Week 9: Scouting the Fox Valley Conference
Jacobs (4-4, 3-4) at Hampshire (3-5, 2-5)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last week: Prairie Ridge 42, Jacobs 0; McHenry 34, Hampshire 22
Outlook: Jacobs enters this game with 37 playoff points and the projected cutoff for 5-4 teams to be included is 36. Thus, the mission is clear for the Golden Eagles: win and you're in for the second consecutive season and the sixth time in in coach Bill Mitz's seven seasons at the Algonquin school. To do so, Jacobs has to limit the prolific Hampshire duo of Jake Vincent and receiver Jared Hornbeck. Hornbeck is the area's leading receiver by a wide margin with 1,097 yards and 13 touchdowns on 57 catches. Overall, Vincent has completed 152 of 261 attempts (58.2 percent) for 2,046 yards and 19 touchdowns. "That's a nice little package there," Mitz said. "We hope to get some pressure on him." A Hampshire defense that yields 262 rushing yards per game faces a Jacobs offense that averages 339 total yards per game. This is the first time in history these District 300 schools have faced off on the football field. Both have beaten sister school Dundee-Crown. "We're playing for the District 300 championship this week and we want to send off our seniors in the right way," Hampshire coach Mike Brasile said. "It's a good group of kids that worked hard and fell a little short in this first year playing against the bigger schools in our conference."
McHenry (6-2, 5-2) at Huntley (5-3, 5-2)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last year: Huntley 62, McHenry 19
Last week: Huntley 42, Crystal Lake South 23; McHenry 34, Hampshire 22
Outlook: Huntley enters Week 9 with 3 more playoff points (42) than any Fox Valley Conference team, so the Red Raiders are in the playoffs win or lose with the cutoff for 5-4 teams projected to be 36. However, a victory is a must if Huntley expects a reasonable first-round playoff matchup. "A win definitely puts us in a better place," said first-year coach Matt Zimolzak, whose program will make the playoffs for the fourth time in five years. Huntley quarterback Eric Mooney has rushed for 734 yards and 13 touchdowns and thrown for 1,009 yards and 9 more scores. McHenry counters with running back Gio Purpura, who last week against Hampshire carried 34 times for 262 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Huntley defense gets a lift this week from the return from injury of linebacker Charlie Zornow (), which allows Tony Bucaro () to return to the defensive line. "Gio is an unbelievable football player," Zimolazk said. "He's a threat as a returner, at slot receiver and at the tailback position. We have to stop him. That's our goal on defense."
Crystal Lake South (2-6) at West Chicago (1-7)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: This is the final game of Crystal Lake South coach Chuck Ahsmann's seven-year career, he told his team on Monday. Ahsmann enters with a career record of 42-28 with four playoff appearances to his credit. In 2015 West Chicago had a total of 672 yards rushing. This season senior fullback Devonte Pascal has run for 683. That and Zach Stefan's touchdown passes to Alex VanDoren and Trey Lally give the Wildcats a little momentum entering their finale.
Prairie Ridge (8-0, 7-0) at Dundee-Crown (2-6, 1-6)
When: 7 p.m. Friday at the D-C Bowl
Quick hit: Dundee-Crown is coming off a rousing 35-28 victory over Crystal Lake Central. Running backs Greg Williams and Ricky Ibarra combined for 235 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns, and senior Cody Barcklay intercepted a fourth-quarter pass to preserve the lead. A win would give Prairie Ridge, ranked No. 2 in Class 6A, its third undefeated regular season since the program's inception in 1997-98.
Crystal Lake Central (2-6, 1-6) at Cary-Grove (7-1, 6-1)
When: 7 p.m. Friday at Al Bohr Field
Quick hit: The Trojans go for their eighth straight win in this Fox Valley Conference regular-season finale having clinched their 13th straight playoff appearance. A victory would mark the 12th time during that 13-year streak the program has won 8 games or more.