Scouting this weekend's DuPage County football games

  • Neuqua Valley's Jack Belskis, right, goes after Stevenson's Jean-Marc Etienne during their game Friday in Lincolnshire.

      Neuqua Valley's Jack Belskis, right, goes after Stevenson's Jean-Marc Etienne during their game Friday in Lincolnshire. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/13/2019 6:37 AM

Bartlett (1-1, 1-1) at Glenbard South (2-0, 2-0)

Upstate Eight Conference

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

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

Last week: Glenbard East 24, Bartlett 21; Glenbard South 21, Elgin 12.

Last year: Bartlett 33, Glenbard South 23.

Outlook: Bartlett will enter highly focused. Despite linebacker Brenden Gran playing what coach Matt Erlenbaugh called "the game of his life" last week, getting hit after hit on the quarterback, and defensive end Dan Angelone following suit, the Hawks surrendered the lead with 1:27 left. Bartlett left several interception chances on the table, Erlenbaugh thought. Running back Tyler Rivelli didn't get cheated. The junior cut on a dime for touchdown runs of 54 and 85 yards and has run for 318 yards on 16 carries to date. Raiders like defensive lineman Connor Murphy and linebackers Tony Ashley and Jeremy Gelino can't leave their feet against this guy. Offensively, the past two weeks Glenbard South has shown some diversity with receiver Cade Hardtke, running back Kylen Henderson and versatile Trevor Burnett, who scored twice last week. Linemen Brendan Fearon, Kyle Bailey, John Golden, Faiz Hameed and Murphy must communicate to limit Bartlett's aggressive defensive front.

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

Downers Grove South (1-1, 0-0) at Willowbrook (1-1, 0-0) West Suburban Gold

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

Last week: Downers Grove South 20, York 14; Willowbrook 21, Oak Park 6.

Last year: Willowbrook 42, Downers Grove South 20.

Outlook: With both sides coming off a huge WSC crossover victory, the Gold championship might be decided by this division opener. Downers South's offense is looking more crisp than it has in years, mainly because off stability at quarterback with junior Cole Warehime. That's allowed Rahshon Murff to settle in at running back and Jayden Lambert to use his athleticism all over the field. Warehime has two strong targets in Eli Reed and Richard Pecenka. Linebacker Anthony Becht powers the defense, but it'll need Shawn Lee healthy up front. Willowbrook quarterback Sam Tumilty continues to dominate, but last week he got help from the ground game when Ta'Vion Geanes rushed for 118 yards. The Mustangs, though, will focus on slowing receivers Deandre Holliday and Everett Stubblefield. Other playmakers are emerging for the Warriors, including on defense where sophomore lineman Josh Brown has excelled at the art of disruption.

Next week: Proviso East at Downers Grove South; Willowbrook at Leyden.

East St. Louis (2-0) at Neuqua Valley (2-0)

Nonconference

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

Last week: East St. Louis 32, Trinity Catholic, Missouri, 0; Neuqua Valley 28, Stevenson 21.

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Last year: Did not play.

Outlook: Where to start with the talent at East St. Louis? Quarterback Tyler Macon, running back DaMonta Witherspoon and receivers Lawaun Powell and Dylan Appleton are among the skill players with Division I college offers. Offensive lineman Javontez Spraggins and safety Antonio Johnson are headed to Tennessee, while defensive lineman Kevon Billinsgley is committed to Missouri. It's an array of talent on both sides of the ball unlike anything Neuqua Valley will see this season. The Wildcats' defense has been impressive so far, especially in the second half of both games. You can count on linebacker Jack Belskis for double-digit tackles every time he takes the field, but the strength up front with J.J. Robertson and Kyle Kasche frees him up. If the Flyers do roll up points, Neuqua Valley has the offensive skill to keep up. Quarterback Mark Gronowski and running back Armani Moreno, who has rushed for 270 yards, will keep the chains moving thank to a Matt Appel-led offensive line.

Next week: Belleville West at East St. Louis; DeKalb at Neuqua Valley.

Montini (2-0) at Mt. Carmel (2-0)

Nonconference

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

Last week: Montini 55, Collins 0; Mt. Carmel 21, Maine South 7.

