Scouting this weekend's DuPage County football games

  • Neuqua Valley will play at Naperville Central on Friday night in a DuPage Valley Conference football game.

      Neuqua Valley will play at Naperville Central on Friday night in a DuPage Valley Conference football game. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Updated 10/4/2018 1:38 PM

By David Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit

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Glenbard West (5-1, 3-0) at Hinsdale Central (5-1, 4-0)

West Suburban Silver

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Glenbard West 41, Lyons Twp. 7; Hinsdale Central 30, Proviso West 7.

Last year: Glenbard West 14, Hinsdale Central 9.

Outlook: This is a game that should, once again, decide the Silver champion. Hinsdale Central hasn't had injured leading rusher Luke Skokna since late in the season opener, but Matt Bobak has stepped up with 503 yards and 3 touchdowns. More important to the Red Devils' offense, though, has been the touchdown-savvy of quarterback Matt Rush. He's thrown 14 touchdowns, including 10 in the last two weeks on only 12 completions. Receivers Nick Beaulieu and Braden Contreras have caught nine of them. Glenbard West's defense is banged up but still taking care of business. Last week linebacker Otis Neavins had 7 tackles and a 76-yard interception return for a touchdown. With Hilltoppers running back Kameron Bedford out with a foot injury, the ground game is leaning more on Tyquan Cox, who ran for 4 scores last week. Quarterback Tommy Bleker will need to come through on the play-action pass, but the fleet-footed signal-caller also can help out with his keepers.

Next week: Oak Park at Glenbard West; Hinsdale Central at Lyons Twp.

Lake Park (2-4, 1-3) at Wheaton Warrenville South (5-1, 3-1) DuKane Conference

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Lake Park 33, Glenbard North 32; WW South 10, Wheaton North 3.

Last year: Lake Park 21, WW South 14.

Outlook: Regardless of what conference we're talking about -- DuPage Valley or DuKane -- this game is usually a good one. Lake Park's defense struggled last week, particularly in the first half, but the unit typically matches up well with the Tigers. Middle linebacker Max Kaiser has been a steady presence, but the Lancers also need a big effort from their defensive line. WW South hopes to establish its ground game with not only Jake Arthurs, who leads the team with 437 yards and 7 touchdowns, but also Prince Lankah. Lake Park's offense finally broke out in the second half of last week's win with sophomore quarterback Nathanael Merchant making his first varsity start and throwing for 150 yards. Running back David Hardwick had perhaps his best game of the season with 150 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. WW South's defense line boasts a run-stuffer with Jack Kelly, who last week had 10 tackles, and an edge rusher with Isiah Brown-Dietzman.


Next week: Geneva at Lake Park; WW South at Glenbard North.

Neuqua Valley (4-2, 1-0) at Naperville Central (4-2, 2-0)

DuPage Valley Conference

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Neuqua Valley 47, Waubonsie Valley 16; Naperville Central 50, Naperville North 21.

Last year: Naperville Central 24, Neuqua Valley 14.

Outlook: Neuqua Valley's Sept. 14 rally at Normal sprung the Wildcats to three straight wins. They come off their best game yet. Heading a balanced offense quarterback Mark Gronowski accounted for 263 yards, 3 touchdowns. Running back Will Chevalier, cornerback Jake Karaba and receiver Brandt Stare scored on offense, defense and special teams, respectively. Top tacklers Jake Boumans, Pete Cogan and Matt Quinn have a challenge ahead stopping Naperville Central's explosive offense. And it's not just explosive. It's also become pretty balanced. Last week the Redhawks rushed for 259 yards and threw for 225. The show is run by Western Michigan-bound quarterback Payton Thorne, who has thrown for 1,645 yards, but running back Danny Hughes has added 745 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. The Redhawks have another diverse offense to contend with, but linebacker Matt Oliver is great against the run and Jack Jopes and Jamarri Moore hammer down the secondary.

Next week: Metea Valley at Neuqua Valley; Waubonsie Valley at Naperville Central.

