Lake Zurich junior running back Joey Stutzman and Neuqua Valley senior linebacker Anthony Ippolito have earned Daily Herald MVP acclaim for their performances in Week 6 of the high school football season.
Joey Stutzman, Lake Zurich: Just 5 feet 6, the junior was given the tall task of replacing teammate Kyle Roth after Roth suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 1. Stutzman has stepped up. Against Lake Forest, he carried 40 times for 231 yards in 2 touchdowns, as the Bears improved to 5-1 and 4-0 in the North Suburban with a 24-6 win.
Connor Adams, Buffalo Grove: The sophomore quarterback continued a string of big throwing performances in a 42-14 victory over Hersey. Adams completed 17 of 23 passes for 281 yards with touchdown tosses of 23, 36 and 23 yards and no interceptions. He also rushed for 34 yards.
Dionte Pierre, Burlington Central: The roster says this 170-pound running back stands 6 feet tall, but he was standing even taller after Burlington Central's 20-7 homecoming win over Woodstock last Friday. The senior carried the ball 23 times for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns to help the Rockets to their first win this season. Pierre's 53-yard, first-quarter burst tied the game, and his 1-yard, second-quarter run put Central ahead to stay.
Tyler Santagata, Fenton: The 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior receiver caught fourth-quarter touchdown passes of 52 and 56 yards plus the game-winning 11-yarder with 45.8 seconds left to lift the Bison to a 53-50 Metro Suburban Blue win over St. Edward. A homecoming to remember, Santagata totaled 5 pass receptions for 151 yards.
Anthony Ippolito, Neuqua Valley: Making all the right reads at outside linebacker, the 6-foot, 205-pound senior entered his name among program records in the Wildcats' 35-20 DuPage Valley Conference victory over Naperville North. Helping hold the Huskies to 6 first-half points, Ippolito made 17 tackles, including 15 solo stops.
Jaylan Alexander, Hoffman Estates: The 6-foot-2, 225-pound junior snuffed out a pair of drives by Conant by coming up with sacks in a 21-7 victory that assured Hoffman Estates of a winning season and made the Hawks eligible for postseason play. Alexander, who was on the field for each of the 114 plays in the game, finished with 4 solo tackles, 8 assists along with a pair of sacks and 2 quarterback hurries.
Jacob Sicco, Carmel Catholic: Badly needing a win and facing a Notre Dame team on a three-game winning streak, the Corsairs responded with their best defensive effort of the season. The senior lineman led the way, piling up 12 tackles, including 2 sacks. The Corsairs did not allow a defensive score, prevailed 10-8 and improved to 3-3.
Johnny Walsh, Batavia: How active was this linebacker in Batavia's 21-7 victory over Geneva? The 6-foot, 200-pound senior was one reason the Vikings fell short of the end zone on 27 percent of their plays. Of the 56 plays run by Geneva, Walsh was credited with 15 tackles -- 5 more than his next closest teammate -- including a sack, to lead the Bulldogs to their sixth straight win over their rival.