Warren (2-2, 1-1) at Stevenson (3-1, 2-0)
When: 7:30 p.m., today
Last week: Warren lost to Libertyville, 42-24; Stevenson def. Grant, 42-7.
Skinny: A week after its defense got burned by a quarterback that had far too much time in the pocket to find receivers, Warren has been working on bringing the pressure. After all, just like Libertyvilles Jack Deichl, Stevenson quarterback Willie Bourban can do significant damage with his arm, especially with extra time. We have to be able to put pressure on (Bourban) so that he never feels comfortable, Warren coach Dave Mohapp said. Stevenson is similar to Libertyville in terms of how they throw the ball and we didnt get enough pressure on Libertyville this week. Weve been working on ways to change that. It will be tough, though, because Stevenson has a really good and big offensive line that does a good job with protection Bourban is coming off an impressive performance against Grant in which he completed 5-of-8 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown. His big targets were Cameron Green (2 catches, 87 yards) and Alan Velev (2 catches, 68 yards). Things are really starting to come together for us, Stevenson coach Bill McNamara said. We will try to be very balanced on offense against Warren because that is a defense that is athletic and can make plays. Like Bourban, Warren quarterback Adam Reuss also put up good numbers last week. He completed 21-of-30 passes for 225 yards. Early on, he had the Warren offense humming as it jumped out to a 14-0 lead over Libertyville. I liked our start, Mohapp said. And right before the half, we were able to put together another drive to get a score. There were a lot of positives. But we werent able to keep that going. We didnt move the ball in the second half with as much success. Patricia Babcock McGraw
Mundelein (0-4, 0-2) at Libertyville (3-1, 1-1)
When: 7:30 p.m., today
Last week: Mundelein lost to Zion-Benton, 32-18; Libertyville def. Warren, 42-24.
Skinny: An 0-4 record aside, Mundelein coach George Kaider is seeing progress in his team. He says last weeks 14-point loss to Zion-Benton is deceiving in that it was a 3-point game at halftime and the Zee-Bees scored once on a short field and once on an interception for a touchdown. Our spirits are high. The game was much closer than what people see in the score, Kaider said. We felt like we played a good game and that we had a lot of momentum at halftime being down just 6-3. There were just some plays in the second half that didnt go our way and with our youth and inexperience, sometimes its hard for us to recover from things like that. Mundelein starts a freshman quarterback, Gavin Graves, who completed 9 of 23 passes for 167 yards last week. Defensively, the Mustangs feature 9 new varsity players, five of whom had never even played football before this season Libertyville wont make Mundeleins learning on the job any easier. Quarterback Jack Deichl is looking to pick apart another defense after completing 24 of 34 passes for 309 yards and 4 touchdowns last week against Warren. His top targets were Conor Simpson (8 catches for 115 yards) and Austin Williams (8 catches for 108 yards). Were going to try to attack more this week defensively, bring more pressure, Kaider said. But Libertyvilles offensive line is big and strong and (Deichl) is big and strong and does a great job in the pocket. Its going to be a challenge for us. Patricia Babcock McGraw
NORTH SUBURBAN PRAIRIE
Lakes (3-1, 1-0) at Antioch (2-2, 1-1)
When: 7:30 p.m., today
Last week: Lakes def. Round Lake, 60-0; Antioch lost to North Chicago, 35-7.
Skinny: Antioch has its hands full this week. Not only are the Sequoits on a collision course with their sister school rivals at Lakes, they are also trying to recover from an extra rough outing against North Chicago. That was the worst display on our end last week since Ive been at Antioch, head coach Brian Glashagel said. I mean, it was absolute ugliness. We had an interception for a touchdown, we got the ball stripped and returned for a touchdown, we fumbled inside the 20-yard-line and they scored off that, we had a snap go over our punters head for a safety. People might be wondering if I used all of our contact days last summer. Give North Chicago credit. They played great. But on our end, it was also pretty bad. Glashagel has also seen his team play well, like in its victory over perennial power Vernon Hills in Week 3. Our problem is we are so inconsistent and weve got this Jekyll and Hyde thing going. Were always wondering what team is going to show up, the good team that executes or the team that implodes. Its got to be the good team if we want to have any chance against Lakes. They are really good this year. Lakes is led by running back Direll Clark, who is a workhorse in the backfield and is benefitting from the attention that dynamic quarterback T.J. Edwards commands. This might be the best team theyve ever had at Lakes, Glashagel said. Clark and (Edwards) are so good, and on defense, their guys are really fast. We told our boys that if they didnt show up mentally to play, wed be in real trouble. Patricia Babcock McGraw
Vernon Hills (1-3, 0-2) at Grant (3-1, 1-0)
When: 1 p.m., Saturday
Radio: WRLR 98.3 FM; streamed at WRLR.FM
Last week: Vernon Hills lost to Wauconda, 20-14; Grant lost to Stevenson, 42-7.
