-2, 4-1) at Woodstock North (1-7, 1-4)

When: 7:15 p.m., today

Last week: Grayslake North lost to Prairie Ridge, 56-27; Woodstock North lost to Grayslake Central, 28-12.

Skinny: The Knights are trying to nail down a first-round home game for the playoffs and should be in good shape with a win. They also need to get back on track, having lost two of their last three games. "We got our butts kicked last week, but we learned a lot of really good stuff," Grayslake North coach Steve Wood said. "Prairie Ridge is a really good team and they run the triple-option really well and we weren't ready for it. We thought our guys knew more than they did about how to defend it, so that was a lesson for us. Woodstock North runs the triple-option just like Prairie Ridge does and this time I think our defense will look a lot different. We made some changes to help the guys."…Wood believes a quick start will also help his team. "We need to put (Woodstock North) on their backs right away," Wood said. "We have a tendency to let teams hang around. If they come out fired up, we need to take that away and take control. That will give us a lot of confidence."…Grayslake North running back Titus Booker is working his way back into form. He was slowed by an ankle injury earlier in the season but rushed for 131 yards on 20 carries last week. Meanwhile, quarterback Merrick Gentile had another big passing game for the Knights. He completed 33-of-50 passes for 358 yards and 2 touchdowns. His top target was Brad Baker, who caught 11 passes for 108 yards. He also was on the receiving end of both of Gentile's touchdown passes … Woodstock North's only win came against sister school Woodstock. The Thunder allows 31.9 points per game, second-most in the Fox Valley Fox.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC

Carmel (1-7, 1-4) at Notre Dame (6-2, 3-2)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Carmel lost to St. Patrick, 17-15; Notre Dame lost to Joliet Catholic, 38-14.

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

Skinny: It's the season finale for Carmel, which suffered another tough loss last Saturday at Hanson Stadium. The Corsairs have dropped four games in which they led in the fourth quarter. "We will regroup and figure it out," coach Andy Bitto said. "We are probably closer to getting back on track than it looks." Carmel's only win was in Week 3 against Marian Catholic. The Corsairs have lost five in a row since then. They will focus on trying to contain all-state RB Chris James, who's received multiple Division I offers, but that's easier said than done. Carmel sophomore RB Darrius Crump has put up good numbers, rushing for 677 yards and 5 TDs, despite the Corsairs' struggles to score. Their 145 points scored are the fewest in the ESCC.

-- Joe Aguilar

NORTH SUBURBAN PRAIRIE

Vernon Hills (3-5, 3-2) at Antioch (4-4, 4-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Vernon Hills def. Round Lake, 35-21; Antioch def. Grant, 15-7.

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

Skinny: A win, and Antioch should be in. The Sequoits already boast 40 playoff points, among the highest in Class 5A. If they can get by Vernon Hills, they should be in good shape to earn their fourth playoff berth in the last six years. "I think we're playing really well right now. We've won three of our last four games," said Antioch coach Brian Glashagel, who noted that the only loss during that stretch was to undefeated Lake Zurich. "You never really know about 17-year-old kids, about where their heads are, but I think they know what's at stake. And we'll remind them. It's a must-win game and you love that excitement."…Antioch is coming off a low-scoring affair at Grant last week (the Sequoits scored just 15 points). But it might not take much more than that in this game. Vernon Hills is averaging just 12.3 points per game, fewest in the North Suburban Prairie Division … The Sequoits did most of their damage on the ground last week. They rolled up 295 rushing yards on Grant, including 98 yards from sophomore Griffin Hill and 95 yards from senior Cam Corey. Alan Taylor added another 75 yards … Vernon Hills scored its most points of the season (35) last week. Mason Geick had a game-high 72 rushing yards while sophomore quarterback Connor McNamara completed 11-of-17 passes for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Grant (2-6, 2-3) at Wauconda (4-4, 2-3)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Grant lost to Antioch, 15-7; Wauconda lost to Zion-Benton, 20-13.

