Scouting Week 7 in Lake County
By Joe Aguilar and Bill McLean
NORTH SUBURBAN CONFERENCE
Warren (6-0, 4-0) at Lake Zurich (4-2, 4-0)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Warren def. Zion-Benton, 56-6; Lake Zurich def. Libertyville, 24-22.
Last year: Warren def. Lake Zurich, 34-6.
Outlook: To Warren football coach Bryan McNulty, the Blue Devils' Week 7 opponent will be their seventh top-ranked foe this fall. "Every team we prepare for is the No. 1 team in the state," McNulty insisted a couple of a days after his formidable squad rushed for 8 touchdowns in a 56-6 rout of Zion-Benton. "That's how we think each day in practice. We're there to work. We'll never consider a team on our schedule any differently than the others."
Lake Zurich, winners of four straight games after an 0-2 start and sitting atop the NSC standings with Warren, figures to fare much better than a 38-3 loss -- the average final score of Warren's six victories this fall. The Bears received a late 36-yard field goal from junior Jack Rigby in their 24-22 defeat of Libertyville last weekend. LZ needed only 34 plays from scrimmage to tally those 24 points. And for those who think LZ relies too heavily on its running game, there's this: the Bears passed for 220 yards and rushed for 126.
"When you focus too much on stopping our ground game, that usually opens things up for our receivers," Bears first-year coach Ron Planz said, alluding, in part, to senior wideout James Piggott's 7 receptions for 158 yards (including a 69-yard TD) in the Libertyville game.
Warren has won 16 of its last 17 games, dating to Week 2 of the 2018 season.
Blue Devils senior running back and Indiana State recruit Derrick McLaughlin (7 carries, 115 yards) and sophomore running back Kash Becoat (7-34) each rushed for 3 TDs against the Zee-Bees, with senior third-year starting center Matt Rich having a thing or 275 (his weight, in pounds) to do with the productive efforts.
"Matt is not just our line's anchor," McNulty said of the 6-foot-2 trench force. "He's also one of those kids who brings everybody together. He's friendly to all; he'll go up to you and talk with you, no matter your age or position. If there's a new guy around, I want that new guy to meet Matt first."
Blue Devils senior Torris Childs made the most of his 4 totes vs. Z-B, scoring on half of them, and finishing with 149 yards rushing. Warren averaged 14.4 yards per rush.
Blue Devils senior defensive tackle and Iowa State-bound Willis Singleton (6-2, 285) and senior outside linebacker Juan De La Cruz (6-3, 215) embolden the club's A-one 'D'. Senior DT Markos Sanchez recorded 2 sacks in the Z-B game.
"Dominant offensive line, dominant defensive line," Planz said of Warren, a Class 8A state quarterfinalist in 2018. "Great special teams, too. That's a complete football team."
McNulty, on Lake Zurich: "They have an excellent offense and an extremely stout defense. Their quarterback (senior Jack Moses) is as dangerous as any player is in our conference. We have to be ready for him, for (junior running back) Jack Dwyer, for Piggott, for everybody. We're looking forward to playing a big game in a hostile environment."
Moses passed for those 220 yards and ran for a pair of TDs in Week 6, and Dwyer churned his way to 93 yards on 11 carries.
The win against visiting Z-B last weekend was McNulty's 40th at Warren. The program's sixth-year coach is 40-19 (. 678).
Planz, on Lake Zurich's 24-6 loss to Fremd in a season opener Aug. 30: "That feels like it happened a year ago."
Mundelein (2-4, 1-3) at Libertyville (2-4, 1-3)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Mundelein lost to Stevenson, 35-14; Libertyville lost to Lake Zurich, 24-22.
Last year: Libertyville def. Mundelein, 34-14.
Outlook: The rivalry game features a pair of teams fighting for their playoff lives. Mundelein has played creditably on both sides of the ball. The Mustangs have allowed 124 points, after giving up 285 last season. Libertyville suffered a heartbreaking loss at Lake Zurich, which got a late-game field goal to take the lead. Wildcats QB Blake Ellingson (130 rushing yards, 157 passing yards) ran for a score and threw 2 TD passes.
Stevenson (3-3, 3-1) at Waukegan (0-6, 0-4)When: 1:30 p.m., Saturday at Weiss Field
Last week: Stevenson def. Mundelein, 35-14; Waukegan lost to Lake Forest, 48-0.
Last year: Stevenson def. Waukegan, 42-0.
Outlook: Stevenson has won three of its last four games and has been led by RB JM Etienne, who's scored 8 TDs and has averaged 160 rushing yards per game during the stretch. Patriots QB Liam Crawley has started the last three games in place of the injured Justin Hiller (shoulder). Waukegan has been outscored 267-20 this season.
