Scouting Week 7 Fox football games
Batavia (6-0, 4-0) at Geneva (4-2, 2-2)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Geneva High School
Outlook: There will probably be a few fans at this long-standing Fox Valley rivalry game Friday in Geneva. This from Bulldogs wide receivers coach Jason Toth: Batavia has won the last 10 meetings between the neighboring towns. The streak started in 2011, head coach Dennis Piron's first year at the helm. This is the second-longest winning streak in the series, only behind Geneva busting off 19 wins in a row against Batavia from 1967-1985. "Geneva is our biggest rival," Toth said. "we always circle this game on our calendar as the game we must win each season. Geneva is a much-improved football team from last year, and they have a team that can beat anyone in the conference. They have a new head coach who has his team believing they can win big games. It is going to be a tough/physical rivalry game. Both teams are going to be ready to give their best effort. It will be a fantastic environment." Joey Wells has picked up the injury slack for Batavia, logging time at tight end, fullback and running back. "We knew he was a good football player, but now he is turning into a great football player," Toth said. "He's a guy we can count on." Senior wide receiver Eric Newberry has 5 touchdowns in the past three games and has caught 11 passes for 288 yards this year. "Eric is a great route runner and has great hands," Toth said. "He has made some big plays in recent weeks." Geneva is one win shy of becoming playoff-eligible and two from an automatic playoff berth. "Batavia is fast, physical and is a well-coached football team," Geneva coach Boone Thorgesen said. "They don't have a weakness in any of the three phases of the game. Their offense can spread you out or line up in double tight and come right after you. Defensively, they are fast and an ultra-aggressive unit that will bring constant pressure. We must be able to match their physicality and aggressiveness right from the start, clean up our mental mistakes and get back to playing assignment-sound and tough-nosed football." Keep an eye on Geneva's Tyler Tuisl. "Tyler has been playing great football for us," Thorgesen said. "He's doing all the little things right. He's a smart, tough player who keeps improving every week." Quarterback Alex Porter completed 11 passes in a row last week, "and has done a tremendous job taking care of the ball," Thorgesen said. Geneva has outscored its opponents 58-30 in the fourth quarter this season.
St. Charles North (3-3, 1-3) at St. Charles East (2-4, 1-3)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: St. Charles East High School
Outlook: Rivalry week continues with the battle of St. Charles, this year at East. A high-stakes matchup beyond the town bragging rights here. North needs to win two of its last three games to become playoff eligible, while East has to win out in order to earn eligibility with five wins. Both teams won last week to break identical three-game losing streaks, with East recording a big win over Geneva. "We have to execute the details and play sound, fundamental football," North coach Rob Pomazak said. An unsung offensive hero for the North Stars has been Mike Whitted. "Mike has played center and mike linebacker and has never missed a rep," Pomazak said. John Vendl ran for 100 yards in Week 5 against Geneva for the North Stars, while Carson Kuligowski came in to play outside linebacker in a recent game and had 12 tackles.
Carmel (2-4) at Marmion (3-3)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Marmion Academy, Aurora
Outlook: Another Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic crossover for the Cadets, who need two wins to become playoff eligible and must win out to guarantee a playoff spot. Carmel must win out to earn Week 10 eligibility. Marmion has lost three games in a row. "We must be able to run the ball on Carmel and keep their excellent quarterback and receivers off the field," Marmion coach Dan Thorpe said. "They are a big-play team and we can't get beat deep like we did last week against Fenwick, giving up 21 points on big plays." Thorpe added a kicking game big play also is needed. Cadets running back Anthony Kuceba is having a strong year. "Anthony has not gotten a ton of running plays or balls thrown to him, but he catches everything when thrown to and blocks his butt off, which is why our fullback and RHB have more yards." Also playing well of late for Thorpe are Jacob Bottarini and Ivan Erickson on defense and Matt Harris (left tackle) and Jerred Durian (center) on the offensive line. "Matt and Jerred have dominated their defenders on the line," Thorpe noted. While Marmion is .500, it has thrown and rushed for more yards than its opponents.
