Week 8: Vernon Hills' Jarrell, Naperville Central's Jopes earn MVP honors
Derek Jarrell, Vernon Hills: His 6 touchdown passes snapped a six-game losing streak. The Cougars didn't require that many TD strikes from their junior quarterback, but that's what they got in a 42-14 win over host Maine East. Jarrell completed 20 of 25 passes for 393 yards. Half of his touchdown throws went to Luke Perlin.
Nick D'Ambrose, Addison Trail: D'Ambrose made an explosive return from a three-game absence. The 5-foot-8, 180-pound senior running back dominated in a 34-7 West Suburban Gold Conference victory over Morton, rushing for 316 yards on only 21 carries. D'Ambrose had touchdown runs of 3, 9, 65 and 73 yards.
George Markakis, Maine West: The standout quarterback has the Warriors poised for an opportunity at an outright Central Suburban North championship thanks to terrific play in a 28-16 win at Highland Park. Markakis completed 13 of 21 passes for 229 yards and 2 touchdowns and also rushed for a TD.
Ryan Antonsen, Huntley: This sure-handed wide receiver accounted for nearly half of quarterback Eric Mooney's 415 passing yards in Huntley's 51-26 Fox Valley Conference victory over Crystal Lake South. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior made 11 catches for 214 yards for an 18.8 yards-per-catch average, highlighted by touchdown receptions of 32 and 36 yards.
Jack Jopes, Naperville Central: Behind the effort of Jopes and the entire Redhawks' defense, Naperville Central clinched a share of the DuPage Valley Conference title with a 14-7 win over Wheaton North. The 5-foot-9, 160-pound defensive back had 14 tackles, including 5 assists, forced and recovered 2 fumbles and broke up a pass.
Miguel Cooper, Leyden: This senior linebacker was a difference-maker as Leyden came with one victory of being eligible for a second straight playoff appearance by edging Hinsdale South 21-17. Cooper returned an interception 22 yards for a touchdown, putting the Eagles ahead for good in the West Suburban Gold matchup, and also had 6 tackles. Cooper has a total of 3 pick-6s this fall along with a fumble returned for touchdown.
John Osmon, Grant: The senior safety kept stopping ball carriers, and that helped the Bulldogs stop a seven-game losing streak. He racked up 8 solo tackles, assisted on 13 others and also forced a fumble, as the Bulldogs held off visiting Wauconda 9-7 for their first win of the season.
Joey Cipriani, South Elgin: South Elgin was able to limit the scoring by a Cary-Grove offense that had been averaging 38 points per game in a 21-6 nonconference victory, thanks in part to this quick defensive back. The 5-foot-7, 155-pound senior was active throughout, making 8 solo tackles and 4 assisted tackles to help the Storm improve to 7-1 with a win over the No. 3-ranked team in Class 6A.