Scouting Week 1 Fox football games

  • South Elgin's Jordan Jones, left, is one of the key players this year for the Storm who opens their season Friday night against St. Viator.

    South Elgin's Jordan Jones, left, is one of the key players this year for the Storm who opens their season Friday night against St. Viator. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
By Mike Miazga
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 8/26/2021 8:33 PM

Saint Viator at South Elgin

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

 

Notables: COVID-19 protocols already have altered the Week 1 local landscape. South Elgin was supposed to lead it off with Fenton in an Upstate Eight game, but Fenton is sidelined due to COVID-19 positives, while Saint Viator was supposed to play across the southern Wisconsin border against Kenosha St. Joseph, but canceled due to pandemic concerns. Thus, this first meeting between the two clubs was hatched. "St. Viator is a unique challenge for us because we rarely see teams of their ability in our conference due to their wide attendance base," Storm coach Dragan Teonic said. "They have length and skill along with several key returners. We have to focus on executing our plan, not worry about the Lions and win the turnover battle." Three key names for the Storm: Joey Viverito, Jordan Jones and Kai Paz. "Joey is the heart and soul of our team and program," Teonic said. "He is the face of South Elgin football. Jordan is the captain of our defense and one of the best defensive backs in our area. Kai will play offense, defense and handle all our kicking duties."

Bishop McNamara at Marmion

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Notables: Two programs that are no strangers to each other. Area fans will recall Marmion's 34-31 win in overtime in 2017 after tying it on fourth and 16 with 12 seconds left. Marmion also recorded a 14-10 win in 2016. "We have had great games with them," Cadets coach Dan Thorpe said. "This is an awesome challenge for us. What impresses me is the number of returning starters for them and their skill positions. They are a very athletic team, as always." Quarterback Danny Chung continues to make progress for Marmion. "Our passing game has really improved over the summer with Danny at quarterback. He has thrown well and our skill kids have caught the ball. Marmion's offensive line returns four starters, "and they are large and experienced," Thorpe noted.

Chicago Phillips at Batavia

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Notables: Veteran Batavia coach Dennis Piron said Phillips, out of the Chicago Public League, presents a variety of challenges. "They are very talented," he said. "They always are well coached and do different things on offense and defense that we do not see so going into this game with little scout information is really a challenge." But Batavia counters with team leaders/captains in Jalen Buckley, AJ Sanders, Josh Dornink, Vincie Solano, Spencer Prats and Tyler Jansey. "They all are impact players who can change the game," Piron said. A hot weather forecast will have to be added to the to-do list, Piron noted. "We have to avoid turnovers, utilize our depth in the warm weather and execute on offense and defense. We will have to adjust quickly," he said.

Geneva at Metea Valley

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Notables: This game marks the debut of new Geneva coach Boone Thorgesen. He'll have plenty of firepower at his disposal at Metea, including running back Carter Powelson, who transitioned from defensive end. "Carter had a great camp transitioning to running back," Thorgesen said. "He shows flashes that he can be a special player for us this year." The Vikings will encounter an experienced Metea team on its home turf. "Metea brings back a ton of returning starters, many of them 3-year players," Thorgesen said. "They are big up front and have speed on the outside with their skill players, plus they are a well-coached football team. They stress you on the defensive side of the ball with their speed, skillset and scheme. The quarterback is a 3-year varsity quarterback who has played a lot of football and brings that experience and playmaking ability for them that's difficult to defend. We have to limit the big plays on defense and win the line of scrimmage. It's the first game of the year and a lot of emotions go into it. Both teams will be excited to play. How we handle adversity and the ups and downs of a game will be key. We have a senior-led team and will rely on them to lead us and right the ship for those young guys when adversity hits."

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Crystal Lake South at Jacobs

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Notables: The battle of Randall Road neighbors sees a Jacobs team that South coach Rob Fontana feels will have a chip on their shoulder. "They had a good spring season that unfortunately was cut two games early because of COVID," he said. "Jacobs was able to gain traction when they solidified naming coach (Brian) Zimmerman as the head coach. Kids are excited to play for him and they have great numbers in their program again. They have a huge offensive line that is probably bigger than most small college lines." South is bolstered by two-time all-Fox Valley performers in quarterback Justin Kowalak (all-state honorable mention as well) and linebacker Shane Moran. "Justin will be looking to gain momentum with our offense and lead us for a third straight year," Fontana said. "She is our team anchor. He is always around the ball and brings an endless fun, crazy mindset that his teammates buy into and feed off."

