MID-SUBURBAN LEAGUE CROSSOVERS
Barrington (1-1) at Hersey (2-0)
When: 7:30 p.m. today at Roland Goins Stadium
Last week: Barrington d. Elk Grove 17-10; Hersey d. Hoffman Estates 49-0
Outlook: It's a big night for Hersey as it plays on its new turf for the first time and it's a big test against one of MSL's perennial playoff qualifiers and division title contenders. "It's definitely a step up in competition for our program and any time you go up against Barrington, you're going up against the big boys," said Hersey coach Dragan Teonic. "Our kids now expect to be successful rather than, 'Oh, it's Barrington, here we go again.' Last year I felt like we were testing the waters a bit and we always had to climb from behind." Hersey cut a 21-point deficit to a touchdown before falling to the Broncos for the 10th straight time 35-14 last year. The Huskies have experienced offensive threats led by QB Brad Zaucha, RB Andrew Collins, WR David Jackowski and WR Justin Jobski but the defense that saw LB Nate Fakhouri return an interception for a TD last week will be challenged against Wisconsin-bound OL Dan Voltz and Co. Senior standout RB-LB Chase Murdock went out early last week but junior Justin Dragosz ran for 149 yards and 2 TDs. "They're a tough matchup (physically and athletically)," Teonic said of the Broncos, who lead the series 21-7.
Buffalo Grove (1-1) at Conant (2-0)
When: 7:30 p.m. today at Charles O. Feutz Field
Last week: Buffalo Grove lost to Schaumburg 48-41; Conant d. Wheeling 26-7
Outlook: This was close to a matchup of unbeatens but BG gave up a pair of kick return TDs and a potential game-winning drive saw a dropped pass turn into an interception and lead to Schaumburg's winning TD in the final seconds. "It was a great game to be a part of and it was exciting," said BG coach Jim Farrell. "I give my kids a lot of credit. They fought really hard and kept fighting back and traded punches with a very good West opponent." The Bison get another one as Conant looks to continue its improvement with a more experienced crew. "The quarterback (Matt Cullen) is pretty versatile, they have nice running backs and the tall receiver (Tim Manczko)," Farrell said. "Defensively they're flying to the football and playing hard." BG will test that defense with dual-threat QB Richie Zirngibl and Alex Fritz and John Pallister combined for 150 rushing yards last week when senior Brian Busch suffered a fractured jaw on a freak play. "We've got our work cut out for us, no question," said Conant coach Bill Modelski. "Zirngibl is very athletic and he's a decent passer but his running is what scares you." BG won 21-18 last year and leads the series 10-8.
Fremd (1-1) at Elk Grove (1-1)
When: 7:30 p.m. today at Robert Haskell Stadium
Last week: Fremd d. Prospect 14-7; Elk Grove lost to Barrington 17-10
Outlook: Missed opportunities including 7 potential turnovers on unrecovered fumbles and missed interceptions prevented Elk Grove from a big road win and 2-0 start. But the Grenadiers showed they can tangle with the big boys as QB Dejan Basara had 180 yards total offense and coach Brian Doll was impressed with DL Dan Egan against standout Dan Voltz. "It was one of the more physical games I've been around since I've been at Elk Grove," Doll said. "It was one of those nights where everything that could have gone wrong did." After six quarters without a TD, Fremd's defense stepped up and gave the offense a chance to get untracked in the second half behind QB Sam Beutler, WR Josh Jyawook, RB-LB Greg Money and RB A.J. McGhee. "They're in kind of a similar situation to us with a lot of new starters," Doll said. "We're both working it out, moving guys around and trying to find the right mix of guys." Elk Grove's 29-22 win last year ended an eight-game losing streak in a series Fremd leads 15-5.
Rolling Meadows (1-1) at Schaumburg (2-0)
When: 7:30 p.m. today at Gary Scholz Stadium
Last week: Meadows lost to Palatine 30-13; Schaumburg d. Buffalo Grove 48-41
Outlook: There is plenty of potential for offensive fireworks after Schaumburg's outburst last week and Meadows' 50-point explosion in the season opener. And the Saxons have also showed plenty of resolve in a pair of comebacks and last-minute TDs with a young team. "On both sides of the ball, we've grown up without any room for error," said Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling. "With how tight both games have been it bodes well for down the road." The Saxons now have a wealth of game-breakers in Sadaris Patterson, Brandon Kibby, Juwaan Richard, Stacey Smith and Mike Mallet to go with an experienced offensive line and solid play by QB Nick Anzelmo. "Nick has been steady and been in control and our offensive line has been incredibly consistent," Stilling said. It's another tough defensive test for Meadows, which has it's crew of game-breakers led by QB Jack Milas and WRs Ryan Gundersen, Artie Checchin and Tyler Bobowski. "The good news is we've seen two very good quarterbacks (New Trier's Jack Nykaza and BG's Richie Zirngibl) so that helps us," Stilling said. Schaumburg won 47-6 last year and leads the series 18-14.
