Week 6: Scouting the Fox Valley Conference
Huntley (5-0) at West Aurora (4-1)
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Last year: West Aurora 27, Huntley 21
Last week: Huntley 41, Cary-Grove 32; South Elgin 40, West Aurora 14
Outlook: The Huntley offense is humming. The Red Raiders average 45.2 ppg. That includes last week's 41-point performance against Cary-Grove, which had allowed a total of 54 points in 4 games. Directing it all is senior quarterback Eric Mooney, the fastest back around who has developed into an accurate passer. Mooney has completed 58.4 percent of his attempts (52 of 89) for 855 yards and 9 touchdowns with 4 interceptions. His 4.43 speed and good decision-making have translated to 621 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns on 71 carries (8.7 avg.). Running back Melvin Aninagyei-Bonsu (4.45 speed) has rushed for team highs of 643 yards and 10 touchdowns on 71 carries (9.1 avg.). They'll take on a West Aurora squad that lost a regular-season game last week for the first time since Week 9 of the 2015 season. The Blackhawks were short three offensive starters last week: guard Eddie Fowler and talented receivers Dylan Bernal and Camron Donatlan, the latter being the defending Class 3A state high jump champion. "Now we have to start a new streak and it's going to be tough because I think Huntley is pretty darn good," West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said. "It's our homecoming. Hopefully, we can get some guys back and get ready to roll." The Blackhawks' rushing leaders are sophomore Trevon Tittle (52 carries, 419 yards, 3 TD), junior JaQuan Buchanan (55-383-13), junior Hezekiah Salter (27-297-4) and senior Kameron Moore (35-184-2). Sophomore quarterback William Tammaru has completed 33 of 56 attempts for 545 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. A blitz-centric defense is led by senior Lesiron Tittle and junior middle linebacker Ian Deisher. Both average 6.8 tackles. "They are an extremely athletic team," Huntley coach Matt Zimolzak said. "Where we have speed and athleticism, they match up with ours. They have some big offensive and defensive linemen and they give us a look very similar to what we saw against Loyola last year. They'll play a lot of man (defense) and send a lot of pressure."
Next week: Crystal Lake Central (4-1) at Huntley; West Chicago (2-3) at West Aurora
Crystal Lake Central (4-1, 3-1) at Jacobs (3-2, 3-2)
Fox Valley Conference
Game time: 7 p.m. Friday
Last year: Jacobs 43. Crystal Lake Central 14
Last week: Crystal Lake Central 45, Hampshire 7; Jacobs 27, McHenry 3
Outlook: For Jacobs, this game could mean the difference between entering the playoffs as a 6-3 team with a manageable seed or a 5-4 team forced to play a 9-0 conference champion in the first round. The balanced Tigers have thrown for 1,034 yards and 9 touchdowns and rushed for 920 yards and 13 touchdowns. They are led by senior quarterback Jacob Staples (6-0, 180), a double threat. Staples has completed 64 of 112 attempts (57.1 percent) for 1,034 yards and 9 touchdowns with only 2 interceptions. He has rushed 64 times for 420 yards and 6 scores. His top target is receiver Daniel Manning, a 5-11, 160-pound senior with 20 catches for 448 yards and 4 touchdowns. Senior Cade Gau has 223 receiving yards and counts 4 touchdowns among his 12 receptions. Central's leading rusher is senior Braden Bisram (84 carries, 473 yards, 7 TD). "Manning averages 22 yards a catch and the quarterback is one of their leading rushers," Jacobs coach Bill Mitz said. "You can't let those two make big plays." Jacobs defense showed marked improvement by shutting down McHenry a week after allowing 52 points against Cary-Grove. A reason for the improvement was the return of middle linebackers Jacob Hahnfeld from an ankle injury and Kaiden O'Connor from a 1-game suspension for an ejection. The Golden Eagles might also get cornerback Trevor Fitzsimmons back. He's been sidelined since Week 2.
Next week: Crystal Lake Central at Huntley (5-0); Jacobs at Glenbard East (0-5)
Dundee-Crown (1-4, 0-4) at Cary-Grove (3-2, 3-2) Game time: 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Al Bohrer Field
The quick hit: The Trojans celebrate their annual homecoming matinee minus injured two-way standouts Max Skol and Danny Daigle. The Chargers gained 495 total yards against Crystal Lake South last week but allowed 469 in a 56-34 loss.
Hampshire (1-4, 1-3) at Crystal Lake South (1-4, 1-4) Game time: 7 p.m. Friday at Ken Bruhn Field
The quick hit: Crystal Lake South is coming off its first victory, led by senior Kyle Leva's 288 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns. Opponents have scored 158 points against Hampshire in the last three weeks. The Gators prevailed 45-20 a year ago in Hampshire.