Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 10/13/2016 10:24 PM

Week 8: Scouting the Fox Valley Conference

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Prairie Ridge (7-0, 6-0) at Jacobs (4-3, 3-3)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last meeting: (2013): Jacobs 20, Prairie Ridge 0

Last week: Prairie Ridge 61, Hampshire 6; Jacobs 48, Glenbard East 0

Outlook: Jacobs faces its toughest test to date against the No. 2-ranked team in Class 6A. Prairie Ridge leads the Fox Valley Conference, thanks to early wins over contenders Cary-Grove and Huntley, teams Jacobs lost to by wide margins. But the Golden Eagles in recent weeks have morphed back into a run-first team to great effect, scoring 123 points in their last 10 quarters since swapping philosophies. They face a Prairie Ridge defense led by two-way standout Jeff Jenkins (6-foot-4, 250 pounds) that limits opponents to 10.6 points per game. "The Jenkins kid is very good on both sides of the ball," Jacobs coach Bill Mitz said. "I've seen a lot of good ones and he's one of the better ones I've seen. On defense he plays tackle and linebacker and nose, so it'll be interesting to see where he lines up against us." Offensively, Jenkins and the offensive line clear paths for junior quarterback Samson Evans. The talented triple-option quarterback has rushed for nearly 900 yards and 16 touchdowns and thrown for over 400 yards and 8 scores. And he's done so while less than 100 percent. Evans suffered a quad strain a week before the season-opening win at Cary-Grove, a game in which he was reduced to decoy status, Prairie Ridge coach Chris Schremp said this week. Evans seemed just fine last week when he rushed for 179 yards on 10 first-half carries against Hampshire, including touchdown runs of 54, 20 and 80 yards. "The last couple of games we're really starting to see he's feeling better," Schremp said. "It's like a watching a video game out there. It's ridiculous." The Wolves averaged 56.8 points over their last 4 games.

Next week: Prairie Ridge at Dundee-Crown (1-6); Jacobs at Hampshire (3-4)

South Elgin (3-4) at Cary-Grove (6-1)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday at Al Bohrer Field

Last week: Batavia 49, South Elgin 21; Cary-Grove 59, Crystal Lake South 0


Next week: South Elgin at East Aurora (1-6); Crystal Lake Central (2-5) at Cary-Grove

To keep its hopes of a second straight playoff berth alive, South Elgin must spoil homecoming for Cary-Grove, the No. 3-ranked team in Class 6A. "Obviously, our fate is in our hands and our seniors don't want to see this end," South Elgin coach Pat Pistorio said. "This week we've focused on everything they've sacrificed to this point in hopes they can bottle it up and use it as a catalyst to hopefully propel us. We'll come in with a simplified game plan, something they can play fast with." The Trojans run a similar triple-option offense to the one the Storm faced in a season-opening, 39-9 loss at St. Charles East. Pistorio hopes that experience helps South Elgin cope with a Cary-Grove attack that averages 42 points and 349 rushing yards per game, led by two-time all-state fullback Tyler Pennington (76 carries, 576 yards, 10 TD), quarterback Bobby Collins (50-450-3), slot back Ryan Magel (31-373-6), Max Skol (49-275-6) and Kyle Pressley (32-161-2). With their 13th straight playoff appearance sewn up, the Trojans seek a higher seed and a first-round home game. The South Elgin offense is led by athletic junior quarterback Nate Gomez. A multisport athlete, Gomez has thrown for 855 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 275 yards and 5 scores. "The quarterback sets the table for their offense," Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said. "He's a fast kid and they depend on him to make plays and distribute the ball. When they're clicking, he's clicking."

Crystal Lake Central (2-5, 1-5) at Dundee-Crown (1-6, 0-6)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Quick hit: These longtie Fox Valley Conference members are more stranger than rival. Placed in opposite divisions for the last These teams have not met on the gridiron since 2006, the year before the FVC split into two divisions. Dundee-Crown running back Greg Williams enters Week 8 as the FVC's leading rusher with 910 yards and 9 touchdowns in 178 attempts (5.1 avg.).

Crystal Lake South (2-5, 2-5) at Huntley (4-3, 4-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Quick hit: Huntley seeks playoff eligility with a victory, while the Gators were eliminated from postseason contention last week for the third time in four seasons. The Red Raiders last week ended a 2-game skid by gaining 429 total yards in a 42-21 win at Crystal Lake Central.

McHenry (5-2, 4-2) at Hampshire (3-4, 2-4)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Quick hit: This Fox Valley Conference game holds playoff implications for both teams.

Hampshire must win to keep alive its goal of a second consecutive playoff bid. McHenry is on the throes of a monumental turnaround. After a 1-8 finish in 2015, first-year coach Nat Zunkel has the Warriors on the cusp of clinching their first playoff berth since 2007, the last in the program's 20-year streak of playoff appearances.

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