Scouting Week 6 Fox football games
Marmion (3-2, 0-1) at Fenwick (3-2, 1-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Fenwick High School, Oak Park
Outlook: Marmion coach Dan Thorpe says Fenwick has developed into "the Marmion arch rival." "We beat them in the spring and now they want us bad," he said. "They have five Division I kids and we have one. They play with a great offense and their defense is big and they fly around. They gave Loyola a great game last week so they are playing very well." Thorpe said consistency on both sides of the ball is a continued focal point. "We are so inconsistent on both offense and defense. Hopefully, we can put things together this week," he said. Thorpe said a shocker to him is a lack of point-scoring thus far for his group. Outside of the 57 points it put up against Chicago Lake View, Marmion's point totals have been 12, 27, 16 and 13. "One thing that has shocked me is that we are not better offensively," he said. "We return four of five linemen, have speed at receivers and solid running backs and we are not scoring points." Thorpe liked how quarterback Danny Chung (16 of 23 passing) progressed last week. "We had a better game out of Danny," he said. "He is making progress." Middle linebacker Jacob Bottarini also has stood out. "Jacob is playing awesome all over the field with great heart and playmaking plays," Thorpe said.
St. Charles East (1-4, 0-3) at Geneva (4-1, 2-1)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Geneva High School
Outlook: Geneva needs one more win to become playoff eligible. "We have a senior-led team and it shows during the game with how they handle adversity and success," Vikings coach Boone Thorgesen said. Geneva is not looking past St. Charles East's 1-4 record. "St. Charles East can score at any time," Thorgesen said. "They have a three-year varsity quarterback, which is always dangerous and so valuable. They are physical up front. We have to get out to a better start than last week, limit our mental mistakes protect the ball and create turnovers." Victor Starkov has played on both sides of the line for Geneva. "Victor does all the dirty work up front at guard and on the defensive line. He is a high-motor kid," Thorgesen said. The coach noted Charlie Morrison stepped up and played defense last week due to injuries and did well. He also plays wide receiver. Tight end/H-bak Marco Dileo also is improving. "Marco is coming into his own and playing his best football," Thorgesen said.
St. Charles North (2-3, 0-3) at Lake Park (1-4, 1-2)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Lake Park West Campus, Roselle
Outlook: St. Charles North is still very much in the playoff hunt equation and will look to snap a three-game losing streak in Roselle Friday. "We have to play sound football, attack the line of scrimmage and be sound in our assignments," North Stars coach Rob Pomazak said. "We have to stay aggressive and attack." Senior captain and three-year starter Lucas Sharkey has 8 sacks this season. "Lucas is the heart and soul of our team," Pomazak said. Pomazak said one thing that has caught his eye is the North Stars youth movement. "What has shocked me is how well our young players have stepped in," he said.
Burlington Central (2-3, 2-3) at Jacobs (3-2, 3-2)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Jacobs High School, Algonquin
Outlook: A win by either team here increases the possibility of playoff eligibility with Central having a game's worth of more urgency to avoid slipping to 2-4 and having to win out to even have a sniff at the possibility of a 10th game. "Jacobs is running the ball well this season," Rockets coach Brian Melvin said. "We need to step up and make big plays when big plays need to be made. The expectation is that we win this football game." Central continues to be bolstered by the play of its defensive line that includes James Muetterties and Porter Mihelich. "James and Porter (continue) to be dominant on the line," Melvin said. "James is a junior and Porter is a sophomore and they have a very bright future."
Dundee-Crown (0-5, 0-5) at McHenry (0-5, 0-5)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: McHenry West Campus
Outlook: The winner of this game gets out of last place in the Fox Valley Conference. "Our team continues to have a great attitude/effort every week and we continue to work to improve our team," Chargers coach Mike Steinhaus said. Steinhaus sees a McHenry team that also has a high motor when it comes to effort. "McHenry will be physical upfront and they have some nice skill players to work with," he said. "As a team, we have to continue to improve each week. We have to be more consistent defensively with our tackling and we have to limit penalties on offense." A star for D-C on defense has been Henry Kennedy. "We ask Henry to do a lot of different things in our defense and he has been doing a nice job of that the last few weeks," Steinhaus said. More recent Charger standouts include Keegan Otte, Nate Benton and LT Norwood. "Keegan is the focal point of our offense, and defenses know that, but he is still being productive on the offensive side," Steinhaus pointed out. "Nate and LT have steadily improved on our defensive side at defensive back."
