Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 10/26/2016 4:34 PM

Jacobs aims for 1st playoff win under Mitz

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When hall-of-fame football coach Bill Mitz took over at Jacobs seven years ago after he retired from Stevenson, his stated goal was to turn the Algonquin school into a perennial playoff participant.

Mitz, 42-26 at Jacobs, has delivered on that promise. The Golden Eagles (5-4) are in the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years. Not bad considering the program had reached the postseason five times in the previous 35 seasons.

Yet, Jacobs fans still hunger for a Week 10 win, which has occurred only three times in school history: 1979, 1999 and 2006.

The Golden Eagles have finished no better than 7-2 in the last seven seasons, thus they've faced a tough first-round playoff matchup each time they've qualified. The result is a 0-5 Mitz-era postseason record with only one of those games played on home turf.

No. 28 Jacobs hopes to earn an elusive playoff win on Saturday against No. 5 Lincoln Park (8-1) at Chicago's Lane Stadium at 3 p.m. The Lions finished second in the Chicago Public League's Big Shoulders Conference.

"I've had the pleasure of coaching teams in that stadium twice before," Mitz said. "I'm glad (Class 7A) is seeded one through 32. We're excited to play against an 8-1 team from the city that has an outstanding tailback."

Lincoln Park tailback CJ Dale (6-0, 185) has rushed for 1,194 yards and 18 touchdowns on 129 carries (9.3 avg.).

Storm to hit Florida: The South Elgin football program recently gained approval from Elgin Area School District u-46 to play next year's season opener at the Disney complex in Orlando, according to Storm coach Pat Pistorio.

Pistorio said the idea was inspired by the trip taken by nearby St. Edward, which defeated Christ's Church Academy of Jacksonville, Fla., 30-20 in its season opener on Aug. 26.

St. Edward was matched up with CCA by the Disney complex, which finds similar opponents for out-of-state teams. Pistorio said he consulted with Rolando, a South Elgin native, about his experience and felt such a trip would benefit his program.

"A lot of these kids, unfortunately, haven't had a chance to visit (Disney) so we thought we'd provide them a new, unique opportunity to open the season just like coach Rolando did," Pistorio said. "They'll be responsible for all the fundraising and handling the costs. It got approved by the district so now its just a matter of rallying together."

Big-time arm: Cary-Grove split end and backup quarterback Quinn Priester is the best baseball player you haven't heard of yet.

A 6-foot-3, 175-pound sophomore right-hander, Priester didn't throw for his high school varsity team as a freshman, but a well-cemented reputation via travel baseball with the Crystal Lake Cardinals has him sifting through scholarship offers from some of the biggest names in the Midwest college baseball.

Northwestern and Illinois made offers over the summer and another came from Michigan in early September, shortly before his 16th birthday.

Two weeks ago, Notre Dame joined the list of suitors offering a scholarship to Priester, whose 89-mph fastball looks even faster compared to his 76-mph changeup and biting curveball.

"I'm fortunate to have these opportunities. It's fun and it's exciting," said Priester, who plans to let the recruiting process continue to unfold before making a decision. "Being able to tour the facilities and campuses at these schools and see games has been a learning experience. I'm excited for what the future holds."

Dynamic duo: Records continue to fall for standout West Aurora twin brothers DaQuan and DaVion Cross.

DaQuan Cross added multiple school records to a growing list last week against Geneva. He extended his mark as the program's all-time leading scorer to 279 points by notching 4 touchdowns and kicking 7 point-after tries. The previous record of 238 points was set Alvin Ross between 1978-80.

The senior's 31 points against Geneva set a new single-game school record, breaking the old mark of 28, also held by Ross. It also gives DaQuan the record for most points scored in a single-season by any Blackhawk (133).

Already West Aurora's career leader in rushing touchdowns (33), all-purpose yards (4,380) and interceptions (6), DaQuan is closing in on becoming the Blackhawks' all-time leading rusher. He enters Friday's Class 8A playoff opener against Maine South with 775 rushing yards on 76 totes, upping his career total to 2,461. That draws him within 134 yards of the school record of 2,595 set by Joe Howell between 1993-95.

Not to be outdone, DaVion Cross -- who added the duty of playing wildcat quarterback in a Week 4 win at Glenbard East -- became a 1,000-yard rusher last week when he carried 11 times for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns.

DaVion's 1,013 yards rank fourth on West Aurora's single-season list behind Leon Spears in 2009 (1,086 yards), Ross in 1980 (1,283) and Howell in 1994 (1,465).

DaQuan and DaVion have each scored 14 rushing touchdowns this fall. The single season record is 16, set by Leon Spears in 2009.

The explosive 1-2 punch is the main reason the Blackhawks have scored 369 points, shattering the previous record of 310 set by the 1984 playoff team.

"Those two have really been our top two players the last three years, though Drake Spears (Western Michigan) was right up there," West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said. "We're blessed to have these two. We try to put them (in the backfield) together because either can touch the ball and be gone in the blink of an eye.

"We've had good players in the past, but the difference is we have these two headliners, big-play guys, and we have a lot of good football players around them. You can't key on those guys too much because other guys can contribute in our rushing game. It's scary how much DaVion could rush for if we just gave him the ball all the time."

The Cross brothers have combined to gain 1,888 of West Aurora's 3,275 rushing yards.

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