Scouting Week 1, Lake County
CLASS 8ANo. 24 Huntley Red Raiders (6-3) at No. 9 Stevenson Patriots (8-1)When: 7 p.m., today
Last week: Huntley def. McHenry, 44-14; Stevenson def. Warren, 47-6.
Playoff history: Huntley is making its third straight playoff appearance and its seventh overall. Stevenson has made 29 playoff appearances overall and is making its 28 in a row. The Patriots won the state championship in 2014 and placed second in 2002.
Skinny: Both of these teams can put up the points. Stevenson averages 36 points per game, most in the North Suburban Conference, while Huntley averages 35.2 points per game and has scored 40 or more points in its last three games…Huntley rolled up 435 yards of offense last week and was fairly evenly split between the run and the pass. Quarterback Eric Mooney and running back Carter Beaudette each rushed for more than 100 yards. Mooney had 147yards and 2 touchdowns on 12 carries while Beaudette rushed for 103 yards and 3 touchdowns on 20 carries. Mooney also passed for a touchdown and completed 9-of-11 passes for 184 yards. His touchdown pass (65 yards) went to Alec Cross, who made 3 catches for 94 yards…Stevenson's passing game looked sharp last week against Warren with the return of starting quarterback Aidan O'Connell, who missed a Week 8 win over Waukegan with a minor shoulder injury. O'Connell completed 17 of 23 passes for 282 yards and 4 touchdowns. Henry Marchese (9 catches, 168 yards) caught all four touchdown passes. Twin brother Michael Marchese caught 3 passes for 61 yards.
Winner gets: A second round game against the winner of No. 25 Fremd (6-3) at No. 8 Brother Rice (8-1).
CLASS 7ANo. 24 Carmel Corsairs (5-4) at No. 9 St. Charles North North Stars (8-1)When: 1 p.m., Saturday
Last week: Carmel lost to Benet, 38-14; St. Charles North def. Batavia, 42-35.
Playoff history: Carmel is making its 19th playoff appearance. The Corsairs, who missed the playoffs last year, won the state title in 2003. St. Charles North is making its 11th playoff appearance at its third straight.
Skinny: St. Charles North is super stingy on defense, which isn't great news for a Carmel team that struggles sometimes to score. The North Stars are allowing just 8.7 points per game, fewest in the Upstate Eight River. In six games this season, St. Charles North allowed 3 or fewer points, and four times recorded shutouts. Carmel, meanwhile, is averaging 18.8 points per game and has scored 10 or fewer points four times this season…Carmel is without star running back Rondel Jamison, who has missed most of the season with a broken foot. But Zaire Barnes has been rolling up the yards in his place. Sean Lynch is also making the most of his increased opportunities out of the backfield…St. Charles North rolled up 467 yards of offense last week on Batavia. Eric Lins rushed for 220 yards and 2 touchdowns (1 for 80 yards) on 23 carries while quarterback Zach Mettetal completed 13-of-21 passes for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns. Mettetal also rushed for a touchdown. All 3 of Mettetal's touchdown passes went to Griffin Hammer (6 catches, 107 yards).
Winner gets: A second round game against the winner of No. 25 St. Rita (5-4) at No. 8 Auburn (8-1).
No. 20 Harlem Huskies (6-3) at No. 13 Lake Zurich Bears (7-2)When: 7 p.m., today
Last week: Harlem lost to Rockford Jefferson, 42-40; Lake Zurich def. Mundelein, 56-13.
Playoff history: Harlem is making its 15th playoff appearances and its 11th straight. Lake Zurich has made 19 straight playoff appearances and 14 in the last 15 years. The Bears, won a state title in 2007 and placed second in 2006, 2010 and 2013, missed the playoffs in 2015.
Skinny: Harlem is kind of limping into the playoffs while Lake Zurich is on the upswing. The Huskies have lost two of their last three, including last week's barnburner with Rockford Jefferson. Meanwhile, Lake Zurich has won two straight games and six of its last seven. The one blemish during that stretch is against a Stevenson team that has won eight straight games…Harlem can put a lot of points on the board (31.9 ppg) but will be facing a Lake Zurich program that has been known for defense for years. The Bears led the North Suburban Conference in points allowed at just 12.2 points per game. Last week, Lake Zurich allowed Mundelein to get only 8 first downs for the entire game. Offensively, the Bears were fairly balanced in their 402 total yards against Mundelein. Quarterback Evan Lewandowski, who is beginning to catch on in the Bears' new spread offense, completed 5-of-7 passes for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Jake Stevens (3 rushes, 90 yards) and Joey Dreiling (14 rushes, 80 yards) gave usual workhorse Joey Stutzman a bit of a break…Harlem boasts size on the offensive line, which makes room for senior running back Brenton Shaw. Shaw has rolled up 1,667 yards and 21 touchdowns for an average of 6.9 yards per carry. Meanwhile, quarterback Trent Willey has 862 passing yards and 11 touchdowns and spreads the wealth between three receivers who have each rolled up 300-plus receiving yards. The three have combined for 13 touchdowns.
Winner gets: A second round game against the winner of No. 29 Hononegah (5-4) vs. No. 4 Fenwick (8-1)
No. 32 Libertyville Wildcats (5-4) at No. 1 Bradley-Bourbonnais Boilermakers (9-0)When: 7 p.m., today
Last week: Libertyville def. Zion-Benton, 17-7; Bradley-Bourbonnais def. Thornton, 56-20.
