Scouting: Fox Valley's Week 7 football games

Updated 10/11/2019 7:02 AM

Elgin (2-4, 2-4) at Fenton (2-4, 2-4)

Upstate Eight Conference


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

Last year: Did not play.

Last week: Elgin 23, Streamwood 22; Glenbard South 44, Fenton 20.

Outlook: Despite the records, this promises to be a dynamite football game between teams battling to make the playoffs. Starting with, but not limited to, two of the Upstate Eight's most dynamic performers, Fenton running back Andre Bess and Elgin's versatile Xavier Bonds, each able to score from anywhere on the field. Bess has run for 810 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Bison, who have been susceptible to untimely penalties and allowing the big play while losing their last four games. Quarterback Nick Benn has thrown for 1,045 yards and 10 touchdowns but also for 7 interceptions, while his receiving corps, including top wideout Frank Krygier, has been banged up but should be healthier against Elgin. Bison coach Matthew Lynch said a key is to neutralize Elgin's speed. That is a tall order against the likes of Bonds, who averages 155.5 total yards a game including 577 yards receiving. Darien Jackson is right with Bonds' receiving total at 527 yards while Alex West is tied with Bonds at 30 receptions. It was West who laid out for Jeffery Lomax's 33-yard touchdown pass that put the Maroons on the brink of a 15-point comeback to beat Streamwood last week, capped by Bonds' conversion run. West, at linebacker, also keyed a stonewall stop of Streamwood right on Elgin's doorstep, along with linebacker Tayvion Mitchell and lineman Jakare Watson. All of the above, plus defensive tackle Mike Stine and others, are sought to contain Fenton's Bess. Elgin's schedule was front-loaded, and last week's win may deliver momentum for the fast start to this game -- and strong finish to the regular season -- coach Anthony Mason seeks. "All gas, no brakes," he said.

Next week: Larkin at Elgin; Fenton at East Aurora.

Glenbard South (5-1, 5-1) at South Elgin (6-0, 6-0)

Upstate Eight Conference

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

Last year: South Elgin 55, Glenbard South 7.

Last week: Glenbard South 44, Fenton 20; South Elgin 48, Larkin 0.

Outlook: Glenbard South gets a crack at the South Elgin juggernaut, which has allowed only 7 points (against Glenbard East) while scoring 315. Raiders coach Ryan Crissey said this Storm squad poses his team's greatest physical test to date, with a battery the likes of Michael Roath, Dylan Bernal, Andy Koch, Jacob Cooper, Justin Giannini and linebackers Vince Clinite and Sam Robles. This comes while Glenbard South quarterback Nick Plaso is making his best option reads of the season, really clicking in Weeks 5-6. Plaso accounted for 242 yards and 5 touchdowns against Fenton, with scoring strikes to Yazan Blan and Trevor Burnett. When Plaso handed off, Kylen Henderson ran for more than 100 yards himself. Somehow, and it has yet to happen, Glenbard South linebackers Jeremy Gelino and Tony Ashley have to slow South Elgin burners Corve King and Davion Cherwin, each averaging at least 12.8 yards a carry. The third-leading rusher out of this triple-option scheme is sophomore quarterback Ben Karpowicz, son of former Montini quarterback and Driscoll and Glenbard West coach John Karpowicz. The kid's thrown for 8 touchdowns, no interceptions, but with five running clocks only Glenbard East has provided much pressure. On a day with anticipated poor weather, the ground game will be important, and senior Marquis Gillespie has also added to the Storm's offensive wealth. South Elgin homecoming adds another layer of intrigue. "It's a fun week and it's awesome, but at the same time it's nerve-wracking," said coach Dragan Teonic.

Next week: Glenbard South at Glenbard East, Sept. 12; South Elgin at Bartlett.

