Scouting this weekend's DuPage County football games

  • Wheaton North finishes the regular season at Batavia tonight.

      Wheaton North finishes the regular season at Batavia tonight. John Starks | Staff Photographer

Updated 10/24/2019 6:42 PM

By David Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit


Aurora Christian (4-4, 1-4) at Wheaton Academy (4-4, 1-4)

Metro Suburban Blue

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

Last week: Aurora Christian 53, Guerin 0; Riverside-Brookfield 20, Wheaton Academy 17.

Last year: Aurora Christian 34, Wheaton Academy 33.

Outlook: Playoff-wise it's pretty much a win-and-in scenario for both teams, though Wheaton Academy is more secure with 38 playoff points to Aurora Christian's 35. As usual the visiting Eagles utilize all parts of the field with the passing game, courtesy of Ethan Hampton, who has thrown for 25 touchdowns to just 4 interceptions. Their top back, Josh Dornink, is a game-time decision due to an injury suffered Week 5 against IC Catholic. Aurora Christian averages 38 points, so Wheaton Academy can't allow a track meet to break out. The Warriors will attempt to make Hampton uncomfortable via the pass rush of defensive ends Jared Samuelson and Christian Pares, who offensively has arrived as a tight end. Jayson Rucker had a whale of a game last week and also has 2 of the Warriors' 8 interceptions on defense. Getting Rucker, Stephen Garner and versatile Shane Baumgarten going on the ground -- and finishing drives -- is crucial to keeping Hampton on his own sideline.

Downers Grove North (4-4) at Downers Grove South (5-3) Nonconference

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

Last week: Lyons Twp. 19, Downers North 14; Downers South 20, Leyden 3.

Last year: Downers North 10, Downers South 0.

Outlook: Downers South struggled in previous games against running quarterbacks (see Hinsdale South and Willowbrook). That's bad news when facing Trojans quarterback Drew Cassens, who leads DuPage County with 1,104 rushing yards. That's in addition to the 705 rushing yards by running back Josh Lumpkin. If Cassens can open up the passing game a bit with receivers Sam Barbato and Adam Criter, it'll be a ton for the Mustangs' defense to handle. The good news on that side of the ball is the better health of lineman Shawn Lee, who should play some offense as well. The Mustangs also will lean on linebackers Alex Rapinchuk and Anthony Becht, who last week combined for 3 sacks. There's uncertainty for Downers South on offense, where running back Rahshon Murff has been out since Week 4 due to injury. If he's back, that'd allow Richie Pecenka to return to the slot. Keep an eye on Trojans linebackers Drew Bielawski and Ryan Schindler.

East St. Louis (8-0) at Naperville Central (4-4)


Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Last week: East St. Louis 68, Belleville East 3; Naperville Central 49, DeKalb 16.

Last year: Did not play.

Outlook: The numbers for East St. Louis are staggering. The Flyers hold a 35-point average margin of victory with an explosive offense and opportunistic defense. Quarterback Tyler Macon has completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,489 yards. Four receivers have at least 20 catches and 400 yards led by Dominic Lovett's 811 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. They are two of the many East St. Louis players who hold Power Five scholarship offers. Naperville Central needs more ballhawk defense from Illinois-bound receiver Jadon Thompson and Shane Roth, who both had interception returns for touchdowns last week. Roth and fellow linebacker Luke Peterson will keep tabs on Flyers running back DaMonta Witherspoon. Redhawks quarterback Sam Jackson, committed to Minnesota, is coming off one of his better games after throwing for 287 yards and 4 touchdowns. Between Trevor Simpson and Elijah Jordan, the Redhawks need to control the tempo on the ground.

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Streator (2-6, 1-5) at Lisle (4-4, 2-4)

Illinois Central Eight

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

Last week: Manteno 35, Streator 7; Peotone 14, Lisle 12.

Last year: Lisle 23, Streator 20.