Last years result: Grant def. Vernon Hills, 26-6.
Skinny: These are two hurting teams. Vernon Hills hasnt had this bad of a start to a season since losing its first six games in 2004. I think theyre a pretty good 1-3 team, Grant coach Kurt Rous said. Theyre always well coached. They got good athletes. Theyve just had a string of bad luck, I guess. At the rate were going, Im not taking anybody for granted. Its going to be a ballgame. It always is between us and them. Grant is dealing with physical pain. Quarterback Kyle Whitman needed 8 staples to close a gash on the top of his head after his helmet came off during a first-quarter play against Stevenson last Friday. He didnt return and Rous said the veterans status is up in the air whether hell play Saturday. Whitman did not suffer a concussion. He practiced with no contact this week. I believe hes getting the staples out Saturday morning, so we got to figure out what we can do to (the injury), Rous said. Glue it. Tape it. I dont know. If Whitman cant play, star fullback Jonathan Wells might start at QB. Rous said second-stringer Jake Bychowski, who suffered an elbow injury in Week 3 against Wauconda, is probably done for the year. Junior Jason Bach took over behind center after Whitman went out. He did OK, but we need to get our best guys on the field, Rous said. Putting Wells at QB might do that. Junior Chris Bautista would then replace Wells at fullback. Hes no Johnny Wells at fullback, but hes good, Rous said. The good news for Grant is that it will get wide receiver Keion Miller back from an injury. ... Vernon Hills played short-handed last Friday as well, as Dylan McNamara sat out with an injury. In his place Sam Maloof rushed 24 times for 147 yards and a TD. McNamara will be a game-time decision. Sams been playing very well, Cougars coach Tony Monken said. Vernon Hills has been competitive in all three of its losses since defeating Dunbar on Opening Night. The Cougars fell to St. Francis 28-21, Antioch 22-10 and Wauconda 20-14. Right now we are a 90-percent team, Monken said. Ninety percent of the time we look really good. The 10 percent bad has cost us big-time. When we talked about it with the team, we told them that 10 out of 11 on a quiz is an A, but if only 10 out of 11 are right on a play, we fail. Id rather they pick a play in advance that all 11 are going to mess up, and then run the next 10 perfect. What the Cougars know, for sure, is that they have to find a way to spoil Grants homecoming. We need to put it all together for a week, Monken said. Grant is too good and too well-coached to make costly mistakes against. Since the conference expanded in 2005, weve lost only 10 games in the Prairie division and theyve lost only 11. We know each other very well, run similar style offenses, and being a Saturday afternoon homecoming game, its going to be a playoff atmosphere. Joe Aguilar
North Chicago (4-0, 2-0) at Wauconda (3-1, 1-1)
When: 1 p.m., today
Last week: North Chicago def. Antioch, 35-7; Wauconda def. Vernon Hills, 20-14.
Last years result: Wauconda def. North Chicago, 22-6.
Skinny: Former Brigham Young football teammates Dave Mills and Glen Kozlowski meet up in a game featuring surprise two of the hottest teams in the North Suburban Prairie. Undefeated North Chicago already has more wins this season than it did in Kozlowskis first three as head coach (three straight 1-3 campaigns). Wauconda hasnt started out 3-1 since 2008. That season, the Bulldogs lost their next four games and finished 4-5. Since replacing Kozlowski as Waucondas head coach, Mills is 3-0 against North Chicago. In fact, the Warhawks have not beaten the Bulldogs since 2005 (six straight Wauconda wins). North Chicago advanced to the Class 5A state semifinals that year. ... North Chicago, which scored 35 unanswered points against Antioch last Friday, features two exciting playmakers in RB/FS Arnold Shead and QB Jay Amos Mays. Wauconda will hope for another strong performance from 6-4, 230-pound defensive lineman Nate Magiera, who had a monster game against Vernon Hills. Magiera had 12 1/2 tackles, and his scoop-and-score accounted for the winning margin. He rambled 60 yards on his TD. Nate was special last Friday, Mills said. Wauconda lost workhorse running back David Starkey to a knee injury in the first half. Starkey has been doing physical therapy this week. The MRI showed no damage, Mills said. He has a sprained knee and will be a game-time decision. Joe Aguilar
NORTH SUBURBAN CROSSOVER
Lake Zurich (3-1, 2-0) at Round Lake (0-4, 0-2)
When: 7:30 p.m., today
Last week: Lake Zurich won by forfeit over Lake Forest; Round Lake lost to Lakes, 60-0.
