Football: Scouting Week 2 in Lake County
Maine South (1-0) at Warren (1-0)Last week: Maine South 41, Stevenson 10; Warren 19, Barrington 0
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Outlook: The Blue Devils, top ranked in both the Daily Herald Top 20 and in Class 8A by the Associated Press, welcome one of the state's premier teams to town. "Maine South is as good as any team in the state," Warren coach Bryan McNulty said of the Hawks, the No. 2 ranked team in the DH Top 20 and No. 5 in the Class 8A AP poll. "They have a rich tradition of winning and are extremely competitive. Their quarterback, tight end and running back are extremely versatile and productive. We will have to slow their defense down and on offense attempt to control the ball." The Hawks are led offensively by Rowan Keef, who tossed a pair of touchdown passes and threw for 128 yards against Stevenson last week, and running back Mike Sajenko, who ran for 94 yards and a touchdown. Left guard Cohen Pye came up big in Warren's Week 1 win over Barrington. Fullback Ben McLaughlin's versatility was another bright spot, McNulty pointed out, while defensive end Jeremy Watson was a key cog as well. Warren ran for more than 250 yards against Barrington.
Grayslake Central (1-0) at Mundelein (1-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Grayslake Central 66, Hubbard 38; Mundelein 15, Grant 6
Outlook: The Rams put up a ton of points in a 66-38 win against Chicago Hubbard last week. The 66 points broke the school record that had stood since 1957. Kaiden Miller scored 5 touchdowns (3 rushing and had a 73-yard kickoff return for a score). "He is the real deal and should be a solid Division I prospect," coach Michael Maloney said. Jeremiah Poyser ran for 97 yards, scored 2 touchdowns and had 3 pass breakups at corner. Junior quarterback Darryl Overstreet was praised by Maloney for his poise and confidence in running the Rams' offense. The Rams start freshman Jonnie Lindberg-Sage at middle linebacker, and sophomore Marty Jens started at MLB as a freshman this spring. Mundelein held a 3-1 turnover edge against Grant in Week 1. Mustangs coach Vince DeFrancesco felt Xavier Ortiz, Omari Rhinehart and Brock Paluch executed well down the stretch, while an O-line of Raytheon Hamblin, Jake Prejna, Isiah Gonzalez, Miguel Hernandez and Brandon Hansen got stronger as the game wore on. DeFrancesco also was thrilled with Rhinehart's leadership and omnipresence on both sides of the ball, while Ortiz was cited for racking up big yards after contact. And this on Prejna: "Jake is an impact player and although he doesn't get a ton of publicity, he is an integral part of our success." Monte Alemu is another key cog for Mundelein. "Doesn't matter if he has the ball in his hands or not, he plays 100% every play," DeFrancesco said.
Antioch (0-1) at Morris (1-0)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Antioch lost to Waukesha (Wis.) Catholic 44-8; Morris beat Coal City 13-3
Outlook: Antioch is looking to get into the win column after a 36-point loss to eight-time Wisconsin-champion Waukesha Catholic Memorial. The Sequoits hit the road for the 100-mile-plus jaunt to play Morris, a 13-3 Week 1 winner over Coal City. "Morris is a perennial state power and playoff team," said Antioch coach Brian Glashagel, who is 1 win shy of 100 for his career. "They are always well-coached and ranked. We have our hands full. This is a playoff game. Playoff games are always decided by turnovers and big plays. We need to win those categories to beat them." Glashagel loved the play of senior RB-DB Andy Bowles, who did not leave the field during a hot Week 1 game. Junior Caleb Nobiling led the team in tackles against Waukesha, while junior Aiden Lennon moved to the defensive line and excelled. Senior Reino Hill, Glashagel noted, was one of the only Antioch offensive players to make grade in Week 1. "Reino is the consummate overachiever," he said.
Grant (0-1) at Chicago Taft (0-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Grant lost to Mundelein 15-6; Taft lost to Glenbrook North 26-14
Outlook: Cameron Lattimore opened some eyes for the Bulldogs on the offensive line in a Week 1 loss to Mundelein. "We plugged Cameron in at guard midway through the game and he didn't hesitate," Grant coach Chris Robinson said. "He did a really good job, and the way he embraced being put in that position speaks to the growth and maturity we have seen out of him over the last few weeks." Wide receiver Bryton Reynolds caught a TD pass early in the game and also excelled as a blocker. "We know we can trust him to execute every one of his roles in our offense," Robinson said. Alex Art went both ways in the heat against Mundelein. "We can depend on him giving us everything we need including intangibles such as rallying others around him and leading by example," Robinson said. Robinson said Taft has size on both lines and has a strong power running offense.