Outlook: "Win and we're in" the playoffs, coach Paul Parpet Sr. said of his Lions, who have a healthy 40 playoff points. And while banged-up Streator's victories have come against teams a combined 1-15, last season the Bulldogs were within a missed 35-yard field goal by returning quality kicker Greg Rashid of tying a 10-win Lisle team. Streator quarterback Jimmy Tredway is a two-year starter who will be staring at linebacker Andrew Weston, back after missing two games to injury. Lisle's defense, with Anthony Raineri a key component at defensive end, allows foes to convert only 26 percent of their third-down opportunities. Against Peotone that figure was 46 percent, however, and the Lions can't repeat their 4 turnovers from last week and expect to advance to Week 10. Demetrius King did what he could in a game without a Lisle offensive touchdown, scoring on an 88-yard punt return and a 29-yard fumble return -- plus a would-be winning kickoff return negated by penalty.

Wheaton North (4-4, 2-4) at Batavia (6-2, 5-1)

DuKane Conference

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

Last week: Wheaton North 24, St. Charles East 19; Batavia 27, St. Charles North 26.

Last year: Batavia 24, Wheaton North 13.

Outlook: Health, or lack thereof, will play a factor as Wheaton North plays for the playoffs. If Falcons running back Brayton Maske, who's rushed for a team-high 646 yards, is unable to go, it'll be on do-it-all Nathan Love to keep the ground game going. Two-way Batavia standout and University of North Dakota recruit Quinn Urwiler, meanwhile, was one of a few players who missed last week's win over St. Charles North. Between quarterback Kyle Oroni and running back Art Taylor, who's rushed for 700 yards, the Bulldogs have plenty of offense to keep the Falcons busy. Their linebackers -- Northwestern-bound Xander Mueller, Brayden Cook and Zach Lorentsen -- have been tremendous. The Falcons received a boost on that side of the ball when Christian Halstead, normally a receiver, returned from injury to bolster the secondary. Falcons sophomore quarterback Mark Forcucci has matured under fire and has thrown for 935 yards. Ben Bonga's become a go-to receiver.


The Rest of the Best

Aurora Central Catholic (1-7, 0-5) at St. Francis (7-1, 5-0)

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

The quick hit: St. Francis has won at least a share of the Metro Suburban Blue title, its first since sharing the 2014 Chicago Catholic Green. Injured quarterback Tommy Rittenhouse should return in the playoffs. But two-way lineman Ryan Holleman is lost to a knee injury.

Chicago Christian (5-3, 3-2) at Westmont (2-6, 1-4)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: St. Edward beat Westmont 42-0 -- but St. Edward also beat Chicago Christian 49-0, so this is a winnable game if Westmont plays mistake-free and stops the run. The goal is to send out four-year players Mason Pardy, Isaac Lischalk and Ryan Midgley on a high note.

Fenton (2-6, 2-6) at South Elgin (7-1, 7-1)

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

The quick hit: Now is the wrong time for the Bison to face South Elgin, fresh from a 17-14 loss to Bartlett, 40 points under its scoring average. Fenton QB Nick Benn, receivers Frank Krygier and Ethan Queyquep can relieve some pressure on 1,000-yard back Andre Bess.

Geneva (0-8, 0-6) at Glenbard North (5-3, 5-1)

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

The quick hit: A win would give Glenbard North at least a share of the DuKane Conference title, its first title since 2013. Angelo Cusumano and Max Eick will target Geneva's ground game at the same time the Panthers try to spring backs Jordan McQuarter and Cordell Smiley.

Glenbard West (8-0, 5-0) at Oak Park (4-4, 3-2)

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

The quick hit: A win wraps up Glenbard West's 11th unbeaten regular season. Nic Seifert's 175 rushing yards last week set the tone, but the Hilltoppers need more out of the pass game. Linebacker Will Skowronski and safety Sean Michel led the defense against Hinsdale Central.

Hinsdale South (3-5, 2-3) at Leyden (3-5, 3-2)

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

The quick hit: The Hornets are on a definite slide with three straight losses. Quarterback Marquese Garrett has carried the offense, but he went out of last week's game against Addison Trail due to injury. Backup Donald Lowdermilk had to finish up the 26-13 loss.

IC Catholic (7-1, 4-1) at Riverside-Brookfield (6-2, 3-2)

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

The quick hit: After St. Francis ended their winning streak at 33 victories -- ninth all-time in Illinois -- the Knights look to tweak the finer points in their game. Speaking of finer points, linebacker Kevin Cooke was credited with making 28 tackles against St. Francis.