St. Charles East (5-1, 3-1) at Batavia (5-1, 4-0)

DuKane Conference

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

Last year: Batavia 21, St. Charles East 0

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Last week: Batavia 42, Geneva 0; St. Charles East 31, St. Charles North 21

Outlook: Batavia can clinch a playoff berth and maintain sole possession of first place in the DuKane Conference with a win. St. Charles East can likewise clinch a playoff berth with a victory. A Saints win would forge a three-way tie for first place with Batavia and the Glenbard North-St. Charles North winner. A key matchup to watch is the St. Charles East running game against a Batavia defense that limits opponents to 77.5 rushing yards per game. Actually, that statistic is a bit misleading because ultra-talented East St. Louis rushed for 271 yards against the Bulldogs in the season opener. Batavia's next five opponents have rushed for 194 yards combined. The St. Charles East offense averages 136 rushing yards per game behind a line of seniors Alex Cox (6-3, 275), Wisconsin-bound Dylan Barrett (6-5, 300) and Eduardo Mancera (6-3, 260), junior Brock Donati (6-2, 260) and sophomore Tyler Risbert (6-1, 235). That group has paved the way for senior running back Cole Conn, who has rushed for 542 yards and 10 touchdowns on 112 carries (4.8 avg.). Conn scored a career-best 4 touchdowns last week. If Batavia is successful against the run, the Saints can turn to sophomore quarterback Nathan Hayes, who has completed 64 of 117 attempts (54.7%) for 888 yards and 5 touchdowns. He has thrown 7 interceptions, including 3 last week. "He's learning and you see that at times," Batavia coach Dennis Piron said of Hayes, "but he makes some special throws and he looks like he's comfortable with the system they run. He's very good. He has a good arm." The Bulldogs average 2.7 take-aways per game (9 interceptions, 7 fumble recoveries). The Batavia offense averages 207 rushing yards and 34 points per game, led by senior running backs Art Taylor (93 carries, 511 yards, 3 TD) and Quinn Urwiler (60-316- 8). Junior quarterback Kyle Oroni has completed 56 of 97 attempts (57.7%) for 714 yards and 9 touchdowns. He has been intercepted 4 times. Oroni's main target has been junior Trey Urwiler, who has 29 catches for 530 yards and 5 touchdowns. That unit faces an opportunistic St. Charles East defense that averages 3 take-aways per game. The Saints snatched 5 of their 14 interceptions last week, led by 2 from free safety Gino Cerrone. "Batavia will want to run first, but I think they'll want to throw it too," St. Charles East coach Bryce Farquhar said. "They'll be tempted to put (Trey) Urwiler down the field and get him vertical. And who wouldn't want to?"

Next week: Wheaton North at St. Charles East; Batavia at St. Charles North

Glenbard North (3-3, 3-1) at St. Charles North (4-2, 3-1)

DuKane Conference

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

Last year: St. Charles North 38, Glenbard North 14

Last week: St. Charles East 31, St. Charles North 21; Glenbard North 51, Lake Park 14

Outlook: How to handle adversity is an aspect of football St. Charles North coach Rob Pomazak says he works on with his team throughout the off-season. However, there is no blueprint for dealing with what happened last Friday to Aidan Carlson, a player on the sophomore team who suffered a serious brain injury. Carlson was transferred out of intensive care Wednesday and continues to recover. Meanwhile, the varsity team has attempted to maintain focus on the task ahead. "There's the adversity of losing and there's real adversity that we're facing right now," Pomazak said. "You can either let it crush you and completely fold or you can step into it and respond in a way that will make you proud regardless. We're choosing to step into the adversity and make it something that we feel like we can handle. We have to focus on the outcome that we want and that's a victory. And in order to have a victory we have to have great practices. I think we had our best practice of the season (Wednesday). Then just go out there and play the game of football because, at the end of the day, the game isn't going to change regardless of our personal situation. I think that's the game plan and the kids have embraced it. And I'm very proud to say to say that they've embraced it." The North Stars are well aware the Panthers are better than their 3-3 record. Glenbard North opened the season with losses to state-ranked Neuqua Valley (5-1) and Warren (6-0). They then notched a 21-7 win over St. Charles East (5-1) and lost 24-21 at Batavia (5-1). Glenbard North rushed for 361 of its 395 total yards last week in a rout of Lake Park, led by senior Jordan McQuarter (26 carries, 189 yards, 5 TD) and junior Denhim Betney (12-111-1). "They are a great team, and I don't throw that word around lightly," Pomazak said. "I think they are fast, athletic and big. And clearly their schedule is very difficult. Their record is not indicative of the type of team that they are. At the same time, there are things that we feel very good about and we feel that we match up with them." Junior Jimmy Durocher set a new single-game program record last week with 3 interceptions, highlighted by a 39-yard return for a touchdown.

