Scouting Week 5 in Lake County
CENTRAL SUBURBAN LEAGUE
Vernon Hills Cougars (2-2) at Highland Park Giants (2-2)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Vernon Hills lost to Wheeling, 45-42; Highland Park lost to Schaumburg, 25-0.
Skinny: It's been a grueling week for Vernon Hills, and not just because the Cougars are trying to recover from a tough 3-point loss to Wheeling in which they lost a late lead. They are also trying to adjust to being without their head coach for the rest of the season. Vernon Hills head coach Bill Bellecomo was scheduled to undergo surgery this week to correct a heart condition that will leave him sidelined from the team and away from his job as dean of students at the high school until December. Jay Czarnecki, an assistant coach and the head baseball coach at Vernon Hills, will be stepping in as head coach for the rest of the season. Vernon Hills, which has lost two games in a row, put up big numbers last week against Wheeling, including 434 yards of offense. But Wheeling put up bigger numbers, including 640 yards of offense. Quarterback Derek Jarrell had 6 touchdowns for Vernon Hills, 5 passing. He completed 26-of-52 passes for 415 yards. Giovanni Zullo (12 catches, 172 yards) and Quinn Geren (4 catches, 112 yards) were Jarrell's big targets and each had 2 touchdown catches. Like Vernon Hills, Highland Park has also lost two games in a row and is giving up a lot of points on the season. The Giants allow 30.5 points per game, third-most in the Central Suburban North. Vernon Hills allows the second-most points in the league at 33.3 points per game. Meanwhile, offense hasn't come easy for Highland Park lately. The Giants have scored just 14 points over the last two weeks combined.
Next: Deerfield at Vernon Hills; Highland Park vs. Glenbrook North
EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC CONFERENCE
Carmel Catholic Corsairs (1-3, 1-1) at St. Viator Lions (0-4, 0-2)When: 7 p.m., Friday
Last week: Carmel lost to Joliet Catholic, 56-21; St. Viator lost to Marist, 49-7.
Skinny: Stingy defense might not be on display in this game as St. Viator and Carmel give up the most points in the East Suburban Catholic Conference. St. Viator is allowing 37 points per game, most in the league, while Carmel is just behind at 34.3 points per game. Then again, plentiful scoring by the offenses isn't necessarily a given either. St. Viator has scored only 37 points on the season, fewest in the ESCC. Carmel is at 83 points on the season, second fewest in the league. Although, Carmel is on the upswing, however, having scored 69 points over the last two weeks after just 14 points in the first two weeks combined.
Next: Nazareth Academy at Carmel Catholic; St. Viator at Notre Dame
NORTH SUBURBAN CONFERENCE
Warren Blue Devils (3-1, 2-0) at Lake Forest Scouts (2-2, 2-0)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Warren def. Libertyville, 35-0; Lake Forest def. Lake Zurich, 24-7.
Skinny: Lake Forest staged Lake County's biggest upset of Week 4 by upending defending state runner-up Lake Zurich on its own field. Now the Scouts, who have won two straight games, will be going after another giant, a Warren team that couldn't be playing much better at the moment. The Blue Devils have staged three straight shutouts and now officially boast the stingiest defense in the North Suburban Conference, allowing a league-low 7.8 points per game. Likewise, the Lake Forest defense has stepped up its game over the last two weeks, allowing a total of just 19 points. Two different quarterbacks threw touchdown passes for Lake Forest last week, Tommy Hanson and Ryan Cekay. Warren got a big game last week out of running back Martin Walker Jr. He rushed for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns on 26 carries. The Blue Devils rolled up 337 total yards of offense while yielding only 74 total yards to Libertyville.
Next: Warren at Zion-Benton; Lake Forest at Waukegan
Lake Zurich Bears (2-2, 1-1) at Stevenson Patriots (4-0, 2-0)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Lake Zurich lost to Lake Forest, 24-7; Stevenson def. Zion-Benton, 51-14.
Skinny: Lake Zurich is determined for a bounce back after being upset on its own turf last week by Lake Forest. But on the road at Stevenson will be a tough place to get it. The Patriots boast the most prolific offense in the North Suburban Conference, scoring 34.3 points per game. They are also one of the best defenses in the league, allowing only 9 points per game. Last week against Zion-Benton, the Stevenson defense forced 4 turnovers, including 3 interceptions. Stevenson quarterback Cole Okmin had a big night against Zion-Benton last week, throwing 4 touchdown passes. He went 12-for-21 for 197 yards. One of his top targets was receiver Ryan McElhinny, who caught 4 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown ... The Lake Zurich offense moved the ball last week against Lake Forest, rolling up 340 total yards, but had trouble punching the ball into the end zone. Jack Dwyer had a big rushing game for the Bears. He ran for 119 yards on 20 carries and scored Lake Zurich's only touchdown. Quarterback Matt McGraw completed 16-of-24 passes for 206 yards for the Bears. In its two losses this season, Lake Zurich has scored a total of 7 points.
Next: Lake Zurich at Libertyville; Stevenson at Mundelein
Waukegan Bulldogs (0-4, 0-2) at Libertyville Wildcats (0-4, 0-2)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Waukegan lost to Mundelein, 48-6; Libertyville lost to Warren, 35-0.
