Scouting Week 5 Fox football games
St. Edward (2-2, 1-0) at Riverside-Brookfield (3-1, 2-0)When: Friday, 7:15 p.m.
Where: Riverside-Brookfield High School, Brookfield
Outlook: Before we get to this game, let's chat for a second about St. Edward's Ben Zielenski. If there was a Geico/McDonald's/Sears/Zayre/Southwest Airlines player of the week, he'd be it after doing what he did in the Green Wave's horrendously short-handed win over Westmont. "Ben had a game for the ages last week," St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. Zielenski came in as St. Edward's backup quarterback and threw for 183 yards and 2 touchdowns, ran for 106 more yards and another score, threw a pair of 2-point conversions, ran in another 2-point conversion, caught a pass for a 16-yard first down, added 7 tackles from his linebacker spot and had 3 interceptions with one of them returned to the house 30 yards. "The kid had an incredible night for us when we needed it when we were short-staffed," Rolando said. "He never came off the field, including all special teams." Back to Week 5…..another big game for the Green Wave in the Metro Suburban Red as they face current Red leader R-B, which is coming off a big win against Aurora Christian. "Our two-way kids are going to have to be warriors again against a much deeper roster at a school like Riverside-Brookfield," Rolando said. "Getting our guys back from quarantine this week will certainly help with that and give us some depth. We are going to have to pick our poison with running back as they have a solid running game and a solid passing game with a dangerous quarterback. Hopefully, we can slow down one aspect of their game and stay in it until the fourth quarter."
South Elgin (4-0, 3-0) at Glenbard East (4-0, 4-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Glenbard East High School, Lombard
Outlook: A big one here in Lombard. South Elgin takes over sole possession of first place in the Upstate Eight with a win, but drops 1.5 games back with a loss to the Rams. "Glenbard East is every bit as big, strong and physical as they are on any other year, just more impressive this fall," Storm coach Dragan Teonic said. "We will have to maximize our possessions and really do a good job of protecting the football. This game is usually determined in the trenches and this year is no different. We are playing well in all three phases, but have not been tested by anyone as impressive as Glenbard East yet this season. I am looking forward to seeing our 'fight' on Friday night," Teonic said. Two keys for South Elgin on defense are Gino Santini and Omari Larson. "Gino and Omari have played excellent football so far this season," Teonic said. "They have 50 percent of our sacks this year and numerous quarterback pressures. They are working extremely hard in the weight room and on the practice field."
Marist (3-1) at Marmion (3-1)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Marmion Academy, Aurora
Outlook: Marist, out of the Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Blue, heads to Marmion on the heels of a 28-16 loss to Mt. Carmel last week. Marist holds wins over Chicago Currie, Richards and Nazareth Academy. "Marist is large bodies, team speed, team athletic and well-coached," Marmion coach Dan Thorpe said. "We can't turn the ball over twice in the fourth quarter, and we must stop the run." Marmion fullback Tyler Bradshaw broke the 120-yard rushing mark last week against St. Ignatius, while Ivan Erickson and Jacob Bottarini continue to make key tackles on defense, Thorpe noted. "We have not turned the corner in any phase," Thorpe added. "Our best game is out there as we continue to make many assignment mistakes, etc. Only corner we have turned is the season as we are almost halfway over."
Glenbard North (4-0, 2-0) at Batavia (4-0, 2-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Batavia High School
Outlook: Our blue plate special of the week. Winner takes over sole possession of first place in the DuKane Conference. Batavia is getting it done on both sides of the ball. Jalen Buckley has run for 503 of Batavia's 657 rushing yards, while quarterback Ryan Boe is completing 70 percent of his passes and has thrown for 685 yards and 7 scores. Heavy freight carriers through the air for the Bulldogs are Drew Gerke (11 for 185 yards), A.J. Sanders (10 for 177) and Eric Newberry (only 5 catches, but 167 yards). Defensively, Drew Bartels has 5 sacks, while Brady Osborne is right behind him with 4.5. Ryan Whitwell has 8 pass deflections. Glenbard North is 4-0, but three of its wins came against teams with a combined 2-10 record heading into Week 5. The Panthers do hold a win over improved Geneva.
