Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 9/8/2016 6:07 PM

Scouting this weekend's DuPage County football games

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  • Glenbard North's Vittorio Tricase (3) moves the ball during Waubonsie Valley at Glenbard North football action Friday.

      Glenbard North's Vittorio Tricase (3) moves the ball during Waubonsie Valley at Glenbard North football action Friday.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer


By David Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit

Glenbard East (0-2, 0-0) at South Elgin (0-2, 0-0) Upstate Eight Valley

Game time: 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Last week: Glenbard South 28, Glenbard East 25; Lockport 17, South Elgin 15.

Last year: South Elgin 61, Glenbard East 47.

Outlook: Winless teams typically aren't High Five material, but the visiting Rams and defending UEC Valley champ Storm would each like to factor into the race. Both are young and made strides in Week 2 after one-sided openers. Consistency, communication and teamwork will pace Glenbard East's improvement after graduating nearly all its skill players. Receiver Kenny Adams has caught 11 passes for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns, and sophomore quarterback Bret Bushka is completing 50 percent of his passes. Injuries are taking a toll. Running back Scott Szabo is hopeful after getting hurt against Glenbard South and a rare skill-side veteran, safety-kicker Justin Murphy, sat out the second half. Jack Oberli spelled Szabo with 98 yards rushing and a touchdown. South Elgin, 2-0 historically over the Rams, pressured Lockport when over the last 7:31 junior quarterback Nate Gomez completed 6 of 9 passes with 1 touchdown and ran for another.

Next week: West Aurora at Glenbard East; Bartlett at South Elgin.

Montini (1-1, 0-0) at Fenwick (2-0, 0-0)

Chicago Catholic League Green

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Triton College in River Grove.

Last week: Montini 19, Lake Zurich 7; Fenwick 51, Bowen 0.

Last year: Montini 48, Fenwick 7.

Outlook: With Brother Rice next week and Mt. Carmel in Week 8, Montini has a slim margin for error with its 23-year playoff streak on the line. The Friars of Gene Nudo, who led Driscoll to a 1991 title and joined Fenwick five years ago, won't make it easy. Fenwick rallied from a 20-0 hole to beat defending Class 4A champion Phillips in Week 1 before the Bowen demolition. Eighteen starters return from last year's 3-6 Friars including quarterback Jacob Keller, running back Conner Lillig, receiver Mike O'Laughlin and tight end Jack Henige. Fenwick also fields veteran offensive and defensive lines. Montini's defensive front took hits when ends Cooper Hynes and Nick Malek both hurt ankles against Lake Zurich, and Matt Morrissey needed to replace fellow junior quarterback Brad Norgle, who broke a finger on his throwing hand hitting a helmet. The 6-3 Morrissey is poised, and more good news is the Broncos look to return tailback Prince Walker, out the first two games with an injury.

Next week: Montini at Brother Rice; Fenwick at Leo.

Naperville North (2-0, 1-0) at Wheaton North (2-0, 1-0)

DuPage Valley Conference

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

Last week: Naperville North 41, Metea Valley 40 (OT); Wheaton North 37, Joliet Catholic 7.

Last year: Wheaton North 20, Naperville North 7.

Outlook: A year ago both teams were 0-2 heading into this matchup. My, how things have changed. Now Friday's winner emerges as a legitimate DVC title challenger. Both offenses are different from last year, and both are potent in different ways. Naperville North's lightning offense relies on the precision passing of quarterback Luke Cegles, who's thrown for 363 yards and 8 touchdowns, and big receivers Mitch Lewis, who's 6-foot-6, and 6-3 Nick Calcagno. The Huskies will try getting more out of their run game against Falcons linebackers Erik Mueller, Danny Walker and Bo Neidballa in addition to 6-5 lineman Lavon Thomas. Wheaton North and running back Sam Singleton, who's rushed for more than 300 yards and 8 scores, look to pound the ball again. They'd also like third-year quarterback Luke Anthony to get in a groove against a Huskies secondary featuring Grant Ericksen, Cam Hardy and Kiser Floyd. Linemen Isaac Velasco and Malik Wells help bring the heat.

Next week: Naperville North at Lake Park; Wheaton North at Metea Valley.

Neuqua Valley (2-0, 2-0) at Waubonsie Valley (2-0, 2-0)

DuPage Valley Conference

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

Last week: Neuqua Valley 24, Naperville Central 10; Waubonsie Valley 29, Glenbard North 28.

Last year: Neuqua Valley 28, Waubonsie Valley 7; Waubonsie Valley 21, Neuqua Valley 14 (Class 8A second round).

Outlook: With the Indian Prairie Classic held at North Central College from 2003-14 and Neuqua hosting the 2015 games plus a 2012 quarterfinal, this is Waubonsie coach Paul Murphy's first time hosting in his 12 years there. Neuqua starting quarterback Jack Bastable and receiver Donny Navarro clicked last week but overall the Wildcats' offense remains a little banged up. Coach Bill Ellinghaus likes his defensive front of Tommy Ciesla, Jackson Keating, Josh Krajacic and Matt Quinn, who helped hold Naperville Central to 27 yards rushing. Likewise, Glenbard North held Waubonsie tailback Nate Ashford and the Warriors' ground game in check only to see quarterback Tanner Westwood throw touchdown passes of 50, 53 and 56 yards, plus the game-winning 2-point conversion to Chuck Robinson with 14 seconds left. Murphy, though, would like to see his club go on long, clock-consuming drives and finish. Defensive tackle Jake Julian creates a lot of havoc for a 170-pounder.

Next week: Wheaton Warrenville South at Neuqua Valley; Naperville Central at Waubonsie Valley.

