Scouting this weekend's DuPage County football games

Updated 11/2/2018 9:04 AM
  • Glenbard West's Corey Williams reels in a pass during first round playoff football action at Bartlett Friday night.

      Glenbard West's Corey Williams reels in a pass during first round playoff football action at Bartlett Friday night. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

Class 8A

No. 9 Hinsdale Central (8-2) at No. 8 Warren (9-1)

Game time: 7 p.m. Saturday.

Last week: Hinsdale Central 28, No. 24 Conant 14; Warren 14, No. 25 Neuqua Valley 3.

Outlook: Can Hinsdale Central put enough points on the board? After Warren posted another stellar defensive effort, it's a good question. The Blue Devils have notched five shutouts and allowed only 26 total points since Week 1. The critical matchup is Hinsdale Central's offensive line, led by WSC Silver offensive lineman of the year Brendon Passarelli, against the Blue Devils' defensive line that averages 265 pounds a player on their four-man front. Hinsdale Central must be diverse in its attack by utilizing quarterback Matt Rush, who's thrown 20 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, and Matt Bobek, who's rushed for 1,005 yards and 9 scores. With Sean Kelly and Hayden Waters, Hinsdale Central's defensive line isn't too bad either.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Class 8A quarterfinals against the winner between No. 16 Oak Park at No. 1 Brother Rice.

No. 5 Marist (9-1) at No. 21 Naperville Central (7-3)

Game time: 7 p.m. Saturday.

Last week: Marist 28, No. 28 Stevenson 6; Naperville Central 42, No. 12 Plainfield South 10.

Outlook: After splitting two previous postseason meetings, these storied programs meet for a third time. Last week Marist held Stevenson without a touchdown on multiple trips into the red zone, but Western Michigan-bound Redhawks quarterback Payton Thorne figures to be much more efficient if given the same opportunities. He's thrown for 2,850 yards and 35 touchdowns, including 82 catches for 1,271 yards by Cade McDonald. To keep Marist's potent offense off the field, Naperville Central needs to keep the chains moving with running back Danny Hughes, who's rushed for 1,103 yards. Marist quarterback Mike Markett and receiver Jadon Thompson have combined 42 times for 621 yards. Markett also has 724 rushing yards.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Class 8A quarterfinals against the winner between No. 4 Homewood-Flossmoor at No. 20 Barrington.

No. 2 Lincoln-Way East (10-0) at 18 Glenbard West (8-2)

Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday.

Last week: Lincoln-Way East 49, No. 31 St. Charles East 0; Glenbard West 49, No. 15 Bartlett 20.

Outlook: The Griffins boast six shutouts, including two straight, and have outscored every opponent by at least 19 points. Most games ended with running clocks. While containing quarterback Jake Baltz is a concern, the biggest threat is the Griffins' ground game of Jordan Corbett, Devon Williams and A.J. Henning, who is playing more at receiver. With the Hilltoppers' defensive line banged up, offensive lineman Andrew Johnson has played both ways. Defensive backs Sean Michel and Sam McGee are also key. Offensively, the Hilltoppers depend upon Tyquan Cox, who's rushed for 1,347 yards and 23 touchdowns, including six last week. Glenbard West would love to see its play-action pass game click with quarterback Tommy Bleker.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Class 8A quarterfinals against the winner between No. 7 West Aurora at No. 23 Edwardsville.

No. 6 Maine South (9-1) at No. 22 Waubonsie Valley (7-3)

Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday.

Last week: Maine South 55, No. 27 Huntley 14; Waubonsie Valley 38, No. 11 Bolingbrook 21.