Geneva (3-1, 1-1) at St. Charles North (2-2, 0-2)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: St. Charles North High School
Outlook: When the schedule flips to Week 5, the word playoffs starts to creep into the picture. A win by Geneva definitely helps its case and a North win gets them up and running again. "St. Charles North is a really good football team," Geneva coach Boone Thorgesen said. "They play great defense that creates turnovers and big plays. Offensively, they really do some nice things you must prepare for. It will be a great test for our football team. To be successful, we have to continue to take a step forward in our play, create turnovers and limit our turnovers." Geneva's Alex Porter threw for two touchdowns last week and also led the Vikings on a 19-play drive to take the lead in the fourth quarter against Wheaton Warrenville South. Carter Powelson had more than 140 total yards and scored in Week 4, while Dylan Pratt "really played his best game at corner against some explosive receivers," Thorgesen said. North coach Rob Pomazak said his team needs to stop the run game and control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball against Geneva. "Limit the big plays on defense, create big plays on offense, limit turnovers and increase takeaways," he said. North Stars' wide receiver Anthony Taormina and outside linebacker/tight end Jake Furtney have come up big of late. "Anthony is making the big play and little play all while being a sophomore," Pomazak said. "Jake is coming into his own on both sides of the ball."
Crystal Lake South (2-2, 2-2) at Burlington Central (2-2, 2-2)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Central High School, Burlington
Outlook: South has won two games in a row, while Burlington Central split its Week 3 and 4 games with Dundee-Crown (win) and Huntley (loss). "Crystal Lake South has a nice group of athletes," Central coach Brian Melvin said. "We need to win the battle on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. We need to take care of the football and do our job." Gavin Sarvis and Sean Adkerson continue to provide highlights for the Rockets each week. "Gavin continues to light up the stats board," Melvin said. "Sean is really running the offense well in his first full season playing quarterback. He is playing mistake-free football and leading this offense well."
McHenry (0-4, 0-4) at Hampshire (2-2, 2-2)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Hampshire High School
Outlook: A lot of the same going on in the Fox Valley Conference right now. There are two unbeatens left (Cary-Grove and Prairie Ridge will square off Saturday and reduce that number by one), six teams that are 2-2 and McHenry and D-C are both 0-4. "McHenry has played a tough schedule and has battled hard in each game," Whips coach Jake Brosman said. "They are a physical team and show great team speed on the field. We have to execute at a high level and not make mistakes on the field to have an opportunity to be successful." Brosman said Devin Yeats has been a producer at wide receiver. "He is a threat in the short game and the deep game, which makes the defenses we face commit to defending him in both facets, which helps open up other parts of our offense," Brosman said. "He has made a number of big plays for us this year and is a guy that we can call on when we need a play made." Patryk Barnas also was cited for excellence along an offensive line that includes Chris Abihudi, Jackson Mitchell, Ryan Miedema and Mike Freeman. "Patryk is the leader of our offensive line," Brosman said. "Our line has blocked well this year, allowing us to move the ball like we have."
Kaneland (2-2, 1-1) at Woodstock (2-2, 0-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Woodstock High School
Outlook: Two movers and shakers for Kaneland last week were Chris Ruchaj and AJ Macaluso. Ruchaj ran 6 times for 147 yards and 3 touchdowns. "Chris entered the season as our third-string running back, but due to injuries was thrust into the starting role last week," Knights coach Pat Ryan explained. Ruchaj also plays corner on defense and had a couple of tackles and a pass breakup against Woodstock North last week. Macaluso starts at center and outside linebacker. He had a team-high 7 tackles last week and a quarterback sack. Ryan noted Woodstock runs a spread offense, which the Knights have not seen from an opposing team yet. "The positive is that is what we run so our kids are familiar with this type of offense," he said. "Woodstock does run a pretty good RPO, which can cause teams fits. We must be able to stop that. On the defensive side of the ball, they run a four-man front, which is also something we have not seen this year. They are big on the defensive line and we have to get movement up front to establish the run. We must limit penalties. We have had too many big plays come back due to penalties."
