Scouting Week 4 Fox football games
Marmion (3-0) at Chicago St. Ignatius (3-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: St. Ignatius High School, Chicago
Outlook: This is the Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Conference White Division opener for both teams. Cadets coach Dan Thorpe talked about the brutal schedule his team is in the midst of and he wasn't kidding. St. Ignatius has outscored opponents 140-8, but with the caveat of those three folks being a combined 3-9 through three. "We must defend the triple option power game like Cary-Grove and Prairie Ridge," Thorpe noted. "They want to shorten the game and grind out the yards on the ground. We have to be disciplined on defense and get the lead on offense so they can't grind it out." Conversely, Thorpe liked how his crew ran the ball against Montini last week, powered by offensive line stalwarts in Bo Olsen, Matt Harris, Jerred Durian, Jakob Saunders and Zach Weierheuser. Defensive end Ivan Erickson also has been a mover and shaker. "He's been in the backfield making plays in all three games," Thorpe said.
Batavia (3-0, 1-0) at Lake Park (1-2, 1-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Lake Park West Campus, Roselle
Outlook: Batavia rolls into Lake Park West on a roll with three wins, including last week's 3-pointer against Wheaton North. "I am glad we are 3-0 and all having played a very tough schedule and being in the position we are in right now," Batavia coach Dennis Piron noted. "We are getting better every week and improving greatly with young players in key positions. To be in the spot is a very good thing for the program." Piron acknowledged the Bulldogs will have to defend Lake Park's unique offense, but the focus must still remain on itself. "The key thing for us with every passing week is improve our own team as much as worry about the opponents," Piron said. "On the stat sheet, Piron likes where his team is at from a rushing yardage advantage. "Being able to run the ball and then also stop the opponent from running the ball is critical," he said. "On the other side, our negative turnover ratio has to change."
Wheaton Warrenville South (2-1, 1-0) at Geneva (2-1, 0-1)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Geneva High School
Outlook: Geneva coach Boone Thorgesen said he used the first three weeks of the Vikings' season as a fact-finding mission of sorts. "The first three games you really figure out who you are as a team and what you do well and maybe not so well," he pointed out. "These next three games are where you really find out who you are as a football team. We have the data, not it's taking the next step and becoming better in those areas we already do well in." WW South is coming off a DuKane-opening 2-point win over St. Charles North. "They are strong in all three phases," Thorgesen said. "Offensively they have a great wide receiver (Bell) who is a threat anytime he touches the ball and a dynamic running attack. Defensively, they play fast and physical. To be successful against them we must be able to limit the big plays, get to the quarterback and be better on third down offensively." Geneva's defense has caused 7 turnovers thus far. Mac Happold is one of Geneva's defensive stars. "Mac has taken the next step at linebacker where he's not guessing, but reacting to what he's seeing. He missed most of summer and fall camp with an injury, but is now playing at a very high level."
Burlington Central (2-1, 2-1) at Huntley (1-2, 1-2)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Huntley High School
Outlook: Central coach Brian Melvin isn't screwing around when it comes to an assessment of where his team has come from and where it's at now. "The expectation is no longer to just be competitive," he said. "We are not interested in any moral victories. We have raised our standards." And the first place that is apparent is on defense where the Rockets have piled up 13 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, 1 pick and a defensive touchdown in three games. Senior Nate Majewski leads the way with 26 total tackles. On the other side, senior quarterback Sean Adkerson had 18 carries for 108 yards and 2 scores and threw a touchdown last week. Melvin also is high on junior nose guard James Muetterties (6-2, 220). "James is an absolute monster in the middle of the Rockets' defense," he said. In terms of Huntley: "We need to start the game fast," Melvin said. "We need to swing first and keep swinging."
