Elk Grove (5-1, 2-0) at Prospect (3-3, 2-0)
When: 6:30 p.m. today at George Gattas Stadium
Last week: Elk Grove d. Rolling Meadows 46-7; Prospect d. Wheeling 28-12
Outlook: A big game for the MSL East lead where the big focus is on some of the league's top linemen Elk Grove's Greg Johnsen and Dan Egan and Prospect's Austin Tixier. Last week the Grens also got solid efforts from Mike Bishoff and Tom Jansen to knock down Meadows QB Jack Milas nearly 15 times. "I feel like our defense is very sound," said EG coach Brian Doll. "Our defensive staff has done a good job with them and it all starts up front." They'll be focused on the running of QB Sam Frasco (540 yards, 5 TDs) and RB Sam Mazukelli (493 yards, 3 TDs), but Frasco also threw for 236 yards and 2 TDs last week. "We're a running football team but we hae the ability to throw the football," said Prospect coach Mike Sebestyen. Elk Grove RB Stefan Skoneczka has rushed for 306 yards the last two weeks. The series is tied 21-21.
Wheeling (1-5, 0-2) at Hersey (3-3, 1-1)
When: 6:30 p.m. today at Roland Goins Stadium
Last week: Wheeling lost to Prospect 28-12; Hersey d. Buffalo Grove 20-14
Outlook: Hersey kept its playoff hopes alive by racing to a 20-0 lead and ending a 3-game losing streak despite 3 turnovers. "We're getting closer and last week was the best half of football we've played all year," said Hersey coach Dragan Teonic. "(Turnovers) are the story of our year right now. I feel we're on the brink of being a very good football team." Teonic liked the secondary play of Frank Kalble, Jake Mueller, Kevin Kozil and Kevin Mengarelli, which will be crucial against Wheeling QB Tyler Brady. Hersey leads the series 26-17.
Buffalo Grove (1-5, 0-2) at Rolling Meadows (4-2, 1-1)
When: 6:30 p.m. today at Robert A. Hoese Athletic Field
Last week: BG lost to Hersey 20-14; Meadows lost to Prospect 46-7
Outlook: Meadows and QB Jack Milas look to rebound against a BG team that has lost five straight since beating 5-1 Lake Forest. "(Last week) was our worst night of execution of the year," said RM coach Matt Mishler. "We feel BG is probably the best 1-5 team in the state. Their record says nothing about their quality as a team." BG rallied from a 20-0 deficit last week on 2 TDs by Richie Zirngibl and leads the series 14-8.
Palatine (5-1, 2-0) at Fremd (3-3, 1-1)
When: 6:30 p.m. today at Hale Hildebrandt Field
Last week: Palatine d. Barrington 35-14; Fremd lost to Schaumburg 26-23 (ot)
Outlook: Meeting No. 45 of the cross-town rivals has Palatine looking to extend a 5-game winning streak and keep its MSL West lead behind QB Ethan Olles, RB John Serio and S-WR Jesse Bobbit on a hard-hitting defense. "Can we execute and make plays like we did against Barrington and some of the other teams we've played," said Palatine coach Tyler Donnelly. Fremd must rebound from a stunning OT loss as RB A.J. McGhee looks for another 100-yard game. "This is what the game is about," said Fremd coach Mike Donatucci. "You get knocked down and you have to get back up." Fremd leads the series 28-16.
Conant (5-1, 1-1) at Barrington (4-2, 1-1)
When: 6:30 p.m. today at Barrington Community Stadium
Last week: Conant d. Hoffman Estates 42-0; Barrington lost to Palatine 35-14
Outlook: One team happy with a short week is Barrington as RB Chase Murdock (964 yards, 12 TDs) looks for his third straight 1,000-yard season against the area's best defense in Conant, led by LB John Maevski, who will play after going out early with an injury last week. "I'm glad we're playing (tonight) because we need to get this last one out of our system," said Barrington coach Joe Sanchez of his team's 3 second-half turnovers. Conant erupted from a slow start last week behind QB Matt Cullen (1,176 yards, 14 TDs, 1 INT). "Physically we're better able to handle them than we've been able to in other years," said Conant coach Bill Modelski. Barrington leads the series 14-10.
Hoffman Estates (0-6, 0-2) at Schaumburg (3-3, 1-1)
When: 6:30 p.m. today at Gary Scholz Stadium
Last week: Hoffman lost to Conant 42-0; Schaumburg d. Fremd 26-23 (ot)
Outlook: Schaumburg's crew of sophomores led by QB Stacey Smith and RB Sadaris Patterson grew up a lot last week to keep its MSL West title and playoff hopes alive. "There were definitely some ups and downs last week but we preach to our kids, don't get too high and don't get too low," said Saxons coach Mark Stilling. "They maintained the appropriate composure throughout everything." Hoffman coach Bill Helzer said "we have a good half of football to build on when we control the ball and don't make mistakes" as it trailed only 6-0 at the break last week. Senior OL Kyle Hendle (shoulder) should be back next week. Schaumburg leads the series 25-11.
CENTRAL SUBURBAN NORTH
Maine West (0-6, 0-2) at Glenbrook North (2-4, 1-1)
When: 7 p.m. today at William Lutz Stadium
Last week: Maine West lost to Deerfield 49-7; Glenbrook North d. Niles North 20-6
Outlook: Defending CSL North champion and preseason favorite Glenbrook North is now in a fight to make the playoffs. Standout RB Grant Rushing left last week's game with a shoulder injury but Curt Petty threw for 135 yards and 2 TDs. Maine West rushed for 199 yards last week with 63 from Dan O'Hara.
WEST SUBURBAN GOLD
Willowbrook (0-6, 0-3) at Leyden (1-5, 1-3)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday at West Campus, Northlake
Last week: Willowbrook lost to Downers Grove South 49-13; Leyden d. Morton 28-13
Outlook: Leyden finally got everything together late in the first half last week and looks to make it two in a row. Mickey Gulo rushed for 140 yards and a TD and QB Joey DiFronzo rushed for 2 TDs while the Eagles defense allowed only 124 yards.
EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC
St. Viator (1-5, 0-5) at Carmel (4-2, 4-1)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Baker Stadium
Last week: St. Viator d. St. Ignatius 26-15; Carmel d. St. Patrick 49-15
Outlook: St. Viator is looking for a solid finish after a rough start but it won't be easy as Carmel got some help in the ESCC title race last week when Nazareth upset Joliet Catholic 44-41. Even though the results haven't been there, Viator coach Chris Kirkpatrick has had no issues with the effort. "They practice pretty well and play hard," he said. "We've gotten blown out in some games and never given up." The Lions are coming off their best defensive effort of the season but face a tough challenge as Michael Panico had his third kick return TD last week, QB Brian Brennan ran for 2 TDs and threw for another and RB Jordan Kos ran for 2 TDs.
Rockford Christian (2-4, 2-4) at Christian Liberty (0-6, 0-6)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Last week: Rockford Christian d. Alden-Hebron 28-7; Christian Liberty lost to North Shore Country Day 53-7
Outlook: Christian Liberty looks to continue making improvement as last week it scored its first offensive TD of the season on David Silva's 7-yard run. Dan Glad rushed for 76 of the Chargers' 170 total yards. Rockford Christian still has a shot at making the playoffs if it can run the table the rest of the way and it literally got a running start last week with RB Gerry Ford (223 yards, 2 TDs) and a 37-yard score by QB Coleman Nelson.