Crystal Lake South (3-2, 3-2) at Crystal Lake Central (3-2, 3-2)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Crystal Lake Central High School, Metcalf Field
Outlook: Two-thirds of the battle of Crystal Lake will see the winner inch closer to playoff eligibility. "We need to be able to control the flow of the game," South coach Rob Fontana said. "We cannot allow the crosstown rivalry to get us too high or too low if something goes wrong or right. Crystal Lake Central is going to come out swinging, and over the past few years has had our number in this matchup. Central plays fast and physical on defense and they are relentless trying to create turnovers. They love to send pressure and they will change up their looks throughout the game. On offense, they are really balanced. I know their quarterback is a little banged up right now but I would expect him to return for this one. Central likes to spread you out and run the ball at you. Their running backs run hard and they have big receivers they like to throw the ball downfield to." Leading the charge for South defensively has been two-time all-FVC linebacker Shane Moran. "Shane has been our anchor all year," Fontana said. "He is always going to be around the football. Shane is having a fantastic year for us to date, and we look forward to seeing him continue to get better each week."
Hampshire (3-2, 3-2) at Prairie Ridge (4-1, 4-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Prairie Ridge High School, Crystal Lake
Outlook: Whips coach Jake Brosman said the way to find success against perennial power Prairie Ridge is simple. "In order to find success against PR you have to play mistake-free football," he said. "Prairie Ridge is always tough, they execute their game plan to a high level and their players will play extremely hard." Cornerback Zach Vodraska has been a difference-maker in the Hampshire secondary. "Zach has been great for us as a corner," Brosman said. "He has defended each team's top receiving threat over the past few games and has made it difficult for the offense we are facing to complete passes to these players." Brosman said hard work during the offseason has paid off for his group. "This team has worked really hard all off-season and has prepared well, so I am not shocked by anything they have accomplished," he said. "I will say I am very pleased with the determination on the field. We have been down in games and have had critical mistakes happen in games that help cause big moments for our opponents. We have responded well to these situations and did not let them defeat us."
Morris (5-0, 2-0) at Kaneland (3-2, 2-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Kaneland High School, Maple Park
Outlook: Morris comes to town 1/2 game back of conference leader Sycamore (3-0 in KR/I-8 White action). "Morris is a very good team," Knights coach Pat Ryan said. "They have an explosive running back behind a huge offensive line. They are a physical, well-coached defense. We have to be able to run the ball effectively early. Last week, we did not do that until the second half. We must limit our penalties. Last week, we were penalized seven times, including a couple of 15-yarders. We had a big play on a punt return come back and a touchdown called back. It sounds like a broken record for us, but we also must be able to stop the run." Two stalwarts for Kaneland on defense: free safety Alex Panico, who leads the team in tackles with 43 (3 for loss), 2 pass breakups and an interception, and Johnny Spallasso, who plays corner. "Alex has played consistently well for us this season," Ryan said. "He's a smart player with a nose for the ball. Johnny missed the Woodstock North game due to an injury and fought back to play really well against Woodstock and had an interception."
St. Francis (4-1, 2-0) at Aurora Christian (4-1, 2-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Aurora Christian High School
Outlook: "We have a great challenge this week," Aurora Christian coach David Beebe said. "St. Francis does everything well. We are excited for the test. We have to protect the football and we also have to manage the emotion of the game."
Chicago Christian (1-4, 0-3) at St. Edward (2-3, 1-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: St. Edward High School, Elgin
Outlook: A win here keeps St. Edward in the hunt to get to at least 5 victories to become playoff eligible. "We tied with Chicago Christian for the conference championship in the spring because we didn't get to play because of COVID," St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. "I'm sure both teams are excited to play this one finally. Chicago Christian has come a long way in recent years, three straight playoff berths and great numbers. They have a great quarterback who can make plays with his legs as well. They also have some size up front. We'll have to deal with their line that goes 280 (pounds), 260 and 240. Our kids are used to being smaller and are up for the challenge." Seniors Cam Sauceda (29 tackles), Max Kaufman (28) and Ryan Sauceda (24) are three of the Green Wave's Top 5-leading tacklers and are the only senior starters on defense. The three also start on offense as well. "Their leadership and ability in the field with eight juniors and sophomores has really helped bring our young guys up to speed quickly."
