Scouting: Fox Valley's Week 6 football games

Updated 10/4/2019 5:41 PM

Batavia (4-1, 3-0) at Geneva (0-5, 0-3)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday


Last year: Batavia 41, Geneva 0

Last week: Batavia 42, Wheaton Warrenville South 21; St. Charles East 35, Geneva 7

Outlook: One of the state's most intense rivalries is renewed for the 101st time. Batavia has won eight straight against the Vikings to trim Geneva's all-time series lead to 51-44-5. The Bulldogs have won the last two meetings by a combined score of 90-0. Ranked No. 5 in this week's Class 7A Associated Press poll, they have won four straight games since a season-opening loss to East St. Louis, which remains the top-ranked team in Class 5A. The Batavia defense opened the scoring last week when junior middle linebacker Matt Weerts picked off a pass on the third play from scrimmage and returned it 30 yards for 6 points. Weerts, Sam Barus, Evan Kopf and Quinn Urwiler each have 2 of the team's 9 interceptions. Ethan Ethridge and Cam Jones each have 2 of the defense's 6.5 sacks. Offensively, the Bulldogs like to run the ball behind their big offensive line. Senior running backs Art Taylor (84 carries, 460 yards, 3 TD) and Quinn Urwiler (57-303-7) lead the charge for an offense that has gained 1,078 of its 1,722 total yards via the rush. Coach Dennis Piron said he thinks the Bulldogs have yet to hit full stride in the trenches. "We hope to make big jumps with our offensive and defensive lines these next couple of weeks," said Piron, who is 8-0 against Geneva. "We want to focus on increasing our pass rush and having a high-quality running game. If we get those clicking, everything else will come together." Geneva has struggled to move the ball consistently, averaging 146 total yards per game. It hasn't helped that receiver junior receiver/defensive back Michael Ignoffo was injured in Week 2 and may not play again this season. Defensively, coach Rob Wicinski lauded the improving play of linebackers Jacob Costello and John Pettit. Costello, a senior, leads the Vikings with 5.8 tackles per game, followed by Pettit, a junior, with 5. Geneva is more concerned with self improvement than the opponent at this point. "We're in a spot right now where we're really focused on ourselves," Wicinski said. "We haven't had the chance to focus on too many opponents because we're still focused on what we can and can't do. We're sticking with that and hoping the kids stick with us."

Next week: St. Charles East at Batavia; Geneva at Wheaton North

St. Charles North (4-1, 3-0) at St. Charles East (4-1, 2-1)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: St. Charles North 28, St. Charles East 7

Last week: St. Charles North 33, Lake Park 14; St. Charles East 35, Geneva 7

Outlook: Rivalry aside, this is one of the most important DuKane Conference games of the season. Each team can become playoff eligible with a win. St. Charles North, which cracks The Associated Press poll this week at No. 10, enters tied for first place with Batavia. The North Stars host improved Glenbard North next week and Batavia a week later. St. Charles East, a game behind the co-leaders, plays at Batavia next week and finishes the regular season against Wheaton North (2-3) and Lake Park (2-3). St. Charles East is a more dynamic offensive team this season due to the emergence of sophomore quarterback Nathan Hayes and his supporting cast of skill players. Protected by Wisconsin recruit Dylan Barrett (6-foot-5, 300 pounds), Hayes has completed 54 of 99 attempts (54.5%) for 811 yards and 5 touchdowns. He has been intercepted 4 times. "He came in here with a lot of poise and confidence in himself," St. Charles East coach Bryce Farquhar said. "He never acted like a sophomore. And he can throw the (heck) out of the ball. He cannot only put it downfield but land it with accuracy." Hayes' leading receivers are senior Clay Conn (17 rec., 232 yards, 1 TD), junior Gino Cerrone (16-246-2) and senior Nathan Hull (13-259-2). Senior Cole Conn has rushed for 415 yards and 6 touchdowns and has fumbled only once in 83 totes. He also has 8 receptions for 125 yards and a score. Senior middle linebacker Nick Schumann has a team-best 55 tackles for a defense limiting opponents to 16.4 points per game. Former option quarterback BJ Crossen has been a big contributor on defense. The senior linebacker/safety has 20 tackles, 3 for loss, and 2 sacks. St. Charles North suffered its only loss in Week 2 to Bolingbrook (4-1), ranked No. 10 in Class 8A. The North Stars' young defense limits opponents to 14.4 ppg. Four juniors have contributed at least 20 tackles: free safety Joe Policano (20), cornerback Jordan Nubin (22), outside linebacker Marco Torres (25) and middle linebacker Zach McClure (team-high 35). Junior cornerback Jimmy Durocher and junior linebacker Daniel Kowaleski have combined for 30 more tackles. A defense that has 2 interceptions in 5 games will try shut down the new-look St. Charles East offense. "When we look at film, they're 180 degrees different from where they've been the last four years," North coach Rob Pomazak said. "They've gone from triple option to primarily a four or five-wide offense. That's in the wheelhouse with the teams we've played. It's similar. (Hayes) is a talent. He has a nice arm and can get the ball to his receivers. We're looking to take the next step in our development from a defensive standpoint. It's going to be a battle between two talented teams. I think our community is in for a treat."

