Geneva's Connor Einck, pictured making a touchdown reception against St. Charles East earlier this year, also had a TD catch last week against Lemont.
Rick West | Staff Photographer
"It's like facing us, only bigger," Geneva's Rob Wicinski said.
This is no funhouse mirror the Vikings coach is talking about. He's talking about Lemont specifically the offensive line the unbeaten No. 1 seed No. 4 Geneva visits Saturday in a Class 6A second-round game.
"They're 10-0 and I guess they're not 10-0 for snicks," Wicinski said of the Indians, ranked No. 18 by Edgy Tim/Rivals.com.
"They've got an experienced coaching staff and two out of the last four years they've been in a state championship game."
Geneva (8-2) nearly matches that last fact with its 2008 7A appearance, and hopefully comes slightly closer than Batavia did last week in Lemont's 23-14 win.
Batavia coach Mike Gaspari compared Lemont with Geneva in that Lemont runs basically the same stuff 3-man defensive fronts and an I-formation offense that offers the one-two punch of Jack Forrest and Mike Anzalone for a combined 1,130 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns.
That's less than the total assembled by Geneva tailback Connor Quinn, who has 1,195 yards and 19 total touchdowns.
Quinn, whose 68 tackles are 6 more than safety Kyle Bender despite playing outside linebacker about half the time, was voted the Upstate Eight Conference River Division offensive player of the year.
"You can't teach the things that he brings," Wicinski said. "The good football players have it."
This game will also be decided through the air. Geneva's Matt Williams has completed 85 of 158 passes for 1,630 yards and 17 touchdowns, 1 apiece to tight end Connor Einck and receiver Ben Rogers in Geneva's rousing 69-28 win over No. 5 seed Oak Forest.
Lemont counters with its own junior quarterback. After succeeding injured Mike Medwed, Mike Hall is 53-of-95 passing for 732 yards, 9 touchdowns, 4 interceptions. More than half the Indians' completions have gone to 6-foot-1 receiver Lee Taylor, who's got 44 receptions for 665 yards and 12 touchdowns.
"Hopefully we can tighten up the screws defensively," Wicinski said.
He stressed the Vikings' success will mainly be how offensive linemen James Buban, Brett Willman, Kevin Dwyer, Jake Mills and Jacob Bastin block Lemont.
Indians inside linebackers Kyle Krull and Vincenzo Letizia have 71 and 53 tackles, respectively, but someone must account for do-it-all defensive back Clayton Fejedelem, who has 63 tackles with 4 interceptions and has blocked 2 field goal tries.
"We've just got to stay patient again, keep the defense off the field and control the clock," Wicinski said. "Hopefully they're not too big up front where we can move the ball a little bit."