Next week: Batavia at St. Charles North; Glenbard North at Wheaton Warrenville South

Cary-Grove (5-1, 5-1) at Jacobs (3-3, 3-3)

Fox Valley Conference

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Last year: Cary-Grove 49, Jacobs 14


Last week: Cary-Grove 41, McHenry 2; Prairie Ridge 52, Jacobs 15

Outlook: Cary-Grove enters Week 7 in a three-way tie for the Fox Valley Conference lead with Huntley and Prairie Ridge. Ranked No. 4 in Class 6A, the Trojans face a dangerous, hungry Jacobs squad on its home field. The Golden Eagles have lost three straight since a 3-0 start. However, they have played well against the Fox Valley Conference elite. They saddled Huntley with its only loss in Week 2 (14-7). Though last week's game at Prairie Ridge got out of hand in the second half, Jacobs was driving with a chance to take the lead late in the second quarter. However, the Wolves forced a fumble and returned it for a touchdown to flip the momentum. It was one of two fumble returns for Prairie Ridge in a game Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said was not for the faint of heart. "Jacobs plays physical," said Seaburg, who was in attendance. "We were not only able to see it, we were able to hear it. The Prairie Ridge game was an extremely physical game." Offensively, Jacobs senior quarterback Cole Bhardwaj has completed 53 of 90 attempts (60%) for 855 yards and 7 touchdowns (6 Ints.) His leading receiver, 6-foot-2 junior Max Stec, has 25 catches for 515 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running backs Jacob Mobeck and Nasir Canty have combined for 916 rushing yards and 10 scores. They face a Cary-Grove defense that has not allowed a point in four of six games. The C-G defensive line -- seniors Mitchel Dec and Michael Sullivan and rotating sophomores Matt Ortega and Zach Petko -- were in McHenry quarterback Chris Zieba's grill throughout last Saturday's victory and helped the defense claim 6 sacks. The Jacobs defense tries to slow Cary-Grove senior fullback Blake Skol, who has scored 14 touchdowns. "Obviously, this is a very good opponent but the kids are excited to play them," said Jacobs coach Bill Mitz, a longtime Cary resident. "We have to stop Skol, no doubt about that, and I'm sure Brad is going to try to throw the ball against us. We know what we have to do to get in (the playoffs). It's up to what the kids want to do. The buck stops here and let's go."

Next week: Prairie Ridge at Cary-Grove; Jacobs at Crystal Lake South

Bartlett (5-1, 5-1) at Larkin (1-5, 1-5)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Elgin Memorial Stadium.

The quick hit: With South Elgin ahead in Week 8, Bartlett's Friday focus must be to simply continue what they've done to this point. That's to play physical and hit some big plays through the air and with running back Tyler Rivelli, now up to 812 yards rushing with 8 touchdowns. Quarterback Mike Priami is nearing the 1,000-yard passing milestone at 984 yards with 12 touchdowns. Larkin's offense has centered all season around quarterbacks Dontrell Maxie and Marc Narvaez, the Royals' top two rushers at 225 and 165 yards, respectively. When primary passing quarterback Maxie targets top receiver Kione Williams-Sowers he'll do it against a Hawks defense that last week intercepted West Chicago 4 times including linebacker Jakub Maniak's incredible 2 first-quarter interceptions returned for touchdowns.

Glenbard East (5-1, 5-1) at Streamwood (2-4, 2-4)

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

The quick hit: Elgin's 15-point rally from a 22-8 deficit last week forced Streamwood into must-win games starting now. Glenbard East, which dealt Bartlett its sole loss goes behind sophomore quarterback Connor Cerkas and receivers Deon Cook, LaDonus Rogers and Armoni Gilford, all 6-foot-1 and up. They'll challenge Jakobe Strong, Darrel Luce, Piotr Jania and the Streamwood secondary, particularly if Teavion Martin can't go after hobbling off the field last week. There were highlights in the loss to Elgin, like Streamwood sophomore quarterback Kevin Lunz's 8-yard touchdown pass to receiver Zach Marquez. Buddy Martinez's 179 yards rushing, with touchdowns of 67 and 27 yards, and 56 more yards by Sirrion Dixon showed what Streamwood's double-wing offense can produce.