Last year: Did not play.

Outlook: Montini shifts gears from last week's opponent to the No. 1 team in Class 7A. (Montini is No. 2 in Class 5A.) The Broncos beat Mt. Carmel in 2016, lost in 2017. Last week Montini worked on timing in the passing game and it resulted in 5 touchdowns on 7 passes from three quarterbacks, including starter Deontay Bell's 3 scores on 5 passes. It will be much, much harder against Caravan safety Marty O'Brien, linebacker Michael Foggie and a defense that Montini coach Mike Bukovsky feels may be the best his team will see. Like Bell, Mt. Carmel quarterback Justin Lynch is a dual threat. Broncos safeties DiAndre Harris and C.J. Bufkin walk a fine line both containing Lynch and defending the pass. But like Bukovsky said, defense starts up front, and against Division I line recruit Jalen Grant the Broncos will try to make things tough by switching looks and personnel. That package will include Demond Butcher, Sonny Ortiz, Vinicio McPhee and veterans Cam Richardson and bruising Pat Peters.

Next week: St. Rita at Montini; Loyola at Mt. Carmel.

St. Charles North (1-1, 0-0) at Wheaton North (2-0, 0-0)

DuKane Conference

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

Last week: Bolingbrook 21, St. Charles North 6; Wheaton North 23, Lake Forest 7.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Last year: St. Charles North 17, Wheaton North 3.

Outlook: Considering the adversity for the Falcons -- five players transferring out and significant injuries to defensive back Riley Dravet and receiver Christian Halstead -- it's been a very impressive couple of weeks. Four sophomores have helped fill the roster admirably, a group headed by quarterback Mark Forcucci, who's completed 61 percent of his 28 passes, and running back Brayton Maske, who's averaging nearly 90 rushing yards. An underrated offensive line headed by Walker Rickord makes it all work. The defense is solid as expected with linebackers Xander Mueller, committed to Northwestern, and Zach Lorentsen. Facing the North Stars, the state runner-up in Class 7A last season, will be the Falcons' biggest test thus far. It hasn't been easy for St. Charles North, which rallied from a 14-0 Week 1 deficit and trailed 21-0 last week. Quarterback Kyler Brown and running back Nick DeMarco, who's rushed for 210 yards, were key parts of last year's playoff run.

Next week: Geneva at St. Charles North; Lake Park at Wheaton North.

The Rest of the Best

Addison Trail (0-2, 0-0) at Proviso East (1-1, 0-0)

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

The quick hit: In past seasons this would be a slam dunk victory for the Blazers, but Proviso East stayed within 31-20 of Lyons Twp. last week. Despite the Blazers' struggles, they're still getting solid play from several guys, including defensive lineman Manny Hernandez.

Batavia (1-1, 0-0) at Lake Park (1-1, 0-0)

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

The quick hit: This isn't a good time for the Lancers to limp into a game, but that's exactly what they'll do after running back Jordan Colon left last week's win with an injury. Slowing Batavia means slowing running back Art Taylor, who last week rushed for 150 yards.

Fenton (2-0, 2-0) at Streamwood (1-1, 1-1)

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

The quick hit: Two teams trying to join the Upstate Eight Conference race using totally different styles. Streamwood option quarterback Andrew Phan is 0-for-2 passing. Fenton spread-set QB Nick Benn has thrown for 490 yards, 7 touchdowns, 6 of those scores last week.

Glenbard East (2-0, 2-0) at West Chicago (0-2, 0-2)

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

The quick hit: Bartlett punished Rams quarterback Connor Cerkas, who answered with the winning pass to LaDonus Rogers. Deon Cook's fourth-down grab on his back was incredible. The Wildcats' Luke Krogh throws well, but Rams cornerback Dan Schager gives no inch.

Hinsdale Central (2-0) at Hinsdale South (1-1)

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

The quick hit: Red Devils quarterback Mike Brescia has accounted for 346 total yards and 3 touchdown passes to Braden Contreras. Similarly, Hornets quarterback Marquese Garrett has piled up 75 percent of his team's yards. Eight of his 9 completions are to Jaylon Smith.

