Week 3: Scouting the Chicago Catholic
Fenwick (2-0, 0-0) at Montini (1-1, 0-0)
Chicago Catholic Green
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Fenwick 27, Moline 7; Lake Zurich 28, Montini 7.
Last year: Fenwick 38, Montini 6.
Outlook: There's much football to be played, but the victor here likely holds the key to the CCL Green title. Defending champ Fenwick features 6-foot-6, 230-pound receiver Michael O'Laughlin, a West Virginia recruit. Sophomore quarterback Danny Cronin (an IC Catholic grade-schooler) will target the all-state flanker on slants, out patterns and a deep ball or two. Jason Ivery is the featured back behind a line that is big, tall and mobile on counters and traps. Montini defensive end Jalen Slater and his linemates may not have much more time than to get their hands up against Fenwick coach Gene Nudo's West Coast stylings, but should the Friars pound Ivery he'll run right into Broncos linebacker Jackson Bruscianelli, whose 22 tackles last week were 1 more than his brother, Franklin, made in 2011. Montini hopes lineman Josh Hiero returns from injury to bolster an offense seeking consistency, execution and a solid rush option to complement Wildcat-style quarterback Nick Orlando.
Next week: Leo at Fenwick; Brother Rice at Montini.
Marmion (2-0) at St. Francis (1-1)
Chicago Catholic Green
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Kuhn Memorial Field
Last year: Marmion 21, St. Francis 0
Last week: Marmion 42, DuSable 8; Aurora Central Catholic 34, St. Francis 32, OT
Outlook: The Chicago Catholic League Green Division opener for both teams will be the last for these longtime rivals as conference opponents. The Cadets and Spartans have been playing conference games against one another since the old West Suburban Catholic Conference days, but St. Francis is leaving the CCL Green after the 2017-18 school year to join the Metro Suburban Conference along with Aurora Christian, Rosary and Bishop McNamara. What do the Cadets have to be mindful of defensively to punctuate this series on a winning note? "Speed, speed, speed," Marmion coach Dan Thorpe said. "We can stuff them, we can stuff them and then -- Boom! -- 80-yard touchdown. They've got speed in not just one or two kids, but four or five, including quarterback and running back so we have to be extremely disciplined on defense." St. Francis quarterback Sidney Moore and back Henry Plamondon took steps forward from Week 1. In this Chicago Catholic Green opener defensive linemen Dan Skold and John Vohasek aim to pressure Cadets quarterback Brandon McPherson.
Next week: Bishop McNamara (1-1) at Marmion; Loyola Academy (1-1) at St. Francis
Aurora Christian (2-0) at Brother Rice (0-2) Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday
The quick hit: Can quarterback Drew Clippert and the Eagles step up in class and spring the upset in this Chicago Catholic League crossover? Clippert has completed 57 of 84 attempts for 933 yards and 12 touchdowns in wins over Aurora Central Catholic and Hubbard. The Crusaders went 9-3 last year but have been beaten by Marist (23-14) and Crete-Monee (33-25).