Scouting this weekend's DuPage County football games
By David Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit
Glenbard East (1-0, 1-0) at Bartlett (1-0, 1-0)
Upstate Eight Conference
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Glenbard East 47, Elgin 6; Bartlett 40, East Aurora 0.
Last year: Glenbard East 30, Bartlett 13.
Outlook: It'll likely be a zoo at Bartlett, which debuts a new stadium after playing its first two decades at Streamwood. It is indeed a new era at Bartlett, with new coach Matt Erlenbaugh and quarterback Jonah O'Brien, a transfer from Wisconsin. Not much passing was required in the Hawks' opening win, after which Glenbard East coach John Walters said Bartlett showed an old-school power ground game like its teams of the past. Jason Shuberth and Spencer Konstanzer are two of the best linebackers in the Upstate Eight. They'll track a Rams squad that takes pride in its improved rushing attack. Fronted by an offensive line that averages 250 pounds with the return of guard Connor Peterson from illness, quarterback Bret Bushka ran for 87 yards and 3 touchdowns and threw for 2 scores, both to fellow three-year starter Jeremy Johnson. Bushka averaged 12 yards a carry against Elgin, but if Bartlett cheats on him, backs like Jake Netchin and Billy Gotsch are poised to exploit gaps.
Next week: West Chicago at Glenbard East; Glenbard South at Bartlett.
Hinsdale Central (1-0) at Willowbrook (1-0) Nonconference
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Hinsdale Central 35, Naperville Central 34; Willowbrook 41, Curie 0.
Last year: Hinsdale Central 27, Willowbrook 21.
Outlook: Of the seven West Suburban Conference crossover games in Week 2, this is the most intriguing. Hinsdale Central is the better-known group considering the talent the Red Devils return. Willowbrook, which turned over most of last year's talent, is more of an unknown. The Warriors learned a lot in last week's win, particularly on offense where they have plenty of skill led by junior quarterback Sam Tumilty. Linebacker was a big question coming into the season, but sophomores Mohammad Ayesh and Sergio Ayala showed the physical ability to hold down the inside spots. Hinsdale Central won last week on a punt block, which is something the Red Devils converted on in last year's win over Willowbrook. Linebacker Aidan Cruickshank is one of the area's top defensive players. Running back Luke Skokna injured his lower leg last week but rushed for 175 yards before leaving in the third quarter. Matt Bobak filled in and rushed for another 50 yards.
Next week: Oak Park at Hinsdale Central; Leyden at Willowbrook.
Joliet Catholic (1-0) at IC Catholic Prep (1-0)
Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Joliet Catholic 30, St. Rita 20; IC Catholic 50, Althoff 14.
Last year: Did not play.
Outlook: Joliet Catholic knocked off St. Rita behind Keenan Hailey's 233 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns, and Nick Iannantone's 146 yards rushing, 1 touchdown. Quarterback Jordan Alvarez threw only 1 pass, but the Hilltoppers can surprise run-first defenses. ICCP coach Bill Krefft called its crisp double-wing offense "a 6A version of Wilmington and Byron." Joliet Catholic will be uniformly larger up front, headed by seniors Colin Cox, Ty O'Janovac and 6-foot-6, 290-pound Dave Mannot, who can talk Purdue football with fellow Boilermakers commit Khali Saunders of ICCP. The Knights solidified their 4A playoff prospects by leading powerful Althoff 50-0 at halftime. The Knights ran for 423 yards, 1 less than Joliet Catholic, led by sophomore Kyle Franklin's 206 yards, 4 touchdowns, and Steven Crady's 146 yards, 2 touchdowns. Khalil Saunders started at quarterback against Althoff, but Tommy Ryan got significant snaps, a pattern Krefft said may repeat depending on what foes show defensively.
Next week: Joliet Catholic at St. Viator; IC Catholic at Wheaton Academy.
Naperville Central (0-1) at Lincoln-Way East (1-0)
Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Hinsdale Central 35, Naperville Central 34; Lincoln-Way East 41, Crete-Monee 13.
Last year: Did not play.
