Scouting this weekend's DuPage County football games
By David Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit
Benet (6-0) at Loyola (4-2)
Game time: 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Last week: Benet 21, St. Laurence 14; Loyola 35, Brother Rice 14.
Last year: Did not play.
Outlook: Benet last started 6-0 in 2013, but that's where the Redwings want the comparisons to stop. That season they lost their final three games as well as their opening-round playoff game. The schedule certainly gets harder from here on out, starting with the defending Class 8A champion Ramblers. With immense depth Loyola's discovered a pretty impressive group of offensive talent. In last week's win the Rambers achieved balance with running back Vaughn Pemberton and quarterback J.T. Thomas. Benet defensive linemen Jacob Snell, a Miami of Ohio commit, and John Golden have combined for 8 sacks. Linebackers Dan Glimco and Sean Torres are also defensive leaders. Torres, who's rushed for 445 yards, and Snell, who's snared 9 catches for 153 yards, surround third-year quarterback Colin Gillespie with scoring threats on offense. Gillespie offers a true dual threat. He's thrown for 898 yards and rushed for 233 yards, and he's accounted for 16 total touchdowns.
Next week: Benet at St. Rita; Loyola at Marian Central.
Glenbard North (3-3, 3-1) at St. Charles North (4-2, 3-1) DuKane Conference
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Glenbard North 51, Lake Park 14; St. Charles East 31, St. Charles North 21.
Last year: St. Charles North 38, Glenbard North 14.
Outlook: Glenbard North has lost to teams a combined 16-2 and has won three of its last four games. After St. Charles North sophomore player Aidan Carlson's serious brain injury it's uncertain what type of atmosphere the Panthers will find, somber or energized. They must bank on the latter and the best way to counter that is to follow linemen Jahquell Reese, Mark Keith, Johnny Cassidy, Paulie Robertson, Ben Voigts, tight end Jake Cicero and run the ball. Jordan McQuarter's 185 yards rushing with 5 touchdowns against Lake Park was the Panthers' top effort to date. Surging Denhim Betney, supported by fullback Josh Kliment, added 109 yards rushing. St. Charles North, 2018 Class 7A runner-up, also pounds the rock with Nick DeMarco at 451 yards rushing, 10 touchdowns. Ben Furtney affects play at running back and linebacker, and 1,000-yard passer Kyler Brown spreads the ball to four main receivers, with Ryan Thiesse averaging 23 yards a reception.
Next week: Glenbard North at Wheaton Warrenville South; Batavia at St. Charles North.
Glenbard South (5-1, 5-1) at South Elgin (6-0, 6-0)
Upstate Eight Conference
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Glenbard South 44, Fenton 20; South Elgin 48, Larkin 0.
Last year: South Elgin 55, Glenbard South 7.
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. This comes while quarterback Nick Plaso is making his best option reads of the season. Plaso accounted for 242 yards and 5 touchdowns against Fenton, with scoring strikes to Yazan Blan and Trevor Burnett. Kylen Henderson ran for more than 100 yards himself. Somehow, lineman Connor Murphy and 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 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.
Next week: Glenbard South at Glenbard East; South Elgin at Bartlett.
Naperville North (2-4, 2-1) at DeKalb (4-2, 2-1)
DuPage Valley Conference
Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Naperville North 41, Metea Valley 21; DeKalb 34, Waubonsie Valley 7.
Last year: Did not play.
Outlook: Naperville North had its best offensive showing in last week's win while rolling up more than 400 yards. The Huskies displayed tremendous balance thanks in much part to a strong effort running the ball with Justin Sterling, who rushed for 90 yards. Big-play potential, though, comes from quarterback Anthony Gabrione and do-it-all receiver Matt Maschmeier. The senior has 32 catches for 536 yards, but he's also a scoring threat on defense and on special teams. The way DeKalb has piled up points -- at least 30 in each of the last three weeks -- the Huskies need to score in bunches again. Jalon Redmond and Trenton McCollum get the ground game going while quarterback Trenton Kyler keeps the Barbs balanced with receiver Alex Siebens. The Huskies still need to shore up their defense after allowing another 400 yards last week. Defensive lineman Ethan Hilgert had 2 of the team's 4 sacks, while defensive back Nico Cegles added double-digit tackles.
