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Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 10/12/2017 4:31 PM

Week 8: Scouting the DuPage Valley

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Lake Park (4-3, 4-2) at Neuqua Valley (5-2, 4-2) DuPage Valley Conference

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

Last week: Lake Park 28, Glenbard North 7; Wheaton North 23, Neuqua Valley 0.

Last year: Neuqua Valley 38, Lake Park 12.

Outlook: The Lancers are on the verge of playoff qualification for the first time since 2009. Health is a main reason for a two-game winning streak, especially on the defensive line. Perrion Winfrey returned from injury, and he's still working his way into shape. For the first time in weeks, all of Lake Park's receivers practiced. Running back David Kirkpatrick-Hardwick -- last week's scout team player of the week -- came out and rushed for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns. Neuqua's loss to Wheaton North was mainly caused by failing to do the little things better, coach Bill Ellinghaus said. He seeks a fast start that includes establishing running backs Cameron Raupach and Will Chevalier. Receiver Noah Herdman's injury last week may mean a larger receiving role for Chevalier, with Sean Larkin and Brandt Stare among Jake Eskoff's other targets. Linebacker Mike Baumgardner, safeties Trevor Tesmond and Sam Anderson hit hard in run support.

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

Wheaton North (6-1, 5-1) at Naperville Central (5-2, 5-1)

DuPage Valley Conference

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

Last week: Wheaton North 23, Neuqua Valley 0; Naperville North 44, Naperville Central 41.

Last year: Wheaton North 45, Naperville Central 27.

Outlook: The winner of this one clinches at least a share of the DVC title. While Naperville Central has lost two straight games, the Falcons come in as the DVC's hottest team with four straight wins. The Redhawks' defense has been hit by explosion plays in the ground game the last two weeks, which is bad timing heading in to face Falcons running back Sam Singleton, who's rushed for 1,054 yards and 15 touchdowns. Redhawks defensive lineman Lavar Archibald and safety Jack Jopes have been up to the challenge before, though. Getting out to a lead and dictating pace is key, especially if Naperville Central can build a lead and force the Falcons into passing more. Redhawks quarterback Payton Thorne has thrown for 1,571 yards, mostly to receivers Jayden Reed and Tommy Coyne. The Redhawks would love to kick up the ground game a notch. Falcons defensive backs Drake Dickinson, Jackson Gray and Sam Chesny each snared interceptions last week.

Next week: Waubonsie Valley at Wheaton North; Naperville Central at Lake Park.

Waubonsie Valley (3-4, 3-3) at Naperville North (5-2, 4-2)

DuPage Valley Conference

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

Last week: Lincoln-Way Central 19, Waubonsie Valley 7; Naperville North 44, Naperville Central 41.

Last year: Naperville North 17, Waubonsie Valley 14.

Outlook: Over the years Waubonsie Valley has proved it can beat most anyone. To reach the playoffs an 11th straight season the Warriors must prove it twice more. It requires the elusive clean football game, quarterback Tanner Westwood and Co. finishing drives and running clock with tailback Nate Ashford. Receiver Eric Esch has had a solid senior season, averaging 25 yards per catch, and the defensive secondary of Derric Lee, Brandon Guido, Nick Lamoso and Jamarri Moore has been hard to beat. They'll face a stiff test against Naperville North receivers Ryan Laurenzo and Nick Calcagno, who have combined for 100 catches, 1,371 yards and 14 touchdowns from dual-threat quarterback Drake Davis. Brett Zdrubecky and Ameir Wilbourn offer a nice running tandem. There's no escaping the Huskies' defensive woes this season, but they've risen to the occasion in the clutch. Andrew Reinhard, Ryan Robinson and Bo Richter have combined for 16 tackles for loss.

Next week: Waubonsie Valley at Wheaton North; Naperville North at Wheaton Warrenville South.

Metea Valley (0-7, 0-7) at Glenbard North (3-4, 2-4)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: As of Thursday poised Metea sophomore quarterback Patrick Straub gets the call for recuperating Garrett Despot. Glenbard North, in playoff mode, will continue to pound tailbacks Jayleen Fitzpatrick and Mark Finley behind center Augie Gamez.

WW South (1-6) at Lockport (1-6)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: The Tigers would love to close a tough season on a high note. Get used to this matchup -- they'll be playing the next two years. Between running back Ryan Young and quarterback Zach Harris, last week the Tigers piled up 400 yards of offense.

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