Scouting Week 8 football games in the Northwest suburbs
Prospect (6-1, 3-0) at Hersey (7-0, 3-0)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Prospect beat Elk Grove 57-7; Hersey beat Wheeling 42-18
Spring score: Prospect 49, Hersey 29
Outlook: This could be a high-scoring affair from a pair of teams that know how to get to the end zone. Prospect has scored 279 points this season and has hit the 50-point mark three times thanks to the play of quarterback Frank Covey. With a win, the Knights would clinch the MSL East. Hersey has rung up 298 points this year. Quarterback Jimmy Makuh is 89-of-123 for 1,672 yards with 20 touchdowns and has yet to throw an interception. A win would earn Hersey a share of the MSL East title. The Huskies would need a win against Buffalo Grove next week to clinch outright. Despite all the offensive prowess, it still may come down to defense. Prospect has allowed just under 13 points per game while Hersey has allowed just 10 points per game and has two shutouts.
Conant (3-4, 2-1) at Barrington (3-4, 1-2)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Conant lost to Hoffman Estates 47-35; Barrington lost to Palatine 27-10
Spring score: Barrington 35, Conant 13
Outlook: It's win or go home for both teams as a loss will eliminate that team from the state playoffs. Conant continues to score at will, scoring 242 points thanks to a strong running game led by Giuseppe Dugo, Dominick Mininni and Ryan Kutella. But the Cougars' defense has allowed 248 points and that has been the difference for them. Barrington has played its best defense in the past few seasons, allowing just 129 points. But the Bronco offense has been inconsistent at time and has scored 150 points this season and has been held to 2 touchdowns or less three times this year.
Wheeling (1-6, 0-3) at Buffalo Grove (6-1, 2-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Wheeling lost to Hersey 42-18; Buffalo Grove beat Rolling Meadows 15-14
Spring score: Buffalo Grove 49, Wheeling 21
Outlook: Wheeling put up a huge fight last week against Hersey. The Wildcats got big performances from Simon Micula, Brandon Roman and Joseph Mitrol and look for the same this week. Buffalo Grove got a huge play from Brian Oberman to keep the Bison in the picture for the MSL East title. Buffalo Grove continues to run the ball very well and now has rushed for 2,403 yards on the season. Jacob Pond has come on strong for Buffalo Grove the last two weeks, running for 181 yards.
Rolling Meadows (3-4, 1-2) at Elk Grove (2-5, 0-3)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Rolling Meadows lost to Buffalo Grove 15-14; Elk Grove lost to Prospect 57-7
Spring score: Rolling Meadows 43, Elk Grove 13
Outlook: Rolling Meadows will need wins in its final two games to secure a playoff spot to keep its string of nine consecutive playoff appearances alive. The Mustangs continue to sport the Evan Grace-to-Ethan Groark combo and have Michael Brigham in there for good measure. Elk Grove hopes to turn things around after three tough losses in a row. Mitch Janczak continues to play well for the Grens.
Schaumburg (2-5, 0-3) at Hoffman Estates (6-1, 3-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Schaumburg lost to Fremd 38-37; Hoffman Estates beat Conant 47-35
Spring score: Hoffman Estates 35, Schaumburg 0
Outlook: Schaumburg bounced back strong last week, but just fell a little short of a win. The Saxons had their best offensive effort of the season. D.J. Wilson, Takumi Fred and Omarion Jones moved the ball well for Schaumburg. With a win, Hoffman Estates will earn a share of the MSL West title, its first since 1993. Jashawn Johnson has been incredible on both sides of the ball for the Hawks. He has 16 touchdowns this year with 900 receiving yards. He also has 4 interceptions. Eddie Resendez, Edas Latanauskas, Laduan Jones, Burton Reed-Bonilla and Jorge Mathias have opened huge holes for Joshua Pettis-Taylor.
Palatine (4-3, 2-1) at Fremd (1-6, 1-2)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Palatine beat Barrington 27-10; Fremd beat Schaumburg 38-37
Spring score: Palatine 26, Fremd 24
Outlook: Despite records that say otherwise, expect another war in the annual "Battle of the Tracks." Palatine looked like its season might be on the brink of extinction last week until Jhamari Mabry caused a fumble and Joe Wagner recovered to change the tide for the Pirates. Dominick Ball returned last week at running back for the Pirates, but Jake Bostick is still sidelined. Fremd comes into the game buoyed by its first win of the season. Bo O'Brien had a key touchdown while freshman Brennan Saxe had a game-saving pick. Caidan Suchy will need another strong effort at quarterback for the Vikings.
Evanston (5-2, 3-0) at Maine South (6-1, 3-0)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Evanston beat Glenbrook North 41-10; Maine South beat Niles West 51-21
Spring score: Maine South 10, Evanston 7
Outlook: A Maine South win would clinch the 21st consecutive Central Suburban South title for Maine South. The Hawks have been dominant since the fourth quarter of their game against Glenbrook South two weeks ago. They have outscored their opponents 77-21 since that time while emptying their bench last week in their win against Niles West. Maine South will need that kind of an effort against Evanston, which has won its last four games. The Wildkits have not beat Maine South in nearly 30 years.
Maine West (2-5, 1-2) at Niles North (3-4, 2-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Maine West lost to Deerfield 44-14; Niles North lost to Vernon Hills 28-7
Spring score: Niles North 37, Maine West 13
Outlook: Maine West is looking to turn things around against a Niles North team that has also struggled at times this season. Maine West got a couple of late touchdowns from Cordall Randle and Claudio Castellanos and will look to build off their strong fourth quarter performance.
Mt. Carmel (6-1) vs. St. Viator (3-4) at Forest ViewWhen: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Mt. Carmel beat St. Laurence 48-13; St. Viator lost to St. Ignatius 38-13
Spring score: Mt. Carmel 38, St. Viator 8
Outlook: St. Viator's playoff hopes are against the wall. The Lions need to win their remaining two games to become playoff eligible. And who is making the trip to Arlington Heights but none other than state power Mt. Carmel. But don't expect these Lions to roll over. Even without their starting quarterback, who went down in the first game of the season and backup Charlie Dolsen injured last Friday, St. Viator was still in its game with St. Ignatius until late in the final quarter. Dolsen may play on Friday; if not Nicky Pastore will get the start.
Leyden (2-5, 1-3) at Addison Trail (0-7, 0-4) When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Leyden lost to Lyons 40-0; Addison Trail lost to Downers Grove South 27-6
Spring score: Leyden 21, Addison Trail 14
Outlook: Leyden has struggled offensively against good teams this season. In its five losses, Leyden has managed just 1 touchdown and the Eagles have been shut out three times. But expect that to change against winless Addison Trail. The Blazers have allowed nearly 46 points per game thus far while scoring a total of just 50 points all season.
Maine East vs. DeerfieldOutlook: Maine East has forfeited its game with Deerfield due to a number of injuries. According to a statement sent out to the parents of Maine East players by Maine East athletic director Kendall Griffin: "In order to field a varsity team, we would have to bring up many lower-level players who we feel do not yet possess the skills or physical development to safely play in a varsity contest. Therefore, we do not feel we can safely field a competitive varsity level team in Friday's contest. Our students' health and safety are our highest level of priority."