Skinny: Waukegan and Libertyville are two of just four winless teams in Lake County heading into Week 5. (Grayslake Central and Grayslake North are the others.) Both of these teams are starving for a win, and Libertyville would like to get back into the end zone. The Wildcats have been shut out the last two weeks against North Suburban Conference heavyweights Stevenson and Warren. The Wildcats also scored only 6 points in Week 3. Libertyville's 33 total points on the season are the second fewest in the NSC. Against Warren last week, Libertyville managed only 74 yards of offense. Waukegan is the lowest-scoring offense in the NSC (32 points in four games) and has also allowed the most points. The Bulldogs are letting up 36.3 points per game. Quarterback Giovanni Quinones and Mishaun Riddle connected for Waukegan's only touchdown last week against Mundelein.
Next: Lake Forest at Waukegan; Lake Zurich at Libertyville
Zion-Benton Zee-Bees (1-3, 0-2) at Mundelein Mustangs (2-2, 1-1)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Zion-Benton lost to Stevenson, 51-14; Mundelein def. Waukegan, 48-6.
Skinny: Mundelein had a breakout game last week against Waukegan, scoring 48 points. Prior to that, the Mustangs had scored a combined 29 points over the previous three weeks. Waukegan is allowing the most points per game in the North Suburban Conference and now, Mundelein will be facing a Zion-Benton team that allows the second most points per game in the NSC. Zion-Benton is letting up 30.8 points per game. The Zee-Bees have lost 2 straight games. Against Waukegan last week, sophomore running back Shawn Patrick rolled up 94 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on 10 carries for Mundelein. Zion-Benton quarterback Romey Crawford put up good numbers in last week's loss to Stevenson. Crawford ran for a touchdown and passed for another to account for all of the Zee-Bees' points. Crawford ran for 46 yards on 17 carries. He also completed 20 of 46 passes for 167 yards.
Next: Warren at Zion-Benton; Stevenson at Mundelein
NORTHERN LAKE COUNTY CONFERENCE
Grant Bulldogs (2-2, 2-0) at Antioch Sequoits (4-0, 2-0) When: 7:15 p.m., Friday
Last week: Grant def. Grayslake Central, 14-3; Antioch def. Wauconda, 49-13.
Skinny: Grant has some momentum and will need it against the only undefeated team in the Northern Lake County Conference. The Bulldogs have won two games in a row and have been on point defensively. Grant has allowed just 9 total points over the last two games, as opposed to 68 points over the first two games. The challenge now will be to slow an Antioch offense that is averaging 34 points per game, second-most in the NLCC. Antioch put up its highest point total of the season last week against Wauconda, 49. Senior wide receiver Zach Grindley caught 3 touchdown passes for Antioch last week. He and sophomore quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis connected a total of four times for 207 yards. Kaliakmanis completed 12-of-17 passes for 290 yards. Running back Nick Wiley had 142 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Grant running back Noah Lautner scored both touchdowns for the Bulldogs last week and finished with 153 yards on 19 carries.
Next: Lakes at Grant; Antioch at Grayslake Central
Round Lake Panthers (1-3, 0-2) at Grayslake Central Rams (0-4, 0-2)When: 7:15 p.m., Friday
Last week: Round Lake lost to North Chicago, 41-14; Grayslake Central lost to Grant, 14-3.
Skinny: Grayslake Central is hoping to get its offense going against a Round Lake team that allows 26.3 points per game, third most in the Northern Lake County Conference. The Rams have had a tough time offensively this season. They are averaging only 7.8 points per game, the fewest in the conference. Over the last three weeks. Grayslake Central has scored a total of 10 points. Against Grant last week, quarterback Nick Paul rushed for 62 yards and passed for 126 yards, but the offense couldn't find the end zone and the only points scored by the Rams was a field goal by Austin Wagner (34 yards).
Next: Grayslake North at Round Lake; Antioch at Grayslake Central
Grayslake North Knights (0-4, 0-2) at North Chicago Warhawks (2-2, 1-1)When: 7:15 p.m., Friday
Last week: Grayslake North lost to Lakes, 55-44; North Chicago def. Round Lake, 41-14.
Skinny: Grayslake North is looking to finally get in the win column while North Chicago is looking to keep positive momentum going from last week's win over Round Lake. Grayslake North gave up 55 points last week to Lakes and is the most generous defense in the Northern Lake County Conference, allowing 33.8 points per game. But the Knights can put up big numbers on offense, and rolled up 363 total yards on Lakes last week, not to mention 44 points. Grayslake North quarterback Austin Martineau accounted for a bulk of those yards through the air. He completed 22-of-37 passes for 322 yards and 5 touchdown passes. Tony Hines and Nick Lovitsch were big targets for Martineau. Hines caught 11 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown while Lovtisch caught 6 passes for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns. Hines also ran in an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Next: Grayslake North at Round Lake; North Chicago at Wauconda
Lakes Eagles (3-1, 2-0) at Wauconda Bulldogs (2-2, 1-1)When: 7:15 p.m., Friday
Last week: Lakes def. Grayslake North 55-44; Wauconda lost to Antioch 49-13
Skinny: Lakes has found a new workhorse in senior D'Lo Hardy, who tried out running back full time last week and seemed to really like it. Hardy, usually a receiver, ran for 5 touchdowns and 268 yards on 30 carries against Grayslake North. After last week's explosion by Hardy helped yield 55 points, Lakes is now the highest-scoring team in the Northern Lake County Conference, surpassing first-place and undefeated Antioch with 34.8 points per game. However, the Eagles also give up a lot of points, 25.5 points per game, second-most in the league. Wauconda has given up 40-plus points in each of its two losses but has allowed just 7 points in each of its two wins. Against Antioch last week, sophomore quarterback Nick Bulgarelli had a big night, completing 20-of-39 passes for 257 yards and a touchdown.
Next: Lakes at Grant; North Chicago at Wauconda