Outlook: ...and into the fire. That's what it'll feel like throughout the season for Naperville Central, which is coming off a tough loss and now must face the state's top team and defending Class 8A champion. The Redhawks' offense flashed its potential last week. Between quarterback Payton Thorne, who threw for well over 300 yards, receivers Cade McDonald, Jared Suchevits and Sam Jackson, and running back Danny Hughes, Lincoln-Way East's defense will be tested. The question is whether or not Naperville Central's defense can settle in and improve from last week's loss. With Jack Jopes leading the secondary, improvement is a safe bet. The Redhawks, though, have to wait and see who they'll be defending. Griffins junior A.J. Henning boasts double-digit scholarship offers and is regarded as one of the state's top running backs, but he missed last week's game with a hip injury. In his place fellow junior Devon Williams ran for 170 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Next week: Naperville North at Naperville Central; Andrew at Lincoln-Way East.
Stevenson (1-0) at Neuqua Valley (1-0)
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Last week: Stevenson 35, Palatine 7; Neuqua Valley 27, Glenbard North 6.
Last year: Did not play.
Outlook: It's an inaugural meeting between teams ranked Nos. 10-11 by the Daily Herald. No. 11 Stevenson out of the North Suburban Conference, got out of the blocks with J.M. Etienne rushing for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns, with two-way player Jonny Kull bashing in for 2 short-yardage scores. The Patriots line up in a spread and give quarterback Cole Okmin plenty of opportunities to pass. Senior linebacker Maema Njongmeta, No. 28 in the Class of 2019 with 12 offers according to Rivals.com, made 9 tackles with a sack. Etienne will meet a Neuqua defense that allowed Glenbard North 3 net rushing yards. Uniformly solid at all three levels, seven players recorded between 7 (cornerback Jake Karaba) and 4 tackles (defensive backs Rudy Dedeaux and Ben Foy). Tailback Will Chevalier ran for 96 yards while in his first varsity start and junior quarterback Mark Gronowski kept the Panthers honest, completing 8 of 11 passes for 127 yards. Armani Moreno added 50 yards rushing.
Next week: Stevenson at Libertyville; Neuqua Valley at Waubonsie Valley.
Benet (1-0) at Moline (1-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Between Andrew Eschenbach, Jack Cooney, Niko Kasprzycki and Luke Sznajder, it looks like Redwings quarterback Colin Gillespie has plenty of quality targets in the passing game. Edge rushers Jack Benish and Jacob Snell combined for 4 sacks last week.
Christ the King (0-1) at Montini (1-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: A 52-0 win over Hyde Park didn't allow Montini's quarterback trio of Deontay Bell, Robert Brazziel and Nick Mudd much time to check out coverages. It may be the same against this first-year program. A physical Broncos defense allowed 17 yards last week.
Downers Grove North (0-1) at Leyden (0-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The Trojans found positives in a loss to Buffalo Grove, starting with the two-way play of Joe Passarelli and Drew Cassens, who played safety in addition to piling up about 250 yards at quarterback. The Trojans need to slow Eagles back Gabe Guarderas.
Elgin (0-1) at Glenbard South (1-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Tavion Keith's 70-yard kickoff return, Gavin Fitzpatrick's 20-yard interception return, Antonio Carter's 19-yard run and Spencer Pyle's 25-yard field goal provided points in many phases in the Raiders' Upstate Eight debut. Now, to run more than 37 plays.
Glenbard West (0-1) at Proviso East (1-0)Game time: 6 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Defensive adjustments already are coming to the Hilltoppers' defense, where Greyson Metz has moved up to linebacker and Marky Winters is likely to return to the line this week. If he does, it'll allow Hank Knez to focus more on the offensive side of the line.
Lake Park (0-1) at Metea Valley (0-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The quarterback remains a fluid spot for Lake Park, but the defense is coming around. Sean Cox played well moving from linebacker to the line. Last week Metea Valley linebackers Nolan Falk, Jack Belskis and especially multitalented Julian Wlodarczyk delivered.
Lake View (1-0) at Westmont (0-1)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Five turnovers makes it hard to win, as Westmont discovered. Ball security is key against a team the Sentinels beat 19-6 in 2017. Back Kwentin Brookins does bring momentum to the ground game, and linebacker Mike Thompson made 10 tackles in the opener.
