Geneva (2-0, 0-0) at St. Charles East (2-0, 0-0)
Upstate Eight River
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Norris Stadium
Last year: Geneva 27, St. Charles East 26
Last week: Kaneland 26, Geneva 23; St. Charles East 59, East Aurora 14
Outlook: St. Charles East seeks its first 3-0 start since 2013 and its first victory over Geneva since 2012. The Vikings, who start 15 juniors and two sophomores, attempt to bounce back in the Upstate Eight River opener for both teams after they fumbled short of the goal line on the final play of last week's 3-point loss at Kaneland. Geneva senior tailback Lance Arni gained 275 yards and scored 2 touchdowns in 45 attempts in that game, but coach Rob Wicinski said he'd like to find more opportunities to involve junior fullback Luke Swanson, who had one carry. "We need to take advantage of the skill set of our fullback with some quick hitters," Wicinski said. "And we need to play pitch and catch to keep some of their boys out of the box." The Saints counter with a defense that has limited South Elgin and East Aurora to 312 total yards combined. Offensively, St. Charles East coach Bryce Farquhar said senior quarterback Zach Mitchell and the triple-option offense have a honed edge with two games under their belts. "You try to get those same game-speed reads in practice but it's impossible to simulate," Farquhar said. "I think Zach is making a lot of strides but so is the entire offense. They all help each other."
Next week: Geneva at Streamwood (1-1); St. Charles East at St. Charles North (2-0)
East Aurora (1-1, 0-0) at West Aurora (2-0, 0-0)
Upstate Eight Valley
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Last year: West Aurora 41, East Aurora 8
Last week: West Aurora 40, Waukegan 2; St. Charles East 59, East Aurora 14
Outlook: The longest-running series in Illinois high school football has been tilted the Blackhawks' way since the Millennium. The series, which began in 1893, was knotted at 48-48-12 in 2000, but West Aurora has since dominated, winning 15 straight over the Tomcats to take a 63-48-12 series lead. The 124th meeting isn't likely to go much differently. East enters with a 1-1 record, thanks to a late-game strip and touchdown return in the final seconds of a Week 1 win over Elgin, which hasn't won a game since 2014. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks have, arguably, their best team since 1994, led by a defense that hasn't allowed a touchdown in 8 quarters against Yorkville and Waukegan. "We just have to keep building," West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said after Saturday's win in Waukegan. "East-West, there's nothing like it. This is one of the better teams East Aurora has had in a long time, so we're excited." West's defense limits opponents to 99.5 total yards per game and owns a plus-4 turnover margin.
Next week: West Aurora at Glenbard East (0-2); East Aurora at Dundee-Crown (0-2)
Hampshire (2-0, 1-0) at Cary-Grove (1-1, 1-1)
Fox Valley Conference
Game time: 7 p.m. Friday at Al Bohrer Field
Last meeting (2013): Cary-Grove 33, Hampshire 13
Last week: Cary-Grove 42, McHenry 14; Hampshire 54, Burlington Central 14
Outlook: Hampshire is flying high after taking apart struggling Burlington Central last week, but Cary-Grove plays at an entirely different level. Ranked fifth in Class 6A in this week's AP poll, the Trojans flexed their muscles last week in a 28-point win at McHenry. Led by four-year starting fullback Tyler Pennington's 134 yards and 3 touchdowns, the Trojans rushed for 418 yards. That's likely to be a problem for a Hampshire defense that allowed 365 rushing yards in Week 1 against Dundee-Crown running back Greg Williams. "That's where the game is going to be won or lost, up front," Hampshire coach Mike Brasile said. "They've got guys who get off the ball low and hard and we have to match that intensity. I told the kids this is basically going to be a street fight with rules the whole entire game. They'll come and hit you and we can't shy away from that." Hampshire quarterback Jake Vincent threw for 401 yards and 5 touchdowns in the spread offense last week. "I think you have to try to get pressure on him somehow," Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said. "How much we can disrupt their timing and disrupt his comfort in the pocket will be important."
Next week: Cary-Grove at Jacobs (1-1); Huntley (1-1) at Hampshire
Glenbard South (2-0) at Aurora Central Catholic (2-0)
Metro Suburban Conference crossover
Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday
Last year: Glenbard South 42, Aurora Central Catholic 0
Last week: Glenbard South 28, Glenbard East 25; Aurora Central Catholic 49, Westmont 0
Outlook: The Chargers weren't pushed by Westmont last week but they'll get one of their best tests of the season against Glenbard South, a Class 5A playoff team a year ago that has already beaten a pair of Class 8A schools in Addison Trail (22-20) and Glenbard East. "That tells you what kind of level they're playing at," Aurora Central Catholic coach John Belskis said. "They're not hiding anybody out there. They've got a good running back, a quarterback who played a lot last year, good wide receivers, defensive backs and linebackers. We're looking forward to playing a team of their caliber. It'll make us a better team when we enter conference play and at the end of the year." These schools were in the same division of the Metro Suburban Conference last year, but ACC flip-flopped with St. Edward this season, making this game a MSC crossover. The Chargers faced the Raiders last year, they were a team comprised mainly of juniors. It showed. "We have 18 seniors now and we're enjoying it," Belskis said. "It goes by quickly so we're trying to squeeze everything we can out of this season."