Next week: Glenbard North at St. Charles North; St. Charles East at Batavia

Hampshire (0-5, 0-5) at Burlington Central (2-3, 2-3)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

Last meeting (2017): Burlington Central 29, Hampshire 20

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Last week: Crystal Lake Central 33, Hampshire 7; Burlington Central 31, Jacobs 30

Outlook: One of Kane County's fiercest rivalries is renewed now that Burlington Central has joined Hampshire in the Fox Valley Conference. These former Big Northern Conference foes split their last two meetings. Hampshire has lost 22 straight but has been far more competitive overall in 2019 than in 2018. The Whip-Purs move the ball offensively behind senior quarterback Jackson Milison, junior running backs John Brady Young and Neil Sakolari and senior fullback Evan Andresen. However, the attack is short-circuited regularly by penalty after penalty. Last week the Whips were flagged 12 times for 110 yards. "Not to discredit our opponents but we've made huge mistakes that have held us back," second-year Hampshire coach Jake Brosman said. "We're progressing a little bit. If we can actually put in play our game plan and execute everything we're trying to do this year, we have a shot. We just can't afford the penalties, the fumbles and the assignment breakdowns." Central is coming off a thrilling comeback win over Jacobs. Running back Gavin Sarvis, who also has played middle linebacker full-time the last two weeks, scored on a 9-yard run with 1:06 left and ran for the subsequent 2-point conversion to lift the Rockets to victory. Playing behind the offensive line of seniors Matt Muetterties, Jake Schmitt and Ryan Joseph, junior Jake Borman and sophomores Matthew Eshoo and Zach Schultz, Sarvis has rushed for 548 yards and 7 touchdowns on 88 carries (6.2 avg.). He also has 9 receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. Senior linebacker/wide receiver/quarterback Jake Lenschow returned to action after missing two weeks and made an immediate impact. He caught a 62-yard touchdown pass from Mark Ganziano and threw a 23-yard scoring pass to Ganziano. In 3 games Lenschow has rushed for 171 yards and a touchdown in 28 attempts (6.1 avg.). He also has 8 receptions for 125 yards and a score. The Central defense allows 26.2 ppg. Western Illinois recruit Muetterties leads that unit with 36 tackles, 30 solo. Central coach Brian Melvin said his team must continue playing with a chip on its shoulder. "Hampshire is not a team we can take lightly," he said. "I don't care who we just beat. We're still the team people said would not beat anybody in this conference."

Next week: Hampshire at Huntley; Burlington Central at Prairie Ridge

Huntley (4-1, 4-1) at Crystal Lake Central (3-2, 3-2)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

Last year: Huntley 48, Crystal Lake Central 21

Last week: Huntley 35, Crystal Lake South 7; Crystal Lake Central 33, Hampshire 7

Outlook: Huntley enters in a three-way tie for the Fox Valley Conference lead with Cary-Grove and Prairie Ridge. The Red Raiders face a true spread offense for the first time this season and a hot one at that. Led by senior quarterback Aidan Ellinger, the Tigers are clicking. CL Central was shut out by Prairie Ridge in the season opener and scored 7 points in a Week 2 loss to Cary-Grove. They have since defeated Crystal Lake South 37-21, Burlington Central 34-13, and Hampshire 33-7. The plan is for senior linemen Matt Burba and Conor Rice and junior Brad Walker to take Ellinger out of his comfort zone. "We need to not let him sit back and pick apart the defensive backs, so being able to put pressure on him early and often is definitely something we're going to make sure we have going," Huntley coach Matt Zimolzak said. "I think our defensive backs are really good but we've had to have them defend the run so often. Now they get to do what they would normally do and defend the pass." Rice sacked the quarterback three times last week against CL South. Offensively, a Huntley offensive line led by senior Trevor Masten (6-foot-5, 300 pounds) enjoys a decisive size advantage over Central's defensive front. That bodes well for quarterback Bruno Brosman and company. Bosman leads the offense with 471 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in 104 attempts (6.1 avg.). Junior running back Ryder Havens returned to action last week after sitting out against Cary-Grove for precautionary reasons. In four games he has rushed for 407 yards and 4 touchdowns on 78 carries (5.2 avg.). Bosman has completed 38 of 75 attempts (50.6%) for 394 yards and has thrown 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. His top receivers have been seniors Joey Cauldren (12 rec., 129 yards, TD) and Cade Whiteside (11-94-0) and junior Alex Denniston (8-153-2).

