Scouting Week 8 in Lake County
By Joe Aguilar and Bill McLean
NORTHERN LAKE COUNTY CONFERENCE
Antioch (6-1, 5-0) at Lakes (5-2, 4-1)When: 7:15 p.m., Friday
Last week: Antioch def. Round Lake, 34-6; Lakes def. Grayslake Central, 47-13.
Last year: Antioch def. Lakes, 43-24; Antioch def. Lakes, 17-16, in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs.
Outlook: Lakes' Eagles practiced under the lights Wednesday. Nothing new there. "We do that every week, and it's usually our best practice of the week," Lakes third-year football coach Jordan Eder said. "It allows our players to do their homework and other things they normally wouldn't be able to do in the afternoon. And it gives coaches the opportunity to eat dinner with their families."
Spectators can't wait to consume Friday night's delicious Community High School District 117 rivalry game between Antioch and Lakes in Lake Villa. Eder, a former offensive lineman at Antioch, and his Eagles relish the chance to halt the Sequoits' astounding Northern Lake County Conference winning streak at 26 games.
"It's a respectful rivalry, for sure, but it also will be another intense, fun, exciting and physical game -- it's always physical when these teams get together. Antioch's defense is lights-out, but I like our defense, too."
Antioch's defense yields a puny 3.3 points per game; Lakes' 'D' allowed 13 or fewer points in 4 of its 5 victories. In other words, don't expect a repeat of Antioch's basketball-ish 43-24 defeat of Lakes a year ago, when Antioch recovered emphatically from a 24/7 first-half deficit on its home turf.
"Very few blowouts in Antioch-Lakes games," said Sequoits coach Brian Glashagel, who, as a Conant safety, got amped up for the Conant-Schaumburg rivalry game from 1986-89. "I mean, just look at our playoff score (17-16 Antioch win) against Lakes last season."
The two schools went with a combined three backup quarterbacks last weekend. Eder deployed senior wideout and former Niles West gridder Jack Lochner for injured first-stringer Chris Selig (sprained ankle) in Lakes' 47-13 defeat of Grayslake Central. All Lochner did was complete 7 of 11 passes for 112 yards and scoot 6 times for 50 yards, with 2 of the rushes resulting in TDs.
"Phenomenal kid, outstanding athlete," said Eder, who expects Selig to start against Antioch.
Glashagel, meanwhile, used senior QB Evan Day and junior QB A.J. Kutcher for sidelined standout signal caller Athan Kaliakmanis (out for the season with a broken collarbone in his non-dominant shoulder) in Antioch's 34-6 defeat of Round Lake. Kutcher connected with wideout Dino Kaliakmanis on a 63-yard TD, and Day rushed for a 14-yard TD.
"Both," Glashagel said Wednesday, "are taking reps this week."
Lakes' defense scored a pair of TDs vs. GC, one coming on senior DB Brandon Burdette's 38-yard interception return, the other on senior DT Isaiah Perrin's 33-yard fumble return. Perrin moonlights on the other side of the line, serving in the Eagles' rotation at right guard.
"We do our best to keep his legs fresh," Eder said. "Isaiah has been such a force for us on the defensive line."
Lakes senior RB David Garcia rushed 12 times for 103 yards in Week 7.
A sling-wearing Athan Kaliakmanis got called for a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in Antioch's JV game against visiting Hinsdale Central on Columbus Day.
"Fun story," Glashagel said. "We had just scored a touchdown when Athan ran out to an end zone to jump and shoulder-bump the player who scored. Athan used his good shoulder. You can't really get mad at a kid for doing something like that. Athan loves football, everything about it, and he's such a great teammate."
Wauconda (2-5, 2-3) at Round Lake (1-6, 0-5)When: 7 p.m., Friday
Last week: Wauconda lost to Grayslake North, 48-24; Round Lake lost to Antioch, 34-6.
Last year: Wauconda def. Round Lake, 46-20.
Outlook: Neither team is headed to the postseason, but it will be a historic night for Round Lake, which will finally unveil its new stadium, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony 45 minutes before kickoff. Wauconda sophomore Colin Husko has taken advantage of increased opportunities to run the ball. He rushed for 101 yards and 2 TDs on 20 carries last Friday night and also kicked a field goal. Wauconda averages 17. 9 points per game and allows 31.9 per game. Round Lake averages 15.9 points and allows 35.9 per game.
Grant (6-1, 4-1) at Grayslake North (3-4, 2-3)When: 7:15 p.m., Friday
Last week: Grant def. North Chicago, 13-12; Grayslake North def. Wauconda, 48-24.
Last year: Grayslake North def. Grant, 40-7.
Outlook: Grant has secured its first playoff berth since 2012, but for the second year in a row Grayslake North is looking to close out the regular season with a winning streak in order to become playoff-eligible. The Knights have won two in a row and have to beat Grant and Grayslake Central to reach five wins. Last year, they won their final five games but missed the postseason due to a lack of playoff points. While Grant edged North Chicago last Friday, Grayslake North got a career night from RB Christian Johnson (19 carries, 286 yards, 4 TDs) and 3 TD receptions from WR Joe Swanson.