Lisle (2-0, 0-0) at Manteno (0-2, 0-0)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: This one counts toward Illinois Central Eight standings. Manteno is huge up front, with linemen like 290-pound Jeremy Gesky. So the Lions will try to run them ragged chasing athletes like Dylan Laue, Demetrius King and shifty Lisle quarterback Aidan Lombardo.

Metea Valley (0-2) at Belleville East (0-2)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Now that the Mustangs have a passing threat with sophomore quarterback Logan Frederick, look for seniors C.J. Wilcox and Elijah Wright to bring balance in the run game. Fellow sophomores Jalen Johnson and Johnny Flynn will bolster the secondary.

Naperville Central (0-2) at Pickerington (Ohio) Central (2-0)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: For all the out-of-state games the Redhawks have played in recent seasons, this may be the toughest against a team ranked 20th in the nation by USA Today. Naperville Central put up 300 yards on Lincoln-Way East thanks in much part to receiver Bo Turner.

Naperville North (0-2) at Massillon (Ohio) Perry (2-0)

Game time: 6 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Considering the pace of the Huskies' offense, they can't afford to fall behind again to a physical, run-heavy Perry team. Naperville North can match that physicality on defense with linemen Connor Corrigan and Ethan Hilgert, and linebacker Cole Loebig.

Proviso West (0-2, 0-0) at Glenbard West (2-0, 0-0)

Game time: 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

The quick hit: The Andrew Johnson-led offensive line has been magnificent for the Hilltoppers' dominant run game. Everyone knows about the experience on defense, but don't forget the steady play of under-the-radar linebackers Will Skowronski and Jonathan Yangas.

St. Charles East (2-0, 0-0) at Glenbard North (0-2, 0-0)

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

The quick hit: Quarterbacks Nathan Hayes and B.J. Crossen and running back Cole Conn sparked St. Charles East to 479 yards of offense against Carmel. Glenbard North senior Jordan McQuarter will deliver the pass rush, and on offense the Panthers just need to finish.

St. Ignatius (2-0) at Benet (2-0)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Benedictine University in Lisle.

The quick hit: Third-year Redwings quarterback Colin Gillespie left last week's game with a broken nose, but he'll play ... with a protective visor on his face mask. As Jacob Snell's shown he's unblockable on the defensive line, linebacker Dan Glimco's led the second level.

Waubonsie Valley (2-0) at Louisville (Kentucky) Trinity (3-0)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Warriors quarterback Ethan Nelson last week completed 15 passes to seven receivers. He had plenty of time to throw thanks to linemen Sam Skuja and Charlie Millington. An aggressive defense is epitomized by linebackers Grayson Griffin and Ryan Mutz.

Westmont (1-1) at St. Francis (1-1)

Game time: 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Wheaton College.

The quick hit: Another Westmont newcomer, James Lyzniak, led the team in rushing last week. St. Francis' Luke Meyer will attempt to limit him and Ben Juska. Quarterback Tommy Rittenhouse's aerial circus is a winner, and Ben Radel has sparked the Spartans' ground game.

Wheaton Academy (2-0, 0-0) at IC Catholic Prep (2-0, 0-0)

Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday at Plunkett Park in Elmhurst.

The quick hit: Wheaton Academy already is banged up, cornerback Will Casto and linebacker Sam Palmer out for the year. What can the Warriors do but hitch up their pants and challenge the powerful Knights. QB Danny Cronin accounted for 362 yards last week.

Wheaton Warrenville South (2-0, 0-0) at Geneva (0-2, 0-0)

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

The quick hit: With eight juniors starting on defense, the Tigers need to shore up against the run. Last week they allowed four big run plays to Lockport. Quarterback Parker Brown is developing a strong rapport with his receivers, especially fellow junior Kaleb Clousing.

York (1-1, 0-0) at Downers Grove North (2-0, 0-0)

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

The quick hit: Expect a physical showdown in this WSC Silver opener. Max Assaad should be back at quarterback for the Dukes. Defensive back Mark Dennison, who had 2 interceptions, and linebacker Drew Bielawski led Downers North to a shutout victory last week.

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