Outlook: Playoff giant-killer Waubonsie claimed another victim, scoring on rushing touchdowns by quarterback Jack Drow, running back Dre'Von Turner and tailback Bryce Logan, who tallied 3 on 113 yards rushing. Maine South is a large giant, though, 67-27 in the playoffs. The Hawks sent seven players into the end zone against Huntley, quarterback Cole Dow throwing for 3 touchdowns. Maine South didn't allow a play over 10 yards. That won't dismay Waubonsie, which can take heart in Barrington's Week 3 26-23 win over the Hawks. Make it a four-quarter game, dink and dunk passes to Harper Cole, Myles Pettaway, Ryan LeMoine and Julian Cain, pressure with linebacker Carson O'Donnell and company, and no turnovers is the ticket.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Class 8A quarterfinals against the winner between No. 3 Oswego at No. 19 Loyola.

Class 7A

No. 12 Maine West (9-1) at No. 5 Willowbrook (10-0)

Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday.

Last week: Maine West 20, No. 21 Benet 18; Willowbrook 35, No. 28 Lincoln Park 0.

Outlook: After a self-admitted lackluster performance last week, Willowbrook must match the energy of a fired-up Maine West program that just won its first playoff game and has nine wins for the first time. Sophomore linebacker Mohammad Ayesh, Willowbrook's leading tackler, and defensive lineman Nick Rushing will be tasked with slowing Maine West running back Jake Belizzi, who's closing in on 1,500 rushing yards this season. Willowbrook junior quarterback Sam Tumilty -- one of many two-way players -- has rushed for 1,099 yards and thrown for 1,985 while accounting for 39 touchdowns. With Scott Tumilty, Deandre Holliday and C.J. Harris, Willowbrook has plenty of playmakers to keep Maine West's defense busy.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Class 7A quarterfinals against the winner between No. 13 Moline at No. 4 Batavia.

No. 15 East St. Louis (8-2) at No. 2 Glenbard East (10-0)

Game time: 2 p.m. Saturday.

Last week: East St. Louis 62, No. 18 Hoffman Estates 14; Glenbard East 40, No. 31 Prospect 14.

Outlook: Glenbard East got win No. 10 for the first time in program history. But despite a No. 15 seed, eight-time state champion East St. Louis is a load. The Flyers average 53 points and held Hoffman Estates to 17 yards rushing, 195 total, forcing 5 turnovers. DeMonta Witherspoon returned a fumble for 1 touchdown and A.J. Johnson returned an interception for another. Ball possession is among many keys for Glenbard East. Quarterback Bret Bushka has thrown only 3 interceptions to 26 touchdowns. Jeremy Johnson pulled down 4 of his 19 TD catches against Prospect. East St. Louis has 3,536 yards rushing; Rams defensive linemen Nick Andrews, Jesus Lopez, Ben Pham, Jose Portillo-Vargas and Ruben Ramirez seek to control the gaps.

Advancement: The winner will play the winner of No. 7 Mt. Carmel at No. 23 Lake Zurich.

No. 14 Wheaton Warrenville South (9-1) at No. 3 Hononegah (10-0)

Game time: 3 p.m. Saturday.

Last week: WW South 20, No. 19 Belleville West 12; Hononegah 21, No. 30 Buffalo Grove 20.

Outlook: WW South's offense hasn't been flashy, doing just enough to be effective, but the Tigers are winning with defense and special teams. That's due in much part to Joe Ives, who has 8 interceptions and last week returned a punt for a touchdown. Explosive receiver Tiwan Smith, out the last three weeks, will return to bring a boost to the offense. Quarterback Noah Henkel has added his own boost with his keepers. Hononegah's offense can spread out defenses and let quarterback Ryan VanSchelven, who's thrown for 1,459 yards, go to work. Or the offense will go power behind massive interior offensive linemen. Tigers linebacker Jake Stransky missed a bunch of action due to injury, but he's working his way back into the lineup.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Class 7A quarterfinals against the winner between No. 6 Rolling Meadows at No. 22 St. Charles North.

Class 5A

No. 5 Sycamore (8-2) at No. 4 Montini (9-1)

Game time: 2 p.m. Saturday.

Last week: Sycamore 21, No. 12 Rochelle 7; Montini 42, No. 13 Woodstock North 7.