Wheeling (1-1) at Palatine (1-1)
When: 7:30 p.m. today at Chic Anderson Stadium
Last week: Wheeling lost to Conant 26-7; Palatine d. Rolling Meadows 30-13
Outlook: While John Serio and crew ground out 458 yards last week, the defense also responded to a dangerous challenge as Cam Kuksa, Jesse Bobbit, Jake Demars, Kurt Becker, Julian Turner and Nick Novelli allowed just 221 yards. "We didn't let their kids get the ball in the open and break things like they did against York," said Palatine coach Tyler Donnelly. "I felt really good about how our defense played and we did a great job of tackling and playing really physical." The Pirates will need to duplicate that effort this week against QB Tyler Brady, RB Ed Scanlon and a Wheeling team looking to put it all together. "We definitely can perform a lot better than what we did last week and what we have been doing," said Wheeling coach Dave Dunbar. "We had different guys break down at different times and Conant really made the most of them." Palatine's 37-23 win last year was its fifth straight in a series it leads 25-14.
Hoffman Estates (0-2) at Prospect (0-2)
When: 7:30 p.m. today at George Gattas Stadium
Last week: Hoffman lost to Hersey 49-0; Prospect lost to Fremd 14-7
Outlook: Hoffman coach Bill Helzer returns to his old stamping grounds as a player and hopes his team can hold onto the ball better than it has the first two weeks. "Ten turnovers isn't going to get it done," Helzer said. "We're making way too many mistakes on our end to be in games. We don't practice that way - but for whatever reason Friday night comes and we don't perform." Hoffman has been a tougher challenge for defenses with QB Jordan Hudak's passing opening up more opportunities in the running game. Prospect coach Mike Sebestyen liked he improvement he saw from a season-opening loss at Glenbrook South to last week that included solid running from QB Sam Frasco and RB Nick Mazukelli behind a group anchored by two-way lineman Austin Tixier. Hoffman got LB Sebastian Myers back last week from injury and hopes to end a losing streak that hit six 52-0 in a series Prospect leads 17-13.
EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC
Marist (1-1, 1-0) at St. Viator (0-2, 0-2)
When: 7:30 p.m. today at Forest View
Last week: Marist lost to Brother Rice 34-31 (ot); St. Viator lost to St. Patrick 63-21
Outlook: It's been a rough start in multiple respects for Viator as it has allowed 114 points and has lost four players to season-ending injuries versatile standout Frank Laterza and WR Kole Luthringshausen to blown knees, backup LB David Cortese (displaced thumb) and OL Roy Pettingill (shoulder). "It's not getting any easier," said Viator coach Chris Kirkpatrick with a trip to Joliet Catholic looming next week. "Nobody's feeling sorry for us and they'll come out and pound you. That's the nature of the game." Kirkpatrick said the Lions need to be better fundamentally on defense against a Marist team that led 28-14 after three quarters last week as Ryan Meyer scored 2 TDs and backup QB Ian Woodworth threw 4 TDs in a 35-21 opening win over Notre Dame. Viator junior QB Mickey Macius has thrown for 544 yards and 4 TDs with John Balas (14 catches, 182 yards) and Brian Guth (17 for 133) as his favorite targets. "Mickey is doing a good job," Kirkpatrick said. "It's very hard to say to a junior quarterback, 'Here's the offense, throw it 53 times and get it done.' But up front we've struggled to move people."
WEST SUBURBAN GOLD
Leyden (0-2, 0-0) at Addison Trail (2-0, 0-0)
When: 7:30 p.m. today
Last week: Leyden lost to Hinsdale Central 42-0; Addison Trail d. Proviso West 25-6
Outlook: Was there a carry-over for Leyden from the season opener when it lost a 15-point fourth-quarter lead and game 30-29 to Fenton? "I think so," said Leyden coach Tom Cerasani. "Hinsdale Central is good but we didn't play real well. We made some mistakes early and it went downhill from there." It doesn't get any easier against an Addison Trail team that has been building for this season and had a shutout in its season opener. Standout RB Anthony Catanese, who has 2 of his 3 catches go for TDs, is questionable with a stinger but Carmen Messina (235 yards rushing, 4 TDs) and QB Trevor Bermingham (203 yards passing) are big threats. "We have a good football team but we just lack experience and right now we don't have that killer instinct," Cerasani said. "AT's a good team and watching last year's tape, we're basically playing last year's team. They're just a year older."
CENTRAL SUBURBAN CROSSOVER
Niles West (1-1) at Maine West (0-2)
When: 7:30 p.m. today
Last week: Niles West lost to Niles North 2-0; Maine West lost to Fenton 28-7
Outlook: The score from this year's Skokie Skirmish isn't a misprint in a matchup that saw Niles North win 64-63 in 2008. This time, the Wolves were unable to overcome a fourth-quarter safety in a weather-delayed game that was completed Monday. Maine West overcame a pair of first-quarter TDs to get within 14-7 at halftime last week but then got hit with another pair of TDs in the third quarter. Senior QB Jake Korbecki rushed for 64 yards and the Warriors' only score.
Christian Liberty (0-2, 0-2) at Hope Academy (1-1, 1-1)
When: 7 p.m. today at Altgeld Park, 515 S. Washtenaw, Chicago
Last week: Christian Liberty lost to Rockford Christian Life 35-0; Hope Academy d. Kirkland Hiawatha 40-10
Outlook: Christian Liberty heads to Chicago's West Side in search of its first points of the season against Hope Academy, which rebounded from losing its opener 35-12 to CICS-Longwood.