Week 5: Scouting the Upstate Eight River
St. Charles East (3-1, 1-1) at Batavia (4-0, 2-0)
Upstate Eight River
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bulldog Stadium
Last year: St. Charles East 28, Batavia 7
Last week: St. Charles North 35, St. Charles East 34, OT; Batavia 55, Elgin 8
Outlook: The schedule maker did St. Charles East no favors by pitting it against physical Batavia at the end of a 3-game stretch preceded by Geneva and St. Charles North. For the Bulldogs, the meat of their schedule lies ahead. After this week's date with the defending UEC River champion Saints, Batavia finishes with rival Geneva (2-2), South Elgin (4-0), Larkin (2-2) and St. Charles North (3-1). Batavia's 3-4 defense has limited opponents to 18 points through 4 games. An aggressive front seven includes ends Mike Bautch and Ethan Towers, nose guard Max McFadden, inside linebackers Luke Weerts and Michael Jansey and outside linebackers Quinton Urwiler and Andrew Heinz. Weerts leads the defense with 26 solo tackles while Urwiler, a speedy sophomore, has 21. Jansey tops the Bulldogs with 10 tackles for loss. A Riley Cooper-led offense is pretty dangerous, too. Batavia averages 39 ppg. "They're where they are for a reason. I'd say it'll be our toughest game of the year by far," Saints coach Bryce Farquhar said. "We shot ourselves in the foot last week against (St. Charles) North with 2 missed field goals, a block in the back on an interception return for a touchdown, a penalty that took us out of field goal range and running out of bounds when we shouldn't be stopping the clock. We're the only ones who have beaten us this year. We need to look in the mirror and figure out how to improve ourselves and not worry what the other team is doing." East triple option quarterback Clayton Isbell sprained an ankle on the third series of last week's game but finished that contest. The senior will play against Batavia, Farquhar said. The Bulldogs will keep a close eye on him. "You could do your homework and stop him all night and then he'll find a crease and there he goes with those long, loping strides," Batavia defensive coordinator Matt Holm said of Isbell. "I think he covers 10 yards with each stride."
Next week: St. Charles East at Bartlett (1-3); Batavia at Geneva (2-2)
Elgin (1-3, 0-1) at Streamwood (0-4, 0-2) Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Millennium Field
The quick hit: The Maroons used three quarterbacks in last week's one-sided loss to Batavia, including Trevon Morris (4 of 10, 40 yards, TD). Does Streamwood's scoreless streak end? The Sabres, who have yet to score a point, face an Elgin defense that has allowed 139.
Geneva (2-2, 1-1) at Larkin (2-2, 0-1) Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Memorial Field
The quick hit: Geneva is still smarting from last year's matchup, when Larkin rallied from a 24-0, fourth-quarter deficit and stunned the Vikings 27-24 on Nate Kohler's blocked punt and touchdown return with 2.9 seconds left.
Glenbard East (0-4) at St. Charles North (3-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The North Stars come off a 35-34 overtime win against St. Charles East. Glenbard East's Jared Rech passed for 408 yards -- 1 yard more than SCN's Mike Hohensee. Rams corner Nick Thornton's return from illness shores up the defense. St. Charles North's offense generated 480 total yards in last week's overtime win over St. Charles East. The Rams nearly upset UEC Valley co-leader West Aurora on the road last week.