Scouting Week 6 Fox Valley football games
Prairie Ridge (4-1, 4-1) at Jacobs (3-2, 3-1)
Game time: today at 7:15 p.m.
Last year: Prairie Ridge 30, Jacobs 16
Last week: Prairie Ridge 63, McHenry 21; Neuqua Valley 35, Jacobs 21
Outlook: Jacobs gave the eventual Class 6A champs a challenge last year before dropping a 30-16 decision. They enter this Fox Valley Conference matchup against the Wolves, ranked fourth in 6A, without starting quarterback Anthony Wilson. The two-year starter will miss the rest of the season after suffering a noncontact knee injury in last week's loss to Neuqua Valley, Jacobs coach Bill Mitz said. Wilson is the latest prominent injury. Division-I tackle Joey Price is out for the year and all-FVC fullback Stephen Kavanaugh has not played this season. Backup quarterback Cole Bhardwaj, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior, steps in. He played the second half of games against Hampshire and McHenry this year. Bhardwaj entered last week's game in place of Wilson and completed 7 of 15 attempts for 103 yards and a touchdown. "He's fired up and ready to go," Mitz said. "We're blessed that we have to very good quarterbacks." Senior tight end Daniel Klein had 4 receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown last week. The Jacobs defense is tasked with slowing Prairie Ridge fullback Jackson Willis, a 5-foot-6, 175-pound senior. Said Mitz: "He's rushed for over 1,000 yards so it's pretty self-explanatory: We have to stop the fullback. He hits the hole quick. They run that outside veer and he's gone. You have to defend that part of the option or they'll run it until you stop it."
Next week: Prairie Ridge at Waubonsie Valley (5-0); Jacobs at Cary-Grove (5-0)
Geneva (0-5, 0-3) at Batavia (5-0, 3-0)
Game time: today at 7:30 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium
Last year: Batavia 49, Geneva 0
Last week: St. Charles East 56, Geneva 20; Batavia 41, Wheaton Warrenville South 20
Outlook: Defending Class 7A state champion Batavia is a heavy favorite to win the 100th game contested between these rivals over a 106-year span. Geneva leads the all-time series 51-43-5, but the Bulldogs have won the last seven meetings. The winless Vikings were eliminated from playoff contention last week. "For them, it becomes the biggest game of the season since they are not in the playoffs," said eighth-year Batavia coach Dennis Piron, who owns a 7-0 record against Geneva. "Beating us can make their whole year. We cannot allow that." Batavia remains atop the 7A rankings after last week's 21-point victory over Wheaton Warrenville South, a game they led 14-13 at halftime. The Bulldogs scored touchdowns on their first 3 possessions of the second half without throwing a pass. Quinn Urwiler stepped in for injured running back Art Taylor and rushed for 4 touchdowns. Batavia averages 37.8 points and 411.6 total yards per game. Geneva allows 39 points per game despite the efforts of leading tackler Daniel Majewski (6-0, 225). The senior linebacker makes 12.4 tackles per game. Geneva's offense has struggled. The Vikings average 11.4 points per game and have scored 7 touchdowns in five games. They generate 137 rushing yards per outing, led by senior tailback Brandon Krohe (122 carries, 452 yards, 2 TD) and senior fullback Reilly Waldoch (29-185-1). Geneva faces a Batavia defense that limits opponents to 42.2 rushing yards per game and 199 total yards, led by linebackers Michael Jansey (13.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks), Luke Weerts (5 TFL, sack) and Urwiler (10.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 2 INT), lineman Ethan Towers (4.2 T/PG) and safety Nick Conger (INT, 2 forced fumbles). The Batavia defense averages 3 take-aways, 10.6 tackles for loss and 11.6 pressures. The underdog Vikings hope the breaks go their way. "If they don't execute the way they have been, anything can happen," Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said of the Bulldogs. "That's why they play Friday nights. Things are stacked against us but you never know what will transpire. Our kids are taking it very seriously and they have a lot of pride. It's just a matter of whether the pieces fall the right way."