Next week: DeKalb at Naperville Central; Neuqua Valley at Naperville North.
York (3-3) at Willowbrook (5-1)
Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Hinsdale Central 28, York 21; Willowbrook 35, Hinsdale South 0.
Last year: Willowbrook 28, York 14.
Outlook: For all the talk about Willowbrook's offense -- and rightfully so -- the Warriors' defense has improved throughout the season and last week notched its first shutout. Two-way play makes it work with Deandre Holliday, Sam Tumilty, Sergio Ayala and others. Sophomore lineman Josh Brown, meanwhile, had 3 tackles for loss last week and 2 sacks. The Dukes thrive with a physical offensive line headed by Josh Mathiasen and Jack Wall. Nick Conroy rushed for 190 yards last week, although York has shown the ability to move the chains through the air with quarterback Max Assaad and receiver Owen Pechous. Willowbrook's offense remains a work in progress, but the rhythm's been better in recent weeks thanks to Tumilty's leadership at quarterback. He's accounted for 1,260 passing yards and 669 rushing yards. Running back Ta'Vion Geanes has multiple 100-yard games, while Holliday and Everett Stubblefield have combined for 45 catches and 984 receiving yards.
Next week: Oak Park at York; Willowbrook at Morton.
The Rest of the Best
Coal City (6-0, 4-0) at Lisle (4-2, 2-2)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday at Benedictine University in Lisle.
The quick hit: Payton Hutchings is a three-year starting quarterback for the No. 3 team in Class 3A, and running back Daniel Jezik is a load. But so too is Lisle's 1-2 punch of Mike Walker and Brett Weber up the gut, and Demetrius Kelly and Connor Nigro attacking the flanks.
Downers Grove North (3-3, 1-3) at Oak Park (3-3, 2-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The Trojans' losses the last two weeks were to unbeaten Hinsdale Central and Glenbard West. While they love the run game behind left tackle Hunter Campbell, Trojans coach Joe Horeni wants to see quarterback Drew Cassens take chances with the pass.
Elgin (2-4, 2-4) at Fenton (2-4, 2-4)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The loser misses the playoffs. Two of the Upstate Eight's most electric players square off in Elgin's Xavier Bonds and Fenton's Andre Bess. The Bison return receiver Diamon King from injury and need a strong outing from the O-line led by Julian Giles.
Geneva (0-6, 0-4) at Wheaton North (2-4, 0-4)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Wheaton North needs to slow the Vikings' power run game after Geneva used last year's game to close the season on a three-game winning streak. Wheaton North's getting strong play from cornerback Joe Swaray and sophomore running back Brayton Maske.
Glenbard East (5-1, 5-1) at Streamwood (2-4, 2-4)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Streamwood, nearly 100 percent run, is on a three-game slide. Glenbard East's Doug Pham, Dan Quirk and Jason Torrevillas will fly to contain the double wing. As Rams sophomore quarterback Connor Cerkas has matured, the offense has opened up.
Glenbard West (6-0, 3-0) at Lyons Twp. (3-3, 1-2)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Another week, another dominant performance from Hilltoppers defensive linemen Dave Lanciloti, Alfredo Yanez, Kevin Tracy and two-way standout Denin Limouris. Jalen Moore and company have combined for more than 1,800 rushing yards.
Hinsdale South (3-3, 2-1) at Proviso East (4-2, 3-1)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: There's a clear playoff path for the Hornets, but they need to get past an interesting and offensively potent Pirates team averaging more than 30 points. With only 24 playoff points, Hinsdale South may need to sweep its final three opponents to qualify.