Plainfield North (4-2, 0-2) at West Aurora (2-4, 0-2)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Another team fighting for its playoff life, West Aurora hung with Class 8A-ranked Oswego, within 21-14 after three quarters before things devolved. The Blackhawks mustered 37 yards on 21 carries against the best defensive line that coach Nate Eimer said he'd seen since Loyola in the 2015 playoffs. Getting that backfield back in motion will be key against Plainfield North. Fans of the forward pass will like this one, though, featuring West Aurora quarterback Will Tammaru and receiver Logan Mont and Plainfield North's Adam Smith and receiver Jaylon Tillman. West Aurora linebackers Cam Van Vleet and Tim Hightower will get their track cleats on to flag down Purdue-bound back Marcellus Moore, 100-meter dash state record-holder.

St. Edward (4-2) at IC Catholic Prep (6-0)

Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Metro Suburban Conference division leaders clash in this crossover. St. Edward's rival since the days of the West Suburban Catholic Conference, ICCP is one of the state's better teams. The three-time defending state champion Knights have won 32 straight and enter as the top-ranked team in Class 4A.

Wheaton Academy (3-3, 0-3) at Aurora Central Catholic (1-5, 0-3)

Game time: 6:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Two teams without a division win face off in this Metro Suburban Blue tilt in Aurora. The Chargers were shut out last week by mighty IC Catholic Prep. The Warriors need to win this game to stay in the playoff hunt with Bishop McNamara (3-3) and St. Francis (5-1) still to play.

Aurora Christian (3-3, 1-3) at Bishop McNamara (3-3, 2-2)

Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Aurora Christian opened the season 3-0 against opponents with a combined 2-17 record. They have since lost three straight against opponents with a combined 16-2 record. Needing 2 wins to become playoff eligible, the Eagles finish the regular season against Guerin (2-4) and Wheaton Academy (3-3). Aurora Christian sophomore running back Josh Dornink averages 7 yards per carry.

Burlington Central (3-3, 3-3) at Prairie Ridge (5-1, 5-1)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Central enters Week 7 tied for fourth place in the Fox Valley Conference with its playoff hopes alive and well after last week's 35-14 win over Hampshire. The Rockets finish the season against the three 5-1 teams tied for the FVC lead: Prairie Ridge, Huntley and Cary-Grove.

Crystal Lake South (3-3, 3-3) at McHenry (3-3, 3-3)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: These Fox Valley Conference foes are in the same boat. Each needs to win two of their last three games to qualify for the playoffs. The Gators' final two games are against Jacobs and at Prairie Ridge. CL South defensive lineman Jason Burburija has 5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss.

Crystal Lake Central (3-3, 3-3) at Dundee-Crown (0-6, 0-6)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Crystal Lake Central can't afford to stub a toe against the Chargers, who have allowed 40 or more points in their last four games. Coming off a 38-7 loss to Huntley, the Tigers finish the regular season at D-C, vs. McHenry (3-3) and at Jacobs (3-3).

Hampshire (0-6, 0-6) at Huntley (5-1, 5-1)

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

The quick hit: Huntley remains in a three-way tie for the Fox Valley Conference lead with Cary-Grove and Prairie Ridge, who face each other next week. The Red Raiders can clinch a playoff berth with a sixth victory. The Huntley defense has allowed 154 total yards or more only once (221 in a win at Prairie Ridge).

Geneva (0-6, 0-4) at Wheaton North (2-4, 0-4)

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

The quick hit: Geneva likewise opened the 2018 campaign 0-6 but finished the season with three straight victories. The Vikings yield 40.6 points per game. The Falcons have been outscored 99-87. Each team last week lost to its rival. Geneva was blanked 42-0 by Batavia. Wheaton North dropped a 17-6 decision at Wheaton Warrenville South.

Ottawa (1-5, 0-4) at Kaneland (5-1, 3-1)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: The Knights can clinch a playoff berth on homecoming with an Interstate Eight Conference win against last-place Ottawa. Kaneland last week jumped to a 42-0 halftime lead against Plano as running back Jack McIntire rushed for 2 scores and quarterback Joe Smith threw for 3 touchdowns and ran for another. Smith has 10 passing touchdowns, 6 rushing.

St. Viator (4-2) at Marmion (4-2)

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

The quick hit: The Cadets look to get back in the win column in this CCL/ESCC crossover following consecutive close losses to Mt. Carmel and Fenwick. Marmion senior Major Haas has rushed for 274 yards and 2 touchdowns on 26 carries. Sophomore receiver Dane Pardridge has 25 catches for 322 yards and 3 touchdowns. Sophomore linebacker Jacob Bottarini leads the defense with 56 total tackles, 25 solo.

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