Scouting Week 4 football in DuPage County
Wheaton Warrenville South (2-1) at Batavia (3-0)When: Friday, 6:30 p.m.
Outlook: A marquee matchup here with Wheaton Warrenville South, which lost 17-14 to Wheaton North last week, heading to Batavia to face the state's top-ranked Class 7A team. "Wheaton Warrenville South is a complete team in all facets, and a very good opponent in terms of Xs and Os," Batavia coach Dennis Piron said. "Our next three opponents in that division are all very good defensively and have game-breakers on offense." Batavia has outscored opponents 116-26, while the Tigers have surrendered 36 points in their first three contests. Piron said cap tips are needed for Bulldogs' seniors Ethan Ethridge (linebacker) and Alex Faron (tight end). "I have been very impressed by Ethan and Alex just in overall play on film," he said. "These are two kids who have improved greatly over last year and are solid in everything we ask them to do." Piron also is impressed with Wheaton-Warrenville South quarterback Parker Brown, who was vocal last fall in his support of high school sports returning after being halted during the pandemic, as well as a return of in-person learning. "I personally feel the investment and effort Parker and many teammates and families in that community put into fighting for kids all over Illinois should be commended," Piron said. "Not many people have been willing to speak out for student-athletes, and he and many in that community did, and for that I am personally grateful." According to IHSA records, Piron, who took over the program in 2011, is 3 wins shy of 100 at Batavia (5 seasons of 10 or more wins), which would be plausible to achieve this season still. He's 97-15. Batavia has won the last two meetings (42-21 and 41-20). The Tigers' Eddie Robinson has rushed for 344 yards and is averaging 8.2 yards per carry.
-- Joshua Welge, Shaw Media Illinois, contributed
Wheaton North (3-0, 3-0) at St. Charles North (2-1, 2-1)When: Friday, 6:30 p.m.
2019 result: St. Charles North 20, Wheaton North 17.
Outlook: The Falcons are coming off an emotional victory after beating rival Wheaton Warrenville South. The midseason DuKane Conference clash pits two teams that have high-quality coaches and thoughts of winning the conference. The North Stars' lone blemish is a 21-19 defeat to Batavia in Week 2, but they rebounded with an impressive 34-0 triumph over St. Charles East. How each team reacts to beating their neighborhood rival is a key area to watch. The Falcons have been a feel-good story following back-to-back 4-5 seasons, with their defense sparking the turnaround. In three games, Wheaton North has given up 21 points.
St. Francis (3-0, 3-0) at Riverside-Brookfield (1-2, 1-1)When: Friday, 7:15 p.m.
2019 result: St. Francis 59, Riverside-Brookfield 13.
Outlook: Through three games, the Spartans have been unstoppable on offense and stopping teams on defense. That's a winning combination, and a tough combination to contend for, especially for the young Bulldogs. The Spartans have outscored their first three opponents by a whopping 120-20. Senior quarterback Tommy Rittenhouse is torching teams with his running and relying on a strong and big offensive line to find time to throw the ball to a plethora of talented skill players. "Riverside-Brookfield does a nice job upfront," St. Francis coach Bob McMillen said. "They're pretty big and run ball well, plus their quarterback can do a lot of things running and passing. They're very well coached, and we expect a very tough game."
Willowbrook (3-0, 3-0) at York (1-2, 1-2)When: Friday 7 p.m.
2019 result: Willowbrook 35, York 21
Outlook: The Dukes struggled running the ball against Hinsdale Central's stout defense last week, but were able to move the chains in the passing game. The Dukes have been plagued with inconsistency all season, playing well in spurts before succumbing to physical and mental mistakes. Quarterback Mike Bojesen played solid in the loss to the Red Devils, but the Dukes have to set the tone early and build some momentum against Willowbrook. The Dukes have been shut out in consecutive games. The York defense doesn't get a break against the Warriors' running attack. Led by a solid offensive line that includes Syracuse-bound Enrique Cruz, the Warriors defeated Hinsdale South 42-7 last week. Josh Brown established a single-game school record mark of 351 yards rushing to raise his three-game season total to 841 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Dukes can counter with sturdy running back Patrick Kastner, so expect a run-oriented game between the two West Suburban schools.
Naperville Central (3-0, 2-1) at DeKalb (2-0, 2-0)When: Saturday, 2 p.m.
2019 result: Naperville Central 49, DeKalb 16.
Outlook: The Redhawks warmed up for their colossal DuPage Valley Conference tilt against DeKalb with a 41-0 victory over Morton last week. Senior wide receiver Reggie Fleurima showed he's healthy after suffering an injury scare against Marmion. The Northwestern recruit is a vital key to a victory over DeKalb's aggressive and stout defense. His ability to make plays in the passing game opens up holes for running back Elijah Jordan and Niko Gordon. The Redhawks have played a diverse schedule due to last-minute cancellations, playing Marmion and Morton in back-to-back weeks. Naperville Central's defense faces a stern test trying to contain DeKalb senior running back Tucker Ikens, who rushed for 139 yards in last week's blowout win over Waubonsie Valley After suffering a 33-point loss to Naperville Central in Week 8 of the 2019 season, the Barbs have motivation on their side.
Waubonsie Valley (1-2, 1-2) at Neuqua Valley (1-0, 1-0)When: Saturday, 2 p.m.
2019 result: Neuqua Valley 35, Waubonsie Valley 14.
Outlook: There's only a small sample size of the Wildcats' season to date. After sitting out the last two weeks because of COVID-19, the Wildcats are among the unbeaten teams in the area, albeit with only one game on their schedule. Still, the Wildcats had a solid 29-22 victory over Naperville North in their opener. Meanwhile, Waubonsie Valley's record isn't a true indicator of its talent level, mainly because two of their losses -- Naperville Central and DeKalb -- were against two of the top teams in the DuPage Valley Conference. Waubonsie Valley junior quarterback Nathan Pappas is learning the offense and adapting to starting on the varsity. He's proven to be a quick study, throwing for three touchdown passes against Metea Valley on March 26.
Naperville North (0-1, 0-1) at Metea Valley (0-2, 0-1)When: Saturday, 2 p.m.
2019 result: Naperville North 41, Metea Valley 21.
Outlook: The Mustangs had a bye week of sorts to get ready for their clash against the Huskies. Metea Valley's game against Neuqua Valley last week was postponed, which could be an advantage due to the extra rest and preparation time. The Huskies, though, have been idle for the last two weekends since losing 29-22 to Neuqua Valley in Week 1. So this leaves a strange meeting between two well-rested teams in which motivation and energy shouldn't be an issue. With the game scheduled for Senior Day, the Mustangs' seniors have ample motivation to end a four-game series losing streak to the Huskies. Metea Valley's last win against Naperville North dates back to a thrilling 29-28 win on Sept. 4, 2015.
Lake Park at Geneva, 6:30 p.m.
Glenbard North at St. Charles East, 6:30 p.m.
Addison Trail at Leyden, 6 p.m.
Downers Grove South at Morton, 7 p.m.
Glenbard East at East Aurora, 6 p.m.
Hinsdale Central at Wheaton Academy, 7:15 p.m.
Oak Park-River Forest at Downers Grove North, 7:30 p.m.
West Chicago at Bartlett, 7:30 p.m.
Westmont at Ridgewood, 7 p.m.
Glenbard South at Fenton, 1 p.m.
Lyons at Glenbard West, 1:30 p.m.