Skinny: Wauconda suffered a devastating loss last Friday night to a Zion-Benton team that had just 1 win heading into the NSC crossover. That means even if the Bulldogs win tonight to become playoff-eligible, they still are likely to miss the postseason because their 23 playoff points are the lowest of any potential playoff team in Class 5A. They are guaranteed only 2 more playoff points and likely will gain at least a third point with 7-1 Lakes playing 1-7 Mundelein. It's senior night for the Bulldogs, who will be playing their final home game on grass, as next year they are scheduled to have artificial surface. "It's a chance to finish with a winning record and a chance to send our seniors out the correct way," Wauconda coach Dave Mills said. "We will have to play with all of our energy to beat Grant. Being in the playoffs, as slim as that chance is, does not even happen unless we get a victory. We have let the last two games slip from us. We have given up too many big plays. We need to learn from those last two games and be a better team." ... A barrage of injuries for the second-straight year finally caught up with Grant, which has not won fewer than 4 games in a season since going 2-7 in 1997. "Although this season has not gone like we wanted it to, we want to end it on a winning note," coach Kurt Rous said. "It's no fun playing for pride at the end of the season, but that's exactly what we are going to do. Like other teams, we've suffered some injuries that have had a significant impact on our quality of play." Rous expects to get back tonight junior LB Tim Hollins, who has been out since the third play of the first game with a shoulder injury. "He's looked great in practice, so hopefully he can provide a needed spark to our defense," Rous said. "Wauconda is a well-balanced offensive team and they play good defense."

-- Joe Aguilar

North Chicago (3-5, 1-4) at Round Lake (1-7, 0-5)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: North Chicago lost to Lakes, 51-34; Round Lake lost to Vernon Hills, 35-21.

Skinny: Both teams could use a win, even though neither will be playing in the postseason. North Chicago, which was once 3-1, has lost four in a row. Round Lake has dropped its last six. "We are looking forward to the game," Round Lake coach Jordan Eder said. "It will be a great test for us and our defense. They are a team with a lot of great athletes and can score points. Our offense will need to be able to consistently move the ball and take advantage of the opportunities we get during the game." In its home loss to Lakes last Friday night, North Chicago received a huge game from senior QB Arnold Shead, who rushed 18 times for 115 yards and threw for 263 yards. Round Lake QB John Ridley put up 226 passing yards and 2 TDs in the Panthers' homecoming loss to Vernon Hills last Saturday.

-- Joe Aguilar

NORTH SUBURBAN LAKE

Lake Zurich (8-0, 5-0) at Stevenson (6-2, 5-0)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Lake Zurich def. Libertyville, 40-16; Stevenson def. Lake Forest, 20-6.

Skinny: This is for North Suburban Conference Lake Division bragging rights. The winner will be division champion, something that has come to be expected of these two teams. In the nine years that Lake Zurich has been a part of the NSC Lake Division, either Stevenson or Lake Zurich has won the division football title seven times, which includes the one currently up for grabs. Stevenson boasts four titles (2011, 2010, 2009, 2005) and Lake Zurich has won two (2012 and 2007) … In both of the last two seasons (2012 and 2011), Stevenson and Lake Zurich finished with identical 5-1 records. But last year, Lake Zurich was named the champ for beating Stevenson head-to-head. In 2011, the reverse was true and Stevenson won the title … Stevenson has finished with perfect 6-0 records three times (2010, 2009, 2005) while Lake Zurich put together an undefeated division run in 2007. Lake Zurich has a chance to run the table this season … The only seasons in which Stevenson or Lake Zurich didn't win the division title were 2008 (Warren) and 2006 (Libertyville) … By the numbers, it's difficult to differentiate these two teams. Both can roll up the points on offense and both can be quite stingy on defense. In fact, Lake Zurich is one of the best defensive teams in the state, allowing a North Suburban Conference-low 6.8 points per game with 3 shutouts. Stevenson allows 11.6 points per game but over the last five games, the Patriots have cut that to 7.4 points per game. Offensively, the Bears average 34.9 points per game while Stevenson is just behind at 32.5 points per game … Lake Zurich got 20 points out of its defense/special teams last week against Libertyville. Matt Moon scored on a 32-yard fumble return and John Strojny ran in a 7-yard touchdown on a blocked punt. Meanwhile, kicker A.J. Trittschuh booted 2 field goals (29, 46 yards) … Stevenson racked up the passing yardage last week against Lake Forest. Quarterback Willie Bourbon completed 22-of-33 passes for 265 yards and 3 touchdowns. His favorite target was Matt Morrissey, who caught 8 passes for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns. The victory gave the Patriots their sixth straight win. They started the season 0-2.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Warren (6-2, 3-2) at Lake Forest (6-2, 3-2)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Warren def. Mundelein, 54-0; Lake Forest lost to Stevenson, 20-6.