Next week: Wheaton North (3-2) at Geneva; Batavia at St. Charles East (4-1)
St. Charles East (4-1, 2-1) at St. Charles North (4-1, 3-0)
Game time: today at 7:30 p.m.
Last year: St. Charles North 35, St. Charles North 34, OT
Last week: St. Charles East 56, Geneva 20; St. Charles North 28, Lake Park 8
Outlook: Emotions run high during the annual battle of St. Charles. Deep breaths help. "I think the team that does the best job taking emotion out of the game and just executing will be successful," Saints coach Bryce Farquhar said. North coach Rob Pomazak agrees. "I feel the more emotional you get, the further a fall you have when that emotion leaves you," he said. "For us it's more about being confident and staying focused on the horizon line and executing the next play." St. Charles East leads the series 11-7. The Saints won six straight against the North Stars between 2008-2013, but North has taken three of the last four meetings, including last year's overtime win at Norris Stadium in which they stopped a 2-point conversion pitch to win. East absorbed its only loss two weeks ago, 27-14 at Wheaton Warrenville South. Overall, the Saints have outscored their opponents 178-94. The triple option offense averages 290 rushing yards and 124 passing yards per game. Senior fullback Justin Jett leads the way with 423 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on 65 carries over four games. Junior quarterback BJ Crossen has thrown for 532 yards and 7 touchdowns on 19-of-32 passing without an interception. Crossen has rushed for 392 yards and 7 touchdowns on 63 carries (6.2 avg.). Backs Clay Conn and Ronan Macaluso have combined for 462 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns. The North Stars counter with a defense led by senior linebacker Dan Daley (team-high 8.5 tackles per game) and senior safety Egon Hein (7.2). North running back Sam DeMarco averages 116 yards per game and has scored a touchdown. Two-way player Tyler Nubin has been dynamic on both sides of the ball. Offensively, the Minnesota recruit is responsible for 5 of North's 6 rushing touchdowns while gaining 179 yards on 26 carries, mostly via direct snaps. He has 16 receptions for 226 yards and 2 scores. "I think Tyler Nubin is the key to the game on offense and defense," Farquhar said. "He's a really nice player with his ability to cover, run the ball and catch the ball. He's a hard kid to bring down when he has the ball in his hands." North is used to Nubin receiving extra attention. "If they focus on taking Ty away, that leaves someone else open," Pomazak said. "You can only put so many fingers in holes until you run out of fingers."
Next week: Batavia (5-0) at St. Charles East; St. Charles North at Glenbard North (0-5)
St. Edward (2-3, 2-0) at Chicago Christian (4-1, 1-1)
Game time: today at 7:15 p.m.
Last year: St. Edward Chicago Christian
Last week: St. Edward 50, Guerin 0; Ridgewood 36, Chicago Christian 27
Outlook: St. Edward can retain sole possession of first place in the Metro Suburban Red with a win in Palos Heights. Undermanned and banged up the last two weeks, the Green Wave still found ways to win. They entered last week's game with quarterbacks Anthony Holte and Zeke Rolando both unavailable due to injury. No problem. The coaching staff revised the offense on the fly, switching to a direct-snap power game that featured seniors Nick Wright and Sydney Muhammad. All Muhammad did was run for a touchdown, catch another and throw for one more. Wright scored in all three phases. He returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and rushed for a score. On defense, Wright ripped the ball out of a running back's arms and ran for a touchdown. He has rushed for 400 yards and 6 touchdowns in 104 attempts. The team received good news on the injury front. Senior linebacker Jake Floyd returns to the lineup this week as does freshman defensive end David Kenny. Backup Zeke Rolando is available to play quarterback, and Holte is considered "day to day," St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. A Holte return would free Zeke up to play receiver (13 rec., 203 yards, TD). Or tight end. Or defensive back. In fact, most players on the short St. Edward roster have been asked to play multiple positions depending on the need in a given week. It has worked of late. Will it work on the road against the Knights, who were undefeated until last week? "They are clearly going to have more seniors on the field and they have some really good athletes," coach Mike Rolando said. "Our kids always play hard-nosed, disciplined football and over time that tends to win out against better athletes. But we have to play four quarters of mistake-free football and a couple of kids have to step up and make plays like they have the last couple of weeks."