Libertyville (0-1) at Waubonsie Valley (1-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Waubonsie scored 24 points on 28 plays in a gutty win over Oak Park. Quarterback Jack Drow impressed with his coverage recognition, 2 touchdown throws to Julian Cain. Linebackers Carson O'Donnell, Ryan Mutz and Garrett St. Clair will bring it for 48 minutes.
Lockport (0-1) at WW South (1-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Lockport's big offensive line presents a challenge, but last week WW South allowed fewer than 2 yards on first-down plays. Lineman Jack Kelly led the effort up front with 9 tackles. After not scoring a touchdown, the Tigers hope to get the ground game going.
Lyons Twp. (0-1) at Hinsdale South (0-1)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: How surprising was Hinsdale South's 6-0 loss to Kaneland? It's the first time the Hornets have been shut out in five years. Four turnovers and 7 penalties stymied their attempts to put points on the board. Twelve passes were far fewer than recent years.
Maine West (1-0) at Fenton (1-0)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Behind linemen Austin Adkins, Julian Giles, Eric Moreno, Angelo Mendoza and Jeff Andrews, Ethan Doliente's 186 yards and 3 touchdowns led Fenton's 42-7 win over Maine East. In comes Maine West, which forced 7 Mundelein turnovers and won 42-0.
Manteno (0-1) at Lisle (1-0)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday at Benedictine University in Lisle.
The quick hit: Lisle hit Harvard with 363 yards rushing, A.J. Casmer and Connor Nigro each over 100 and Dylan Laue at 62 -- but coach Paul Parpet Sr. thinks the offense can be more explosive. It'll need to be based on Interstate Eight Large foe Manteno's 49-14 win in 2017.
Naperville North (0-1) at Batavia (1-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: After a loss to Simeon, the Huskies now face the defending Class 7A champions. With quarterback Cliff Vickers and receiver Matt Heinz finding a rhythm, expect the offense to open up more. Bo Richter has become an integral two-way player.
Oak Park (0-1) at Downers Grove South (0-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The Mustangs suffered another injury at quarterback. George Ross hurt his knee, forcing sophomore Cole Warehime and running back-receiver Jayden Lambert into action. Shawn Lee and Kendall Burrow are getting accustomed to two-way line play.
St. Edward (0-1) at Wheaton Academy (1-0)Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The Warriors need to improve tackling, but when sophomore linebacker Trevor Donna blitzed Thornridge he bagged 10, 4 for loss. Offensive linemen Noel Siony and Derek Johanik aim to repeat last week's effort, leading Cristian Carstens' 4 touchdown runs.
St. Francis (1-0) at Burlington Central (0-1)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Spartans coach Bob McMillen was pleased his line blocked a larger Argo group, allowing Henry Plamondon to run for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns. Sophomore middle linebacker Michael Bumpus figures to be plenty busy against the Rockets' ground game.
Warren (0-1) at Glenbard North (0-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The Panthers look to build off last week's defensive intensity led by end Jaden Duenas and middle linebacker Mike Wellman, who also averaged 44 yards on punts. Wellman had to punt too often, though, and smoother offensive execution Friday is the key.
West Aurora (1-0) at West Chicago (0-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The hosts, who lost 40-0 to South Elgin, get no break against the Upstate Eight favorite. Positives the Wildcats hope to replicate were Jordan Garcia's 6 yards per carry, interceptions by Mike Doukas and Omar Conteras, and Cesar Recendiz's fumble recovery.
Wheaton North (0-1) at Lake Forest (0-1)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The Falcons must find a way to contain junior defensive lineman Rylie Mills, whose offers include Alabama and most of the Big Ten. Falcons junior Stephen Garner, who played linebacker last week, might be in the offensive backfield at running back.
York (0-1) at Addison Trail (0-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: York started four juniors on the offensive line, but they played well and with an edge. Joe Javorek started at quarterback but Danny Dunn is also in the mix. Looks like the Blazers found a feature running back with J'Lan Williams, who rushed for 120 yards.