Grayslake North (0-1) at Deerfield (1-0)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Grayslake North lost to Vernon Hills 21-14; Deerfield beat Hinsdale South 39-16
Outlook: Knights coach Corey Atwell saw big defensive improvements in the team's Week 1 loss to Vernon Hills. "The whole defense played great," he said. "After giving up 41 points the year before, this year only 21 points. They gave us a chance to win." DeAndre Neely's kickoff return sparked a 14-unanswered-point run for North, Atwell noted. Other North notables included Jacob Donohue (15 of 22 158 yards, 1 TD), Nathan Atwell (8 catches, 100 yards), Ryan Page (TD grab), Josh Real (5 tackles) and Scott Wilson (4 tackles, 3 tackles for loss). Ethan Case had 7 tackles against Vernon Hills.
St. Charles North (1-0) at Lake Zurich (1-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: St. Charles North beat Palatine 24-0; Lake Zurich beat Fremd 21-9
Outlook: Bears coach Ron Planz believes this is the first meeting between the two schools. "St. Charles North is a well-coached team that plays hard and fast," he said. "They beat a good Palatine team and are high in the state rankings." Planz loved the play of his offensive line against Fremd. "They had more cohesion and executed at a really high level," he said. "We were not 100 percent sure how they were going to be with three new starters up there. They really stepped up." Bears quarterback Jarred Meyers made the most of his passing opportunities, completing 6 of 7 for 53 yards against Fremd.
Maine East (0-1) at Round Lake (0-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Maine East lost to Niles West 38-9; Round Lake lost to Wheeling 27-15
Outlook: Two teams that are no strangers to each other here. The Panthers were 16-13 winners over the Demons two years ago. "We have to establish the run and finish tackles on defense," Round Lake coach Scott Blecha said. "We have to minimize big plays and force them into long drives if they are going to score." Blecha cited superior play from Eddie Espinosa in the squad's Week 1 game against Wheeling. Espinosa moved from defensive line to linebacker to help the short-handed Panthers. "He ended up playing almost every snap on both sides of the ball," he said. "Eddie stepped in admirably on short notice and filled a void for the team." Cristian Castro passed for 195 yards and a score. He's coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard passing seasons. Marco Jimenez had 15 solos and 9 assisted tackles, while also playing almost every snap at running back. Castro and Jimenez are two of the team's captains.
Stevenson (0-1) at New Trier (1-0)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last week: Stevenson lost to Maine South 41-10; New Trier beat Lyons Township 30-23
Outlook: The Patriots lost to perennial state power Maine South in Week 1, while New Trier beat Lyons Township by a touchdown. Stevenson coach Brent Becker cited a host of players for strong defensive showings, including Colin Schultz (5 tackles, 1 sack, 2 hurries), Alex Zhekov (5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss), Ryan Hynes (4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss) and Jimmy Davis (1 interception).
Waukegan (1-0) at Vernon Hills (1-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Vernon Hills beat Grayslake North 21-14; Waukegan beat North Chicago 25-12
Outlook: Sophomore outside linebacker Anthony Martorano's interception against Grayslake North last week set up the winning touchdown. Ben Choi ran for more than 120 yards and 2 scores in three quarters of work before getting injured. Kam Martin filled in the rest of the way and had 96 yards on 10 carries. Jake Pieper played quarterback, wide receiver and free safety in Week 1, scored the go-ahead touchdown and had a pick that sealed the game. "'Mr. Do Everything' for us," Cougars coach Bill Bellecomo said. Vernon Hills tied the school record with 4 interceptions (Alex Gil, Martin, Anthony Martorano and Pieper, 1 each).
Other Friday gamesCarmel (0-1) at Lake Forest (1-0), 7 p.m.
Lakes (0-1) at Highland Park (1-0), 7 p.m.
Libertyville (1-0) at Evanston (1-0), 7:30 p.m.
Wauconda (1-0) at Riverside-Brookfield (1-0), 7:15 p.m.