Montini (1-0) at Lake Zurich (1-0) Nonconference
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Montini 51, Hyde Park 8; Lake Zurich 21, Fremd 3.
Last year: Montini 19, Lake Zurich 7.
Outlook: The head coaching debut of Montini's Mike Bukovsky was a roaring success, and for new offensive coordinator Brian Casey, too. Using their strength -- speed -- on the Broncos' first play from scrimmage Brad Norgle hit Nick Fedanzo for a 70-yard touchdown. Receivers Zach Olson, Matt Quaglia and Scott West all scored, while three quarterbacks -- Norgle, Matt Morrissey and Nick Orlando, who added a 50-yard TD run -- played well. Now it's Lake Zurich, one of Class 7A's finest. Senior linebacker Jack Sanborn, for example, is a Wisconsin commit who helped hold Fremd to 149 yards, 7 rushing, while Bears quarterback Evan Lewandowski and back Joey Stutzman salted the game away. Montini offensive linemen Sam Jarvis, Brian Jackson, Mike McNicholas and Jeremiah Banks-Wall will see and feel the difference in physicality, aggression and scheme. Bad news is senior lineman Joe Ciesla may be lost for the year with a knee injury.
Lake Zurich's reputation as a strong defensive team remained in tact in the first game of the Luke Mertens era last week. Mertens, the former longtime Lakes coach who took over at Lake Zurich during the off-season, saw his defense overwhelm a tough Fremd team. Offensively, Lake Zurich got a big day out of quarterback Evan Lewandowski. He passed for a touchdown and also ran for one. He completed 15-of-24 passes for 164 yards. His touchdown pass (18 yards) went to Matthijs Enters, who caught 4 passes for 42 yards. On the ground, Joey Stutzman rushed for 77 yards on 21 carries for the Bears. He also rushed for a touchdowns.
Next week: Fenwick at Montini; Waukegan at Lake Zurich.
New Trier Trevians (1-0) at Warren Blue Devils (0-1)
When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: New Trier def. York, 31-0; Warren lost to Barrington, 34-20.
Skinny: Warren is looking to balance the ledger after a decisive loss to Barrington last week, but the road doesn't get any easier. The Blue Devils will be hosing a New Trier team that went 8-3 last season. And one of New Trier's wins came against Warren in Week 2, 37-14...A bright spot for Warren last week was the passing game. Quarterback Ian Schilling completed 22-of-44 passes for 303 yards and 2 touchdowns, both to Notre Dame commit Micah Jones. But the Barrington defense set out to limit Jones and he caught just 3 passes for a total of 32 yards. Ryan Short and Jaden Quartey picked up the slack for the Blue Devils. Short had 125 receiving yards (7 catches) and Quartey had 80 receiving yards (9 catches)...New Trier flexed its muscles on defense with a shutout. Interceptions by Jacob Levy and Matt Mosher set up the Trevians' first two touchdowns, both on rushes by Brian Sitzer (10 carries, 134 yards).
Libertyville Wildcats (1-0) at Batavia Bulldogs (1-0)
When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Libertyville def. Highland Park, 27-14; Batavia def. Lemont, 21-0.
Skinny: Both Libertyville and Batavia are coming off strong defensive efforts. The Libertyville defense gave up just 1 touchdown to Highland Park last week, while Batavia gave up just 1 first down to Lemont...Offensively, the Wildcats did what they often did last year: ride the back of gritty running back Brendan Bazar. Bazar had 221 yards and 2 touchdowns on 23 carries. Quarterback Alex Stanulis also looked solid, completing 15-of-17 passes for 121 yards...Most of Batavia's offense was through the air last week as junior quarterback Riley Cooper completed 16-of-22 passes for 3 touchdowns and 196 yards. Eric Peterson (3 catches, 53 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Collin Richter (4 catches, 54 yards) were Cooper's big targets. Last year, Libertyville lost a tight battle with Batavia in Libertyville, 34-31.
Muskegon (Mich.) Big Reds (1-0) at Stevenson Patriots (1-0)
When: 6 p.m., Saturday
Last week: Muskegon def. Ann Arbor Pioneer, 56-0; Stevenson def. Palatine, 14-7.
Skinny: After suffering a crushing 28-20 loss in the season opener last year to Palatine, in which multiple opportunities to score in the red zone were missed, Stevenson made a long trek out of state and around Lake Michigan for its Week 2 game against Muskegon. The Patriots used the time together on the bus to get closer, went out and got a hard-fought 38-35 win over Muskegon and then used that positive momentum to run the table for the rest of the regular season, finishing 8-1 overall. Now, Stevenson enters its game against Muskegon with a 1-0 record and would love to keep that momentum going with another big win over Muskegon, a perennial power in Michigan which opened its season with a decisive victory over Ann Arbor Pioneer last week...Stevenson got an impressive debut last week from sophomore running back JeanMarc Etienne, who rolled up 147 rushing yards on 20 carries. He also scored both of the Patriots' touchdowns...Muskegon out-gained Ann Arbor Pioneer 560 yards to just 143 yards last week. Senior quarterback La'Darius Jefferson was tough for Pioneer to stop. He rushed for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns on 16 carries. He also threw a touchdown pass, but attempted only 6 passes on the game.
Mundelein Mustangs (0-1) at Streamwood Sabres (0-1)
When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Mundelein lost to Larkin, 14-3; Streamwood lost to Maine West, 42-0.
Skinny: Mundelein is looking for more production out of its offense this week. The Mustangs could manage only a field goal in last week's season opener. The Mundelein defense held of Larkin for as long as it could. The Mustangs clung to their 3-0 lead for most of the way as Larkin scored both of its touchowns in the final six minutes...Kicker Eric Morales provided Mundelein's only points on a 24-yard field goal...Quarterback Anthony Norris put up numbers in both the passing and running game. He completed 7-of-23 passes for 81 yards and rushed for 64 yards on 11 carries.