Next week: Ridgewood (2-0) at Glenbard South; Aurora Central Catholic at Riverside-Brookfield (2-0)
McHenry (1-1) at Elgin (0-2)
Game time: 7 p.m. Friday at Memorial Field
Last week: Cary-Grove 42, McHenry 14; Mundelein 17, Elgin 14
Outlook: Despite a pair of losses in the final seconds, the Maroons remain committed to winning their first game since 2014, according to second-year Elgin coach Anthony Mason. "Morale is good," he said. "Everybody is just ticked off because we see the hard work paying off and we could or should be 2-0 right now but it didn't go in our favor. We've still got some games on our schedule that, if we can pull them off, it can still be a satisfying season for us. We're still grinding." Senior Shareick Morris has become an offensive threat for Elgin. Last week against Mundelein, he gained 135 yards on 14 carries, highlighted by an 85-yard touchdown burst that put the Maroons ahead 14-6 midway through the second quarter of a game they eventually lost on a field goal with 21 seconds left. Elgin makes a switch at quarterback in the wake of 3 interceptions last week. Senior Titus Ahrens, a varsity basketball player, gets the nod. "He had a great week in practice as far as reading his keys," Mason said. "We're looking for a leader who can make the passes we need."
Next week: Crystal Lake Central (2-0) at McHenry; Elgin at Batavia (2-0)
Batavia (2-0, 0-0) at Streamwood (1-1, 0-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday
The quick hit: Balance returned to Batavia's offense in a triple-overtime win at Libertyville in Week 2. The Bulldogs, ranked No. 3 in Class 7A by the Associated Press, ran the ball 40 times and threw it 28. Streamwood rushed for 271 yards last week and did not commit a turnover in a 28-20 win over West Chicago.
Larkin (1-1, 0-0) at St. Charles North (2-0, 0-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday
The quick hit: A Larkin defense allowing an average of 448 total yards is tasked with slowing the offensive juggernaut that is St. Charles North, ranked No. 8 in this week's Class 7A AP poll. The North Stars averaged 42 points and 433 yards in blowout victories over Schaumburg and Bartlett.
Bartlett (1-1, 0-0) at West Chicago (0-2, 0-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday
The quick hit: The Bartlett offense seeks answers in the Upstate Eight Valley opener for both teams. he Hawks have been limited to 6 points and 322 total yards in their first two games. The West Chicago defense allowed 158 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground in last week's 8-point loss to Streamwood.
Jacobs (1-1, 1-1) at Crystal Lake South (0-2, 0-2)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday
The quick hit: The loser sees its playoff chances dim considerably. Including this game, Jacobs has four 2015 playoff teams left on its schedule. CL South has five. Separated by 3.2 miles of Randall Rd., these Fox Valley Conference rivals have split their last 4 meetings. Jacobs won last year 35-14.
Dundee-Crown (0-2, 0-2) at Huntley (1-1, 1-1)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday
The quick hit: Against Hampshire in Week 1, Dundee-Crown tailback Greg Williams carried 52 times for 385 yards and 4 touchdowns. Against Jacobs in Week 2, he was held to 32 yards on 23 carries. Huntley gave up 330 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns last week in a loss to Prairie Ridge, ranked No. 2 in Class 6A by the Associated Press.
St. Francis (0-2) at Marmion (2-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday
The quick hit: The Cadets look to pay back the 53-7 drubbing the Spartans inflicted on them last year. Linebacker Jett Haas was a one-man wrecking crew in last week's 54-6 win over DuSable. The senior finished with 3 solo tackles, 3 assists, 2 tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and 2 interceptions.
Westminster Christian (1-1, 1-1) at Rockford Christian Life (0-2, 0-2)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday
The quick hit: Westminster Christian nipped the Eagles 14-7 last year in a well-played game in Elgin. Rockford Christian Life was forced to forfeit its Week 1 Northeastern Athletic Conference game against Alden-Hebron after injuries reduced the available roster to fewer than 11 players.
Burlington Central (0-2) at Rockford Lutheran (0-2)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday
The quick hit: The Rockets seek a better showing in their final nonconference tuneup ahead of next week's inaugural Kishwaukee River Conference game against old nemesis Richmond-Burton. Both teams lost to Byron. Central fell 20-0 in the season opener; Lutheran dropped a 35-22 decision at Byron last week.
Rich Central (1-1) at Kaneland (2-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday
The quick hit: Kaneland seeks its first 3-0 start since 2013, when the Knights won their first 7 games. These nonconference foes have split 2 meetings. Kaneland won 42-36 last year. The Olympians were drilled 56-19 last week by St. Rita after winning their season opener against Stagg 39-6.
St. Edward (2-0) at Walther Christian (0-2)Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday
The quick hit: The Green Wave beat the Broncos last year 41-0. Pass-happy St. Edward aired it out a week ago against Lindblom as junior quarterback Dylan Mlinarich threw 7 touchdown passes.
Glenbard East (0-2, 0-0) at South Elgin (0-2, 0-0)Game time: 1:30 p.m. Saturday
The quick hit: South Elgin won 9 games last year and Glenbard East won 4, but each seeks its first victory of 2016 in this Upstate Eight Valley opener. The Rams lost 30-6 to Lake Forest in Week 1 and dropped a 28-25 decision last week at Glenbard South.