Scouting Week 1 football games in the Northwest suburbs
Warren at BarringtonWhen: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: It will be a playoff atmosphere as the spring champions of the North Suburban and Mid-Suburban League clash in a terrific opener for both teams. Barrington lost the core of its offense to graduation, but the Broncos always seem to reload. Harley Thompson will ride in at quarterback for Barrington while senior Evan Panesis will be at running back. Warren has won the North Suburban the last two seasons. The Blue Devils are loaded with speed on both sides of the ball and will be looking to running backs Maurice Edwards and Ben McLaughlin.
Palatine at St. Charles NorthWhen: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: This could be one of the more intriguing games of the first week of the season. Palatine is considered by many to be the favorite in the MSL West while St. Charles North should contend in the DuKane. Palatine has plenty of weapons with Iowa commit Jake Bostick at wide receiver and sophomore sensation running back Dominick Ball. The key to the Pirates will be the play of junior quarterback Grant Dersnah. St. Charles North, which was 5-1 last spring, will rely on highly touted freshman quarterback Ethan Plumb.
Lake Zurich at FremdWhen: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: The teams renew their opening-game rivalry after taking a break last season due to COVID. Lake Zurich leads the series 8-4. Fremd quarterback Caidan Suchy was forced into action late last spring after an injury and played extremely well, leading the Vikings to a comeback win over Hersey in the final game of the season. Wide receiver Archie Cox, RB Taytum Carmichael and tight end Bo O'Brien give Fremd lots of options on offense. Lake Zurich is led by wide receiver Leo Dlatt and tight end Aleks Popovic, who has been receiving some D-I interest.
Maine South at StevensonWhen: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: Maine South begins its brutal nonconference schedule with a road trip to Lincolnshire. The Hawks, who are coming off a 5-1 spring season, look very prepared to take on the competition which will include Warren, Fremd and Palatine. Maine South has another solid quarterback in Rowan Keefe, who played well after stepping in after an injury in the spring. Running back Mike Sajenko and tight end and Northwestern-commit Chris Petrucci will give the Patriots defensive matchup issues. Stevenson is coming off a subpar 2-4 spring season has nine starters back.
Hersey at Lincoln-Way WestWhen: Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: This should be a great early season test for both teams. This could be a high-scoring affair with both teams flexing their offensive muscle. Hersey is coming off a 3-3 spring season but returns quarterback Jimmy Makuh, who had a solid spring season as a junior. He will have his favorite target, running back/wide receiver Ben Clawson to throw to. The Huskies also have four offensive linemen back. Lincoln-Way West was 5-1 in the spring and has six starters back on both offense and defense. They have qualified for the playoffs the last 10 times they were held.
Buffalo Grove at Lincoln-Way CentralWhen: Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: The Bison will take their herd south down I-355 to do battle in New Lenox. Buffalo Grove is coming off one of its best seasons in years, going 5-1 last spring. Bison coach Jeff Vlk has the program on the rise with 60 players under helmet. Buffalo Grove will be led by defensive linemen Trystan Anderson and Eli Shereshovech. Lincoln-Way Central was 4-2 last spring and returns just three players on offense.
Prospect at SandburgWhen: Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: The Knights will be marching South to take on Sandburg. Prospect will look to fill what graduation took from its MSL East championship squad. Frank Covey, who is a junior and was the team's leading receiver, will see how life is at the quarterback spot. Ethan Burgh keys the defense for Prospect. Sandburg was 1-3 last spring and scored just 7 points in its final three games and will feature the debut of former Phillips head coach Tom McCallister.
Hoffman Estates at Downers Grove NorthWhen: Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Hoffman Estates will be looking to get off to a fast start. The Hawks will need to fly fast and hard. This could be the largest offensive line in recent history for Hoffman. The Hawks also have one of the top wide receivers around in Jashawn Johnson. Downers North was 2-2 last spring and returns all its skill players including junior quarterback Sam Reichert.
Conant at Lake ParkWhen: Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: The two schools, which are separated by just 4.4 miles, have not played each other since 2014. Conant will bring its wing option offense led by 3-year quarterback Giusseppe Dugo to grind the clock down on the Lancers. Lake Park will be looking to get its first win under head coach Jason Kradman.
York at SchaumburgWhen: Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Schaumburg is looking to rebound from the spring season when the Saxons went 1-5. Takumi Fred, who got quite a few snaps at running back in the spring, returns this season to spark the offense. Senior DJ Wilson will step in at quarterback. York, which was 4-2 in the spring, is led by running backs Mark Schneider and Kelly Watson.
St. Viator at South ElginWhen: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: This is a rescheduled game between teams that had games canceled. St. Viator was due to play in Wisconsin, but the team canceled due to travel restrictions. South Elgin was originally scheduled to play Fenton. St. Viator will be counting on linebacker and three-year starter Carson Eggebraten to lead the defensive charge. South Elgin is coached by former Hersey coach Dragan Teonic.
Elk Grove at Maine WestWhen: Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: This used to be the traditional opener for both teams in the 1990s and 2000s. It is reignited again this season. Elk Grove will try to replace 3-year running back Ian Ridge. Maine West second-season coach George Klupchak will be looking to get the Warriors back on track.
Round Lake at WheelingWhen: Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Both teams are looking to get off to a good start after struggling in past seasons. New Wheeling coach Peter Panagakis will look to break the Wildcats' 19-game losing streak. Expect him to lean on running back Sam Micula. Round Lake enters the game having won just 13 games in the last 14 seasons. Wheeling will look to stop Panther quarterback Cristian Castro, who threw for over 1,000 yards last season.
Glenbrook South at Rolling MeadowsWhen: Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: These two state basketball powers will look to rebound on the football field this season. Rolling Meadows had an uncharacteristic record last spring when the Mustangs finished 2-4. They hope to change those fortunes thanks to 13 returning starters this season led by lineman PJ Ford. Glenbrook South, which was 1-4 last spring, returns 12 starters including its entire offensive line.
Niles West at Maine East When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: These two teams played the final game of the spring season with Niles West ending its 24-game losing streak with a 36-10 win. Maine East opens the season with a 32-game losing streak. The Blue Demons will be counting on 6-foot-8, 300-pound Yaser Aliwadi.
Highland Park at LeydenWhen: Friday, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Leo Latiker is back at quarterback to guide Leyden, which was 1-4 last spring. Eagles head coach Tom Cerasani begins his 17th season at the helm and is the longest serving head coach in Leyden history. Highland Park comes in off a 2-2 record in the spring.