Scouting the Week 2 football games in the Fox area
Bartlett (1-0, 1-0) at Streamwood (1-0, 1-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Notable: These district rivals each have a chance to go 2-0 after Bartlett edged Glenbard South and Streamwood handled West Chicago in Week 1. "Streamwood has a new coach and a new system. Offensively, they stuck to a few, which were very effective for them," Hawks coach Matt Erlenbaugh noted. "We have to be ready for them to have installed more into the playbook. Defensively, they have some studs and worked very well together as a unit." Erlenbaugh said offensive line play must improve. "We had a rough Week 1 up front," he said. "We need to fix our issues in order to come out with a victory." Sabres coach Ketih McMaster has plenty of respect for Bartlett. "When you look at the top teams in the Upstate Eight, Bartlett is always one at the top," he said. "They have size and speed to match their great coaching and discipline. We need to play a mistake-free game, follow through on blocks and complete our tackles. We want to play with purpose." Keys for Streamwood include linebacker Noah Strickland and defensive tackle Benjamin Feliciano in shutting down Bartlett's interior run game. "They will be going against a solid offensive line all week and will have to compete physically all game," McMaster said.
Burlington Central (0-1, 0-1) at Huntley (1-0, 1-0)When: Friday, 7 p.m. (at Huntley High School)
Notable: Central lost by eight to state-ranked Cary-Grove last week, while Huntley won big against Jacobs. "We are up for another big test with Class 8A Huntley," Central coach Brian Melvin said. "Being the smallest school in the conference, we need to be able to play fast and physical. It has been fun playing two of the top teams in the conference right off the bat. Huntley has a ton of talent and are extremely well-coached. We have a lot of respect for their program. We just need to come out and continue to play with no fear and trust our teammates that they will do their job." Central's Gavin Sarvis ran 27 times for 127 yards and 1 touchdown against Cary-Grove, while Mark Ganziano completed 64% of his passes and had both a rushing and passing touchdown -- both will be key factors for the Rockets against Huntley.
Geneva (0-1, 0-1) at St. Charles East (0-1, 0-1)When: Friday, 5:30 p.m.
Notable: Geneva coach Rob Wicinski is looking for a trend reversal in this DuKane Conference battle of Fox Valley neighbors. "St. Charles East has beaten us up the last four years," he said. "They look to be as good as in years past. They have a great quarterback, a big line, their defensive flies, they are always physical and are well coached. We need to protect the ball and get to the ball." Wicinski said quarterbacks Jackson Reyes and Alex Porter will be key this week against the Saints, "for obvious reasons." Last week against St. Charles North, Michael Ignoffo had 4 catches for 49 yards and a score for the Vikings, while John Petit had 9 tackles, 1 sack and 1 forced fumble. "We got behind early, but we kept up the fight, which is a good sign," Wicinski said.
St. Charles North (1-0, 1-0) at Batavia (1-0, 1-0)When: Friday, 5:30 p.m.
Notable: North Stars coach Rob Pomazak and his team know plenty about Batavia heading into Friday's DuKane battle. "Great program that is well prepared each year to compete for a state championship," he said. That being said, Pomazak said the points of emphasis don't change. "Win the field position battle, win the takeaway ratio and play aggressive and physical for four quarters," he said. Pomazak likes the impact wide receiver-defensive back Steven Hein and offensive lineman Josh Bridges have been making. "Steven can be a game-changer on either side of the ball," he said. "Josh and the offensive line are essential to be able to dominate the line of scrimmage." Batavia coach Dennis Piron knows a week of regular prep after a game will do everybody good. "St. Charles North will be much better prepared with a scout film and a week of practice, I am certain of that," he said. "In addition, they are really good in the offensive and defensive lines, have a strong nucleus back from a very good defense, and an athletic and mobile quarterback who extends plays. They know us very well. It should be a very fun game." Piron said one key focus is improvement up front, "with very good players over Week 1, and with film we can do that. We have a ton of game breakers this year. We just have to find a way to let them play and get the ball in space and go."
Westmont (0-1) at Aurora Christian (0-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Notable: Aurora Christian is looking to bounce back after a Week 1 loss to St. Edward. The Eagles haven't played Westmont since 2006. "We are very young and I was impressed with our resilience. We played a seasoned St. Edward team and had to fight back several times and did," AC coach David Beebe said. "We landed short, but the character we showed was something we can build off of." Aurora Christian quarterback Tyler Brueckner played the position for the first time ever and was 11 for 16 for 106 yards and a touchdown, plus ran for 116 yards and a score and returned a kickoff 45 yards in Week 1. "He showed great poise for not ever playing the position," Beebe said. Beebe also was impressed with running back Cam Ajazi against St. Edward. Beebe noted Ajazi was bolstered by an offensive line anchored by Nathan Henry, Max Garcia and Keegan Delaney.
Jacobs (0-1, 0-1) at Hampshire (0-1, 0-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m. (at Hampshire High School)
Notable: Jacobs looks to rebound from a Week 1 loss to Huntley against District 300 foe Hampshire. "Hampshire has some big players up front, a returning quarterback and some touch linebackers," Jacobs coach Brian Zimmerman said. "We need to play fundamentally sound football and limit penalties and mistakes." Zimmerman pointed out Jacobs starts 16 underclassmen. "We have a lot of talent, but we are still very young." The coach cited strong Week 1 play from Grant and Max Stec, while freshman Paulie Rudolph (linebacker and guard) had 5 tackles and 5 assisted tackles. "Paulie was all over the place," Zimmerman said. Also strong was senior Ryan Golnick. "He's our leader of the defense," the coach added. Zimmerman noted Aidan Roberts looked good running the ball and on defense, and he also liked way junior Ben Ludlum ran the ball." Hampshire is coming off a 4-point season-opening loss to Crystal Lake South.
Other GamesFriday, March 26
Crystal Lake South at Prairie Ridge, 6 p.m.
Dundee-Crown at Crystal Lake Central, 7 p.m.
Elgin at Glenbard East, 7:30 p.m.
Fenton at Larkin, 7:30 p.m.
McHenry at Cary-Grove, ccd.
St. Edward at Aurora Central Catholic, 6 p.m.
Yorkville at West Aurora, 7 p.m.
Marmion at St. Ignatius, ccd.
Saturday, March 27
East Aurora at South Elgin, noon
Sandwich at Kaneland, 1 p.m.
Sunday, March 28
Marmion at Naperville Central, 11 a.m.