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)
Crystal Lake South (1-4, 1-4) at Hampshire (3-2, 2-2)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last week: Crystal Lake South 35, Dundee-Crown 34; Hampshire 27, Crystal Lake Central 21
Outlook: The first meeting between these Fox Valley Conference teams is a critical one for Hampshire. Playing in front of their homecoming crowd on a night when the program honors former coach Ron Ellett and the 1976 state Class 1A state championship team prior to the varsity game, the Whip-Purs need a fourth victory to draw within a win of playoff eligibility. With their next 3 games against league leader Prairie Ridge (5-0), McHenry (4-1) and Jacobs (2-3), no one in purple is looking past Gang Green. "Crystal Lake South is coming off a big win against Dundee-Crown," Hampshire coach Mike Brasile said. "Because the FVC is so even right now outside of the top three (Prairie Ridge, Cary-Grove and Huntley), you just can't predict the outcome of any game. I do know (the Gators) are better than a 1-4 team, though. And they're big." CL South fullback Kyle Leva did it all last week vs. D-C. The junior rushed 11 times for 71 yards, caught 2 passes for 71 yards including a 60-yard touchdown, and he returned a fourth-quarter kickoff 70 yards. CL South would need to pull a series of upsets to become playoff eligible, but the first step is to limit Hampshire wide receiver Jared Hornbeck. The senior leads the Fox Valley area in receptions (35) and receiving yards (687) and has scored 9 touchdowns. "We go from playing a team like Dundee-Crown that runs the ball 80 percent of the time to a team that throws it 75 percent of the time," CL South coach Chuck Ahsmann said. "It's a different kind of preparation but that's part of what makes it fun."
Next week: Cary-Grove (4-1) at Crystal Lake South; Hampshire at Prairie Ridge (5-0)
Crystal Lake Central (2-3, 1-3) at Jacobs (2-3, 2-3)
When: 7:15 p.m. Friday
Quick Hit: The Golden Eagles have little margin for error in their playoff push in the wake of last week's loss to McHenry. Jacobs must beat the Tigers or face the prospect of playoff elimination next week against unbeaten Fox Valley Conference leader Prairie Ridge.
Cary-Grove (4-1, 4-1) at Dundee-Crown (1-4, 0-4)
When: 7 p.m. Friday at the D-C Bowl
Quick Hit: Last week, D-C sophomore Ricky Ibarra rushed for 103 yards and 3 touchdowns on 13 handles and senior Greg Williams carried 28 times for 160 yards as the Chargers gained 261 rushing yards in a loss to Crystal Lake South. "I'm pretty proud of our guys," D-C coach Mike Steinhaus said. "We maybe don't have as much talent as every team we face, but the kids are working their tails off and putting us in position to win."