Elgin two-way threat Roy Panthier commands the opponent's attention at all times.
Through two games the 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior has been a factor on both sides of the ball for the Maroons (1-1).
As a wide receiver on offense, the third-year varsity player caught a 45-yard touchdown pass in Elgin's 22-20 win over East Aurora in Week 1. He followed up last Friday with touchdown grabs of 60 and 37 yards in a 28-26 overtime loss at West Chicago.
Through 2 games he has 4 receptions for 142 yards.
Panthier is also the foundation of the Elgin defense from his end position. His play on that side of the ball has North Dakota and Wyoming interested, among others.
"He's been our offensive MVP two weeks in a row and he was our defensive MVP this week," third-year Elgin coach Anthony Mason said. "We're leaning on him on the field but we're leaning on him off the field, too, to make sure he holds others accountable, lifts them up and makes sure they have the same never-quit attitude."
Sitting one out: Huntley coach Matt Zimolzak will not be on the sideline when his team visits Dundee-Crown for a Fox Valley Conference game on Friday.
The second-year coach must serve an automatic one-game suspension for his ejection in the third quarter of last week's 51-43 loss to Prairie Ridge. Though Zimolzak didn't wish to comment on the specifics of the dispute this week, he said "I was concerned about the safety of our players and I was trying to voice my concern. I went too far in trying to voice my concerns about the kids' safety. It's kind of a tough situation for me, but that's ultimately what it was."
Huntley assistant coach Paul Reinke will act as head coach on the sideline with input from offensive coordinator Mike Slattery, who prefers the view from the press box, Zimolzak said. Both are former head coaches. Reinke was an assistant at Cary-Grove before a stint as West Chicago head coach in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Slattery was Huntley's head coach from 1998-2004.
Smooth transition: Though he believes new triple-option quarterback Clayton Isbell will continue to improve the more he plays in the timing-critical scheme, St. Charles East coach Bryce Farquhar is pleased with the senior's play through two weeks.
The Saints are 2-0 after routing Rock Island and Glenbard East by a combined score of 83-7. Isbell has carried the ball 26 times for 288 yards and 4 touchdowns, highlighted by scoring runs of 53 and 21 yards. He has completed 4 of 13 pass attempts for 107 yards and a touchdown.
"Clayton is doing well but he still has to get some more experience to fully grasp the offense," Farquhar said. "There are just athletes on the field who can make plays and Clayton is one of them. The longer he's in there and sees the reads and runs plays at that speed, the more comfortable he'll be.
Not against the Trojans: Cary-Grove's 3-5-3 defense is making good offenses look average.
The Trojans held defending Class 6A champion Prairie Ridge and star quarterback Samson Evans mostly in check in a 7-6 loss in Week 1.
Prairie Ridge went on to score 51 points against Huntley in Week 2 as Evans erupted for 5 touchdown runs.
Likewise, McHenry scored 50 points in a Week 1 victory over Crystal Lake South. In Week 2, the Cary-Grove defense limited the same McHenry offense to a lone touchdown with 25 seconds left in the game.
"We're always looking to get better and improve, which holds true at any point with any team you have, but both of the teams we've played so far have very, very good offenses and the result is we have not given up many points thus far," Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said. "I think that's a pretty good bar."
Seaburg pointed to the physical nature of coordinator Don Sutherland's defense, which has gotten solid contributions from, among others, sophomore safety Blake Skol, veteran cornerbacks Ben Ferrell and Danny Daigle and junior linebacker Ben McDonald, who last year quarterbacked the sophomore team.
The unit has benefitted from the solid play up front by 310-pound lineman Brett Groves, Dan Gilroy (6-foot-3, 225) and D.J. Gajewski (6-1, 185).
Loosening up the arm: After Marmion rushed for 259 of 340 total yards in a 46-0 victory over Phoenix Military Academy in Week 1, coach Dan Thorpe wanted to concentrate on the passing game in Week 2.
No problem there as quarterback Brandon McPherson completed 8 of 11 attempts for 85 yards and a touchdown to lead the Cadets to a 42-0 halftime lead over DuSable. Receiver Jack Molenhouse snagged 5 catches for 58 yards and Ryan Boland secured a 21-yard touchdown reception.
Marmion (2-0) visits rival St. Francis (1-1) in the Chicago Catholic League Green Division opener on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
"We went into last Friday night's game looking to work on our passing game and we did well," Thorpe said. So I'm excited to see what we can do (against St. Francis). We know the more balanced we can be the better offensively we can be."