Dundee-Crown (0-3, 0-3) at Crystal Lake South (1-2, 1-2)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Crystal Lake South High School
Outlook: D-C coach Mike Steinhaus is a big fan of South quarterback Justin Kowalak. "Crystal Lake South has a very explosive offense," he said. "Their quarterback is one of my favorite players to watch in the area. We have to stop the big plays on defense and control the ball on offense. When we get the ball in the red zone, we have to come away with touchdowns." Steinhaus said. Steinhaus was impressed with Henry Kennedy and Jimmy Stewart and how they played in Week 3. "They are playing really well," he said. "Both had very good games last week. Our young guys are starting to get acclimated to varsity football. We have been getting better every week. Now, we have to learn to play four quarters of football at a high level. We have to limit mental errors and continue to improve." South coach Rob Fontana pays no attention to D-C's record. "Dundee-Crown is always that team that no matter what their record is they are going to give you a fight until the end," he said. "Coach Steinhaus always has them ready for us and they do so many things offensively with formations and motions that they make it hard to game plan for." South's Kyle Kuffel made his first start at linebacker last week, "and did a great job of getting off blocks and making plays," Fontana said. "His hustle and effort away from the ball is what stood out to me." Fontana has seen plenty of progress from a young Gators group that is "still learning how to mesh together," he said. "Our defense is starting to gel a little and those guys are playing fast. We still have plenty of work ahead for improvement, but I think we are ready to take that next step together. In order to win games in the FVC, you have to finish drives and you have to create turnovers. We have not been able to do both those things yet, but we will continue to shoot for those goals."
Riverside-Brookfield (2-1) at Aurora Christian (3-0)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Aurora Christian High School
Outlook: This is the second Metro Suburban Conference Red game for both teams. "We played Riverside in 2018 and 2019 and both games came down to the last play," Eagles coach David Beebe said. "We have to continue to protect the ball. Riverside is a very good football team. We will have our work cut out for us. I am very proud of what our kids have done thus far. This week will be a tell of who we are even more." R-B beat Morton out of the West Suburban Gold, lost to Northern Illinois Lake County stalwart Wauconda (20-0) and beat Chicago Christian in the MSC Red opener last week.
Woodstock North (0-3, 0-1) at Kaneland (1-2, 0-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Kaneland High School, Maple Park
Outlook: Kaneland will encounter a Woodstock North team that runs the triple option. "They run an efficient triple option and we have to be able to stop it," Knights coach Pat Ryan said. "We need to be able to protect Troyer Carlson (Kaneland QB) in order to be successful. Woodstock North is dangerous on special teams, too. We have to win that battle." Carlson has completed 67.8% of his pass attempts for 847 yards and 8 touchdowns. Kaneland's air raid is averaging 282.3 yards through the first third of the season. Aric Johnson has 4 receiving touchdowns in his first three games this season. "We have had a rough start dealing with some injuries, COVID issues and inexperienced players," Ryan said. "We are continuing to improve and gain experience. As we get healthy and continue to grow as a team, we will be a pretty good football team."
West Aurora (3-1) at Joliet West (0-4)When: Game canceled due to Joliet West COVID issues
Outlook: Blackhawks coach Nate Eimer said Joliet West has canceled this game due to COVID-19-related issues and will forfeit (1-0 score in the record books). On the stat sheet, West Aurora is averaging 217 passing yards per game and has only surrendered 1 quarterback sack. "Pretty dang good against the schedule we have played so far," Eimer noted. Clay Caragher and Matt Tarr are two players taking things to the next level of late. "Clay has been the anchor of our offensive line the entire season and Matt is our leading tackler and keeps getting better each game," Eimer noted.
Elgin (0-3, 0-3) at Streamwood (1-2, 1-2)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Millennium Field, Streamwood
Outlook: Grit and intensity will be the name of the game here Friday, Maroons coach Anthony Mason said. "This is one of the toughest teams we play," he said. "They are hard-nosed and they push for four quarters. We have to be sure to match/beat their toughness and execute at a high level to have a chance to be successful." Elgin has been in the red zone more than 10 times this year, Mason noted, and has hit pay dirt three times. "Turnovers and red zone attempts," he said. "Turnovers have been huge. We have to take care of the ball and we have things in play to do just that." Clem McCullough continues to dial it up Elgin. "Clem has been a playmaker everywhere since the beginning of the season," Mason said. "He is a high-level talent, and we are going to make him shine every time we get the opportunity." Streamwood already has more than 1,000 rushing yards this season. Isaac Martinez has been a workhorse with more than 60 carries and a 7.31 yards-per carry tally. Sabres coach Keith McMaster sees an Elgin team on the upswing. "Elgin continues to get better each week," he said. "We as a team need to get back to basics: blocking, tackling and turnovers in order to come out on top. We are a little banged up and are looking to get some healthy players back on the field as the season progresses. We are a team in the learning phase, learning to win and to lose while mostly learning how to deal with adversity."
