Scouting Week 5 football games in Lake County
Zion-Benton (1-3) at Libertyville (3-1)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Zion-Benton lost to Lake Forest, 49-6; Libertyville def. Stevenson, 40-22.
2019 result: Libertyville def. Zion-Benton, 43-22.
Outlook: Libertyville is walking tall after a big win last week over its top rival, Stevenson. The Wildcats leaned on a nice combination of a solid rushing game and stingy defense. Running back Matt Brenner rolled up 173 rushing yards himself and broke a couple of spectacular long runs (71 and 80 yards) for touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Libertyville defense kept Stevenson spinning its wheels. In the first half, the Patriots managed just 77 total yards. Zion-Benton has lost two straight games (to Lake Forest and Stevenson) and has scored just 6 points in each game.
Lake Forest (4-0) at Stevenson (2-2)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Lake Forest def. Zion-Benton, 49-6; Stevenson lost to Libertyville, 40-22.
2019 result: Lake Forest def. Stevenson, 28-27.
Outlook: Lake Forest keeps winning and marching toward a possible North Suburban Conference co-championship with undefeated Warren. Unfortunately, Lake Forest and Warren don't play each other this season with the shortened schedule. The Scouts have allowed only 37 points over four games, for an average of 9.25 points per game. Meanwhile, their offense is putting up 33.8 points per game. Stevenson has lost two of its last three games. Last week, the Patriots had a hard time rushing the ball, finishing with just 86 rushing yards against Libertyville. Quarterback Liam Crawley completed 15-of-23 passes for 113 yards.
Warren (4-0) at Mundelein (1-3)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Warren def. Lake Zurich, 43-0; Mundelein def. Waukegan, 47-6.
2019 result: Warren def. Mundelein, 42-0.
Outlook: The Warren defense is looking to run its scoreless streak to three games. The Blue Devils have recorded shutouts in their last two games, against Lake Zurich (43-0) and Waukegan (55-0). Warren was especially on point last week, suffocating the Lake Zurich offense from start to finish. The Blue Devils allowed a total of just 16 yards, 15 rushing yards and 1 passing yard. Warren running back Maurice Edwards got his fourth straight 100-yard rushing game of the season. He went for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns against Lake Zurich. Mundelein is coming off its biggest game of the season. Last week against Waukegan, the Mustangs forced 4 turnovers and wound up scoring off all four. Quarterback Brock Paluch threw for 2 touchdowns and ran for one and Luke Pietrusiewicz had 2 touchdown runs.
Lake Zurich (1-3) at Waukegan (0-4)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Lake Zurich lost to Warren, 43-0; Waukegan lost to Mundelein 47-6.
2019 result: Lake Zurich def. Waukegan, 63-0.
Outlook: Both Lake Zurich and Waukegan are coming off decisive losses in which their offenses struggled and their defenses gave up a combined 90 points. Lake Zurich also watched leading rusher Jack Dwyer go down last week. He was tackled on the first play of the game and suffered a leg injury. He did not return to the game. Dwyer, an Illinois State recruit, was seeking medical attention this week.
Antioch (4-0) at Grant (3-1)When: 7:15 p.m., Friday
Last week: Antioch def. Wauconda, 28-27; Grant def. Round Lake, 35-6.
2019 result: Antioch def. Grant, 20-0.
Outlook: Antioch is steaming toward defending its 2019 Northern Lake County Conference title. However, Grant could make things interesting with a win on its home field against the visiting Sequoits. That would give both teams one loss, and could forge a four-way tie for first place if Wauconda (3-1) takes care of Round Lake and Grayslake North takes care of North Chicago this week. The Grant defense has been stingy in its wins this season, allowing just 26 points over 3 games for an 8.6-point average. Last week, Antioch came away with a wild victory over Wauconda to stay undefeated. The Sequoits scored in the final seconds and also converted on a 2-point conversion to get a 1-point win. As usual, brothers and Minnesota recruits Athan and Dino Kaliakmanis had big games for Antioch.
North Chicago (0-4) at Grayslake North (3-1)When: 7 p.m., Friday
Last week: North Chicago lost to Grayslake Central, 28-20; Grayslake North def. Lakes, 38-8.
2019 result: North Chicago def. Grayslake North, 21-20.
Outlook: Grayslake North rebounded nicely from its tough loss to league-leading Antioch two weeks ago with a big win over Lakes last week. The Grayslake North offense continues to be prolific. The Knights rolled up 481 yards of offense. Quarterback Jacob Donohue completed 11-of-14 passes for 272 yards and 4 touchdowns. North Chicago got down early against Grayslake Central last week and kept cutting into its deficit but could never get over the hump. The 20 points scored by the Warhawks last week were more points than they had scored in their previous three games combined (18 points).
Grayslake Central (2-2) at Lakes (0-4)When: 7 p.m., Friday
Last week: Grayslake Central def. North Chicago, 28-20; Lakes lost to Grayslake North, 38-8.
2019 result: Lakes def. Grayslake Central, 47-13.
Outlook: Lakes is still looking for that first win. Last week against Grayslake North, the Eagles were without their top two running backs. But third-string running back Amir Al Hindi was impressive. He ran for 125 yards on 29 carries. Grayslake Central got a win last week, and that already doubles its win total (1-8) from 2019. Senior Jonas Sjodin had a big game for the Rams against North Chicago. He ran back the opening kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown and finished with 168 rushing yards on 27 carries.
Wauconda (3-1) at Round Lake (1-3)When: 7 p.m., Friday
Last week: Wauconda lost to Antioch, 28-27; Round Lake lost to Grant, 35-6.
2019 result: Wauconda def. Round Lake, 47-27.
Outlook: Wauconda looks to rebound from last week's emotionally draining 1-point loss to Antioch for first place in the Northern Lake County Conference. A win against Round Lake could keep Wauconda in contention if Grant is able to derail Antioch this week. Wauconda quarterback Nick Bulgarelli continues to be on point. He's completing 70 percent of his passes on the season and rolled up 135 passing yards against Antioch. Round Lake lost its second-straight game last week and managed just 6 points against Grant, by far its lowest-scoring game of the season. Prior to the Grant game, Round Lake was averaging 27.3 points per game.
Brother Rice (2-0) at Carmel (1-2)When: 6 p.m., Friday
Last week: Brother Rice def. St. Laurence, 52-44; Carmel lost to Joliet Catholic, 49-14.
2019 result: Brother Rice def. Carmel, 32-3.
Outlook: Carmel is looking to get back on track after suffering its second straight loss last week. Brother Rice has been prolific so far, averaging 40 points per game over its two games. Last week, Carmel was shut out by Joliet Catholic until the fourth quarter. The Corsairs scored a touchdown when quarterback Ashton Gondeck (11-of-24, 232 passing yards) connected with Jon Buckley (6 receptions, 198 yards) for a 71-yard score. Then Gondeck scored again on a 3-yard run. Joilet Catholic coach Jake Jaworski was impressed with Carmel's power scheme.
Maine East (0-4) at Vernon Hills (3-0)When: 8:30 p.m., Friday
Last week: Maine East lost to Niles North, 33-3; Vernon Hills def. Westinghouse, 12-6.
2019 result: Vernon Hills def. Maine East, 49-0.
Outlook: Vernon Hills had another game canceled due to COVID-19 when last week's game against Maine West got scrapped. The Cougars' season-opener against Niles North also suffered the same fate. But Vernon Hills managed to pick up a replacement game last week against Westinghouse. The Cougars pulled out a win in a low-scoring affair to win their third straight game of the season. The Vernon Hills defense has allowed just 24 points over three games for an average of 8 points per game.