Crystal Lake Central (4-2, 4-2) at Burlington Central (2-4, 2-4)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Central High School, Burlington
Outlook: The stakes are simple here on Rocket Hill. Central has to win its final three games against CL Central, Cary-Grove and McHenry in order to become playoff-eligible. "We need to take care of the football and fight for our teammates," Rockets coach Brian Melvin said. Melvin loved the play of senior wide receiver Tyler Schultz in the H.D. Jacobs game last week. "Tyler made tough catches all night in clutch situations," he said. "He has been working very hard all year and improving every day. Friday was his best game all year." Senior free safety Zach Lawrence has 2 interceptions in his last two games for Central, while senior linebacker-running back Nate Majewski has been the most consistent player on the team, Melvin noted. "He literally does everything for us," the coach said.
McHenry (1-5 1-5) at Crystal Lake South (3-3, 3-3)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Ken Bruhn Field, Crystal Lake South High School
Outlook: Student vs. teacher time here in Crystal Lake. McHenry coach Jon Niemic is one of South coach Rob Fontana's former students. "Each year, McHenry plays us tough," Fontana said. "Coach Niemic is one of my former students and a South grad, so he takes a lot of pride in this game. I also think he brings all the rain with him each year. I don't remember the last time we had a dry game against each other. People like to look at records and make assumptions on how good a team is or is not. McHenry has playmakers on their team and will come over here and give us all we can handle. Coach Niemic's guys will run through a wall for him if he asks them to." South has been bolstered by the recent play of Nate VanWitzenburg. "Nate does everything we need," Fontana said. "He provides the energy, is always running hard and helps keep the offense moving." South only has 10 seniors on its varsity roster.
Huntley (2-4, 2-4) at Hampshire (4-2, 4-2)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Hampshire High School
Outlook: A win here and Hampshire is playoff eligible with games against Jacobs and Cary-Grove to follow. "Huntley is always a tough opponent," Hampshire coach Jake Brosman said. "They have great team speed and play physical football." A player to watch in this game is Hampshire guard Mike Freeman. "Mike is a guard for us that does a lot of our pulling," Brosman said. "He has opened up some great holes on the edge, allowing us good running lanes."
Rochelle (4-2) at Kaneland (3-3)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Kaneland High School, Maple Park
Outlook: Two wins in its last three games is what it will take for Kaneland to become playoff eligible. That journey starts in this Kishwaukee River/Interstate Eight crossover game against Rochelle, whose two losses are to Herscher (29-27) and unbeaten Richmond-Burton (34-7). "Rochelle plays a very good wing-T offense," Kaneland coach Pat Ryan pointed out. "Their run game is exceptional. They are sound defensively and in their kicking game. They will look to control the clock and keep the ball out of our hands. In order for us to be successful, we must be able to let them off the field and not let them sustain drives. Last week, we were not able to run the ball well against Morris and it made us very one-dimensional." Kaneland sophomore wide receiver Domenick DeBlasio has caught touchdown passed in the team's last two games, "and has made some big catches in important situations for us," Ryan said. Sam Gagne is averaging 18.2 yards per catch for the Knights. "He's a dangerous player with the ball in his hands," Ryan said.
Chicago Christian (1-5) at Aurora Central Catholic (1-5)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Aurora Central Catholic High School
Outlook: Aurora Central had to forfeit its last two games. "We had our second forfeit last week as we had no tailback, free safety and only four healthy linemen," Chargers coach John Belskis said. Belskis said as of earlier in the week, ACC had enough players to play Chicago Christian Friday. "The concern going forward is we are on a very thin margin as we have no replacement at a number of positions," Belskis added. "In addition, when you only play nine games and have missed two of them, the lack of game experience puts us at a disadvantage."