Next week: Hampshire at Huntley; Crystal Lake Central at Dundee-Crown

McHenry (3-2, 3-2) at Cary-Grove (4-1, 4-1)

Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday

Last year: Cary-Grove 63, McHenry 21

Last week: Prairie Ridge 48, McHenry 3; Cary-Grove 40, Dundee-Crown 0


Outlook: Cary-Grove enters its annual homecoming matinee in a three-way tie for the Fox Valley Conference lead with Huntley and Prairie Ridge. There is good news on the injury front for the No. 4-ranked team in Class 6A. Senior quarterback Luke Eleftheriou is expected to play after sitting out last week's win at Dundee-Crown, coach Brad Seaburg said. Senior linebacker Jake Johnson, who also sat out last week, remains questionable. Eleftheriou and the offense face a McHenry defense led by 6-foot-4, 200-pound senior end Kevin Sandoval. Cary-Grove's signalcaller was averaging 10 yards per carry in 24 attempts before he left the Huntley game in the first half with an injury. Senior fullback Blake Skol leads the Trojans in rushing with 518 yards and 11 touchdowns in 86 attempts (6-yd avg.). Sophomore Wade Abrams leads the offense in yards per carry. His 233 yards in 19 tries translates to a 12.3-yard average. Overall, the offense averages 275 rushing yards per game. The Cary-Grove defense allowed 21 points in a 7-point loss to Huntley but has otherwise allowed one touchdown against four opponents. The Trojans' 28 total points allowed are the fewest in the FVC. Abrams and defensive lineman Matt Ortega are among seven sophomores who either start or rotate in for the Trojans. Ortega leads the defense in tackles for loss with 3.5. Senior linebacker Jacob Buck is the pace setter in tackles with 23.5. A win would keep the Trojans in first place ahead of next week's visit to Jacobs and a Week 8 home game against Prairie Ridge. "We've improved steadily throughout the year," Seaburg said. "Obviously, we would have liked to have won against Huntley in Week 4 and it didn't happen. But as far as our goals to win conference, make the playoffs and make a run in the playoffs, all those goals are intact and in our control right now."

Next week: Crystal Lake South at McHenry; Cary-Grove at Jacobs

Bartlett (4-1, 4-1) at West Chicago (0-5, 0-5)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Bartlett running back Tyler Rivelli broke the 200-yard mark, scoring on 92- and 62-yard touchdown runs in a 48-22 win over Fenton. The passing combination of Mike Priami to tight end Alex Palella also clicked twice. It all led to Hawks coach Matt Erlenbaugh naming offensive linemen Charlie Nicoll, Mike Kmiecik, Tom Hubbard, Dan Angelone and Ali Aburmishan his collective player of the week. No reason to believe these things won't continue against a West Chicago team that's been outscored 245-52.

Elgin (1-4) at Streamwood (2-3)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Elgin's 57 points against West Chicago got the Maroons off the schneid and were their highest total since a 56-point game in 1977. Alex West, Jeffery Lomax and Xavier Bonds each tallied 2 touchdowns with Noah Mack and Darien Jackson scoring once apiece. Defensive back Gustavo Guadalupe has been Elgin's defensive player two weeks running. He and his teammates must remain disciplined against Streamwood's misdirection double-wing ground game. But the Sabres are plenty banged-up, and in a 19-6 loss to East Aurora got a taste of their own ball-control medicine on the wrong end of a couple long drives. The goal is to get back into that offensive flow behind a healthy helping of backs Sirrion Dixon and Buddy Martinez.