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

Skinny: Both teams have clinched playoff berths, but the victor stands a great chance of earning a home game in Round 1. Warren's 303 points scored are the most in the NSC Lake, while Lake Forest has put 255 points on the board. Both teams play up-tempo, but Warren throws the ball more frequently with QB Andrew Nickell and his talented group of receivers, while Lake Forest likes to run the ball with Hub Cirame. Against Stevenson last Friday night, Cirame (23 TDs) was kept off the scoresheet for just the second time this season. Warren lost 27-7 to Lake Zurich and 21-7 to Stevenson. Lake Forest lost 21-10 to Lake Zurich and 20-6 to Stevenson. "It should be a great game," Warren coach Dave Mohapp said. "The two teams have very similar scores in our in conference losses. We will have a big challenge in slowing down the balance of the Lake Forest run and pass game. Their defense brings constant pressure and has played very well all season long."

-- Joe Aguilar

Libertyville (3-5, 1-4) at Zion-Benton (2-6, 1-4)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Libertyville lost to Lake Zurich, 40-16; Zion-Benton def. Wauconda, 20-13.

Skinny: Libertyville's loss to Lake Zurich last Friday night eliminated the Wildcats from playoff contention and marked their fourth loss in five games after a promising 2-1 start. QB Anthony Monken continues to put up good passing numbers. He's thrown for an even 1,300 yards and 9 TDs, while completing 54 percent of his passes. The Wildcats entered the season young on defense, and their inexperience has often showed, as they allow an average of 31 points per game. ... Zion-Benton played spoiler last Friday night, beating Wauconda to deliver a huge blow to the Bulldogs' playoff hopes. The Zee-Bees, who got a pair of TD passes from Doug Gates to Eric Gilmore, have won two of their last four after losing their first four games to start the season.

-- Joe Aguilar

NORTH SUBURBAN CROSSOVER

Lakes (7-1, 6-0) at Mundelein (1-7, 0-6)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Lakes def. North Chicago, 51-34; Mundelein lost to Warren, 54-0.

Skinny: With a victory, Lakes would be the only Prairie Division team to defeat a Lake Division team in North Suburban Conference crossover action this season. But the Eagles have even bigger fish to fry. They would essentially guarantee themselves a first-round home playoff game and a top seed with a win. "Without a doubt, there's a lot that has led up to Friday," Lakes coach Luke Mertens said. "It would be nice for our division to win a crossover. We don't get a lot of respect and if we want to change that, we've got to start beating the other (Lake) side. We also want to get that home game. It's important to be able to play at home." ... The Eagles have been on the road for three straight weeks. But it's hardly reflected in their numbers, which have been impressive from start to finish. Lakes leads the entire North Suburban Conference with 42.4 points per game and ranks No. 1 in the Prairie Division with just 14.8 points allowed per game. Mundelein, on the other hand, is allowing a whopping 37.9 points per game, tops in the Lake. On the flip side, the Mustangs score only 11.3 points per game … Running back Mike Brey is coming off a big game for Lakes. He scored 5 touchdowns last week against North Chicago, including a defensive touchdown off a 47-yard fumble return … Mundelein totaled just 158 yards in getting shut out by Warren last week … Lakes is on a 7-game winning streak since losing its season opener to Grayslake North. Mundelein is the opposite. The Mustangs have lost seven straight games after defeating Wheeling in Week 1.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

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