Oswego (4-2, 2-0) at West Aurora (3-3, 0-2)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: West Aurora High School
Outlook: The Blackhawks face Suburban Prairie Conference West Division leader Oswego Friday. "Oswego is really good," West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said. "They are a lineman factory. They have a big-time receiver and defensively they are solid as always. Coach Cooney is one of the best coaches in the state, so we know they will be well-prepared." Matt Tarr had 16 tackles in Week 6, while Gino Martino is over the 1,000-yard rushing mark in only five games played. West Aurora has a special teams touchdown in three of the team's five on-field games it has played.
Bartlett (4-2, 4-2) at Glenbard East (5-1, 5-1)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Glenbard East High School, Lombard
Outlook: A humdinger on tap in Lombard with two of the Upstate Eight's top teams. "Glenbard East is a tough team," Bartlett coach Matt Erlenbaugh said. "They are well-coached and disciplined with their schemes. This game will come down to who is more physical and can control the line of scrimmage." Erlenbaugh said the leadership from captains Jacob Scearce, Bubba Hubbard and Gabe Bermont has been world-class. "They are not only playing well, but are living up to their title of captain," he said. "They do the right things on and off the field. They know when to push guys harder and when to put their arms around a teammate. I can't say enough about these three young men."
Elgin (3-3, 3-3) at South Elgin (6-0, 5-0)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: South Elgin High School
Outlook: South Elgin is in the playoffs at 6-0, Elgin needs two wins in its final three games to become eligible, while winning out would give them an automatic spot. Elgin is on a 3-game winning streak after starting 0-3. "South Elgin is really good," Elgin coach Anthony Mason said. "They have a good system and the coaches have the guys playing hard and fast. For us, this is a game where we focus on us and what we can do every play, series, quarter and half. If we get into how good they are on paper, the game is over before it begins. If we focus on the things we can control, we give ourselves a chance to be successful." Offensive lineman Adam Lambaz has been a Maroons masterpiece this fall. "Our unsung hero on offense is Adam," Mason said. "He has to fill in different spots on the line. He is knowledgeable about the assignments and is executing at a high level, making blocks in the games and in practice on a consistent basis." South Elgin has won 12 games in a row and has not lost at home since 2018 (12 games as well). The Storm is averaging 48 points a game, higher than 2020 (41 points per game) and 2019 (44.5 per game). "Elgin is athletic and dangerous at the quarterback and running back positions," South Elgin coach Dragan Teonic said. "I really like their running back and his toughness and skill set. In order to be successful, we will have to play at an elite level up front. We must force them to be one-dimensional while controlling the line." Spencer Menchaca is one of many reasons South Elgin sits atop the UEC leaderboard. "Spencer has played very well while being a great leader and committed teammate," Teonic said. Jordan Jones continues his upward progression at quarterback. "Jordan has played very well at quarterback during the last three games," Teonic said. "He has steadily improved his play weekly and has always been a team-first kid."
East Aurora (3-3, 3-3) at Larkin (3-3, 3-3)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Memorial Field, Elgin High School
Outlook: "We must continue to ride the momentum wave we have going," Larkin coach Grant Dietz said. "We are sitting at 3-3 going into our homecoming game. There is a lot to play for at this point of the season. The Thunder Bucket between East Aurora, The Jug between Elgin and a possible 10th game. A lot of positive things happening that we have to stay focused on the weekly opponent and take care of our business. To be successful against East Aurora defensively we will have to be ready for their misdirection. Offensively, we will have to limit our mistakes and execute." Hector Flores has been a jack-of-all-trades for the Royals. "Hector plays with a high motor and is everywhere on defense making tackles," Dietz said. "He is also our place-kicker. He has done an outstanding job."
Streamwood (1-5, 1-5) at Glenbard South (5-1, 5-1)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Glenbard South High School, Glen Ellyn
Outlook: "Glenbard South is well-coached and preparing for a strong playoff run," Streamwood coach Keith McMaster said. "They run and pass out of many different sets on offense. Defensively, they are aggressive and pursue the football." A key for Streamwood has been the play of Eric Gomez. "Eric shows up every day ready to work," McMaster noted. "He sticks blocks on the offensive line and creates nice seams for our running backs. When he is not blocking, he'll take reps on the defensive line as well."