Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 10/24/2013 7:16 PM

Scouting this weekend's DuPage County football games

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  • Justin Jackson of Glenbard North is pulled down by Jake Kyllonen of Wheaton Warrenville South during the Wheaton Warrenville South at Glenbard North football game Friday.

      Justin Jackson of Glenbard North is pulled down by Jake Kyllonen of Wheaton Warrenville South during the Wheaton Warrenville South at Glenbard North football game Friday.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer


By Kevin Schmit and David Oberhelman

Glenbard North (7-1, 6-0) at Wheaton North (7-1, 5-1)

DuPage Valley Conference

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

Last week: Glenbard North 37, Wheaton Warrenville South 21; Wheaton North 31, Naperville Central 17.

Last year: Glenbard North 17, Wheaton North 15.

Outlook: Quick starts the last two weeks have put Glenbard North in position to claim its second straight outright DVC title. Aside from incredible play by Northwestern-bound running back Justin Jackson, who's rushed for 754 yards in the Panthers' two wins, the defense stepped up immensely to slow down Naperville Central and WW South. Wheaton North's top job defensively is obviously to slow Jackson as much as possible. The Falcons allowed 10 rushing yards last week, although Naperville Central ran the ball only a handful of times. Wheaton North's offense, meanwhile, presents a diverse challenge for the Panthers. Northwestern-bound quarterback Clayton Thorson steadily has improved throughout the season. He's added a run threat to his nearly 2,000 passing yards on the season. Last week Thorson rushed for 55 yards. Jackson didn't need to play much defense last week, but he'll be needed in the secondary against talented Falcons receiver Matt Biegalski.

Joliet Catholic (7-1, 4-1) at Benet (6-2, 3-2)

East Suburban Catholic Conference

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Benedictine University in Lisle.

Last week: Joliet Catholic 38, Notre Dame 14; Marist 49, Benet 21.

Last year: Benet 31, Joliet Catholic 21.

Outlook: Joliet Catholic's win over Notre Dame, combined with Benet's loss to Marist, guaranteed the Hilltoppers at least a share of the ESCC title. The Redwings, however, can claim a share of their second straight title with a win. Benet's in the midst of a two-game slide that included an aberration of a performance by the defense last week. Marist piled up nearly 500 yards of offense, including nearly 200 on the ground. That's bad news considering the Redwings are about to face Michael Ivlow, who last week rushed for 300 yards to push him near the 2,000-yard mark on the season. Benet's offense can help a bunch by sustaining drives and keeping Ivlow on the sideline. Unfortunately for the Redwings, 7 turnovers plagued the offense last week. The good news, though, is Benet has the talent to turn things around. Quarterback Jack Beneventi and running back Brad Sznajder are both capable of taking over games. Limiting mistakes and taking care of the ball are the top priorities.

Naperville Central (5-3, 3-3) vs. Naperville North (5-3, 4-2)

DuPage Valley Conference

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at North Central College in Naperville.

Last week: Wheaton North 31, Naperville Central 17; Naperville North 52, West Aurora 30.

Last year: Naperville North 26, Naperville Central 23.

Outlook: Both teams have headed in different directions the past few weeks, but that means nothing heading into the Wes Spencer Classic. Injuries hammered Naperville Central in recent weeks, the most recent loss being offensive lineman Alex Peterson. The Redhawks' skill players remain healthy, most importantly quarterback Jake Kolbe. He'll lean on a bevy of receivers headed by Ben Andreas and Michael Kolzow. After rushing for only 10 yards last week, the Redhawks would love to get Tyler Joyce and Kevin Clifford going. Naperville North's defense has struggled through some inconsistencies, but defensive back Danny Schertz and lineman Chris Zhang have been rock solid. DeSean Brown leads the balanced Huskies ground game with 590 rushing yards, but Leon Hardy, Sharad Crosby and even quarterback Connor Johannes have contributed to 1,600 team yards. Linebacker Bobby McMillen and Naperville Central's defense will be ready for another run-heavy team.

St. Edward (5-3, 3-3) at St. Francis (4-4, 2-4)

Suburban Christian Blue

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Live video streaming:, followed by postgame highlights.

Last week: Marian Central 49, St. Edward 21; St. Francis 56, Guerin 7.

Last year: St. Francis 19, St. Edward 7.

Outlook: Scheduling Plainfield South bulked up St. Francis' playoff points (now at 40), so with a 5-4 record the Spartans won't be left on the playoff doorstep like last season. Now, to win that fifth game. St. Francis will go against what coach Greg Purnell called a "feisty" St. Edward squad that while already in good playoff shape will do all it can to get four-year tailback Davontae Elam 57 more yards and break Doug Sanders' season rushing record of 1,324 yards. Elam, the Green Wave all-time leader, averages 7 yards a carry in 2013 with 16 touchdowns. St. Francis defenders like Jack Ahern, Tom Gitchell and 70-tackle linebacker Justin Flood also can't allow big plays from the likes of Mikey Castoro or quarterback Joe Mullen. On the other hand St. Ed will have the usual dickens of a time wrapping up St. Francis' James Butler, who averaged 30 yards a carry against Guerin for a total of 1,090 yards rushing, 17 touchdowns. "We just have to come out of the chutes really well," Purnell said.

Waubonsie Valley (6-2, 4-1) at Metea Valley (4-4, 4-1)

Upstate Eight Valley

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

Last week: Waubonsie Valley 49, East Aurora 0; Geneva 49, Metea Valley 45.

Last year: Waubonsie Valley 41, Metea Valley 14.

