Scouting this weekend's DuPage County football games
By David Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit
Bartlett (1-0, 1-0) at Glenbard East (1-0, 1-0)
Upstate Eight Conference
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Bartlett 43, East Aurora 8; Glenbard East 27, Elgin 24.
Last year: Glenbard East 38, Bartlett 15.
Outlook: One of the UEC's top games this fall pits retooled defending champion Glenbard East hosting upwardly mobile Bartlett. As Bartlett coach Matt Erlenbaugh anticipated, junior quarterback Mike Priami played "like a seasoned veteran" in his first varsity game, making correct reads and checks. Running back Tyler Rivelli scampered for 161 yards and touchdowns of 70 and 40 yards. Two-way lineman Dan Angelone heads a strong group on both sides of the ball. The only thing Erlenbaugh thought the Hawks lacked was takeaways, a focus Friday. Glenbard East's nearly all-new cast opened with a more ground-based offense, Jamylenn "O.J." Miles and Chris Whitehead combining for 206 yards rushing, 3 touchdowns. Like Priami, Rams sophomore quarterback Connor Cerkus showed poise and accuracy, plus a connection with both Deon Cook and James Loynes, the latter on a 22-yard touchdown catch. Guard Connor Peterson and the hogs look to march steadily downfield.
Next week: Bartlett at Glenbard South; Glenbard East at West Chicago.
IC Catholic Prep (1-0) at Joliet Catholic (0-1) Nonconference
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Joliet Memorial Stadium.
Last week: IC Catholic 52, Belleville Althoff 7; St. Rita 31, Joliet Catholic 14.
Last year: IC Catholic 42, Joliet Catholic 0.
Outlook: IC Catholic's 2018 bona fides climbed with a dominant win over a Joliet Catholic team that advanced to win the Class 5A title. The Knights began this season much like the last, at least on the scoreboard. With Althoff's goal to take away ICCP back Kyle Franklin -- also Joliet Catholic's goal -- quarterback Danny Cronin ran for 82 yards and threw 2 touchdown passes to Chauncey Lee and a third to Kevin Cooke, while Deontae Oatman averaged 12 yards a carry. Team leader Cooke also scored his first defensive touchdown on a 60-yard interception return. Getting off the ball to match Joliet Catholic offensive guard William Berry and his mates will dictate how ICCP handles the Hilltoppers, who were within 17-14 of St. Rita with five minutes to play. Turnovers, including a 99-yard interception return, helped do in JCA. Wing-T backs Kenyetta Williams and Jai'aire Mack and safety Jabril Williams will be among the best players ICCP will see all year.
Next week: Wheaton Academy at IC Catholic; St. Laurence at Joliet Catholic.
Lincoln-Way East (1-0) at Naperville Central (0-1)
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Lincoln-Way East 30, Stevenson 7; Hinsdale Central 14, Naperville Central 6.
Last year: Lincoln-Way East 38, Naperville Central 19.
Outlook: For the second straight year Naperville Central faces one of the state's elite teams -- and potentially an 0-2 start -- following a tough opening loss to the Red Devils. Lincoln-Way East comes at teams from a variety of ways but much of it involves Michigan-bound athlete A.J. Henning, who's finally healthy this season. He lines up as a receiver, but he'll also get into the action running the ball on jet sweeps and behind center in the wildcat. Defensively, the Griffins present a potent 1-2 line punch with Northwestern-bound Sean McLaughlin and Adrian Wilson, a Bowling Green commit. Naperville Central reached the red zone four times last week but settled for a pair of field goals. And as much as the offensive hype surrounded the pass game, it was Trevor Simpson and the ground game that churned for over 100 yards. If the run and pass get in sync, the Redhawks are in business. Naperville Central's defense kept the team close last week, and it may need to do so again.
Next week: Bradley-Bourbonnais at Lincoln-Way East; Naperville Central at Pickerington (Ohio) Central.
Neuqua Valley (1-0) at Stevenson (0-1)
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Neuqua Valley 27, Glenbard North 10; Lincoln-Way East 30, Stevenson 7.