Outlook: Montini has eliminated Sycamore from the playoffs five times since 2007. Broncos coach Mike Bukovsky still expects a close contest. Helming a versatile double-wing offense that features fullback Logan Egler, quarterback Grant McConkey hit Rochelle with 3 touchdown runs. Linebacker Grayson Burns and the Spartans defense allowed an early 93-yard TD run but 134 yards and 3 first downs thereafter. A Montini team that's outgained foes 3,423 yards to 1,709 and is plus-15 on turnovers is hard to slow. Quarterbacks Deontay Bell and Robert Brazziel still have only 1 interception between them, and 20 TD passes. The goal is to get weapons like Nick Fedanzo, Nate Muersch, Zach Olson and Scott West open in space.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Class 5A quarterfinals against the winner between No. 8 Elmwood Park at No. 16 Evergreen Park.

No. 6 St. Francis (8-2) at No. 3 Rockford Boylan (9-1)

Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday.

Last week: St. Francis 49, No. 11 Amundsen 6; Rockford Boylan 42, No. 14 Glenbard South 0.

Outlook: St. Francis won its first playoff game since 2014. Back Henry Plamondon got reps, and a score, for the first time in weeks due to injury, then rested. Smart, as backs Plamondon, Jason Klank, quarterback Tommy Rittenhouse and the Spartans offensive line need to be in top, turnover-free form against a Boylan defense that allowed Glenbard South 34 yards rushing with 5 sacks, 3 interceptions. Senior linebacker Caleb Henderson showed his former running back skills on a 58-yard pick-6, plus a 3-yard TD run. Most of Boylan's 345 yards rushing came via quarterback Jake Bergstrom, back De'Treyvion Malone and sweeping wideout Luca Dal Santo. If kicked to, which hasn't happened of late, Spartan Joe Lang can take it to the house.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Class 5A quarterfinals against the winner between No. 2 Sterling at No. 10 Brooks.

Class 4A

No. 1 IC Catholic Prep (10-0) at No. 9 Stillman Valley (7-3)

Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday.

Last week: IC Catholic 49, No. 16 Raby 8; Stillman Valley 28, No. 8 Dixon 13.

Outlook: Stillman Valley earned its first playoff win since 2013. The Cardinals lost to three playoff teams that are a combined 26-4. IC Catholic, of course, hasn't lost to anyone and beat Raby in a running-clock game for the ninth time in 10 games. Adding 130 yards and 3 touchdowns, running back Kyle Franklin upped his totals to 1,427 yards, 25 touchdowns. Linebacker Kevin Cooke made 15 tackles, among five Knights with tackles for loss. They'll all come into play Saturday against Stillman Valley's double-wing option headed by quarterback Tyler Lamer and fullback Logan Lagerhausen. To win the line of scrimmage against solid interior linemen ICCP may rotate up to 12 linemen including 6-3, 350-pound freshman Alphonso Betts.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Class 4A quarterfinals against the winner between No. 5 Marengo at No. 4 Bronzeville.

Class 3A

No. 5 North Boone (8-2) at No. 4 Lisle (9-1)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday at Benedictine University in Lisle.

Last week: North Boone 48, No. 12 Mid-County 7; Lisle 38, No. 13 Dwight 14.

Outlook: North Boone earned its first playoff win since 2004, Lisle its first since 2003. North Boone quarterback Britton Morris has thrown for 2,758 yards and 32 touchdowns; Ethan Rydell has 80 receptions, 1,058 yards, 14 touchdowns. Lisle has intercepted 18 passes led by safety Jay McGrath with 4 and Demetrius Kellie, Connor Nigro and Brett Weber each with 3. Morris throws deep but also leads the Vikings in rushing; Lisle defensive ends Charlie Waldusky and Mike Walker have contain on the scrambling senior. Lisle's Kellie caught 5 passes for 95 yards against Dwight. He and tight end Nick Martich can stretch defenses the width of the field while Walker and quarterback McGrath, who ran for 4 touchdowns last week, ram the interior.

Advancement: The winner advances to the Class 3A quarterfinals against the winner between No. 1 Byron at No. 9 Princeton.

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