Next week: IC Catholic Prep (5-0) at St. Edward; Chicago Christian at St. Joseph (0-5)
Larkin (3-2, 3-2) at South Elgin (4-1, 4-1)
Game time: Saturday at 1 p.m.
Last meeting (2014): South Elgin 56, Larkin 13
Last week: Glenbard South 35, Larkin 34; Glenbard East 35, South Elgin 7
Outlook: South Elgin coach Dragan Teonic has a unique insight to this week's opponent. He coached Larkin the last four seasons before South Elgin hired him in June. "I love those kids to death and I've got a lot of respect for what those guys are doing over there," Teonic said of the Royals. "It's been fun watching their progress as the year goes on. On the other hand, you can't get too wrapped up in the emotion of it because this is the next game and we have to be ready." The reverse is true, of course. The Larkin players know the schemes their ex-coach likes to use. "It's a crazy dynamic, but I think our guys probably know what he's doing more than he knows what we're doing," Larkin acting coach Jason Aubry said. "We have to treat this like any other opponent because our next game is the biggest game of the year no matter if it's South Elgin, Bartlett or Glenbard East." The Storm can become playoff eligible with a win. This marks the second of five straight games against opponents with winning records for South Elgin, which closes the regular season at Glenbard South (4-1), vs. Bartlett (3-2) and at West Aurora (4-1). The Storm look to bounce back after a reality check against Glenbard East last week. The offense has rushed for 1,030 of its 1,600 total yards. The Royals are coming off a 1-point loss in which they turned the ball over three times. The Larkin spread offense has passed for 1,018 of 1,521 total yards. Quarterback Jaxon Aubry has rushed for 174 yards and 5 touchdowns and thrown for 1,013 yards and 9 touchdowns (4 interceptions). The 57.5-percent passer has completed 69 of 120 attempts.
Next week: Larkin at Bartlett (3-2); South Elgin at Glenbard South (4-1)
Glenbard South (4-1, 4-1) at West Aurora (4-1,4-1)Game time: today at 7:30 p.m.
Quick hit: These Upstate Eight teams are locked in a three-way tie with South Elgin for second place behind Glenbard East. After lineman Denver Warren blocked a fourth-quarter field goal that would have given Bartlett the lead, the Blackhawks scored 13 points on touchdowns by junior Isaiah Lowry and senior JaQuan Buchanan to pull away for a 27-12 victory.
Streamwood (1-4,1-4) at Elgin (1-4, 1-4)Game time: today at 7:30 p.m.
Quick hit: Each Upstate Eight program notched its first victory of the season last week against a winless opponent. Streamwood edged East Aurora 22-20. Elgin defeated West Chicago 28-27 in overtime on a 10-yard touchdown run and ensuing 2-point conversion. North Dakota-bound defensive tackle Elijah Beach (6-foot-4, 260 pounds) leads Streamwood with 26 tackles.
West Chicago (0-5, 0-5) at Bartlett (3-2, 3-2)Game time: today at 7:30 p.m.
Quick hit: Bartlett senior quarterback Jonah O'Brien completed 22 of 36 attempts for 243 yards, threw for a touchdown and ran for another in a 27-12 loss at West Aurora last week. The Hawks defeated West Chicago 33-14 last season for one of their two wins.
Crystal Lake South (3-2, 3-1) at Dundee-Crown (2-3, 1-3)Game time: today at 7 p.m.