Last year: Stevenson 23, Neuqua Valley 15.
Outlook: Neuqua Valley hopes to carry over a dominant second-half performance against Glenbard North. Not only did the Wildcats rally to victory and blank the Panthers 20-0, the defense didn't allow them past midfield. Defensive lineman J.J. Robertson had 2 sacks and linebacker Jack Belskis had 12 tackles, 4 tackles for loss and a sack. For a second straight week the Wildcats need to slow down a strong running game, this time led by Stevenson third-year starter and 1,000-yard rusher J.M. Etienne. Like the defense, Neuqua Valley's offense also got rolling last week. While quarterback Mark Gronowski was a true dual threat with 93 rushing yards and 94 passing yards, Armani Moreno rushed for 105 of his 128 yards in the second half. Check out next week's matchups and you'll see the importance of this one. East St. Louis makes its second trip this season to the western suburbs to play the Wildcats and the Patriots face a rivalry game against Libertyville.
Next week: East St. Louis at Neuqua Valley; Libertyville at Stevenson.
Willowbrook (0-1) at Oak Park (0-1)
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Providence 14, Willowbrook 7; Waubonsie Valley 23, Oak Park 14.
Last year: Did not play.
Outlook: The West Suburban Conference crossovers rotated again and landed on a good one between the Gold and Silver. Neither side had the execution they wanted last week in opening losses. Willowbrook made it inside the 30-yard line multiple times against a tough Providence defense but only came away with one touchdown on a broken play. Between quarterback Sam Tumilty and receivers Deandre Holliday and Everett Stubblefield, the passing game looks in good hands after accounting for 175 yards. The running game, though, continues to be a work in progress. The Warriors will need it to overcome their struggles sustaining drives. For Oak Park, the opposite was true last week in its second straight loss to Waubonsie Valley. Running back Nazareth Bryant rushed for a 73-yard touchdown after the Huskies fell behind 17-0 but junior quarterback Jaden McGill, who just picked up a Kansas State offer, couldn't find his rhythm and threw a pair of interceptions.
Next week: Downers Grove South at Willowbrook; Oak Park at Lyons Twp.
The Rest of the Best
Addison Trail (0-1) at Downers Grove North (1-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Last week the Blazers started 13 players who hadn't played a varsity game. Downers North quarterback Drew Cassens and running back Josh Lumpkin combined for 300 rushing yards. Linebacker Drew Bielawski helped shut down Buffalo Grove's option.
Batavia (0-1) at Naperville North (0-1)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Even though Batavia surrendered nearly 600 yards against East St. Louis, the Bulldogs still stayed within striking distance. Naperville North also recovered from a tough start behind quarterback Anthony Gabrione and receiver Matt Maschmeier.
Collins (0-1) at Montini (1-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Montini headed northwest for a 22-7 Week 1 win over Hudson, Wisconsin. The Broncos looked sound on the ground with quarterback Deontay Bell running for 124 yards and back C.J. Bufkin going for 103. Here is a chance to work on timing in the pass game.
Downers Grove South (0-1) at York (1-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Downers South had a 60-yard pass and a game-winning 2-point conversion called back by penalties in a 13-12 loss to Wheaton North. York's backfield tandem of Nick Conroy and Patrick Kastner wore down Schaumburg's defense in a 16-13 overtime win.
Glenbard North (0-1) at Warren (1-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Running the ball and stopping the run remains the Panthers' goal. They did it for a half against Neuqua Valley, leading 10-7. Against Warren's strong defense linemen Jahquell Reese, Paul Robertson, John Cassidy, Ben Voigts and Miguel Galvez get back at it.
Glenbard South (1-0, 1-0) at Elgin (0-1, 0-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The Raiders' bend-but-don't-break defense contained Streamwood, but Elgin's Xavier Bonds and Brandon Bridges are gamebreakers. Raiders defensive lineman Connor Murphy and linebacker Jeremy Gelino come off great games, as does receiver Cade Hardtke.