Prairie Ridge (5-1) at Waubonsie Valley (5-1)


Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Prairie Ridge 42, Jacobs 2; Neuqua Valley 47, Waubonsie Valley 16.

Last year: Did not play.

Outlook: These teams have faced each other only once, Prairie Ridge winning 27-24 in 2008. Coach Chris Schremp's Wolves, out of the Fox Valley, have since won three Class 6A titles and each of the last two seasons. Starting three seniors on offense and two on defense, the Wolves average 53 points. Senior fullback Jackson Willis has run for 1,031 yards and 14 touchdowns out of a double-wing option offense with 2,019 yards rushing to quarterback Connor Lydon's 312 yards passing. Waubonsie's own passing game may click more readily than last week, Jack Drow a week healthier from an injury that sidelined him Week 5 and for half of the Warriors' Week 4 win. Offensive linemen Charlie Millington and Cole LaPlant will lead the charge whether it's pass or run with backs Dre'Von Turner and Bryce Logan, now up to 713 yards rushing. After Waubonsie allowed a season-high 451 yards last week, Garrett St. Clair, Demari Wilson, Carson O'Donnell and Co. are set to return to usual stingy form.


Next week: Cary-Grove at Prairie Ridge; Waubonsie Valley at Naperville Central.

South Elgin (5-1, 5-1) at Glenbard South (4-2, 4-2)

Upstate Eight Conference

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: South Elgin 53, Larkin 7; West Aurora 57, Glenbard South 13.

Last year: Did not play.

Outlook: Gearing up to ruin Glenbard South's homecoming game, South Elgin clobbered a Larkin team the Raiders had nipped 35-34 the week before. South Elgin coach Dragan Teonic thought his team had been "out-physicaled" against Glenbard East and the Storm responded with 466 yards of offense. Spark plug quarterback Azxavier Salinas accounted for 266 yards and 5 touchdowns, and on the season he also averages 40 yards a punt. Glenbard South linebackers Mark Wilson, Noah Gibson, Tony Ashley and Cade DiFranco have been drilled to diagnose and contain Salinas in the veer option. Raiders quarterback Nick Plaso hasn't thrown an interception all season and has forged quite the combination with senior receiver Tavion Keith, 32 catches in the last three games. After West Aurora held Glenbard South to minimal rushing yardage, Raiders coach Ryan Crissey anticipates improved line execution and physicality in front of running backs Antonio Carter and Kylen Henderson.

Next week: Bartlett at South Elgin; Glenbard East at Glenbard South.

Downers Grove North (2-4, 1-3) at Lyons Twp. (1-5, 1-2)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: While the Trojans continue to develop their passing game with positive results, their defense is also stepping up with Zack Bouma, Joe Passarelli and Owen Geraghty. Lyons Twp. is without several players but still flashes the ability to move the chains.

East Aurora (0-6, 0-6) at West Chicago (0-6, 0-6)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Obviously this is big for West Chicago, just "inches away," according to coach Jack Rustman. East Aurora is athletic so the plan is to keep its offense sidelined by pounding the ball with Jordan Garcia plus Luke Krogh passes to Mike Wagner and Santiago Barbosa.

Hinsdale South (4-2, 3-1) at Addison Trail (0-6, 0-3)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: After falling behind early to Proviso East last week, the Hornets responded with 30 straight points. Kamron Lipscomb chipped in to a 250-yard ground effort with a 54-yard run. Through a tough season, Blazers lineman J.T. Daniels shines on both sides of the ball.

IC Catholic (6-0) at St. Edward (3-3)Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Injuries are starting to pile up for the Knights. They react by getting their depth up to playing speed -- while also increasing their offensive tempo. Linebacker Kevin Cooke remains the anchor of a defense that is getting sophomores like Chauncey Lee into play.

Leyden (3-3, 2-1) at Downers Grove South (3-3, 3-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: With Mustangs quarterback George Ross out for most of last week's win, Jayden Lambert went behind center and guided the offense to 280 rushing yards with sophomore Devean Washington. Two-way lineman Kendall Burrow has been great for Downers South.

