Grayslake North junior running back Titus Booker and Naperville Central senior linebacker Jack Wooldridge have earned Daily Herald MVP honors for the performances in Week 9 of the high school football season.
Booker rushed for 274 yards and 5 touchdown in the Knights' 55-37 victory over Woodstock North, while Wooldridge had 11 tackles, including 2 for loss, and an interception to help the Redhawks past Naperville North 39-17.
Offensive players of the week
Titus Booker, Grayslake North: Book it: Booker is healthy. Slowed by a high-ankle sprain for several weeks, the junior running back showed against Woodstock North that he's healthy going into the state playoffs. He rushed for 274 yards and 5 touchdowns on 26 carries, as the Knights silenced the Thunder 55-37.
Erik Anderson, St. Charles East: The 6-foot, 200-pound senior running back hurt Larkin in several ways in the Saints' 55-12 Upstate Eight River Division win. Anderson ran the ball 10 times for 120 yards with 13- and 46-yard touchdown runs. He caught 3 passes for 101 yards and a 38-yard score. He also kicked 7 extra points.
Jon Fizer, Waubonsie Valley: Improving their playoff status, the Warriors removed Upstate Eight Valley rival Metea Valley from eligibility, 55-10. This 5-foot-9, 190-pound senior back was a big reason. Fizer's 28 carries gained a career-high 297 yards with touchdown runs of 62, 36 and 52 yards, as he passed 1,000 yards on the year.
Austin Rogers, Crystal Lake South: This multitalented 6-foot-2, 205-pound athlete used his arm, legs and hands to lead the Gators to a 27-7 victory that kept Huntley from becoming playoff eligible. As quarterback, Rogers completed 10 of 17 attempts for 97 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown that gave his team an early lead. He also rushed 14 times for 105 yards, including touchdown runs of 21 and 24 yards. Finally, he salted away a Senior Night victory by lining up at receiver and catching a 21-yard scoring pass from Payton Minogue.
Bobby Suchecki, Rolling Meadows: The 6-foot-2 senior quarterback seems to be getting more efficient with each game. In a 47-28 victory over Buffalo Grove which helped clinch a share of the Mid-Suburban East title, Suchecki completed 21 of 26 passes for 268 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Defensive players of the week
Jack Wooldridge, Naperville Central: The Redhawks' snapped a three-game losing streak with a 39-17 win over Naperville North thanks in part to their 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior linebacker. Wooldridge notched 11 tackles, including a team-high 7 solos and 2 for loss. He also snared an interception inside the Redhawks' 10-yard line.
Jordan Bergren, St. Charles North: To have any playoff chance, the North Stars had to win at South Elgin. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior helped put them in position, with a 27-25 victory. Normally a linebacker, moving to defensive end Bergren got his team on the board recovering a fumble in the end zone. He added 2 sacks, 3 hurries and 7 tackles.
Grant Burke, Hersey: Burke helped the Huskies to a share of the Mid-Suburban East crown by helping Hersey keep an improving Wheeling team under control in a 37-29 playoff-clinching victory. Burke, a senior linebacker, was credited with 8 tackles, 4 assists, 3 tackles for loss and a batted ball.
R.C. Cox, Carmel Catholic: That's good pop, R.C. The linebacker was popping ball carriers all night long, as he helped the Corsairs finish the season with a 24-21 road win at Notre Dame. Cox finished with a jarring 18 tackles, hiking his team-leading total to 109 for the season. He also forced a fumble and blocked a punt.
Sam Franckowiak, Dundee-Crown: "One of the best defensive players I've ever coached," is how Dundee-Crown coach Vito Andriola describes this three-year varsity safety. The senior was at his best in a losing cause against rival Jacobs last week. Already leading the Fox Valley area with 4 interceptions, Franckowiak intercepted Jacobs quarterback Bret Mooney twice in the first half. He returned his second interception 36 yards, setting up a short touchdown drive that trimmed D-C's deficit at the time to 13-7.