Hinsdale Central (1-0) at Morton (0-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Hinsdale Central's trio of Nick Franko, Mark Skokna and Jaylen Laws all got touches, but quarterback Mike Brescia actually led the ground game by scoring on a 61-yard touchdown run. The defense will focus on slowing quarterback Allen Miramontes.
Hinsdale South (0-1) at Proviso West (0-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The Hornets struggled mightily in a loss to Kaneland, but they hope to fare better against a Proviso West team that had similar struggles in a 43-10 loss to Bolingbrook. With Hinsdale Central looming Week 3, Hinsdale South could use a bounce-back game.
Kirkland Hiawatha (1-0) at Westmont (1-0)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Along with Ben Juska's 3 touchdown runs, Mason Pardy scored touchdowns on kickoff, punt and interception returns and on a Zack Fischer pass to pace Westmont's 50-14 win over Collins. It could be a track meet with Hiawatha, which scored 61 last week.
Lake Forest (1-0) at Wheaton North (1-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Lake Forest's defense, led by 6-foot-5, 270-pound lineman and Notre Dame commit Rylie Mills, stood tall in a 10-7 win over Antioch. Falcons sophomore quarterback Mark Forcucci had a memorable varsity debut with a pair of touchdown passes.
Leyden (0-1) at Glenbard West (1-0)Game time: 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
The quick hit: The Hilltoppers will target Leyden's running game headed by Vince Fredrickson. He and quarterback James Lonigro combined for 163 rushing yards. Glenbard West attempted only 4 passes in last week's win. Look for that to increase.
Lisle (1-0) at Elmwood Park (1-0)Game time: 6 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Class 3A Lisle battles a 5A foe nearly double its size. Elmwood Park's Mike Stranski is a three-year starting quarterback. Lisle aims to press him with lineman Anthony Raineri and Aaron Harris and in coverage by Dylan Laue, Connor Nigro and Demetrius King.
Metea Valley (0-1) at Lake Park (0-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The Mustangs promoted three sophomores to varsity, including quarterback Logan Frederick, who gets the start. Defensive injuries are forcing the Lancers to also call up sophomores. Senior defensive back Anthony Pelligrino was strong in his first varsity game.
Moline (1-0) at Benet (1-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Benedictine University in Lisle.
The quick hit: Moline only lost to Benet in the regular season last year. The Redwings' defense surrendered 21 fourth-quarter points to Naperville North, but their quarterback pressure from linemen Jacob Snell, Cole Walsh and others paid dividends in key moments.
St. Francis (1-0) at Shepard (1-0)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Spartans quarterback Tommy Rittenhouse accounted for 5 touchdowns, 2 caught by speedy wideout Ryan French, in a shutout of Argo. Cornerbacks Stefano Bucaro and Eric Welch will get challenged by Shepard quarterback Thomas Smith, a solid passer.
Waubonsie Valley (1-0) at Libertyville (1-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Expect to see 1,000-yard rusher Bryce Logan back in the lineup for the Warriors. He'll be able to ease into the offense with the emergence of sophomore running back Antonio Torres. Linebacker Grayson Griffin led last week's defensive effort with 2 sacks.
West Chicago (0-1, 0-1) at Fenton (1-0, 1-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Despite a wide margin on the scoreboard, West Chicago quarterback Luke Krogh looked pretty good. The Wildcats will need to push back against Fenton's offensive line of Eric Moreno, Justin Giles, Ricardo Saucedo, Ethan Doliente and Angelo Mendoza.
Wheaton Academy (1-0) at St. Edward (0-1)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Two years ago in Elgin, St. Edward's late touchdown and 2-point conversion denied the Warriors a playoff berth. Starting 2019 with a 42-6 win over Urbana, Trevor Donna made 12 tackles and Sam Palmer, Josh Friedland and Gus Walakehwon made 8 apiece.
Wheaton Warrenville South (1-0) at Lockport (0-1)Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The Tigers' big-play defense came through with three turnovers, including a pair of picks. Linebackers Michael Rogers and Will Cassin helped limit Metea Valley to 3 first downs. After flashing a dominant run game, quarterback Parker Brown will open up the pass.