Week 4: Scouting the Upstate Eight Valley
South Elgin (3-0, 1-0) at Bartlett (1-2, 1-0)
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Millennium Field
Last year: South Elgin 22, Bartlett 14
Last week: South Elgin 35, Glenbard East 22; Bartlett 33, West Chicago 14
Outlook: This is the 10th meeting between these District U-46 rivals since South Elgin's inaugural season in the fall of 2006. Bartlett won 4 of the first 5 clashes but it has been all South Elgin since. The Storm have won 4 straight against the Hawks to take a 5-4 series lead. "Both student bodies were heavily involved in the rivalry aspect of the game last year so I'm sure it'll be like a playoff atmosphere," South Elgin coach Pat Pistorio said. "Our kids are pretty pumped up." The Storm offense is averaging 39.6 ppg and it's not even at full strength yet. Senior running back Pierre Toussaint has played sparingly while recovering from an injury. Promising freshman Davion Cherwin has been getting carries in the meantime but "hopefully this week we'll see more of him," Pistorio said. Bartlett must find a way to contain South Elgin senior quarterback Nate Gomez, who last week rushed for 178 yards and 4 touchdowns and threw for another. The Hawks are is coming off their first victory of the season in which senior quarterback Dean Kotsvetis completed 16 of 23 attempts for 222 yards and 4 touchdowns, including a pair to 6-foot-2 junior Austin Gates. "We just want to score one more point than they do," Bartlett coach Eric Ilich said. "They've got a nice player at quarterback and a defense that looks pretty stout against the run. We talk about every Friday night being a test and the test this week happens to be South Elgin. Our kids are pumped for the challenge."
Next week: West Aurora (3-0) at South Elgin; Bartlett at Prairie Ridge (3-0)
Glenbard East (0-3, 0-1) at West Aurora (3-0, 1-0) Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday
The quick hit: The Blackhawks play for their 13th straight regular-season win ahead of next Saturday's showdown at UEC Valley co-leader South Elgin. The West Aurora defense, coming off consecutive shutouts of Waukegan and East Aurora, has allowed only 3 points. No lulls allowed against West Aurora, which has outscored opponents 133-3. Glenbard East has played a vastly superior schedule, though, and Rams linebackers Alec Wolff, Anthony Shockey and Jake Baka will certainly bring rush defense.
Larkin (1-2) at West Chicago (1-2)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: A fast start against a Larkin squad that did little in a big loss to St. Charles North will be key to the Wildcats' homecoming success. Returning quarterback Jeff Zajac and fullback Frank Aniello from injury lends flexibility (and a breather) to C.J. Griffin.