Football: Scouting Week 8, Northwest

By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/11/2018 9:02 PM
  • Schaumburg quarterback Marcus Ross is sacked by Conant's Frank Daidone earlier this season. Schaumburg takes on Barrington Friday night while Conant hosts Palatine.

      Schaumburg quarterback Marcus Ross is sacked by Conant's Frank Daidone earlier this season. Schaumburg takes on Barrington Friday night while Conant hosts Palatine. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Fremd's Luke Bilek (51) makes an interception against Lake Zurich earlier this season. Fremd plays at Hoffman Estates Friday night.

      Fremd's Luke Bilek (51) makes an interception against Lake Zurich earlier this season. Fremd plays at Hoffman Estates Friday night. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

Mid-Suburban East

Hersey (7-0, 3-0) at Rolling Meadows (7-0, 3-0) When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last year's result: Hersey 21, Rolling Meadows 20, Hersey 28, Rolling Meadows 6 (state playoffs)

Outlook: The MSL game of the year. The two teams are very well acquainted with each other with players from both teams having played youth football together. But those friendships will be put aside for 48 minutes in what many expect to be a high-scoring, up and down game. Hersey is averaging 47 points per game behind Jordan Hansen, Ryan Justice and Kacper "Ghost" Rutkiewicz. Rolling Meadows'offense has been unstoppable, thanks to the area's leading rusher Tim Szylak, who has battered opponents for 1,090 yards this season. Jace O'Hara and Arek Kleniuk also have kept defenses on their toes. The Mustangs are averaging nearly 51 points per game. Rolling Meadows holds an 8-3 advantage in the last 10 years.

Wheeling (3-4, 1-2) at Prospect (3-4, 1-2)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last year's result: Prospect 12, Wheeling 7

Outlook: It's all about staying alive as the loser of this game is officially eliminated from playoff contention while the winner lives on. Both teams head into the game on losing streaks with Prospect dropping its last 3 games and Wheeling its last 2. The main culprit for Prospect has been its defense, which has allowed 134 points during that 3-game span. Wheeling needs to get its offense back on track and has a good chance here. The Wildcats played just a half of football against Rolling Meadows last week before the weather washed out the remainder of the game. During that time, Wheeling managed just 1 first down and 34 yards of offense. Prospect has won 8 of the last 10 meetings.

Buffalo Grove (4-3, 1-2) at Elk Grove (1-6, 1-2)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last year's result: Buffalo Grove 44, Elk Grove 7

Outlook: Buffalo Grove can make a major step forward to qualifying for the playoffs with a win this week. The Bison showed that they may have corrected their offensive woes last week when they knocked off Prospect. Connor Adams and Vinni Hoffman provided the Bison with the offensive spark they needed. The Bison will have their hands full against an Elk Grove team that has been playing much better in the past couple of weeks. Even though the Grens stumbled last week against Hersey, they still managed some bright spots including Ian Ridge, who has rushed for 298 yards in the last two games. Elk Grove has won 7 of the last 10 games.

Mid-Suburban West

Palatine (1-6, 0-3) at Conant (5-2, 3-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last year's result: Palatine 27, Conant 14

Outlook: The MSL West has had some tight games this year. Palatine has been as close as any team could be to having won its last two games. The Pirates lost on a touchdown pass in the closing seconds two weeks ago. Last week it was a blocked field goal by Schaumburg on the game's last play. Palatine has been getting some solid running from Ronald Todd and some key catches from Luka Popovic. Conant scored with 3 seconds to play to beat Fremd and take over sole possession of first place in the West. The Cougars' running attack of Malik Fredrick, Bradley Spates and Kevin Polaski have a knack for controlling the ball and the clock. Palatine has won the last 3 meetings and 8 of the last 10.

Barrington (4-3, 1-2) at Schaumburg (4-3, 1-2) When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last year's result: Barrington 48, Schaumburg 20

Outlook: After 3 consecutive losses, Barrington righted the ship with a rout of Hoffman Estates. Barrington got its offense back into full gear behind junior wide receiver EJ Darlington, who caught and ran for a touchdown and Michael Curran who ran for 120 yards and a touchdown. Schaumburg broke its 2-game losing streak with an exciting win over Palatine. The Saxons, who had been struggling offensively the past two weeks, exploded for 30 points behind the play of Heze Trotter and Michael DiGioia. Barrington has won the last 4 games and 7 of the last 10.

Fremd (3-4, 2-1) at Hoffman Estates (6-1, 2-1)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last year's result: Hoffman Estates 30, Fremd 14

Outlook: Fremd needs to win its next two games to qualify for the playoffs. Fremd will need to overcome the sting of losing in the final 3 seconds to Conant last week by trying to pound the ball against Hoffman's smaller defensive front. Hoffman is already in the playoffs. The Hawks do have their eye on a West title with wins this week and next. First they need a bounce-back game after the Hawks struggled at Barrington last week. Hoffman had a season-low of 212 total yards of offense and is hoping to take advantage of its outside speed this week. Fremd has won 8 of the last 10 meetings.

East Suburban Catholic

St. Patrick (4-3, 2-3) vs St. Viator (0-7, 0-5) at Robert MorrisWhen: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last year's result: St. Viator 32, St. Patrick 3

Outlook: The Lions have struggled offensively all season, scoring just 65 points for the season. They have not scored more than 14 points in any game this year. But the Lions look to turn that around against a St. Pat's team that has surrendered nearly 26 points per game and is coming off a huge loss to Notre Dame. St. Viator wide receiver Kevin Murphy is one of the area leaders with 27 catches for 333 yards.

Central Suburban North

Highland Park (3-4, 1-2) at Maine West (6-1, 3-0)When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last year's result: Maine West 28, Highland Park 16

Outlook: With its win last week, Maine West qualified for the playoffs for the second year in a row. It was the first time that the Warriors have qualified in back-to-back seasons in school history. Maine West continues to beat opponents up with the crushing running of Jake Bellizzi, who has rushed for 921 yards and scored 17 touchdowns this season. He should have his way again this week against a Highland Park team that has allowed 199 points this year. Maine West has also been getting solid defensive play from Bellizzi, Pablo Montes, Ely Grimmer, Eduardo Cisneros, Zack Norman, Josh Schacke and Isaiah-Siem Davis. The Warriors have pitched two shutouts this season.

West Suburban Gold

Leyden (3-4, 2-2) at Hinsdale South (5-2, 4-1)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.)

Last year's result: Leyden 21, Hinsdale South 17

Outlook: Leyden put itself on the brink of elimination from the state playoffs last week when the Eagles dropped their game to Downers Grove South. They now head out on the road for the second consecutive week and desperately need a win to have any hope to stay alive. The Eagles will hope to get better defensive play after giving up a season-high 35 points last week. After being shut out in its season opener, Hinsdale South has been a scoring machine, putting up an average of 30 points per game after that.

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