Neuqua Valley's Gronowski, Rolling Meadows' Zieba pick up Week 3 MVP plaudits
Mark Gronowski of Neuqua Valley and David Zieba of Rolling Meadows are the Daily Herald offensive and defensive MVPs, respectively, for their efforts on the football field in Week 3.
Mark Gronowski, Neuqua Valley: Gronowski was a scoring machine as the Wildcats battled to the very end of a 50-48 loss to East St. Louis. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior quarterback completed 13 of 17 passes for 188 yards and had 19 carries for 114 yards. Gronowski accounted for all seven of his team's touchdowns.
Ryan Thiesse, St. Charles North: This 5-foot-11, 188-pound wide receiver was a major factor in St. Charles North's 20-17 comeback win at previously unbeaten Wheaton North. The senior caught passes of 37 and 17 yards from Kyler Brown to fuel a 57-yard, fourth-quarter drive that drew the North Stars within 17-14. The multisport athlete later caught a 21-yard fade pass in the back corner of the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. He finished with 6 receptions for 145 yards.
Luka Popovic, Palatine: The Pirates' senior wide receiver had 5 catches for 176 yards and 3 touchdowns in his team's 30-0 win over Evanston, which was Palatine's first win of the season. Popovic's TD catches from QB Joe Ayala went for 69, 65 and 19 yards.
Athan Kaliakmanis, Antioch: After playing only the second half against Woodstock North due to an injury suffered on Opening Night, the junior quarterback showed off his old form. The Minnesota commit threw his first 3 touchdown passes of the year, going 7 of 11 for 202 yards, while also rushing for 49 yards, as the Sequoits beat Grayslake North 38-0.
David Zieba, Rolling Meadows: The Mustangs moved to 3-0 on the season with a 31-24 double-overtime win against Deerfield, a game in which Zieba, a senior safety, had 3 interceptions and then knocked away a fourth-down pass in the end zone in the second OT to preserve the win for his team.
Antonio Carillo, York: Carillo played a huge role in helping the Dukes hold off Downers Grove North in a 28-26 West Suburban Silver victory. The 5-foot-8, 160-pound senior linebacker notched a team-high 12 tackles, including one on a game-tying 2-point conversion attempt late in the fourth quarter.
Shiking Marshall, South Elgin: The South Elgin defense posted its third straight shutout to open the season, thanks in part to this 5-10, 160-pound senior cornerback. Elgin was denied on four red-zone trips, twice by Marshall, who intercepted 2 passes at the goal line and made 8 tackles in a 47-0 Upstate Eight win. It was part of an all-around performance by the two-way player. He also returned the opening kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown and raced 77 yards on a reverse for another score.
Michael Youkhanna, Stevenson: Stevenson's defense started the second half against Libertyville like it started the game -- with an interception by Youkhanna. The senior linebacker was active all night for the Patriots, who won 24-6 for their first victory of the season. Youkhanna also recorded a pass breakup and 4 tackles, including one for loss.