CENTRAL SUBURBAN NORTH
Vernon Hills (4-2, 1-1) at Deerfield (4-2, 1-1)When: 7 p.m., Friday
Last week: Vernon Hills lost to Highland Park, 16-7; Deerfield def. Maine East, 47-15.
Last year: Deerfield def. Vernon Hills, 23-20.
Outlook: The winner becomes playoff-eligible with two games left in the regular season following Friday. Vernon Hills will play the rest of the season without leading rusher and scorer Ryan Mann, who suffered a broken femur against Niles North in Week 5. Mann finishes the season with 573 rushing yards (6.8 per carry), 16 receptions and 11 TDs. QB Thomas Monken surpassed 1,000 passing yards (1,149) for the season against Highland Park. WRs Jack Barszcz (game-high 92 yards) and Jake Pieper each had 5 receptions.
NORTHERN LAKE COUNTY CONFERENCE
Round Lake (1-5, 0-4) at Antioch (5-1, 4-0)When: 7:15 p.m., Friday
Last week: Round Lake lost to; Antioch def. Grayslake Central, 34-0.
Last year: Antioch def. Round Lake, 72-0.
Outlook: It's Antioch's first game since losing QB Athan Kaliakmanis to a season-ending broken collarbone last Friday night against Grayslake Central. While the Sequoits average 27.7 points per game, they have allowed only 17 points all season and have posted four shutouts in their last five games. LB Ryan Shaputis leads the Sequoits with 71 tackles (7 TFLs). Round Lake has allowed an NLCC-high 217 points and have lost four games in a row.
North Chicago (2-4, 2-2) at Grant (5-1, 3-1)When: 7:15 p.m., Friday
Last week: North Chicago lost to Wauconda, 14-13; Grant def. Lakes, 25-7.
Last year: Grant def. North Chicago, 10-3.
Outlook: Coming off its first victory this season over an opponent with a winning record, Grant looks to clinch its first playoff berth since 2012. Against Lakes, Grant was led defensively by ILB Kyle Rainey (4 sacks, forced fumble) and offensively by RB Dylan Hernandez (121 rushing yards, 3 TDs) and QB Tyler Elfering (92 rushing yards, TD pass). Grant has allowed only 62 points all season, fewest in the NLCC behind only Antioch (17). North Chicago's NLCC games against Lakes (loss), Grayslake North (win) and Wauconda (loss) have all been decided by 1 point.
Lakes (4-2, 3-1) at Grayslake Central (1-5, 1-3)When: 7:15 p.m., Friday
Last week: Lakes lost to Grant, 25-7; Grayslake Central lost to Antioch, 34-0.
Last year: Lakes def. Grayslake Central, 49-0.
Outlook: Lakes QB Chris Selig suffered a sprained left ankle against Grant last Friday. He will not play Friday and is "day to day," Eagles coach Jordan Eder said. Eder is not certain whether Selig will return for the Week-8 showdown against Antioch. Lakes had its four-game winning streak snapped against Grant. A week after scoring 56 points against Round Lake, Grayslake Central was held off the scoreboard by Antioch. The Rams are allowing 34.7 points per game.
Grayslake North (2-4, 1-3) at Wauconda (2-4, 2-2)When: 7 p.m., Friday
Last week: Grayslake North def. Round Lake, 43-12; Wauconda def. North Chicago, 14-13.
Last year: Grayslake North def. Wauconda, 21-14.
Outlook: It's a must-win game for both teams, as the loser will be eliminated from playoff contention. Grayslake North, led by WR Joe Swanson's 2 TD catches and QB Nick Fish's 2 TD passes and 1 TD run, broke out offensively against Round Lake. Wauconda got by North Chicago last Friday thanks to a pair of TD passes from QB Nick Bulgarelli to WR JJ Jacobo. Bulgarelli has completed 57 percent of his passes this season for 1,121 yards and 10 TDs, 6 of which have gone to Jacobo (24 receptions). WR Javerius McGuinn (17 receptions) has 3 TD catches.
Carmel (1-5) at Joliet Catholic (3-3)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday at Joliet Memorial Stadium
Last week: Carmel lost to Marian Central, 28-14; Joliet Catholic def. St. Ignatius, 40-14.
Last year: Joliet Catholic def. Carmel, 56-21.
Outlook: Carmel had big news this week, as coach Blake Annen announced his resignation after two seasons. Annen will coach the rest of the season, which for the third year in a row will not include the playoffs for the Corsairs. Against host Marian Central last Friday night, Carmel got TDs from RB Gabe Lynch (1-yard run) and WR Jalen Burton (65-yard kickoff return). JCA averages 28.2 points per game and allows 23.7 per game.