Football: Scouting Week 9, Northwest

 
By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/18/2018 10:50 PM
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Mid-Suburban East

Wheeling (3-5, 1-3) at Hersey (7-1, 3-1) When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last year's result: Hersey 44, Wheeling 0

Outlook: Wheeling's disappointing loss in overtime last week eliminated the Wildcats from the playoff hunt. Wheeling will look to push Hersey down the seed ladder. Michael Best has been phenomenal all season for the Wildcats and has put himself in the conversation as offensive MVP in the East. Hersey will look to rebound after its loss last week to Rolling Meadows. The Huskies can still score points in droves and Jordan Hansen is a touchdown machine, rushing for 8 touchdowns in the last 2 games. Wide receiver Kacper "Ghost" Rutkiewicz committed to Illinois State last week. Hersey has gone 6-4 in the last 10 years against Wheeling.

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

Last year's result: Prospect 49, Elk Grove 0

Outlook: Elk Grove has a huge opportunity to play spoiler here. The Grens have played 7 playoff teams and have lost to each of them, but have been playing well of late. Their running attack, led by Ian Ridge, has been very dangerous the past few weeks. With a victory, Prospect would have 5 wins and at least 38 playoff points which should make the Knights eligible for the playoffs. Michael Shafis stepped up huge last week to keep the Knights alive with his 134 rushing yards in their overtime win over Wheeling. Prospect has won 7 of the last 10 games in the series.

Rolling Meadows (8-0, 4-0) at Buffalo Grove (5-3, 2-2)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last year's result: Buffalo Grove 22, Rolling Meadows 16

Outlook: Rolling Meadows overcame its toughest test of the season last week in a come-from-behind win over Hersey to win the East title. Now Meadows will look to run the table with its high scoring offense that is averaging 49 points per game and is led by Jace O'Hara, Tim Szylak, Charlie Svoboda and Arek Kleniuk. With their win last week, Buffalo Grove has become playoff eligible with 5 wins and a guaranteed 38 points. The Bison defense, which has allowed just 7 points in each of its last two games, is led by Sean Jacobs and Carter Gledhill, who leads the area in interceptions. Meadows has won 8 of the last 10 games with BG.

Mid-Suburban West

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

Last year's result: Schaumburg 24, Fremd 20

Outlook: The loser here ends its season for sure and even if they win, the Saxons may as well. The Saxons, who have lost 3 of the last 4 games, currently have 34 playoff points and are assured of 2 more. But with the cut expected to be at least 37 and maybe even 38, Schaumburg will need some outside help. Fremd wasn't even thinking playoffs after starting its season 0-3. Now the Vikings, who have won 4 of their last 5, are on the verge of one. With a win, they will clinch a spot since they already have 42 playoff points. The teams have split their last 10 meetings.

Palatine (1-7, 0-4) at Barrington (5-3, 2-2) When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last year's result: Barrington 26, Palatine 24

Outlook: The season has been a long one for Palatine, which will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2013. The defense continues to struggle, allowing nearly 39 points per game. Offensively, the future looks bright with sophomore Ronald Todd, who has rushed for 418 yards. Barrington has split its season into thirds. The Broncos won their first three, lost the next three and have now won 2 in row heading into their final game. EJ Darlington continues to impress with 30 catches for 543 yards. Barrington is assured of making the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season with 5 wins and 45 playoff points. Palatine has won 8 of the last 10 games with Barrington.

Hoffman Estates (6-2, 2-2) at Conant (6-2, 4-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last year's result: Hoffman Estates 20, Conant 6

Outlook: The annual battle for football supremacy in Hoffman Estates between a pair of teams assured playoff spots. Hoffman was on a roll the first 6 weeks of the season, winning all of its games. However the Hawks have stumbled badly the last two weeks, losing to both Barrington and Fremd. Conant captured its first MSL West title since 2003 and first outright title since 2002. Look for Conant, which likes to pound on the ground with Malik Frederick, Anthony Spates and Kevin Polaski, to attack a Hoffman defense that has surrendered 671 rushing yards in the last 2 games. Hoffman has won the last 3 games, but Conant leads 6-4 over the last 10 seasons.

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Central Catholic (3-5, 1-5) vs St. Viator (0-8, 0-6) at Robert MorrisWhen: Friday, 7 p.m.

Outlook: St. Viator is in danger of going winless for the first time since it began playing football at the school in 1963. It is not that the Lions did not have opportunities. They have been close in at least 3 of their games this season, but have faltered down stretch. Despite scoring just 65 points this year, St. Viator has a great shot to change those fortunes this week. The Lions' opponent, Marian Central, is a team that has lost its last 4 games and 5 of its last 6 games and has scored just 42 points in the last 4 games.

Central Suburban North

Maine West (7-1, 4-0) at Deerfield (4-4, 3-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last year's result: Deerfield 31, Maine West 30

Outlook: With a win, Maine West will party like it is 1963. The Warriors have not won a conference title outright since the days of Kennedy. And the last time they won it outright, they weren't even in the Central Suburban League -- they were members of the Mid-Suburban League. It is a run-first attitude that hails from the 60s that has this Maine West team eyeing some history. Jake Bellizzi, who has banged off 1,095 yards and 21 touchdowns, is a throwback-type player. Deerfield, which has defeated Maine West 15 of the last 16 times the teams have met, needs a win to claim share of the CSL North title and earn a playoff berth.

West Suburban Gold

Morton (2-6, 1-4) at Leyden (3-5, 2-3)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: Despite a very good season, Leyden will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The Eagles were officially eliminated after their loss last week to Hinsdale South. It will be senior night at Leyden, but eyes will be on the future. Junior running backs Vince Fredrickson, who has rushed for 481 yards 11 touchdowns this season, and Nick Motyka, who has also run the ball well for Leyden this year, provide a solid foundation. Morton is coming off a win over Addison Trail last week to break a 5-game losing streak.

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