Playoff history: Libertyville is making its 23rd playoff appearance and its third straight. The Wildcats won a state title in 2004 and placed second in 2003 and 2015.
Skinny: This is a rematch of last year's Class 7A semifinal that Libertyville won in a raging snowstorm that left the field snow-covered throughout the entire game. The roles are certainly reversed this year as Libertyville is now the underdog. And Bradley-Bourbonnais, which was young last season, is the undefeated favorite…Libertyville has relied heavily on its stingy defense, which allows 17 points per game but has held four opponents to 7 or fewer points this season. That includes 2 shutouts. Offensively for the Wildcats, Jason Tse is finally healthy after missing part of the season with a broken hand. He gained 56 yards on six carries last week. Brendan Bazar has been a workhorse in Tse's place. Meanwhile, quarterback Jack Ruskell had a big day last week against Zion-Benton. He completed 12 of 22 passes for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns, both to Bazar…Boilermaker quarterback Morion Burtis likes to target receiver Camron Harrell, a standout for Bradley-Bourbonnais last season.
Winner gets: A second round game against the winner of No. 17 Highland Park, (7-2) at No. 16 Plainfield North (7-2).
CLASS 6ANo. 15 Wauconda Bulldogs (5-4) at No. 2 Antioch Sequoits (9-0)When: 7 p.m., today
Last week: Wauconda def. Grayslake Central 52-14; Antioch def. Grayslake North, 25-20.
Playoff history: Wauconda is making its eighth playoff appearance and its second straight. Antioch is making its 17th playoff appearance and its third in the last four years. The Sequoits missed the playoffs in 2015.
Skinny: It was a tale of two halves the last time these two conference foes met. Antioch surged out of the gates strong and took a 26-7 lead into the halftime locker room. But Wauconda scored 22 points in the fourth quarter to make things interesting. Ultimately, Antioch survived for a 33-29 win, the closest win by far of its undefeated 9-0 regular season that yielded the first-ever Northern Lake County Conference championship…Antioch led the NLCC in scoring at 37.2 points per game. Meanwhile, both Wauconda and Antioch were among the best defensive teams in the league, allowing about 16 points per game respectively. Wauconda has had some defensive gems, holding four opponents under 7 points, including a shutout of Grant. Against Grant, Wauconda did not let up a single first down and held Grant to just 26 total yards of offense. Meanwhile, the Sequoits had three games in which they allowed 7 or fewer points, including 2 shutouts…Offensively, both teams are run-oriented. Antioch spreads the carries primarily between Brandon Lind, Drew Porter and quarterback Branden Gallimore. Wauconda relies heavily on running backs Tyler Stankiewicz and Jacob Bicknase, who rolled up 149 yards and 98 yards respectively last week against Grayslake Central.
Winner gets: A second round game against the winner of No. 10 Aurora Marmion Academy (6-3) at No. 7 DeKalb (7-2)
No. 11 Lakes Eagles (6-3) at No. 6 Grayslake North Knights (7-2)When: 7 p.m., today
Last week: Lakes def. North Chicago, 63-35; Grayslake North lost to Antioch, 25-20.
Playoff history: Lakes is making its ninth playoff appearance and its eighth straight. Grayslake North is making its fifth overall and fifth straight playoff appearance.
Skinny: It's Round 2 of the rivalry between these two familiar and nearby foes. Even when they were in different conferences, Lakes and Grayslake North made a point of playing each other every season in nonconference games. This year, with the creation of the new Northern Lake County Conference, they got the chance to play each in league play. Lakes got the best of Grayslake North in that game, a 31-14 win in Week 3…Grayslake North had its five-game win streak broken last week by Antioch, while Lakes is on a two-game winning streak…Both of these teams feature strong running backs. Grayslake North senior Dami Oladunmoye is looking healthy after an ankle injury slowed him early in the season. He rushed for 204 yards last week against Antioch. Lakes is led by Northwestern-bound running back Cameron Ruiz, who rushed for 191 yards last week against North Chicago.
Winner gets: A second round game against the winner of No. 14 Wheeling (5-4) at No. 3 Cary-Grove (8-1).
Class 5ANo. 10 Chicago Urban Prep Lions (6-3) at No. 7 Vernon Hills Cougars (6-3)When: 3 p.m., Saturday
Last week: Urban Prep def. Chicago Kelly, 46-0; Vernon Hills lost to Highland Park, 14-9.
Playoff history: Urban Prep is making its second playoff appearance. Vernon Hills is making its 11th playoff appearance and its second straight.
Skinny: Urban Prep, a Chicago Public League team, has posted some impressive scores lately. Their last three wins have all been shutouts: 54-0 over Harlan, 38-0 over Hyde Park and 46-0 over Kelly. The Lions, who have won four games in a row, are allowing 10.7 points per game, which ranks first in their conference, the Chicago Windy City Public…Vernon Hills has also been impressive on defense this season, allowing just 14.2 points per game, which ranks first in the Central Suburban League, North or South Division…Vernon Hills was on a two-game winning streak until last week's loss to Highland Park, in which it scored a season-low 9 points. The Cougars weren't able to score any points on offense, settling for a 35-yard field goal from Andre Szmyt and an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown by Drew Winegardner. Quarterback Kyle Hull did complete 15-of-22 passes for 153 yards. Chris Mariella caught 9 passes for 128 yards.
Winner gets: A second round game against the winner of No. 15 Nazareth (5-4) vs. No. 2 Chicago Goode (9-0)