South Elgin (5-0) at Larkin (1-4)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Avenging its 2018 loss to defending Upstate Eight Conference champion Glenbard East by beating the Rams by the same 35-7 score, South Elgin maintained offensive domination with 395 yards rushing courtesy of 120-yard games from both Davion Cherwin and Corve King. The combination of Drew Bucaro's 13 touchbacks on kickoffs and Dylan Bernal's penetration at defensive end can set teams on their heels, and a team with Larkin's youth must retain focus and consistency. Still, the Royals improve weekly, including last week's tight 12-6 loss to a 4-1 Glenbard South team. While coach Matt Gehrig rattled off a dozen underclassmen making serious strides, Friday is senior night, so he's looking for players like D.J. Akins, Kione Williams-Sowers, Mirko Sarovic, Adrian Jaramillo and Marc Narvaez to rise up and enjoy their moment.

Oswego (5-0, 1-0) at West Aurora (2-3, 0-1)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: West Aurora just faced one unbeaten Southwest Prairie West squad (Yorkville) and here comes another. Oswego is ranked ninth in Class 8A this week Associated Press, and from what West Aurora coach Nate Eimer has seen Oswego has allowed teams inside its 10-yard line only twice while giving up an average of 8.4 points. The Blackhawks were right there against Yorkville, though, Logan Mont breaking a screen pass 80 yards to get within 21-19. The would-be tying conversion didn't go, and there it stood despite Mont's program-record 201 yards receiving and solid defense by nose tackle Emarrion Pittman and defensive back Austin Pierce's first interception. Here's another "despite": Despite Derrick Merrell's 66-yard run the Blackhawks ran for only 99 yards, and there's got to be more there on Friday. Sophomore back Jeremiah Johnson's return from injury helps.

Aurora Central Catholic (1-4, 0-2) at IC Catholic Prep (5-0, 3-0)

Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday

The quick hit: The Chargers are coming off a 31-13 loss to Riverside-Brookfield (4-1) and are on the brink of playoff elimination. ICCP has won three straight state titles. The Knights have already defeated Joliet Catholic, Bishop McNamara and Aurora Christian.

St. Francis (4-1, 2-0) at Aurora Christian (3-2, 1-2)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

The quick hit: The Eagles look to end a two-game slide after losses to Riverside-Brookfield and IC Catholic Prep. St. Francis has outscored its opponents 250-92. Senior Angel Jaimes leads the Aurora Christian defense in tackles for loss with 6.5. Junior quarterback Ethan Hampton has completed 61 of 105 attempts for 859 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Dundee-Crown (0-5, 0-5) at Crystal Lake South (2-3, 2-3)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

The quick hit: This is a must win for the playoff hopes of CL South, which faces winning teams McHenry, Jacobs and Prairie Ridge the next three weeks. The struggling D-C offense has managed 7 points in its last 11 quarters.

Jacobs (3-2, 3-2) at Prairie Ridge (4-1, 4-1)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

The quick hit: Jacobs looks to rebound from consecutive losses to McHenry and Burlington Central. The Wolves, tied with Huntley and Cary-Grove for the Fox Valley Conference lead, have outscored their opponents 227-31.

Kaneland (4-1, 2-1) at Plano (2-3, 1-2)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

The quick hit: Kaneland quarterback Joe Smith last week completed 10 of 11 passes for 158 yards and 3 touchdowns and ran for another in a 42-14 win at Rochelle. The Knights can become playoff eligible for the third straight season under coach Pat Ryan with a win over the Reapers, who allow 29 ppg.

Marmion (4-1, 1-0) at Fenwick (2-3, 1-2)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

The quick hit: Marmion last week nearly shocked Mt. Carmel, the top-ranked team in Class 7A, but dropped a 6-0 decision. The Cadets' stated goal for 2019 was to return to the playoffs after missing the postseason last year. They can become playoff eligible with a CCL/ESCC White Division victory on the Triton College campus.

Chicago Christian (4-1, 2-0) at St. Edward (3-2, 3-0)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

The quick hit: St. Edward had four days to prepare for this key game between Metro Suburban Red unbeatens following Monday's 56-0 win over Guerin. The Knights defeated Guerin 28-27 on Sept. 14. St. Edward senior quarterback Anthony Holte tossed a career-best 6 touchdown passes against Guerin.

Westminster Christian (1-3) at Lake Forest Academy (2-3)

Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday

The quick hit: Westminster was idle last week after a Friday 8-man football game against North Fulton was postponed to Saturday and ultimately canceled. Against common opponent Rockford Christian Life, LFA won 6-0. The Warriors lost 46-12.

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