Larkin (1-7, 1-7) at Glenbard East (7-1, 7-1)

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

The quick hit: Throw out the records. Glenbard East can improve its playoff seed and also win two straight conference titles for the first time in history. Armoni Gilford is getting it done for the Rams, who return linebacker Matt Schager to help deal with Larkin's read-option.

Lyons Twp. (4-4, 2-3) at Hinsdale Central (7-1, 4-1)

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

The quick hit: Sophomore Joe Antonietti kept the Lions' playoff hopes alive with 3 touchdown passes last week. The Red Devils' OT loss to Glenbard West was the first time they've trailed this season, and they rallied twice. Michael Brescia's 47 passes came in the offensive flow.

Morton (1-7, 1-4) at Addison Trail (2-6, 2-3)

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

The quick hit: Both teams picked up a win this week due to Proviso East's forfeits. Addison Trail stormed to a 3-touchdown lead in a win over Hinsdale South. A.J. Carlson thrived on both sides of the ball, including 2 interceptions, 3 pass breakups and 7 tackles on defense.

Naperville North (2-6) at Waubonsie Valley (3-5)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Naperville North won the first meeting with a big effort from Matt Maschmeier. Linebacker Cole Loebig and the defense must slow a revived Warriors ground game that last week saw running back Bryce Logan score 3 touchdowns in his best outing of the season.

Nazareth (8-0, 2-0) at Benet (6-2, 2-0)

Game time: 11 a.m. Saturday at Benedictine University in Lisle.

The quick hit: If quarterback Colin Gillespie can't play due to injury, the Redwings have confidence in Michael O'Connor, who last week threw 2 touchdowns. Needless to say, Benet will have its hands full with Nazareth quarterback J.J. McCarthy, a Michigan commit.

Neuqua Valley (7-1) at Metea Valley (1-7)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Metea Valley's numbers are decimated by injury, but there's no slowing C.J. Wilcox, who has 759 rushing yards, 566 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. Neuqua's Armani Moreno, who has 834 rush yards, scored 3 of his 13 touchdowns in the first meeting.

Providence (6-2, 0-2) at Montini (6-2, 1-1)

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

The quick hit: Off a balanced win in which C.J. Bufkin and Deontay Bell each ran for 100 yards and seven players caught passes, Montini has a shot at a CCL/ESCC Green title share should St. Rita beat Notre Dame. Patrick Peters and Co. battle Providence lineman Jake Renfro.

Proviso East (2-6, 1-4) at Willowbrook (7-1, 5-0)

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

The quick hit: Tough week for Proviso East, which had to forfeit four victories. WSC Gold champions for a third straight year, Willowbrook and linebacker Jacob Taglia aim to improve playoff seeding. Last week Kevin Fitzgerald tied a program record with 3 interceptions.

St. Charles East (6-2, 4-2) at Lake Park (3-5, 2-4)

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

The quick hit: The Lancers should return linemen Aidan Denman and George Menard from injury. With middle linebacker Anthony Beacom taking over primary duties at running back, sophomore Lucah Jones has done a nice job filling in at the heart of Lake Park's defense.

St. Charles North (4-4, 3-3) at WW South (5-3, 3-3)

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

The quick hit: North Stars quarterback Kyler Brown didn't play last week, so the Tigers need to be ready to stop running back Nick DeMarco in the wildcat. Last week Tigers linebacker Will Cassin had 15 tackles. Offensively, WW South must do better in the run game.

West Chicago (1-7, 1-7) at Glenbard South (5-3, 5-3)

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

The quick hit: Tight end Ryan Hannah has spurred Oscar Luna in the Wildcats ground game. Though Luke Krogh has set West Chicago's record for touchdown passes at 22, Glenbard South defensive linemen Connor Murphy, Tobias Ireland and Henry Conn look to force the pass.

York (3-5, 2-3) at Proviso West (0-8, 0-5)

Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday.

The quick hit: The Dukes again were forced to rally from a 2-touchdown deficit in last week's devastating loss to Oak Park. York did pile up more than 500 yards of offense, though. When Nick Conroy went down with injury, Patrick Kastner stepped up with 200 rushing yards.

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