Scouting Saturday's football games in the Mid-Suburban League
Hersey at Rolling MeadowsWhen: Saturday, 1 p.m.
2019: Rolling Meadows 38, Hersey 35
Outlook: The winner of this game has won the MSL East title the last three years. In 2019, it was a miracle touchdown pass that lifted Rolling Meadows to victory. It will be a different feel on the sidelines for Meadows with longtime coach Matt Mishler no longer there. In his place will be Sam Baker, who will be looking to match his success at Grayslake North. Hersey will have a huge change as well with all-area captain Jordan Hansen, who graduated last year, no longer at quarterback, The Huskies should still be explosive at offense with Jimmy Makuh, who backed up Hansen, stepping into that role.
Buffalo Grove at Elk GroveWhen: Saturday, 1 p.m.
2019: Buffalo Grove 20, Elk Grove 17
Outlook: The battle of the Groves will be an air and land contest. Buffalo Grove will look to fire the football with new quarterback Ian Luyando. The 6-foot-2 senior will have plenty of nice targets to throw to including his brother Andre and Colgate-commit Ayden Anderson, who had over 700 yards receiving last season. Elk Grove will have a ground and pound philosophy with three-year starter Ian Ridge carrying the bulk of the load for the Grenadiers. Ridge is coming off a 2019 season in which he rushed for 1,634 yards. Joey Gaskill, who was at quarterback for the Grens in 2019, will keep try to keep the defense honest with his ability to throw the ball.
Wheeling at ProspectWhen: Saturday, 1 p.m.
2019: Prospect 49, Wheeling 14
Outlook: Wheeling will be looking to turn things around this season. The Wildcats struggled in 2019, but hopes are high for a team that returns 13 starters. Paul Ufir moves to running back this season while Solomon Hudson will start at quarterback. Prospect has huge hopes and expectations for the season. The Knights' speedy offense has the advantage of having quarterback Gary Moeller return to lead an offense that set a school record for total points. That offense, which returns 7 starters, also incudes running back Luke Zardzin, who has signed a PWO to Northern Illinois.
Fremd at Hoffman EstatesWhen: Saturday, 1 p.m.
2019: Fremd 28, Hoffman Estates 0
Outlook: Fremd would like nothing better than to pick up where it left off last year. The Vikings ended their conference championship season at Hoffman last year. Fremd has 7 starters returning on defense, including their entire linebacking corps. They also have 3-year starting quarterback Ryan Saxe, who accounted for 1,800 yards last season, who also returns along with 6-foot-4, 297-pound bruiser Jack Walsh, who will pay at Wyoming next season. Hoffman's athleticism is extremely dangerous and could have the Hawks in contention. Jashawn Johnson is a true playmaker at wide receiver while Mehki Williams, who rushed for 933 yards in 2019, is also back. Joe Ayala and Jesse Williams will be at quarterback.
Palatine at ConantWhen: Saturday, 1 p.m.
2019: Palatine 20, Conant 13
Outlook: Palatine heads into this game riding a 3-game winning streak from 2019. The Pirates are going to have new quarterbacks at the helm with Eric Pecson, and sophomore Grant Dersnah. They will have the opportunity to throw the ball to Jake Bostic, who transferred from Fremd. The key for the Pirates is how well junior defensive lineman Jehmari Mabry can lead the Palatine defense and get them off the field. That's because Conant's option offense is a time bandit. The Cougars' double-wing run-oriented offense loves to control the ball. Conant returns running back Malik Frederick, who has committed to Harvard, and quarterback Joey Durgo, who is back after a season-ending injury suffered in 2019 as a sophomore.
Barrington at SchaumburgWhen: Saturday, 3 p.m.
2019: Barrington 50, Schaumburg 15
Outlook: Barrington has been the home of top-notch quarterbacks and Peter Anderson, who will play at Augustana in the fall, will be ready to stamp his mark on the position. Anderson will have a solid group of receivers in Ryan Smith and Joey Gurskis while Ryan's brother, Bryan, returns to play running back. Schaumburg lost 5 of its last 6 games in 2019 so the Saxons are anxious to get off to a great start this season. Schaumburg will be looking to ride the legs of running back and 4-year starter Mike DiGioia. Luke Jessie, who ended the 2019 season as the starting quarterback, will be back again this season. The Saxons also boast a veteran secondary led by Tyler Fortune, Blake Buchanan and Anthony Hernandez.