Lisle (6-0) at Streator (2-4)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Having cinched the Interstate Eight Small title, Lisle ends with three IEC Large foes. Streator must deal with the unsinkable combo of quarterback Jay McGrath to receiver Jakub Kowal plus a defense that last week took all Reed-Custer gave and kept on coming.

Montini (6-0) at Fenwick (2-4)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Triton College in River Grove.

The quick hit: Fresh off its landmark 28-27 win at Loyola, Montini faces long-ago Driscoll rival Gene Nudo at Fenwick. His Friars will be challenged to reign in Broncos quarterbacks Deontay Bell and Robert Brazziel, who've combined to pass for 13 touchdowns without a pick.

Morton (1-5, 0-3) at Willowbrook (6-0, 3-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: With a stretch of huge games now in the rearview mirror -- all wins -- Willowbrook can't afford to get caught looking past a physical Morton team. Deandre Holliday has become a go-to receiver in the passing game. D'onte Gholston balances with the run.

Naperville North (1-5, 0-2) at Metea Valley (1-5, 0-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: No playoffs for the Huskies, but they've shown the ability to run the ball with Ameir Wilbourn and Elijah Jordan. Metea senior linebacker Seth Cotler made an astounding 22 tackles last week at Bradley-Bourbonnais; he has 42 on the season, with 4 sacks.

Ridgewood (4-2, 2-1) at Fenton (3-3, 1-1)Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Bison defensive ends Jeff Andrews and Louis Rago must keep lanes against running Ridgewood quarterback Joe Krasinski. Speaking of running, former Fenton guard Jimmy Deckert planked Guerin for 205 yards, a thunder-lightning duo with Ethan Doliente.

Riverside-Brookfield (2-4, 0-3) at St. Francis (5-1, 2-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Last they met in 2013, St. Francis won 35-9. A banged-up backfield last week had Joe Lang filling in to get the job done. Quarterback Tommy Rittenhouse comes off his top game, 243 yards passing with scores to Zach Radel, Tyler Bishop, Henry Plamondon.

St. Charles North (5-1, 4-0) at Glenbard North (0-6, 0-4)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: The Panthers got a bad break with an injury to linebacker Mike Wellman. Maksym Shershen hit Lake Park with an interception return for touchdown, and Jordan McQuarter's 187 yards rushing are just the thing that can sideline St. Charles North's offense.

St. Viator (0-6, 0-4) at Benet (4-2, 2-2)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday at Benedictine University in Lisle.

The quick hit: After breaking a two-game losing streak by beating Joliet Catholic, the Redwings hope to heal up and still win the next two weeks. They played through eight injuries last week but found a way with quarterback Colin Gillespie and receiver Niko Kasprzycki.

Streamwood (1-5, 1-5) at Glenbard East (6-0, 6-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: There's a little buzz around school this homecoming, Glenbard East having clinched its first playoff berth since 1999. Linemen Dylan Marin and Nick Andrews return from midseason bruises, in front of a back rotation that may again extend well past Jake Netchin.

Westmont (3-3) at Westville (0-6)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: A three-hour drive for Westmont to play a Westville team that graduated a ton of seniors from an 11-1 2A quarterfinalist. With Sentinels QB Troy Schlicher out due to injury, Gavin Carr has assumed control. Kwentin Brookins is dangerous on returns.

Wheaton North (3-3, 2-2) at Geneva (0-6, 0-4)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: With 7 points or fewer in three games, the Falcons need to emerge from an offensive rut. They're hoping sophomore Samson Zander can add zip to the running game. The Falcons should be in good shape against Geneva if the defense continues to play well.

York (2-4, 1-2) at Oak Park (4-2, 2-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: York is grinding through its toughest stretch of schedule while trying to stay playoff eligible. Dealing with Oak Park's defense will be a challenge as the Dukes try to get the run game going with Kevon Robinson, Nick Conroy and quarterback Danny Dunn.

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