Week 8: Scouting the North Suburban
Warren Blue Devils (5-2, 4-1) at Zion-Benton Zee-Bees (3-4, 2-3)
When: 7:30 p.m., today
Last week: Warren def. Waukegan, 34-0; Zion-Benton lost to Lake Forest, 14-8.
Skinny: Warren is coming off its second-straight win and its first shutout of the season. The Blue Devils are allowing 14.6 points per game, third-least in the North Suburban Conference, behind Lake Zurich and Stevenson. Warren also ranks second in the league in points per game at 29.4 ppg. Lake Zurich leads the North Suburban in scoring average (32.1 ppg) ... Against Waukegan last week, the Warren defense forced 6 turnovers, including 2 interceptions by Brian Mohry. The Blue Devils also got a safety ... Offensively against Waukegan, Warren was proficient on the ground, rolling up more than 300 rushing yards. Martin Walker rushed for 3 touchdowns ... Zion-Benton has had trouble putting points on the board lately. The Zee-Bees have scored a total of just 21 points in three of their last four games, all losses. Overall, the Zee-Bees are averaging 19.1 points per game, but 37.7 points per game over their three wins ... Zion-Benton quarterback Jerome Crawford can be dangerous, but has also been prone to interceptions. He threw 4 interceptions four weeks ago against Lake Zurich ... Last year, Warren defeated Zion-Benton, 41-33.
Libertyville Wildcats (4-3, 3-2) at Lake Zurich Bears (7-0, 5-0)
When: 7:30 p.m., today
Last week: Libertyville def. Mundelein, 42-0; Lake Zurich def. Stevenson, 28-0.
Skinny: Playoff implications are at stake in this game. Lake Zurich is eyeing an undefeated season and a top seed in the Class 7A playoff field. Meanwhile, Libertyville wants to run the table and earn an at-large playoff spot at 6-3 ... Libertyville rebounded nicely from its Week 6 loss to Stevenson with last week's shutout of Mundelein. It was the Wildcats' first shutout of the season ... Lake Zurich has pitched 3 shutouts this season and is allowing a North Suburban Conference-low 7.3 points per game. Last week was one of those defensive muscle-flexers for Lake Zurich. The Bears kept Stevenson, a team that had been averaging 24 points a game, off the scoreboard. Head coach Luke Mertens said it was a total team effort by the defense, which held Stevenson to just 175 total yards while forcing 3 interceptions ... Offensively, Lake Zurich got another big game out of quarterback Evan Lewandowski, who completed 13-of-16 passes for 216 yards and 3 touchdowns. Payton Powell was his big target, with 7 catches for 107 yards ... Libertyville ran all over Mundelein last week, to the tune of 170 rushing yards. Running back Brendan Bazar was especially efficient, rolling up 96 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 5 carries. Bazar also scored a fourth touchdown on a 6-yard pass from Alex Stanulis (7-of-13 passes for 115 yards). The Libertyville defense also was tough in the shutout, limiting Mundelein to just 9 first downs and forcing 4 Mundelein turnovers, 3 interceptions and a fumble ... Last year, Lake Zurich defeated Libertyville, 24-8.
Stevenson Patriots (5-2, 4-1) at Waukegan Bulldogs (0-7, 0-5)
When: 1:30 p.m., Saturday
Last week: Stevenson lost to Lake Zurich, 28-0; Waukegan lost to Warren, 34-0.
Skinny: On paper, this should be a get-well game for Stevenson, which certainly could use it. Before last week's 28-0 loss to Lake Zurich, the Patriots hadn't been shut out since a 2015 second-round playoff loss to Loyola (49-0). The loss snapped a four-game winning streak by Stevenson ... The Patriots, who managed just 175 yards of offense, were plagued by turnovers, including 3 interceptions ... Waukegan is still looking for its first win. The Bulldogs, shut out the last two weeks by Warren (34-0) and Zion-Benton (31-0), have been shut out a total of five times on the season and are averaging a league-low 2.9 points per game ... Last year, Stevenson defeated Waukegan, 36-7.
Mundelein Mustangs (2-5, 1-4) at Lake Forest Scouts (3-4, 1-4)
When: 7:30 p.m., today
Last week: Mundelein lost to Libertyville, 42-0; Lake Forest def. Zion-Benton, 14-8.
Skinny: Mundelein was officially eliminated from the playoffs last week. The Mustangs have had a tough time putting points on the board lately, scoring a total of just seven points in their last two games, both losses. Mundelein has scored double-figures in only two games this season (40 against Streamwood and 31 points against Waukegan). Quarterback Anthony Norris has been tough all season for Mundelein and provided some rushing highlights for the Mustangs last week, rolling up 80 of the team's 148 rushing yards ... Lake Forest broke up a 4-game losing streak with last week's tight win over Zion-Benton. There wasn't much scoring in that win (14 points) but that has been typical for Lake Forest lately. The Scouts had scored a total of 17 points over those previous four losses. Lake Forest is averaging just 12.7 points per game, literally just ahead of Mundelein (12.6 ppg) ... Last year, Lake Forest defeated Mundelein, 40-7.