Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 10/19/2017 6:02 PM

Week 9: Scouting the DuPage Valley

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Glenbard North (4-4, 3-4) at Neuqua Valley (5-3, 4-3) DuPage Valley Conference

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

Last week: Glenbard North 42, Metea Valley 0; Lake Park 29, Neuqua Valley 23.

Last year: Glenbard North 35, Neuqua Valley 14.

Outlook: A win-and-in playoff scenario for both teams. If Neuqua Valley loses it must hope a potential maximum of 38 "playoff points" are enough. Glenbard North is no secret offensively. Primary backs Mark Finley, Jayleen Fitzpatrick, Anthony Marre and Awngelo Cusumano have the Panthers averaging 211 yards rushing to 77 passing. Neuqua's three-man defensive line of Matt Quinn, Kyle Borske and Josh Krajacic will attempt a stalemate against Jose Vazquez and the Panthers' sound offensive front, forcing the pass. Glenbard North likewise hopes to contain Wildcats back Cameron Raupach and shifty rushing-receiving threat Will Chevalier, the latter iffy due to injury. The Panthers will likely view film of how Wheaton North somehow produced 3 interceptions against Neuqua quarterback Jake Eskoff, who completes 62 percent of his passes and has thrown 14 touchdown passes. Just last week Glenbard North picked off 4 passes, 2 by cornerback Jabari Fitzpatrick.

Naperville Central (6-2, 6-1) at Lake Park (5-3, 5-2)

DuPage Valley Conference

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

Last week: Naperville Central 14, Wheaton North 7; Lake Park 29, Neuqua Valley 23.

Last year: Naperville Central 17, Lake Park 14.

Outlook: Naperville Central can win the outright DVC title with a win, while the Lancers earn a share with a fourth straight victory. Wheaton North did a nice job bottling up the Redhawks' passing game, but quarterback Payton Thorne and receivers Jayden Reed and Tommy Coyne are always dangerous. The X-factor in last week's win was a punishing ground game from A.J. Deinhart. Lake Park's defense is one of the DVC's best, from Christian Cestone up front to Gino Romano at linebacker and cornerbacks Rashad Khwaja and Solomon Sangobowale in the back. The Lancers' four-game winning streak and first playoff berth since 2009 are due in much part to an offense that's become immensely diverse. Quarterback Jackson Behles finally has a healthy corps of receivers headed by Diamante Smith. Running back David Kirkpatrick-Hardwick has become a reliable threat. Naperville Central's Braden Lindmark and Jack Jopes are game-changers on defense.

Waubonsie Valley (4-4, 4-3) at Wheaton North (6-2, 5-2)

DuPage Valley Conference

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

Last week: Waubonsie Valley 42, Naperville North 35; Naperville Central 14, Wheaton North 7.

Last year: Waubonsie Valley 17, Wheaton North 14.

Outlook: Waubonsie Valley needs its fourth win in five games to earn an 11th straight playoff berth. In similar straits last year Cross Holmes' late 19-yard field goal lifted the Warriors past Wheaton North into the postseason. Waubonsie's 42 points last week were a season high. Charles Robinson scored on Tanner Westwood's game-winning touchdown pass then made his second interception to clinch it. Tailback Nate Ashford paced a ball-control offense that remains a key against the Falcons, who last season were eliminated from playoff contention by the Warriors in Week 9. Three turnovers and a blocked punt doomed Wheaton North last week, but it wasn't all bad. Quarterback Rhett Netzer had perhaps his best game while completing 16 of 20 passes for 120 yards. Combine that with running back Sam Singleton, who's rushed for 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns, and the Falcons have a lot to offer in its clock-burning offense. Safety Jackson Gray grabbed two more interceptions last week.

Metea Valley (0-8) at Rock Island (4-4)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: The Mustangs board a comfy bus bound to make this 2016 6A quarterfinalist struggle to claim a playoff position. Quarterback Garrett Despot, out since early Week 6, is back to help send fellow seniors like versatile Adam Nicodemus out with a win.

Naperville North (5-3, 4-3) at WW South (2-6, 1-6)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: With the Tigers leaving the DuPage Valley at the end of the year, this game marks the end of a great rivalry. The Huskies have lost three of four games, but the offense remains potent. WW South seeks a third straight win after last week's tremendous rally.

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