Week 8: Scouting the Upstate Eight Valley
Cary-Grove (5-2) at South Elgin (6-1)
Game time: 1:30 p.m. Saturday
Last year: Cary-Grove 50, South Elgin 6
Last week: Cary-Grove 41, Crystal Lake South 14; Batavia 10, South Elgin 7
Outlook: From the South Elgin perspective, it's out of the frying pan and into the fire. A week after playing toe-to-toe with Batavia, the No. 5 team in Class 7A, the Storm welcome Cary-Grove, ranked No. 3 in Class 6A. These teams have something in common: quarterbacks with bright baseball futures. South Elgin quarterback Nate Gomez was named honorary captain of the Daily Herald All-Area Baseball Team last spring after leading his team to the Elite Eight. He's committed to Wabash Valley College in Mount Carmel, Ill. Gomez is the leading rusher for the Storm with 1,017 yards and 15 touchdowns, but he was limited last week to 38 rushing yards by Batavia's fast, physical defense, which intercepted him twice. The strong-armed senior has completed 46 of 94 attempts for 757 yards and 11 touchdowns. Cary-Grove junior quarterback Quinn Priester is already committed to pitch for Texas Christian. He enjoyed his best game last week in a win over Crystal Lake South. With four ball carriers shelved due to injury, Priester carried 13 times for 90 yards and 4 touchdowns and threw for 108 yards and a score on 8-of-12 passing. "He's improved every week," Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said. "His throwing, his accuracy, is getting a lot better and he's getting a lot more confident running the ball. There's more to come. We haven't seen the best from Quinn yet." Cary-Grove suffered yet another backfield injury last week when starting free safety Michael Boyd tore his MCL while making a block on offense. He's out indefinitely, Seaburg said.
Next week: Cary-Grove at Crystal Lake Central (4-3); East Aurora (0-7) at South Elgin
Glenbard East (1-6, 1-2) at West Chicago (2-5, 1-3)
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Records aside this should be good. Rams quarterback Bret Bushka, protected by tackle Ben Pham, has a connection with wideout Jeremy Johnson. Sharp Wildcats quarterback Jeff Zajac finds Jahleel Humphrey, Luke Seeman, Ruben Fernandez.
Streamwood (0-7) at East Aurora (0-7) Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Roy E. Davis Field
The quick hit: One of these winless Upstate Eight Conference teams is going to celebrate like they won the Super Bowl after this crossover meeting. The other likely finishes the season winless since both face teams with winning records in Week 9.
West Aurora (5-2, 3-1) at Bartlett (2-5, 2-1) Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Millennium Field
The quick hit: Sixth-year coach Nate Eimer can get the Blackhawks in the playoffs for the third straight season with a win in the Upstate Eight Valley. Not bad for a program that hadn't played a postseason football game prior to this stretch since 1994.