South Elgin (3-0, 2-0) at Larkin (2-1, 2-1)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Memorial Field, Elgin
Outlook: Here's how the early Upstate Eight Conference leaderboard looks. Glenbard East is at the top at 3-0, while Glenbard South already received a forfeit win over Fenton (COVID-19 issues for the second time this season) and moves to 3-1 in conference. South Elgin is only 2-0 with the rare nonconference game thrown in (first Fenton COVID forfeit, but found St. Viator as a replacement). "Larkin has three or four athletic skill players who jump off on film," Storm coach Dragan Teonic said. "We will be tested with athleticism that we have not seen so far this season. How we handle their speed will tell us a lot about ourselves." South Elgin has run for 814 yards and has allowed only 55 rushing yards on defense. The Storm is sitting on a plus-10 turnover ratio as well. Jordan Jones has 3 interceptions and a forced fumble for South Elgin. "He has been a prototypical middle-of-the-field free safety for us," Teonic said. Teonic is optimistic heading into the heart of the season. "We're making progress weekly and I feel like we have more room for growth," he said. "I am excited to see how far we can push this group." Larkin is on a two-game winning streak and has not allowed a point in 8 quarters. "I am superstitious and just like no-hitters there are things I purposely won't bring up," Larkin coach Grant Dietz said. "However, in Week 2 the guys were able to give me my first win as a varsity head football coach and then last week they followed up with another stellar performance at Memorial on senior night in front of a packed crowd. A full house was great to see considering playing last spring with empty seats." Senior quarterback Dontrelle Maxie has been a difference-maker for the Royals. "Dontrelle has raised his level of play since Week 1," Dietz pointed out. "He has settled with the offense and is making good decisions. I am proud of the way he is playing right now. He is a hard-nosed competitor who plays with a chip on his shoulder and it raises the level of play around him."
St. Edward (1-2, 0-0) at Westmont (0-3, 0-1)When: Friday, 7:15 p.m.
Where: Westmont High School
Outlook: Let's set the stage for the Green Wave, who are coming off a COVID-19 forfeit last week. St. Ed's coach Mike Rolando said earlier in the week half the team is completing COVID quarantine this week. "Finding out on a Sunday last week and not knowing who we would have available with the holiday weekend delay, we had to cancel last week's game," he said. Rolando said for this week, the Green Wave have 12 remaining varsity players and 5 frosh-soph players who are allowed to play. "It should be an interesting game being that short-staffed, but with some kids getting their first varsity start along with some other remaining varsity guys, these kids are excited to get out there and play a game," Rolando said. "Westmont will have a significant size advantage on us as usual, and they have some very athletic kids, but I know our kids will play with everything they have as they always do. I think this group has a shot to make the playoffs still, but winning this game with a limited roster is going to be key to keeping that goal in check."
Other Friday GamesSt. Charles East (1-2, 0-1) at Glenbard North (3-0, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.
St. Charles North (2-0, 0-1) at Wheaton North (2-1, 0-1), 7:30 p.m.
Jacobs (2-1, 2-1) at Prairie Ridge (3-0, 1-0), 7 p.m.
Cary-Grove (3-0, 3-0) at McHenry (0-3, 0-3), 7 p.m.
Hampshire (1-2, 1-2) at Crystal Lake Central (2-1, 2-1), 7 p.m.
Elmwood Park (1-2) at Aurora Central Catholic (0-3), 7 p.m.
Bartlett (2-1, 2-1) at West Chicago (0-3, 0-3), 7:30 p.m.