Scouting Week 5 DuPage County football games

  • Neuqua Valley's Mark Mennecke, pictured throwing a pass against Wheaton Warrenville South, has an 8-0 record as starting quarterback.

    Neuqua Valley's Mark Mennecke, pictured throwing a pass against Wheaton Warrenville South, has an 8-0 record as starting quarterback. Sean King/for Shaw Media

 
By Bobby Narang
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/23/2021 3:43 PM

Naperville Central (3-1, 1-0) at Neuqua Valley (4-0, 1-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

2021 spring result: Did not play

 

Outlook: A must-see battle between two of the top three ranked teams in the Class 8A poll. The Redhawks, who are ranked No. 2 in 8A, suffered their first on-the-field loss in Week 3 at Novi Central Catholic (Michigan) in 2021, which included an undefeated spring season. The Redhawks haven't shown the explosiveness on offense compared to the spring, but their toughness and leadership has been evident in close games. Through four games, the defense is allowing just 12 points per game. They pulled out a 17-14 win against Waubonsie Valley last week, limiting the Warriors to 4 yards rushing. Wide receiver Reggie Fleurima, a Northwestern recruit, is one of the statistical leaders in the area, with 24 receptions for 388 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Neuqua Valley, which is ranked No. 3 in 8A, is also off to a strong start, helped by playing well in all three phases of the game. Palmer Domschke might be the X-factor in Friday's game. The talented kicker/punter is a game-changer with his kicking and punting and on defense. Dating back to the 2019 season, the Wildcats have won 13 consecutive regular season games. Quarterback Mark Mennecke is one of the leaders on offense, completing 25-of-46 passes for 450 yards and 4 touchdowns to run his record to 8-0 as a starter.

Metea Valley (2-2, 1-0) at Waubonsie Valley (1-3, 0-1) When: Friday, 7 p.m.

2021 spring result: Waubonsie Valley 26, Metea Valley 24

Outlook: Two weeks ago, Metea Valley turned its season around with a 15-14 nonconference win over Belleville East. The Mustangs built off that win, with an impressive 29-21 victory over DeKalb in their DuPage Valley Conference opener.

Next up is the Warriors, who have lost three of their first four games this season. The Mustangs scored just 30 points in their first three games before putting up a 29-spot against the Barbs. The Warriors' highest scoring output was a 23-point effort in a Week 3 win over Shaker Heights (Ohio). Both teams have played a tough early-season schedule, so Friday's game is instrumental for the Mustangs and Warriors in the conference race. Waubonsie Valley nearly knocked off Naperville Central last week, when sophomore quarterback Luke Elsea had a big game in his first varsity start due to an injury to starter Nathan Pappas. Elsea threw for 210 yards and nearly mounted a winning drive in the final minute.

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Naperville North (1-3, 0-1) at DeKalb (2-2, 0-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.

2021 spring result: Did not play.

Outlook: This is a must-win game for both teams. The Huskies have dropped three straight games since winning their opener, but in fairness the strength of schedule is a big factor. Glenbard North, Brownstown (Michigan) and Neuqua Valley have a combined 12-0 record this season. The Huskies dropped a tough 21-7 decision to highly ranked Neuqua Valley last week. The defense had a strong second half, limiting the Wildcats to seven points but they couldn't stop the running game. Neuqua Valley racked up 251 yards on the ground.

Naperville North junior quarterback Aidan Gray is off to a stellar start, completing 46-of-74 passes for 518 yards and 6 touchdowns. Wide receiver Luke Williams is a player to watch after raising his season numbers to 13 catches for 219 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Both teams are looking for their first DuPage Valley Conference victory of the season, as the Huskies need to gain some momentum for their Week 6 battle at Naperville Central.

South Elgin (4-0, 3-0) at Glenbard East (4-0, 4-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

2021 spring result: South Elgin 28, Glenbard East 0

Outlook: The Rams get a chance for some revenge following a shutout loss to the Storm in the spring. The early-season clash of unbeaten teams will have a big impact on the Upstate Eight Conference race. Four teams -- Glenbard East, South Elgin, Bartlett and Glenbard South -- have one loss or less this season in conference play.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Storm has been aided by a strong rushing attack that keeps the ball out of the opponent's hand, while controlling the clock and wearing out their defense. In addition, South Elgin's relied on winning the turnover battle, which is an area to watch in Friday's clash. But stopping South Elgin junior running back Mason Montgomery is the first order of business for the Rams. Montgomery rushed for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns in a blowout victory over Glenbard South in Week 3. After playing a backup in his sophomore season, Montgomery has burst onto the scene to be one of the leading rushers in the area, with 30 carries for 442 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Storm, though, have a diversified and deep rushing attack, thus accounting for the majority of their success.

The Rams enter the game with four blowout wins, scoring at least 24 points per game. Glenbard East crushed East Aurora 48-6 last week to raise its scoring average to 37 points per game. In comparison, the Storm are averaging a conference-best 48 points per game. Still, both teams have quality defenses, with the Storm giving up just 14 points all season and the Rams allowing 26 points.

Glenbard North (4-0, 2-0) at Batavia (4-0, 2-0)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

2021 spring result: Batavia 49, Glenbard North 7

Outlook: The Panthers absorbed a tough blowout loss at home to the Bulldogs in the spring, which is something not lost on the defense. With a solid group of defensive lineman and a strong secondary, the Panthers have one of the top defensive units in the area. The Panthers mix athleticism, size and quickness along the defensive line to cause havoc and limit teams on offense. The Panthers have given up just 7 points in the last two weeks, including a 23-0 shutout win over St. Charles East last week. The only team able to move the ball consistently was Naperville North, which scored 31 points in Week 2.

The Bulldogs, ranked No. 3 in Class 7A, own two blowout wins and pulled out close decisions against Oswego and Wheaton North. Batavia sophomore quarterback Ryan Boe was stellar in last week's win over Lake Park, completing 13-of-16 passes for 291 yards and 4 touchdowns and rushing for a score. Boe, who has passed for 685 yards and 7 touchdowns, faces a stiff test battling the Panthers' athletic defense.

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