Aurora Christian (3-1, 1-1) at Chicago Christian (1-3, 0-2)When: Friday, 7:15 p.m.
Where: Chicago Christian High School, Palos Heights
Outlook: The Eagles lost to Riverside-Brookfield last week and will look to inch closer to becoming playoff eligible with a road game in Palos Heights. "This is a very important week for us to get back on track," Aurora Christian coach David Beebe said. "We didn't play very well last week and have some things to correct. We had a lot of bright spots last week, particularly on defense, but we need to play better in all phases of the game."
Oswego East (4-0) at West Aurora (3-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: West Aurora High School
Outlook: Oswego East is 4-0 but the first three came against foes with a combined 3-9 record heading into Week 5 and the other was a COVID-19 forfeit over Joliet Central. Nonetheless, West Aurora coach Nate Eimer sees a tough opponent staring at this team in the Suburban Prairie West opener for both teams. "Oswego East is 4-0 for a reason," Eimer said. "Their defense is the best we have seen and they cause a lot of turnovers. The offense is loaded with star talent at the quarterback, running back and wide receiver positions. They also have a tremendous kicker. Whoever does their special teams does an outstanding job." Eimer loves the recent play of offensive lineman Clay Caragher, defensive lineman Jordan Lishman and strong safety Austin Pierce. "Clay is on the offensive line that doesn't get enough credit," he said. "Jordan is a dominant inside presence and Austin is quietly our second-leading tackler from the strong safety position."
West Chicago (0-4, 0-4) at Elgin (1-3, 1-3)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Memorial Field, Elgin
Outlook: Clem McCullough's move to quarterback paid dividends, "on an offense that allowed us to rush for close to 300 yards against Streamwood," Maroons coach Anthony Mason said. "On defense, he is making great plays across the field and really hawking the ball well." Adam Lambaz is another bright spot on the line. "Adam is becoming a great lineman for us," Mason noted. "He is driving people out of the play and requiring double teams on the line of scrimmage. We look forward to him making some big plays." Mason said his squad is out there gaining experience. "I knew we were young coming in and we only had four guys who got quality reps in the spring," he said. "We have great numbers and guys are anchored in our culture and committed, so as they are getting game experience and doing what coaches are asking them, they are showing that we can be a good team this year."
Streamwood (1-3, 1-3) at East Aurora (2-2, 2-2)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: East Aurora High School, Aurora
Outlook: "To be successful, we have to stop beating ourselves," Sabres coach Keith McMaster said. "Mistakes have cost us possible wins this season. Defensively, we need to play much more sound football, follow assignments, have better tackling and cause turnovers." Isaac Martinez and Mikey Estrada have almost comparable stats both offensively and defensively for Streamwood, McMaster noted. "They play hard, tackle hard and are the heart and soul of the team," he said. Another positive: Streamwood's near comeback against Elgin last week. "After the last game, the team has the belief if they are down, they can come back," McMaster said. "Coming back from 20-0 is no easy feat and they almost pulled out a win."
Other Friday gamesSt. Charles East at Wheaton Warrenville South, 7:30 p.m.
Huntley at Jacobs, 7 p.m.
Crystal Lake Central at Dundee-Crown, 7 p.m.
Aurora Central Catholic at IC Catholic Prep, 7:15 p.m.
Fenton at Bartlett, 7:30 p.m.
Larkin at Glenbard South, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday's gamePrairie Ridge at Cary-Grove, 1 p.m.