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Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 8/24/2017 8:59 PM

Week 1: Scouting the DuPage Valley

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Naperville Central at Glenbard North

DuPage Valley Conference

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

Last year: Glenbard North 35, Naperville Central 6.

Outlook: The Redhawks already expected to be good this season. Then quarterback Payton Thorne and receiver Jayden Reed, a Western Michigan recruit, transferred in from Metea Valley. That'll keep the passing game humming, but keep in mind Naperville Central also returns 1,000-yard rusher A.J. Deinhart and lineman Luke Hallstrom. The offense should be phenomenal. The defense? More of an unknown, but there's experience on the line with Lavar Archibald and Tommy Trepanier. Glenbard North statistics had the Panthers outgaining Naperville Central 303 yards to 85 last year, but this Panthers team is much different in skill spots. The only returners who touched the ball offensively were back Quintin Terry with 2 carries, receiver Tyrik Henderson with 3 receptions, and Josh Flowers with a pair of punts. Quarterback Lee Rady, not on last year's squad, will distribute the ball behind a real strength, offensive linemen Augie Gamez, Logan Castillo, Dylan Baker and Jose Vazquez.

Next week: Glenbard North at Waubonsie Valley; Neuqua Valley at Naperville Central.

Naperville North at Edwardsville

Nonconference

Game time: 3 p.m. Saturday.

Last year: Did not play.

Outlook: Beyond the 250-mile trek to southern Illinois, this is not an easy opener for the Huskies. Edwardsville, a Class 8A quarterfinalist last year, begins the season ranked eighth in the Associated Press 8A poll. Naperville North had a major turnover in talent, and not only because of graduations. The Huskies welcomed the transfer of quarterback Drake Davis from Bureau Valley, which should vault the offense to new heights with an improved passing game. While Davis holds an offer from Eastern Illinois, receiver Nick Calcagno counts Northern Illinois among his offers. Ryan Laurenzo adds to the talented receiving corps, but the question is whether a quartet of potential running backs can keep the chains moving. Running the ball will be a focus for Edwardsville. The Tigers return junior Dionte Rodgers, who rushed for 1,500 yards as a sophomore. The Huskies reload their defense around all-DuPage Valley linebacker Ryan Marrano and returning lineman Ryan Robinson.

Next week: Naperville North at Metea Valley; Christian Brothers (St. Louis) at Edwardsville.

Wheaton North at Wheaton Warrenville South

DuPage Valley Conference

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

Last year: Wheaton North 36, WW South 21.

Outlook: An obvious storyline is which side will do a better job stopping the run? WW South returns Ryan Young after last season he rushed for 668 yards despite missing time with injuries. Wheaton North brings back Sam Singleton, who rushed for 878 yards, and junior Antowon Tolbert, who added 342 yards after being brought up from the sophomore team. The bigger question, though, is who will perform better in the passing game? Both sides break in a new quarterback: WW South's Zach Harris and Wheaton North's Rhett Netzer. And they both have talented receivers. The Tigers' top target is Jacob Odom while 6-foot-3, 225-pound Wheaton North tight end Tyler Johnson is poised for a big season. You'll find more common ground between the cross-town rivals in the experienced secondaries. Wheaton North's Jackson Gray, Trenton Hegranes and Drake Dickinson are returning starters. Same with WW South's Jake Healy, Parker Robinson and Dan Schricker.

Next week: Wheaton North at Joliet Catholic; WW South at Lake Park.

Lake Park at Waubonsie ValleyGame time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: With quarterback Jackson Behles and receivers Keonta Nixon, Diamante Smith and Dan Spejcher, the Lancers' pass game looks solid. Warriors newcomers like defensive lineman Avante Rogers and scatback Bryce Logan find their DVC legs.

Neuqua Valley at Metea ValleyGame time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Neuqua is 7-0 against its District 204 counterpart dating to Metea's launching in 2010. Wildcats quarterback Jake Eskoff and running back Cameron Raupach have much experience; Metea counterparts Garrett Despot and Nolan Falk still need it.

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