Batavia vs. Wheaton N. highlights DuKane's closing schedule
Batavia's 3-0 start on the football field can be couched a number of ways.
Defensively, the Bulldogs have dominated, allowing an average of 2 yards per rush and limiting opposing quarterbacks to a 33-percent completion rate.
"I think our defense has set the tone for our team," said coach Dennis Piron, whose No. 1 Class 7A-ranked team has surrendered but 26 points this season. Leading the way has been Matt "Mojo" Weerts, who has 30 tackles, including 7 for loss through three games.
Equally impressive has been the Bulldogs' running game, which features Dondre Phillips, Josh Dornink, Jalen Buckley and A.J. Sanders. Versatile skill player Trey Urwiler has taken over at quarterback for the injured Kyle Oroni. Phillips has 220 yards rushing on 34 touches. Batavia has 675 rushing yards and is averaging 6.0 yards per carry.
DuKane schedule update:
Speaking of Batavia, the DuKane Conference approached the scheduling of the six-week 2021 spring season a bit differently. It broke the conference into two pools of four and based on the first three weeks of round-robin pool play, seeded the remainder of the schedule.
Pool A has Batavia (3-0), St. Charles North (2-1), Geneva (1-2) and St. Charles East (0-3), while Pool B has Wheaton North (3-0), Wheaton Warrenville South (2-1), Glenbard North (1-2) and Lake Park (0-3). Pool A will now play Pool B the last three weeks, with action concluding the week of April 23 with the actual pool placement games (1 vs. 1, 2 vs. 2, etc.), all at Northern Illinois University, including pool winners Batavia and Wheaton North squaring off.
Burlington Central update:
Defensive line play has been a major bright spot for Burlington Central coach Brian Melvin's squad, headlined by senior Miles Janecek, sophomore Masin Williams and junior Matt Eshoo.
"I really like the way our defensive line is playing," Melvin said.
The coach explained because of that strong line play, Central's linebackers have had an easier go of it with Shawn Adkerson (47 total tackles) and Gavin Sarvis (20 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble), along with strong safety Nate Majewski (39 tackles, 3 for loss) stepping it up on the playmaking front.
Sarvis has rushed for 315 yards on 67 carries, while freshman right tackle MJ Hansen continues to impress against the Fox Valley Conference's top competition, Melvin noted.
Darrel Luce was cited by Sabres coach Keith McMaster for his 100-yard interception return in Week 3.
"It was a huge pick-6," the coach said.
McMaster also has been pleased with Jaydon Varnado, who is among the team leaders in tackles, has 4 interceptions, a fumble recovery and tackle for loss.
West Aurora update:
Two difference-makers for the Blackhawks thus far have been defensive end Caleb Dietlin and junior free safety Austin Pierce.
"Caleb continues to play like a Division I defensive end," West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said. "He went toe to toe with the big offensive tackle from Oswego, who is headed to Boston College.
"Austin is playing very well and is really developing into a playmaker."
South Elgin update:
The Storm, ranked 15th in Class 8A, has done quite well for itself in the turnovers department -- sitting at a plus-6.
Coach Dragan Teonic also praised the recent play of Michael Roath and Jess Mize.
"Michael and Jess have played a great season so far with physical and unselfish play," he said. "This team is very unselfish. They play for each other."
Coach Rob Wicinski said offensive lineman Tommy Martin has graded out the best thus far.
"Very consistent with his play," he said.
Defensive lineman Brody Goodspeed and running back Ethan Mayer also have been ramping it up lately.
"Brody is very active and has made some good plays," Wicinski said. "Ethan runs very hard for us."
Coach Brian Zimmerman noted the Golden Eagles had a bit of a problem with fumbling out of the backfield earlier in the season, but that problem was taken care of last week.
"The play of our running backs stands out," he said. "Ben Ludlum has played outstanding and Nasir Canty is running the ball hard and blocking the best he has in his three years on varsity -- and both of them are only juniors."
Zimmerman lauded his young offensive line for continual improvement, and also cited safety Sevaun Smith for his progress in his first year playing the position. He has 14 tackles and returned a fumble for a score.
The Knights have 11 seniors starting on defense, but coach Pat Ryan explained this group didn't have a ton of playing experience coming in. New faces Brogan Behrends (LB), Anthony Clevenger (CB), Grant Williams (CB), Markus Suggs (OLB) and Jackson Certa (OLB) have been needle movers. Kaneland's starting defense has given up 12 points in three games.
Linebacker Luke Childers and split end Dane Partridge have been standouts for the Cadets in their two games this season.
"Luke is making plays all over the field -- inside run game and then open-field tackles," Marmion coach Dan Thorpe said. "And then he goes on offense and blocks and plays his tail off. Dane (14 catches, 205 yards, 2 TD) has speed and quickness and is excellent with running after the catch."
Aurora Central Catholic update:
Senior quarterback Bobby Scianna has 9 touchdown passes against 1 interception thus far.
"Bobby has been very efficient," interim coach Dan Lee said.
Three-year starting wideout Ryan Lee has 5 touchdown receptions and 2 interceptions in his last two games. Ty Hopp is the Chargers' leading tackler, rusher and also has 2 interceptions.