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Daily Herald's 2016 Season Coverage
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updated: 10/20/2016 9:49 PM

Week 9: Scouting the West Suburban

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Leyden (6-2, 5-0) at Willowbrook (6-2, 4-1)

West Suburban Gold

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

Last week: Leyden 48, Morton 6; Willowbrook 31, Downers Grove South 7.

Last year: Leyden 16, Willowbrook 7.

Outlook: Last year Willowbrook came into this season finale in need of a win to seal a playoff berth. With the loss, however, the Warriors missed the postseason despite being a 5-win team. Having already earned a playoff spot with last week's win over Downers South, the sole focus for Willowbrook is a victory to share the Gold title with the Eagles. With quarterback Michael Wilms and running back Donovan Brown, Leyden has plenty of skill to go with its physical offensive line. It'll be a good matchup against Willowbrook defensive linemen Will Schuller and sophomore Matt Knudtson. If Wilms tests the Warriors' secondary, he'll feed into the unit's strength with Jon Kelso and others. Offensively, Willowbrook will take whatever Leyden provides. Last week M.J. Ranieri threw for 120 yards and touchdowns to Khalif Copeland and Mike Dembowski. Two-way standout Jack Jessen continues to lead the ground game, but fellow junior Chris Diaz offers a nice change of pace in the backfield. Leyden is going for it all. The Eagles, who have already clinched their first playoff appearance since 2012, have also claimed at least a share of the West Suburban Gold. With a win, the Eagles would claim the title outright and would move up in the seeding in Class 8A. Expect a defensive struggle with Leyden, which has given up just 3 TDs in its last three games and Willowbrook, who has allowed an average of 11.4 points. Look for Wilms, who has thrown for 1,009 yards, to attack the Warriors while running backs Jalen Moore and Fabian Vega should do some damage on the ground.

Oak Park (7-1, 4-1) at Hinsdale Central (8-0, 5-0) West Suburban Silver

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

Last week: Oak Park 27, Lyons Twp. 3; Hinsdale Central 28, Hinsdale South 14.

Last year: Oak Park 39, Hinsdale Central 7.

Outlook: The Red Devils keep rolling through the toughest part of their schedule. Having already wrapped up at least a share of its first Silver title since 2004, Hinsdale Central clinches sole possession with a victory over the Huskies. In addition to that, both teams are looking to improve their playoff seeding in the Class 8A bracket. The Red Devils' offense thrives on balance with Columbia-bound quarterback Josh Bean and sophomore running back Luke Skokna. They combined for 330 of the team's 344 total yards and all 4 touchdowns against Hinsdale South. Led by quarterback Jeremy Hunt, Oak Park's offense has shown explosiveness throughout the season. Hunt is complemented by running back Terrance Roundy and receiver Jared Scott. Last week Hinsdale Central picked off four passes. Two were snared by Joe Kwasigroch. Gianni Frasca and Peter Pigatti will be relied upon to help slow the ground game that includes Hunt taking off under pressure.

Addison Trail (4-4) at Glenbard West (6-2)Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday.

The quick hit: With the Blazers needing a win to become playoff eligible, expect a bunch of two-way play beyond Darrion Conrad. Glenbard West's backfield got a boost from Tyquan Cox coming up from the sophomore team and rushing for 100 yards last week.

Downers Grove South (2-6, 2-3) at Proviso East (0-8, 0-5)Game time: 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

The quick hit: Thinned out because of key injuries, the Mustangs hope to end the season by breaking a three-game losing streak. Parker Jones took over at quarterback for injured Matt Greenwald, and the Mustangs have started to lean more on running back Sam Adank.

Hinsdale South (3-5, 3-2) Morton (1-7, 1-4)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: The Hornets will miss the playoffs after a tough loss to Hinsdale Central, but they'll try to close the season on a high note. D.J. Anderson remains a playmaker in the secondary. Last week he returned his second interception for a touchdown.

Proviso West (1-7, 0-5) at Downers Grove North (3-5, 1-4)

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

The quick hit: As tough as the season started, the Trojans are poised to wind up just shy of a playoff berth. Last week Jailyn Jacobs and Jason Bell returned interceptions for scores. The Trojans also recovered two fumbles while holding York to 142 total yards.

York (2-6, 1-4) at Lyons Twp. (6-2, 3-2)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Defensively, the Dukes must find a way to slow Lyons Twp. junior quarterback Ben Bryant. Chris McCoy boasts four of York's 15 sacks on the season. Expect ball control from the offense with quarterback Charlie Pakenas and running back Keith Freeman.

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