Scouting Week 3 football in the Fox Valley area
Bartlett (2-0, 2-0) at Elgin (2-0, 2-0)When: Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
Notable: This should be a good one with Bartlett, a gold standard in the Upstate Eight, heading to Memorial Field in Elgin against a vastly improved Maroons squad. Elgin outscored its first two opponents 61-7. "Bartlett is one of the top teams in our conference," Elgin coach Anthony Mason said. "This senior group and junior group went undefeated as underclassmen. Alec (Palella) is a monster and has done great things for them. They have playmakers everywhere and are a really good team." Mason is proud of the development of Noah Mack and defensive lineman Matt Perez. "Noah flew under the radar as a junior and has put a lot of work in for himself and has blossomed to a D1 prospect," he said. "Matt has been making the unseen plays for us, filling gaps, taking on double and triple teams, and staying focused and committed throughout the week."
South Elgin (2-0, 2-0) at Glenbard South (1-1, 1-1)When: Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
Notable: Another Week 3 matchup with two elite UEC teams. Glenbard South lost by a field goal to Bartlett two weeks ago and downed West Chicago last week, while South Elgin is 2-0 and has outscored its opponents 101-22. "Glenbard South is, by far, the most talented team in the conference based on size, skill and Division I and II talent on its roster," Storm coach Dragan Teonic said. "They were picked to win the conference by multiple publications." Teonic said turnovers have shaped a successful two-week narrative thus far. "We have protected the ball and have taken it away from our opponents," he said. "We are plus-5 on turnover ratio. We will have to do the same to have a chance this week." Teonic cited strong play from Alex Noworol and Ben Karopwicz as key ignitors for the Storm's success.
Geneva (1-1, 1-1) at Batavia (2-0, 2-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Northern Illinois University
Notable: The big story here is news that Batavia quarterback Kyle Oroni broke his leg in Week 2 action and is out for the rest of the season. He had thrown for 276 yards with 5 touchdowns against only 1 interception in the Bulldogs' first two wins. Batavia is ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 7A in the most recent Associated Press media poll. Batavia's Josh Dornick and Dondre Phillips have combined to rush for 286 yards and 3 scores. Five different Bulldogs have scored rushing touchdowns in the first two games. Geneva coach Rob Wicinski knows Batavia means business. "Over the last few years, Batavia is one of the best football programs in the state," he said. "They are big, fast, well-coached and have swag." Wicinski has been pleased with what he has seen on his sideline as well. "I like our ability, so far, to stay the course and believe in the process without evidence," he said. Junior Mason Pawelko has been a big bright spot for the Vikings. "Mason has solidified our defensive secondary with big plays and with punt returns," Wicinski said. John Petit also has been a force on defense from his linebacker position. "John has been leading our team in tackles and is the glue to our program," the coach said.
St. Charles East (0-2, 0-2) at St. Charles North (1-1, 1-1)When: Friday, 5:30 p.m.
Notable: The second part of the Tri-Cities Friday rivalry doubleheader involves the battle of St. Charles. The host North Stars beat Geneva 35-13 and lost by 21-19 to Batavia. "We have placed a high importance on us this week," North Stars coach Rob Pomazak said. "In order to be the best version of ourselves we must constantly evaluate our production and hold ourselves accountable to the standards we have set." Pomazak has seen varying degrees of success in the three phrases. "Defensively, our kids have done a nice job, but there is still room for improvement," he said. "Our special teams has played well and given us extra possessions each game. Offensively, we have some real weapons and are excited to be able to execute a little better." North sophomore safety Drew Surges had 20 tackles and an interception in the team's first two games. "Drew has done a tremendous job on defense," Pomazak said. Another cog for North has been center Josh Montemayor. "Josh stepped in at center and has been a solid player, but more impressive was his contributions on defense last week against Batavia." East lost 53-7 to Batavia and 30-0 to Geneva.
Streamwood (1-1, 1-1) at Glenbard East (1-1, 1-1)When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Notable: Both squads are coming off Week 2 losses. "Glenbard East is a well-coached team and tough opponent," Streamwood coach Keith McMaster said. "They have strength and size on both sides of the line, as well as explosive athletes on the outside. Offensively, that will challenge our defense vertically and horizontally. Defensively they are stiff and don't give up points." A couple of two-way players in Jaydon Vernado and Noah Strickland have come up big for the Sabres. "Jaydon has been an athlete on both sides of the ball," McMaster noted. "He runs the ball on offense with powerful carries, and defensively is among the team leaders in tackles, has two picks and a fumble recovery. Defensively, Noah's ability to read and attack plays has been outstanding. On offense, he fills into various roles where needed and has carried the ball for us."
IC Catholic Prep (1-1, 0-1) at St. Edward (2-0, 1-0)When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Notable: The Green Wave welcome perennial state power IC Catholic Prep to Greg True Field in Elgin Saturday. The Knights lost to St. Francis in Week 1 and then came back to defeat Chicago St. Ignatius last week. St. Edward holds wins over Aurora Christian (29-26) and Aurora Central Catholic (35-8). "It's not much of a secret here," St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. "They are a state powerhouse at any level. They are big, well-coached and tough. We will be smaller for the third week in a row, but our guys will give it everything they have as they do every week." Rolando said experience is on St. Edward's side during this abbreviated six-game schedule. "The experience our guys have with most being three-year varsity starters has helped us," he explained. "Being able to throw things in that we have never practiced and their football IQ allowing them to execute those plays on the fly has been important." A couple of versatile players in seniors Blake Busto and Erik Hill have been notable for the Green Wave. "Blake has stepped in at corner and wide receiver because of some injuries and kids missing time, and he has done very well for us," Rolando said. "Erik also has stepped up at linebacker, tight end and running back. He is a first-year football player coming from the basketball court. He really has not come off the field since the first whistle in Week 1."
Thursday, April 1
Hampshire at Burlington Central, 7 p.m.
Huntley at McHenry, 7:30 p.m.
Cary-Grove at Crystal Lake South, ccd.
Dundee-Crown at Jacobs, 7 p.m
Larkin at West Chicago, 7 p.m.
Friday, April 2
West Aurora at Oswego, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 3
Aurora Christian at St. Francis, 1 p.m.
Fenwick at Marmion, 12:30 p.m.
Rochelle at Kaneland, 1 p.m.
CL South at Taft, 3 p.m.