Skinny: Its been a strange week for Lake Zurich, which earned a Week 4 win without even stepping on the field. Lake Forest forfeited to the Bears since a teachers strike in that district prevented the football team from suiting up for its game against Lake Zurich. We ended up having a practice last Friday instead, which was a little strange when you knew that everyone else was playing, Lake Zurich coach Dave Proffitt said. After two weeks of going against ourselves, were just ready to play against someone else. One bright side to not playing last week is that Lake Zurich had time for some injured and sick players to get healthy. For instance, starting quarterback Jake Stauner probably would have missed last weeks game against Lake Forest had it been played. He suffered a hip pointer the week before and had a hard time moving around. But hes been rehabbing for two straight weeks and is projected to play tonight against Round Lake. Its nice that with that extra time were starting to get some guys back, Proffitt said Round Lake is trying to recover from its own set of problems, namely a 60-point loss to Lakes last week. The Panthers have scored just 19 points this season (4.8 ppg) and are allowing an average of nearly 45 points per game. No matter what situation we face this week, our goal is to win and get better and our boys will have to be ready, Proffitt said. When I used to coach at Marian Central (in Woodstock), we were in the Northwest Suburban Conference with Round Lake in the 1990s and Round Lake was always tough. Their kids would be physical and they would knock you in the mouth and thats what I expect out of them this week.
Patricia Babcock McGraw
EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC
Carmel (1-3, 1-1) at Nazareth (2-2, 0-2)
When: 1:30 p.m., Saturday
Last week: Carmel lost to St. Viator, 28-25; Nazareth lost to Joliet Catholic, 34-33, in overtime.
Last years result: Carmel def. Nazareth, 27-3.
Skinny: It doesnt get any easier for struggling Carmel, which faces a Roadrunners squad that could be 4-0 instead of 2-2. After starting the season with convincing wins over Proviso East (37-14) and Chicago Julian (48-12), Nazareth lost heartbreakers to ESCC foes Marist (24-21) and Joliet Catholic (34-33, OT). Marist and JCA are 4-0 and 3-1, respectively, and tied for first in the conference. Against JCA, Joshua Moore rushed 19 times for 130 yards and 3 TDs. But after his last score, in OT, the Roadrunners went for two and came up short on a pass attempt. ... Meanwhile, the three teams that have beaten Carmel Lincoln-Way East, Glenbard North and St. Viator are a combined 10-2. Carmel got 116 rushing yards from Josh Walinski in its loss to St. Viator last Friday. Walinski, who started at QB the first two weeks of the season, leads the Corsairs with 247 yards on the ground. Hell face a Nazareth defense that last Friday held USC-bound Ty Isaac of Joliet Catholic to 102 yards on 22 carries. ... This almost amounts to a must-win game for Carmel, considering the Corsairs host Marist and visit Joliet Catholic the next two Fridays. Joe Aguilar
FOX VALLEY FOX
Grayslake North (3-1, 1-0) at Hampshire (2-2, 1-0)
When: 7:15 p.m., today
Last week: Grayslake North def. Johnsburg, 41-7; Hampshire lost to Cary-Grove, 49-13.
Skinny: A win tonight would give Grayslake North its best start in school history. The Knights tied the previous mark with last weeks win over Johnsburg. In 2010, Grayslake North also ran out to a 3-1 start with early wins over Woodstock North, McHenry and Dundee-Crown A big reason for the Knights early success this season is quarterback AJ Fish, who has already put up the kind of numbers that some quarterbacks would finish with at the end of a season. Fish has rolled up more than 900 passing yards. And with his rushing abilities, he has totaled more than 1,500 all-purpose yards. The crazy thing about AJ is that hes played in only nine quarters so far this season because weve taken our starters out early in a few games, Grayslake North coach Steve Wood said. AJ is having a great year so far. While North favors the passing game with Fish, Hampshire will keep the ball on the ground. They will run, run, run, Wood said of Hampshire. Theyre about 75 percent run, 25 percent pass. We have to be able to stop the run. Last year, we didnt do that real great. We just put up a ton of points on them and they couldnt keep up. Weve got to be better on defense against them than we were last year. Nose tackle Geoff Gardner, playing his first year on the defensive line after starting on offense last year, has helped give the Knights a stronger push up front this season. Patricia Babcock McGraw
Johnsburg (0-4, 0-2) at Grayslake Central (1-3, 0-2)
When: 7:15 p.m., today
Last week: Johnsburg lost to Grayslake North, 41-7; Grayslake Central lost to Woodstock, 31-0.
Last years result: Grayslake Central def. Johnsburg, 47-6.
Skinny: One of these teams will finally get a victory tonight. While Johnsburg is winless under first-year head coach Michael Maloney, Grayslake Central has not won since holding off Round Lake 14-0 on Opening Night. The Rams have followed with losses to Grant (31-14), Hampshire (46-20) and Woodstock (31-0). Johnsburg is obviously taking their lumps right now, especially with a new head coach and some of the offensive and defensive changes, Rams coach Ben Ault said. On film, they play hard and they have some good size, so I expect them to give us great game. Grayslake Central QB Drew Lennartz will miss his second straight game with an injury. We are struggling a little with injuries, said Ault, whose Rams are also short-handed at running back, linebacker and offensive line. But the other players have to pick up the slack in those places. Joe Aguilar