Week 7: Scouting the Metro Suburban
St. Edward (4-2, 1-1) at Glenbard South (4-2, 2-0)
Metro Suburban Blue
Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.
Last week: St. Edward 55, Fenton 21; Glenbard South 27, Wheaton Academy 23.
Last year: Glenbard South 42, St. Edward 21.
Outlook: Two teams in playoff mode, Glenbard South in a slightly tighter bind finishing with IC Catholic and Riverside-Brookfield. The Raiders will honor Angel Garcia and the St. Edward ground game, but the focus is mainly sifting through myriad formations and a large line to contain the program record-setting duo of quarterback Dylan Mlinarich and receiver Tyler Holte. Mlinarich has thrown for 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns, 8 to Holte. Glenbard South, also in a conference race, gets a push from nose tackle Anthony Kramer and offers bruising Adam Haushahn and Nick D'Ambra, who scored on an interception and a blocked kick against Wheaton Academy. But Mlinarich's step-and-throw limits a rush and will pressure Raiders defensive backs Kesji Gjini, Graham DiFranco, Gavin Fitzpatrick and Rod Rivera. As coach Ryan Crissey has said the Raiders go as quarterback Jack Crouch goes, and Crouch's connections with receivers Ryan McConville and Mike Paprota have been a positive step. Before the season St. Edward coach Mike Rolando called his offensive line "the biggest and strongest we've had." That bore out last week in a 55-21 win over Fenton in which the Green Wave rushed for 246 yards and all-state quarterback Mlinarich threw for 332 yards and 4 touchdowns. The line -- senior tackles Brett Kruska (6-foot-3, 260) and Matt Pettey (6-1, 260), senior guards Chas Migut (6-2, 265) and Eric Santiago (5-9, 179) and junior center James Estes (6-1, 252) -- "dominated the run game and dominated the line of scrimmage," Rolando said. "That allowed us to throw the ball. Our confidence got kind of shaken there so it was nice to come back (from a 56-13 loss to IC Catholic Prep) and play as well as we did." Balanced St. Edward has rushed for 1,078 yards and 16 touchdowns. Mlinarich has completed 63 of 104 attempts (60.6 percent) for 1,324 yards and 15 touchdowns with 3 interceptions. Holte leads the Green Wave in all receiving categories: catches (20), yards (550) and touchdowns (7). The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior also leads the St. Edward defense with 4 interceptions. Glenbard South is tied with IC for the Metro Suburban Blue lead. St. Edward is tied for second with Riverside-Brookfield, a game back. Crouch has 4.56 speed. "Jack Crouch is a really good player, a difference maker," Rolando said. "He can hurt you with his feet or his arm and they have some speedy slot back and receivers as well. But the quarterback makes it go."
Next week: Riverside-Brookfield (5-1, 1-1) at St. Edward; Glenbard South at IC Catholic Prep (5-1, 2-0)
Aurora Central Catholic (3-3, 2-0) at Ridgewood (3-3, 1-1)
Metro Suburban Red
Game time: 7 p.m. Friday
Last year: Ridgewood 38, Aurora Central Catholic 37
Last week: Aurora Central Catholic 42, Walther Christian 18; Ridgewood 32, Chicago Christian 28
Outlook: It's a rematch of the game that decided the Metro Suburban Red title a year ago, when the Rebels went 5-0 in league play and ACC (4-1) finished second. The Chargers are tied for the MSC Red lead with Elmwood Park (4-2, 2-0), both a game ahead of Ridgewood and Chicago Christian (3-3, 1-1). Ridgewood gains 70 percent of its total yards through the air. Senior quarterback James Chalabi has completed 88 of 145 pass attempts (60.7 percent) for 1,103 yards and 15 touchdowns. His favorite receivers are senior Marco Vitale (39 rec., 552 yards, 7 TD) and senior Jason Kenny (30-367-5). The Rebels have 3 rushing touchdowns, 2 from leading rusher Noah Rodriguez (80 carries, 308 yards). The task of slowing a Ridgewood offense that averages 25.3 ppg falls to ACC senior middle linebacker Jackson Robbert (6-0, 200), junior cornerback Jeff Albert and company. The ACC double wing-T offense features all-area senior running back Ryan Cerza, who has rushed for over 800 yards on the heels of last year's 1,277-yard performance. Junior quarterback Jimmy Eul (5-foot-8, 145 pounds) directs an offense that averages a league-best 31.8 ppg. "Jimmy stepped in at quarterback in Week 4 and has done everything we've asked of him," ACC coach Luke Brauweiler said.
Next week: Aurora Central Catholic at Chicago Christian (3-3, 1-1); Ridgewood at Guerin (0-6, 0-2)
IC Catholic (5-1, 2-0) at Wheaton Academy (3-3, 0-2)Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday.
The quick hit: Last week Cristian Carstens ran for 216 yards for Wheaton Academy, but coach Brad Thornton said it'd take a "perfect" game to tip the Knights. They racked up 655 yards, C.J. West passing for 233, running back Kyle Franklin going for 230.
Riverside-Brookfield (5-1, 1-1) at Fenton (2-4, 0-2)Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Coming off its 45-0 loss to IC Catholic Prep, Riverside-Brookfield will be loaded for bear. That would mean containing sturdy running back-defensive end Dylan Butts and the Bison's passing combination of Kyle Cacioppo to Carlos Mercado.