Willowbrook (1-1, 0-0) at Addison Trail (1-1, 0-0)

West Suburban Gold

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

Last week: Willowbrook 35, Proviso West 0; Oak Park 21, Addison Trail 0.

Last year: Addison Trail 28, Willowbrook 26.

Outlook: The latest chapter of the old-school District 88 rivalry should be a good one, and the winner will come away with strong title hopes in the Gold. Two-way play will be critical on both sides, starting with Willowbrook and running back-linebacker Jack Jessen. He's a load on offense and, when paired with quarterback M.J. Ranieri's efficiency, the Warriors' offense hums. Credit also goes to an improving offensive line and the emergence of running back Chris Diaz for a unit countered by Blazers inside linebackers Nick DiBernardo and Andrew Felix. Addison Trail receiver-defensive back Darrion Conrad is fun to watch. Defenders like Warriors safeties Jon Kelso and Khalif Copeland will have their hands full against him and Blazers running back Nick D'Ambrose. Both sides need to be better at preventing big plays. Addison Trail would love to improve defensively in third and long situations. Willowbrook aims to contain the Blazers' dangerous return game on kicks and punts.

Next week: Hinsdale South at Willowbrook; Addison Trail at Downers Grove South.

Bartlett (1-1, 0-0) at West Chicago (0-2, 0-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Entering Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division play, the best way to stall Bartlett's offense is to get the ground game going with Devonte Pascal, Trey Lally and Jeremy Grant, who scored on a 55-yard catch against Streamwood.

Benet (1-1, 0-0) at Marian Central (2-0, 0-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: The Redwings will try to limit two-way play in this ESCC opener, especially with Alec McEachern and Ben Cooney. That means more carries for experienced back Marty Dosen, who's played mostly receiver the first two games.

DeKalb (2-0) at Lake Park (1-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Lake Park reunites with former Upstate Eight Conference rival DeKalb, ranked sixth in the state's Class 6A poll. While quarterback Jackson Behles leads the offense, running backs Jarkeyse Brackett and Jake Carvahllo provide balance.

Downers Grove South (0-2, 0-0) at Hinsdale South (0-2, 0-0)Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Regardless of the nonconference records, both teams open WSC Gold play as viable title contenders. Mustangs junior quarterback Matt Greenwald is already an offensive leader. Hinsdale South's defense, led by Deontae Curry, has played great.

Fenton (0-2) at Guerin (0-2) Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday.

The quick hit: Despite allowing Shepard 42 points, Fenton coach Mark Kos called the Bison defense "vastly improved." A big part of that was Dylan Butts. The junior typically plays linebacker but moved to nose tackle. Free safety Amari Baldwin also impressed.

Glenbard North (1-1, 1-1) at WW South (0-2, 0-2)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: In two games Glenbard North senior tailback Vittorio Tricase has already run for 355 yards and 7 touchdowns. If Tigers quarterback Matt Dohse's injury keeps him out, Jack Maher, who'd make his second straight start, won't skip a beat.

Glenbard South (1-1) at Aurora Central Catholic (2-0)Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Talha Ayman and the Raiders defensive front must shrug off an aggressive, big, experienced ACC offensive line that paved the way for 49 points last week. Quarterback Jack Crouch and linebacker-back Nick D'Ambra bring in lots of momentum.

Glenbard West (2-0, 0-0) at York (1-1, 0-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: While running back D.J. Ficarella and quarterback Cole Brady keep the chains moving on offense, Glenbard West defensive linemen Dionte Moorehead, Matt Scruggs and Mark Winters will try to slow the Dukes' power ground game.

Hinsdale Central (2-0, 0-0) at Downers North (1-1, 0-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: The Old Oaken Bucket is up for grabs again. Red Devils sophomore running back Luke Skokna has been a great surprise while leading the team with 146 rushing yards. Downers North needs a win as it embarks upon a brutal stretch of schedule.

IC Catholic Prep (2-0) at Elmwood Park (0-2)Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: After belting Bishop McNamara and St. Laurence the schedule settles down for The Associated Press' No. 1 team in Class 3A. Perhaps lost amid Jordan Rowell's excellence were junior Luke Ricobene's 307 yards passing and 4 touchdowns.

Naperville Central (0-2, 0-2) at Metea Valley (0-2, 0-2)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: As the Redhawks attempt to jump-start their offense, receiver Josh Ruiz has come up with a bunch of big catches. Metea's Michael Robinson, Charles Anderson and Mitch Reyes bring a blend of quickness and power to the defensive line.

St. Francis (0-2, 0-0) at Marmion (2-0, 0-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: St. Francis linebacker-H-back Greg Bogdanski is banged up but needed against the likes of Northern Illinois recruit Wes Kramer on both sides of the line. Spartans coach Joe Lepsche said another linebacker, senior Jimmy Fuller, is off to a great start.

Seneca (2-0, 0-0) at Lisle (1-1, 0-0)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday at Benedictine University in Lisle.

The quick hit: Seneca averages 236 yards rushing and 44 passing, so Lisle's goal is to get up early and make Seneca uncomfortable. Running back-linebacker Grant Haen returns from injury, taking some pressure off do-it-all Mark McGrath.

Wheaton Academy (2-0) at Chicago Christian (1-1)Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: It's Wheaton Academy's third straight 2-0 start. Sophomore quarterback Ben Thorson threw 4 touchdown passes against Raby, and senior linebacker Tyler Jackson made 12.5 tackles. But 10 penalties negating 2 touchdowns must be fixed.

Wilmington (2-0, 0-0) at Westmont (1-1, 0-0)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Facing the Interstate Eight Small standard-bearer, Westmont must stick together and compete. Sentinels defensive end Josh Thimes and linebackers Liam Slaga and Declan Durr lead the way against Wilmington's Owen Weaver.

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