Marmion, Batavia, South Elgin among those off to fast starts
Marmion football coach Dan Thorpe mentioned recently his team's schedule going forward is no walk in the park.
Well, the opening part of that walk started off well for the Cadets, who were 27-10 winners over historically tough Montini in Week 3 in Lombard.
The win pushed Marmion to 3-0 with St. Ignatius headed to Aurora Friday for the Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Conference White opener for both squads.
"We now enter the CCL and our schedule is brutal with Montini, St. Iggy, Marist and Fenwick," Thorpe explained. "We will find out who we are as a football team."
Marmion has a strong recent history of playing well out of the gates. The 2019 team started 4-0, while the 2017 team was 5-0 and the 2016 team began 4-0.
Burlington Central coach Brian Melvin had a lot of good things to say about the play of Nate Majewski, Alfredo Ortiz and Johnny Lawson's defensive exploits to start the season. "Nate, Alfredo and Johnny are flying all over the field making tackles for us," he said.
Batavia coach Dennis Piron will put the quality of play in the DuKane Conference up against anybody.
"The DuKane looks very good, maybe as good as any league in Illinois right now top to bottom," he said. "There are no easy weeks."
Heading into Week 4, two DuKane teams remain undefeated in Batavia and Glenbard North, while four teams have 2-1 records (Geneva, St. Charles North Wheaton North and Wheaton Warrenville South).
Telling from the opening week of DuKane action, the average margin of victory in the four conference tussles was 6.5 points with three of the four games being decided by a 7 or less (2 by a field goal or less). The only game that skewed that number higher was Glenbard North's 21-7 win over Geneva -- still by no means a blowout.
Friday has Batavia at Lake Park, St. Charles East at Glenbard North, WW South at Geneva and St. Charles North at Wheaton North.
Piron pointed out nose tackle Fikayo Afolarin and offensive line captain Spencer Prats are part of the Bulldogs' success sauce even though they might show up in the box score.
"Fikayo and Spencer both show up big on film and get it done in the trenches," Piron said.
Center of attention:
Geneva coach Boone Thorgesen loves what Vikings center Kyle Anderson brings to the table.
"Most valuable position on the field and he is one of our smartest players," he said. "Kyle gets our guys up front blocking the right man. He is as dependable as they come."
Joey Woltz is one guy Crystal Lake South coach Rob Fontana said might get overlooked on the field by opponents--to their extreme detriment.
"Joey does a nice job for us as a high motor guy," he said. "You look at his size and think, 'no problem.' Then you see him play and he becomes a handful for people."
Double duty McCluskey:
Bartlett sophomore Blake McCluskey has been a dual threat for the Hawks this season at center and then on defense from his linebacker position.
"Blake has done a great job at center for us from the first day we pulled him up to varsity," Hawks coach Matt Erlenbaugh said. "He is also the next man in at linebacker and adds quality depth. What really is a huge value to the program is he never leaves the field in practice. He never takes a break. If he is not on the starting unit, he jumps in on the scout team because he knows that will give us the best look."
Racking up the yardage:
Streamwood coach Keith McMaster was effusive in his praise of the team's offensive line that includes Jojo Chamopoulos, Eric Gomez, Richard Rodriguez, Chris Marquez and Jace Wolf. That unit helped Streamwood pile up 900-plus yards in two games to gow tih 12 points.
"The offensive line is never seen on the stat sheet, but those guys have propelled the ground game to a new level," he said. "It all starts in the trenches and I would be remiss to not mention them."
Kaneland quarterback Troyer Carlson is well on his way to putting up massive passing numbers this season. Through three games, Carlson was 61 of 90 for 847 yards and 8 touchdowns. He's averaging 282 passing yards per game.
Favorite targets for Carlson thus far include Sam Gagne with 21 catches for 365 yards and 2 scores and Aric Johnson, who has 16 catches for 260 yards and 4 touchdowns.
South Elgin is 3-0 on the season (48-7 over St. Viator, 58-0 over East Aurora and 35-7 over Glenbard South) for several reasons.
The obvious is the Storm is averaging 7.1 rushing yards per carry on offense. The not so obvious stuff on the stat sheet? How about a massive plus-10 turnovers advantage (12-2), a defense that has 10 quarterback sacks (Omari Larson leads the way with 3.5) and is allowing 18.3 rushing yards per game.
The result is South Elgin and Glenbard East are the lone 3-0 teams remaining in the Upstate Eight Conference. South Elgin squares off against Larkin Friday.