Leyden (1-5, 1-2) at Addison Trail (0-6, 0-3)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: There's daylight for the Blazers, whose final three opponents have four total wins. Addison Trail enjoyed its best ground game last week thanks to the two-way play of Eric Reed, a junior linebacker who rushed for 61 yards on 13 carries behind a young line.
Montini (4-2) at St. Joseph (1-5)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday at Elmhurst College.
The quick hit: Montini's loss to Notre Dame reduced its CCL/ESCC Blue title hopes to a share, but the Broncos will bounce back a game at a time starting with this crossover. They'll lean on back C.J. Bufkin and receiver Nate Muersch in this game moved from Westchester.
Morton (0-6, 0-3) at Downers Grove South (3-3, 2-2)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Downers South hasn't won back-to-back games all season, but the Mustangs likely have to win four straight -- starting with last week's win over Addison Trail -- to reach the playoffs with six wins. That's the situation with only 21 playoff points.
Naperville Central (2-4, 2-1) at Waubonsie Valley (2-4, 0-3)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Could be a muddy field in this one, which means the Warriors leaning on offensive lineman Charlie Millington and running backs Bryce Logan and Antonio Torres. After running only 29 plays last week, the Redhawks need to keep their offense on the field.
Neuqua Valley (5-1, 3-0) at Metea Valley (1-5, 0-3)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The Wildcats' defense deepened significantly last week with the return from injury of safety Joey Matusik. C.J. Wilcox rushed for 183 yards for the Mustangs. Running back Elijah Wright returns this week, meaning Wilcox can roam where needed in the offense.
Proviso West (0-6, 0-4) at Hinsdale Central (6-0, 3-0)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: The Red Devils won't look ahead to next week's showdown at Glenbard West. Shorthanded in the secondary due to injury, Hinsdale Central saw Matt O'Connell and Nyme Hussain step up. Last week running back Mark Skokna had a breakout performance.
St. Edward (4-2) at IC Catholic Prep (6-0)Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: IC Catholic cornerback Chauncey Lee is on the case against hot St. Edward quarterback Anthony Holte. Then again, last year the Green Wave came out and ran only dive plays. After senior Kevin Cooke, ICCP's next five top tacklers are juniors or sophomores.
St. Francis (5-1, 3-0) at Riverside-Brookfield (5-1, 2-1) Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Tyler Bishop, Ben Radel or Cale Baumgartner may need to shore up a secondary less than 100 percent healthy, against an R-B squad that St. Francis coach Bob McMillen said passes about 70 percent of the time. Strong up front, St. Francis averages 50 points.
West Chicago (0-6, 0-6) at East Aurora (2-4, 2-4)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: West Chicago's goal is to eliminate teams, like East Aurora, that have playoff goals. The passing game between Luke Krogh and Mark Pinkevich continues to shine, but the Wildcats seek to set that up better first on the ground with Jordan Garcia and Oscar Luna.
Westmont (1-5, 0-3) at Ridgewood (2-4, 1-2)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: In Week 6 Westmont quarterback Zack Fischer threw for 182 yards and 2 touchdown passes to Ben Juska -- and most importantly, remained healthy. This week's emphasis is improved tackling, as well as to remove Ridgewood from playoff consideration.
Wheaton Academy (3-3, 0-3) at Aurora Central Catholic (1-5, 0-3)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: Wins are at a premium for the Warriors, who still have Riverside-Brookfield and Aurora Christian on their schedule. On ACC's grass field, Warriors linemen Josh Brunner, Peter Johanik and Dan Kowalczyk will face an opponent that likes to blitz nearly every play.
Wheaton Warrenville South (4-2, 2-2) at Lake Park (2-4, 1-3)Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: WW South got its offense going last week with Prince Lankah rushing for 96 yards and a touchdown and Parker Brown throwing for 117. Lancers safety Jeremy Segreti and two-way linemen Victor Rodriguez and Ryan Schleimer have emerged as leaders.