Hampshire at Burlington Central

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Notables: Another longtime area rivalry game out the chute. Whip-Purs coach Jake Brosman has plenty to be excited about on both sides of the ball. "Our offensive line and tight ends will make a huge impact," he said. "Their execution will determine what we can do on offense. Ty Fikis will make an impact because he is entering his second season as our starting quarterback." Hampshire's defense has returning players August Rossow, Avery James, Daniel Chojnowski, Xander Gramarossa, Devin Yeats, Zach Vodraska and James Borgardt. "Having a good number of returners will help us execute at a high level and play smart, sound defense," Brosman said. "We have a great group of guys filling spots vacated by seniors who graduated. I am excited to see which of those guys make an impact."

Bartlett at Glenbard South

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Notables: Upstate Eight Conference play gets started right away here in Glen Ellyn with two of the circuit's stronger squads. "Glenbard South is a very well-coached program and they have a lot of talent all over the field," Hawks coach Matt Erlenbaugh said. "They have size on the line and speed at their skills. "We need to be the more physical team. We have to stick to our assignments, control the line of scrimmage and be great tacklers." Bartlett is getting a lot of the same from captains Bubba Hubbard (OL), Jacob Scearce (QB) and Gabe Bemont (WR/LB). "Our three captains are going to be impact players all season," Erlenbaugh said. "These greats have worked their tails off, were impact players last year and I expect the same this year."

East Aurora at Elgin

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Notables: Maroons coach Anthony Mason is high on a number of his players heading into this Week 1 Upstate Eight tussle with the Tomcats, starting with James Syrek, who won the quarterback job "by doing things right and being a leader," Mason said. Transfer Clem McCullough II also has impressed. "He has latched on to our culture and his blossoming into a player we can trust and depend on," Mason said. Tayvion Mitchell also figures heavily into Elgin's plans. "We have asked a lot of this player since sophomore year," Mason noted. "It's time for him to take the next step in his performance on the field."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Streamwood at West Chicago

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Notables: "I don't think it's a surprise to anybody that we need to establish our run game," Sabres coach Keith McMaster said. "Offensively, we need to protect the football and stick blocks. Defensively our kids need to follow their assignments and get to the football." Offensive line players Jojo Chamopoulos, Eric Gomez and Richard Rodriguez are back on the Sabres' offensive line. "Last season, they learned our system so it will be exciting to watch them with six games under their belt," McMaster said.

West Aurora at Plainfield South

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Notables: West Aurora's Matt Tarr will bolster the defense. He did not play this spring due to baseball. Coach Nate Eimer calls Tim Hancock a Suburban Prairie defensive MVP candidate. Austin Pierce is a 3-year starter at safety, and Chris Stinson at wide receiver and tight end is a player Eimer feels does not get the recognition he deserves. "He could be a high-level D2, FCS guy when this is all done," the coach said.

Larkin at Glenbard East

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Notables: New Royals coach Grant Dietz likes his team's chances with the like Dontrell Maxie (QB), Jamarion Stubbs (DB-WR) and Michael Hibbler on the roster. "These three players are our leaders and are hard-nosed competitors," he said.

Chicago Noble/Johnson at Aurora Christian

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Notables: Eagles coach David Beebe has seen great progress with his group since the spring season. "Repetition has been key," he said. "We have some younger kids who have gotten a lot of practice experience this summer. Games are always different, so it will be fun to see them react when the lights come on. I'll give our kids some credit. They are very unified in their approach. Each player loves to see when others succeed. We have spent a lot of time together since the spring and we have grown into a team."

Kaneland at Andrew

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Notables: Here's a stat you don't see every day. Kaneland will start 11 new players on defense this year. "It will be a big test for us," coach Pat Ryan said. "I think we are better in the defensive backfield than we were last spring." Senior Jackson Marler (OLB) and juniors Johnny Spallasso (CB), Dawson Trebolo (ILB) and Alex Panico (FS) are some of the key contributors on defense for the Knights, who head to Tinley Park to open the season against Andrew.

Friday's other gamesSt. Charles East at Lemont, 7:30 p.m.

Palatine at St. Charles North, 7:30 p.m.

Dundee-Crown at Cary-Grove, 7:30 p.m.

Crystal Lake Central at Huntley, 7:30 p.m.

Aurora Central Catholic at Plano, 7:30 p.m.

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