West Aurora (3-2, 0-1) at Yorkville (3-2, 0-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Yorkville High School
Outlook: "Yorkville is a very good football team," West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said. "They probably have the best defensive line we have seen all year, and we'll face another dual-threat quarterback. We can't turn it over and we need to cause turnovers." West Aurora is powered defensively by Tim Hancock, "one of the best linebackers in our conference," Eimer noted. Eimer added he's been impressed with his team's never-quit attitude. "Just how we have continued to battle," he said. "Every game has had some tough moments for us and our guys have never quit. Better days are ahead."
Bartlett (4-1, 4-1) at Larkin (2-3, 2-3)When: Friday, 5 p.m.
Where: Memorial Field, Elgin
Outlook: Senior outside linebacker Bryce Kim came up big for the Hawks last week with an interception for a touchdown on a bubble screen. "Bryce is a guy with a motor that doesn't quit," Bartlett coach Matt Erlenbaugh said. "He plays sideline to sideline and is always around the ball." Erlenbaugh said Bartlett will have to contend with Larkin's team speed. "They have playmakers all over the field," he said. "Offensively, we are going to have to control the line of scrimmage, which could be a challenge because their front three are tough. Defensively, we cannot allow them to get the ball in space. They can make short gains into huge plays if they make the first man miss. We have to get 11 helmets to the football." Larkin coach Grant Dietz said Bartlett will be well-prepared in all three phases. "They do things that if you are not prepared for they will hurt you," he said. "They have the best lineman in the conference and will utilize his abilities. For us to be successful, we have to limit the number of mistakes that cost us points, downs, possessions and yards. We have to make plays when the plays need to be made. We must block well, tackle well and score one more point than them." Sophomore linebacker and running back Jalen Miller has made an impression for the Royals this season. "Jalen was one of our newcomers that we knew we could not hide for very long," Dietz said. "He is one of our top tacklers. He plays with a high motor and is all over the field. He is becoming a leader. We really like what the future holds for this young man."
Elgin (2-3, 2-3) at Fenton (0-5, 0-5)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Fenton High School, Bensenville
Outlook: Elgin heads to Bensenville to face a Bison team that has forfeited 2 games this year and lost the other three by a combined count of 119-0. "We have to be disciplined in all we do," Maroons coach Anthony Mason said. "Their defense gets to the ball and flies around. We have to be sound in our blocking technique and be sure we are executing plays correctly." Mason has been pleased with the play of junior offensive tackle Jesse Villagomez, "Jesse has taken his game to the next level of execution," Mason said. Robert Moore, a senior for Elgin, helps the Maroons in many phases. "Robert is an athlete we put everywhere and he has stepped up and played at a high level to help the team persevere through rough times and shine in good times." Along those same lines, Mason said this year's squad takes persistence to the next level. "It's very impressive in times when things are not going well," he said. "They are still committed and working to be elite. That is something we aim for in our program and I think this team is displaying that more consistently every day, which is going to help them improve dramatically. They have done that from Week 1 until now."
Streamwood (1-4, 1-4) at South Elgin (5-0, 4-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: South Elgin High School
Outlook: Streamwood heads off to play Upstate Eight leader South Elgin in Week 6. "South Elgin is a tough, disciplined opponent," Sabres coach Keith McMaster said. "Defensively, we need to stop their triple option to start. They run it hard, fast and well. Offensively, we have to stick to blocks, protect the football and move down the field." Mikey Estrada and Isaac Martinez continue to lead the way for Streamwood. "While they may be more known for carrying the ball, together they lead the team in tackles, turnovers and tackles for loss," McMaster pointed out. "They are the heart and soul of our team." McMaster said the Sabres expect to get back numerous players who have been out injured. "We hope they can step in and give us a spark," he said. Streamwood has lost 3 games by 1, 4 and 7 points. "Not the year I was planning on," McMaster said. "Three heartbreakers in a season. We are resilient. Our guys have continued to push forward through tough situations. Each week, they continue to show up and prepare for the next opponent. We are battling."
Other gamesBatavia (5-0, 3-0) at Wheaton-Warrenville South (3-2, 2-1), 7:30 p.m.
Cary-Grove (5-0, 5-0) at Huntley (2-3, 2-3), 7 p.m.
Aurora Central Catholic (1-4, 1-2) at Bishop McNamara (2-3, 2-1), 7:30 p.m.