Outlook: Fourth-year squad Metea Valley has feasted on sub-. 500 foes; to become playoff-eligible for the first time it needs to beat a favorite and District 204 rival to boot. Waubonsie coach Paul Murphy is wary of "going into a lion's den." He said no matter how many weapons quarterback Jack Eddy has, it won't happen against Metea without solid play from linemen such as Tyler Caldwell, Jon Harris, Anthony Napolitano, Kurtis Chione, Noah Szott and Ben Jackson. Metea coach Ben Kleinhans could say the same. While 982-yard back Jay Parker can help keep Waubonsie's offense off the field, pass defense starts up front with a rush by ends Erin Morgan and Malcolm Charles. Linebackers Paul LaBarbera and Colin Glowienke will keep tabs on Waubonsie backs Jon Fizer and Tony Durns while safeties Tommy Ensminger and Mitch Waller bat away deep balls that nicked Metea in last week's Geneva barnburner. "They gave all they had last week," Kleinhans said, and they will have to do it again.

Addison Trail (2-6, 2-3) at Willowbrook (6-2, 4-1)

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

The quick hit: The District 88 trophy is on the line as Willowbrook tries to improve its playoff seeding. Addison Trail aims to counter the Warriors' high-flying offense, led by quarterback Brian Johnson, with its power running game headed by Jim Wislek.

Downers North (5-3, 2-3) at Hinsdale Central (4-4, 2-3)

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

The quick hit: Downers North hasn't held the Old Oaken Bucket, the rivalry reward, since 2006. Quarterback injuries highlight this showdown. David Edwards remains questionable for the Trojans while Thomas Ives is the latest to step up for Hinsdale Central.

East Aurora (1-7, 0-5) at West Chicago (0-8, 0-5)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Improved East Aurora seeks its first 2-win season since 2008, but the Wildcats are hungry to end on a high. A diet of Danny Lazzerini runs could send twins Colin and Jordan Lelito, Andrew Zak, Jesus Carrasco and the other seniors home winners.

Fenton (5-3, 2-1) at Riverside-Brookfield (1-7, 1-2)

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

The quick hit: Fenton's playoff eligible but a low number of playoff points makes this a must win. Regardless of R-B's record, Fenton's taking nothing for granted in a tough environment. Look for more solid defensive play from linemen Matt Lucas and Niko Avila.

Glenbard South (8-0) at Bloom (5-3)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: The Blazing Trojans stand in the way of Glenbard South's first 9-0 record. Their three losses are to teams with 2 combined losses. Bloom hasn't allowed more than 3 touchdowns in a game. The Raiders haven't scored fewer than 3 touchdowns.

Hinsdale South (4-4, 4-1) at Downers South (5-3, 5-0)

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

The quick hit: More than just the Rebel Cannon goes to the winner of this game. Downers South claims the outright West Suburban Gold title while the Hornets can grab a share. Led by Deandre Washington's 2 picks the Mustangs had 7 takeaways last week.

IC Catholic Prep (5-3, 4-2) at Chicago Christian (2-6, 1-5)

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

The quick hit: IC will make the playoffs even with a loss. With Clark Brinkman, Randy Leslie, Sam Symeonides, Riley Ricobene and many others rolling, a loss would be a stretch. A key motivator is winning the outright SCC Gold title over co-leader Aurora Central.

Lisle (4-4) at Sandwich (4-4)

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

The quick hit: Lisle's 33 playoff points may be too low even with a win over a beatable team from the Interstate Eight Large Division. The Lions can't think like that and coach Dan Sanko seeks the best from his senior core of Kevin Coppin, Cliff Krause and Griffin Huba.

Marian Central (6-2, 4-2) at Wheaton Academy (4-4, 3-3)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Wheaton College.*

The quick hit: Crazier stuff has occurred than the Warriors beating the No. 10 team in 5A to make the playoffs. Guard David Westfallen and the offensive line have to create lanes for back John Gemmel to exploit. Tight end Marino Costello has 6 TDs on 11 catches.

Montini (8-0, 6-0) at Aurora Central (6-2, 4-2)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.*

The quick hit: Coached by 2000 Broncos QB Brian Casey, ACC is psyched after beating Marmion. The Chargers' specialty is a grinding run game. Montini, after its first 9-0 mark since 2008, matches ACC's size, trumps its speed with Tyler Tumpane, Nile Sykes, etc.

Neuqua Valley (7-1, 5-0) at Bartlett (3-5, 2-3)

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

The quick hit: Neuqua seeks an unbeaten UEC Valley title repeat against the team that went 6-0 in 2011. South Elgin hurt Bartlett with 5 touchdown passes. That should please Neuqua quarterback Broc Rutter and receivers Mikey Dudek, Nate Hill and Ryan Kuhl.

West Aurora (1-7, 0-6) at Lake Park (2-6, 1-5)

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

The quick hit: After beating Glenbard East, Lake Park hopes to top the other departing member of the DuPage Valley Conference. Quarterback Bobby Accetura missed last week's game with a concussion, but healed up junior Michael Perry was able step in.

WW South (6-2, 4-2) at Glenbard East (2-6, 1-5)

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

The quick hit: With the playoffs approaching WW South must get healthy on offense after running back Isaiah Campos and receiver Savone Carter missed last week's loss. Sophomore receiver Joey Moore continues to impress in Glenbard East's young offense.

York (3-5, 1-4) at Glenbard West (7-1, 5-0)

Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday.

The quick hit: The WSC Silver crown's wrapped up, but the Hilltoppers aim to improve their playoff seeding. Glenbard West's starters have only allowed 5 touchdowns this year despite injuries. Linebacker Eric Farley went down last week with a broken leg.

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

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