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Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 9/29/2016 10:37 PM

Week 6: Scouting the Upstate Eight Valley

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West Aurora (5-0) at Huntley (3-2)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: First meeting

Last week: West Aurora 50, South Elgin 40; Cary-Grove 33, Huntley 7

Outlook: This midseason nonconference matchup should benefit both Class 8A programs, which will square off this week on all six levels. Huntley, coming off a loss against the No. 3 team in Class 6A, doesn't face many teams in the Fox Valley Conference with West Aurora's overall speed. Last week, six Blackhawks carried the ball as the wing-T offense set single-game school records for rushing yards (558) and total yards (584). Leading the way were seniors DaVion Cross (15 carries, 183 yards, 3 TD) and DaQuan Cross (7 carries, 118 yards, TD). "They just have tremendous athletes and they're all over the field," Huntley coach Matt Zimolzak said. "That'll be a test for us. We're not used to seeing so many great athletes spread out in so many spots." Huntley quarterback Eric Mooney was the focus of the game plan last week, rushing 31 times for 166 yards and a touchdown. Though Zimolzak said his intent is to diversify the offense more this week, the Blackhawks expect to see the ball in Mooney's hands. "He's outstanding," West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said. "He can really run. When he takes off we have to adjust and go get him because in open space he's kind of scary. This is a great opportunity to see where we're at without it really affecting our season one way or the other. We just want to go out there and get (win) No. 6 and get in the playoffs."

Next week: West Aurora at West Chicago (1-4); Huntley at Crystal Lake Central (2-3)

Glenbard East (0-5, 0-2) at East Aurora (1-4, 0-2)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Aurora Christian.

The quick hit: Glenbard East is not 44 points less talented than St. Charles North, just less consistent and hampered by mistakes. Rams coach John Walters aims to run the table against a favorable schedule. Sophomore linebacker Jack Baka will come right at East Aurora. The Tomcats vie for their second win of the season against winless Glenbard East, which has been outscored 161-47. East Aurora, which dropped a 20-19 decision last week at West Chicago, has been outscored 190-71.

West Chicago (1-4, 1-1) at South Elgin (2-3, 2-1)Game time: 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

The quick hit: Wildcats quarterback Zach Stefan nearly doubled his rushing total, up to 211 yards, in the win over East Aurora. Junior Tommy McDonald will target South Elgins' Markee Prude and Nate Gomez. The Storm's losses have come to teams a combined 14-1. This is a must-win in terms of South Elgin's playoff chances. The Storm can even their record ahead of key games against state-ranked opponents Batavia (4-1) and Cary-Grove (4-1). Last week in a losing cause, junior quarterback Nate Gomez threw for 259 yards and 4 touchdowns on 23-of-34 passing.

Bartlett (2-3) at St. Charles East (5-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Norris Stadium

Quick Hit: The Saints aim to keep the momentum rolling in this Upstate Eight crossover a week after they snapped Batavia's 34-game UEC River winning streak. The Bartlett defense faces a triple-option attack for the second straight week and third time this season. "They've always been a solid program," St. Charles East coach Bryce Farquhar said of the Hawks. "One of our goals was to get into the playoffs and 6-0 gets you there."

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