Quick hit: Two of the area's most improved teams from a year ago collide in a Fox Valley Conference matchup with playoff implications for both. The Gators nabbed their first signature win under second-year coach Rob Fontana last week, a 48-7 victory over Huntley. The Chargers have dropped three straight games against winning teams since opening the season with victories over Grayslake North (1-4) and McHenry (0-5).
Cary-Grove (5-0, 5-0) at McHenry (0-5, 0-4)Game time: today at 7 p.m.
Quick hit: Fox Valley Conference leader Cary-Grove can clinch its 15th straight playoff berth with a victory. The offense has rushed for 1,535 yards, led by senior quarterback Ben McDonald (77 carries, 577 yards, 11 TD) and junior fullback Blake Skol (71-443-7).
Crystal Lake Central (1-4, 1-3) at Huntley (3-2, 3-2)Game time: today at 7 p.m.
Quick hit: Huntley led 7-6 in the first quarter last week before Crystal Lake South scored 42 unanswered points. The Red Raiders have dropped two straight games for the first time since 2016, when they lost to Cary-Grove and West Aurora in Weeks 5 and 6. Crystal Lake Central earned its first win last week against winless Hampshire.
Normal West (4-1) at Hampshire (0-5)Game time: today at 7 p.m.
Quick hit: Hampshire does not catch a scheduling break in this nonconference matchup. Normal West sits in second place in the Big 12 Conference standings behind Normal Community (4-1, 4-0). The Wildcats move up from No. 10 to No. 9 in this week's Class 6A Associated Press poll.
Richmond-Burton (4-1, 2-1) at Burlington Central (1-4, 1-2)Game time: today at 7 p.m.
Quick hit: It is a must-win Kishwaukee River Conference ballgame for the home team on Rocket Hill. Senior Kyle Moring leads Burlington Central receivers with 12 receptions for 244 yards and a touchdown. R-B, ranked ninth in Class 4A despite last week's 14-13 loss to Marengo, defeated Central 38-21 in last year matchup.
Aurora Christian (4-1, 2-1) at St. Francis (4-1, 1-1)Game time: today at 7 p.m.
Quick hit: These teams last met on Sept. 27, 2013, when both were members of the Suburban Christian Conference. The Eagles won that game 24-14. Both teams were undefeated until last week. The Eagles lost 44-0 to IC Catholic Prep, the top-ranked team in Class 4A. The Spartans were beaten 51-20 by Bishop McNamara, the No. 5 team in Class 3A. The Aurora Christian offense is paced by senior receivers Trey Madsen (21 rec., 484 yards, 6 TD) and Caleb Beebe (27-351-6).
IC Catholic Prep (5-0, 3-0) at Aurora Central Catholic (2-3, 1-1)Game time: today at 7:15 p.m.
Quick hit: Here come the defending Class 3A champion Knights. Ranked No. 1 in Class 4A, the IC offense features running back Kyle Franklin, a sophomore who has rushed for 788 yards and 13 touchdowns in 105 attempts (7.5 avg.).
Kaneland (4-1, 1-0) at Sycamore (4-1, 1-1)Game time: today at 7:15 p.m.
Quick hit: Ninth-ranked Kaneland cracks the Class 5A rankings after last week's 21-20 come-from-behind victory over DeKalb, the No. 9 team in 6A. Four-year varsity running back Jonathan Alstott leads the Knights with 582 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns in 145 attempts (4.0 avg.). Kaneland quarterback Joe Smith has thrown for 686 yards and 6 touchdowns on 49-of-90 passing and has legged out 229 yards.
Marmion (2-3, 0-2) at De La Salle (3-2, 1-1)Game time: today at 7:30 p.m.
Quick hit: Marmion seeks its first Chicago Catholic Green win against the Meteors, who snapped a 2-game slide last week with a 34-7 win over Fenwick. Marmion is coming off a 28-7 loss to division leader Mt. Carmel. Peter Ferraro leads the Cadets in rushing and receiving. He has carried 31 times for 233 yards and has 19 receptions for 339 yards and 4 touchdowns.