Grayslake Central (1-6, 1-4) at North Chicago (2-5, 2-3)When: 7 p.m., Friday
Last week: Grayslake Central lost to Lakes, 47-13; North Chicago lost to Grant, 13-12.
Last year: Grayslake Central def. North Chicago, 25-16.
Outlook: Grayslake Central hasn't allowed fewer than 28 points in any game this season and is giving up an NLCC-worst 36.4 points per game. Remarkably, more than half of North Chicago's games have been decided by 1 point. The Warhawks are 1-3 in those four games. They have lost the last two weeks by 1 point each time, to Wauconda (14-13) and Grant (13-12).
NORTH SUBURBAN CONFERENCE
Warren (7-0, 5-0) at Stevenson (4-3, 4-1)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Warren def. Lake Zurich, 24-3; Stevenson def. Waukegan, 27-0.
Last year: Warren def. 21-0.
Outlook: Warren continued its season-long dominance last Friday night at Lake Zurich, and the Blue Devils will clinch a share of the NSC championship by beating the Patriots. Warren has allowed only 21 points all season and no opponent has scored more than 6 points against the Blue Devils. RB Derrick McLaughlin rushed for a career-high 210 yards and 2 TDs against Lake Zurich. Stevenson has won four of its last five and needs to beat either Warren or Lake Forest (next week) to become playoff-eligible. One more win will all but officially clinch the Patriots' 31st postseason berth in a row.
Libertyville (3-4, 2-3) at Lake Forest (4-3, 3-2)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Libertyville def. Mundelein, 29-7; Lake Forest def. Zion-Benton, 26-0.
Last year: Lake Forest def. Libertyville, 16-9.
Outlook: It's an important game for both teams, as each is still alive in the playoff hunt. Libertyville needs to win its final two games (home vs. Zion-Benton next week) in order to become playoff-eligible, while Lake Forest needs just one more win (home vs. Stevenson next week) in order to achieve the same feat. Wildcats QB Blake Ellingson threw for 288 yards and 2 TDs against Mundelein. At Zion-Benton last Friday, Lake Forest welcomed back Notre Dame-bound DL Rylie Mills, who had been sidelined with an injury suffered in Week 2.
Mundelein (2-5, 1-4) at Lake Zurich (4-3, 4-1)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Mundelein lost to Libertyville, 29-7; Lake Zurich lost to Warren, 24-3.
Last year: Lake Zurich def. Mundelein, 42-0.
Outlook: At Libertyville last Friday, Mundelein (15.3 points per game) failed to score in double digits for just the second time this season. Lake Zurich had its four-game winning streak snapped by Warren and needs one win to become playoff-eligible. Lake Zurich RB and leading rusher Jack Dwyer (641 yards, 7.3 average, 8 TDs) suffered what Bears coach Ron Planz called a "lower-leg injury" late in the first half against Warren and did not return to the game. Planz said Dwyer is "week to week and questionable" for Friday's game.
CENTRAL SUBURBAN LEAGUE NORTH
Maine West (6-1, 3-0) at Vernon Hills (4-3, 1-2)When: 7 p.m., Friday
Last week: Maine West def. Maine East, 47-6; Vernon Hills lost to Deerfield, 23-20.
Last year: Maine West def. Vernon Hills, 54-0.
Outlook: Vernon Hills' playoff hopes are still alive, but the Cougars likely will have to win out since they might not have enough playoff points to make the postseason with five wins. Their four nonconference opponents have a combined 7 wins. QB Thomas Monken continued his good season in the Cougars' loss at Deerfield, throwing for 194 yards and 3 TDs, including a pair to WR Jack Barszcz. The Cougars are 0-2 since losing leading rusher and scorer Ryan Mann to a broken leg in Week 5. Maine West has won 18 of its last 21 regular-season games. The Warriors have also clinched their third consecutive playoff spot for the first time in school history. QB Danny Kentgen has thrown for 1,615 yards and 21 TDs. Maine West has shut out Vernon Hills the past two seasons.
Brother Rice (4-3) at Carmel (1-6)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Brother Rice lost to St. Laurence, 21-10; Carmel lost to Joliet Catholic, 42-14.
Last year: Teams did not play each other.
Outlook: It's Carmel's final home game and an opportunity to win for only the second time this season. The Corsairs have allowed an average of 37.8 points per game during their four-game losing streak (St. Patrick, Providence, Marian Central. Joliet Catholic). Carmel K Jillian Walsh has booted 24 PAT kicks. Brother Rice went 13-1 last year, losing to Loyola Academy in the Class 8A championship game. The Crusaders (1-1 CCL/ESCC Blue Division) have lost their last two games. They average 23.1 points per game and allow 21.4 per game.