Scouting Week 2 DuPage County football games

  • Wheaton Warrenville South's Braylen Meredith (left) celebrates a touchdown during the Tigers' loss to Simeon at Gately Stadium in Chicago last Saturday. WW South has another tough game Friday night against Neuqua Valley.

    Wheaton Warrenville South's Braylen Meredith (left) celebrates a touchdown during the Tigers' loss to Simeon at Gately Stadium in Chicago last Saturday. WW South has another tough game Friday night against Neuqua Valley. Sandy Bressner/sbressner@shawmedia.com

 
Updated 9/1/2022 7:38 PM

Glenbard East (1-0, 1-0) at South Elgin (1-0, 1-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

 

Last matchup: South Elgin 41, Glenbard East 7 (2021 at Glenbard East)

About the Rams: No time being wasted here with two of the top teams in the Upstate Eight battling it out. "This is always a big game for both teams," Rams coach John Walters said. "They have won the conference the last three years, including sharing with us in 2019. We have won it twice, including the share. It's a big heavyweight matchup for Week 2. For us, we get back-to-back playoff teams to start the season. This will be a real good test for us. To be successful we have to execute on both sides and be efficient. The game will come down to a battle in the trenches on both sides." Walters cited strong Week 1 play from Troy Cooper, Delmario Taylor and Dimitri Hritz.

About the Storm: "Glenbard East is big and strong at almost every position," South Elgin coach Dragan Teonic said. "They return a lot of experienced players and are coming off a big win." Teonic noted the Rams ran for 255 yards against Larkin and had 11 explosive plays. "Limiting that would go a long way toward being successful on Friday," he said. "As always, their defense is solid and disciplined. They pursue and hit well. We have to win the line of scrimmage and secure the football to play well." Teonic gave high marks to the play of senior linebacker Michael Tringali, junior quarterback Jake Sullivan, senior athlete Mason Montgomery and senior athlete Kyle Steinhofer in the Week 1 win against West Chicago.

West Chicago (0-1, 0-1) at Bartlett (1-0, 1-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Bartlett 33, West Chicago 6 (2021 at West Chicago)

About the Wildcats: Wildcats coach Adam Chavez said several adjustments must be made coming out of Week 1 against South Elgin (51-0 loss). "We have to cut down on penalties and protect the ball in order to have a chance to put us in a position to win," he said. Individually, Chavez liked how Ean Arizmnedi played on the line. "Ean showed some flashes on the line for being a freshman in his first varsity action," he said.

About the Hawks: Bartlett was a close 14-10 winner over rival Streamwood in its season-opener. Bartlett coach Milan Vuckovich said film from West Chicago's Week 1 game against South Elgin opened some eyes. "West Chicago showed some good things on film," he said. "They have good size up front and some dudes who can really run. Their kickoff return really stood out and showed how fast and athletic their team is. They have some very good skill position kids who can come downhill and make plays. We need to once again match their toughness up front with both our offensive and defensive lines and then do a good job containing their speed on defense." Vuckovich was impressed with Bartlett's defensive effort in Week 1 against Streamwood. "Also, our quarterback (Matthew Teruel) and offensive line seemed to be on the same page this past week and that showed in Matthew's stat line, as well as our trio of running backs." Senior linebacker Juan Villa didn't start the game, but played nearly every snap on defense for the Hawks, "and proved he's going to be a big-time player for us this season," Vuckovich said. Senior running back/linebacker Malcolm Babers also stood out. Sophomore two-way lineman Sam Mancilla and junior tight end-defensive end Justin Ibegbulem also had good 2022 debuts.

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Naperville North (1-0) at Glenbard North (1-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Last matchup: Glenbard North 36, Naperville North 31 (2021 at Naperville North)

About the Huskies: The Huskies got off on the right foot with a 19-point win at home against Homewood-Flossmoor. Coach Sean Drendel was pleased with the play of running back Cole Arl and wideout Luke Pettaway in that contest. Arl returned a kickoff 90 yards for a score and Pettaway has 6 catches, with one being a touchdown.

About the Panthers: The Panthers, out of the highly competitive DuKane Conference, opened the season with a close 21-18 win at Chicago Kenwood. Glenbard North advanced to the state semifinals last season. "We have to play physical with Glenbard North and need to establish and stop the run game," Drendel said.

Naperville Central (1-0) at Plainfield North (1-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

About the Redhawks: Redhawks coach Mike Ulreich pointed to two numbers that had a big impact in the team's 24-9 win over Hinsdale Central last week. "The biggest stats that mattered were we didn't turn the ball over and we only gave up two explosive plays over 20 yards on defense," he said. Individually, Ulreich was pleased with the efforts of Maverick Ohle and Christian Kuda against Hinsdale. "Maverick and Christian played both ways," he said. "They were difference-makers on defense and were key to three offensive scoring drives." Ryan Spickerman had a key interception and a touchdown-saving tackle. "That was a huge night for him," Ulreich noted.

About the Tigers: Plainfield North pounded district counterpart Plainfield East 54-14 last week and are coming off an 8-3 season a year ago. "Plainfield North is a really impressive football team," Ulreich said. "They are well-coached and play really hard. They play a physical brand of football and they are aggressive on defense. It is impressive to watch their defensive unit run to the football."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Wheaton Warrenville South (0-1) at Neuqua Valley (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Neuqua Valley 26, WW South 7 (2021)

About the Tigers: The Tigers ran into a buzz saw on Saturday at Gately Stadium, as Simeon erased an early two-touchdown deficit by scoring the last 36 points in a 41-23 game. Priority one for WW South is getting its house in order defensively after being gashed for over 300 yards by Simeon running back Andre Crews. The quarterback competition is something to keep an eye on. Junior Luke Scherrman started last week, but sophomore Luca Carbonaro came off the bench to throw two TD passes to Braylen Meredith, and went the rest of the way. It would help either QB to establish the run with Matt Crider and Jake Vozza, easier said than done against a nasty Neuqua defense.

About the Wildcats: Neuqua, a team with 17 starters back from a Class 8A quarterfinalist, looked the part in Week 1. The Wildcats shook off three first-half turnovers, as senior QB Mark Mennecke threw for two TDs and Jaden McGee went over 100 yards with a TD. Neuqua's defense, above all, was dominant in beating Oswego 28-3. Middle linebacker Cole Dutkovich is the ringleader of that Wildcats' defense that didn't allow a completed pass in the second half, but keep an eye on 6-foot-7 defensive lineman Justen Crawford. He had three sacks against Oswego.

St. Charles East (1-0) at Waubonsie Valley (0-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: St. Charles East 27, Waubonsie Valley 7 (2021)

About the Saints: The big play defined the Saints' opening win last week. Between linebacker Charlie McArdle returning a fumble for a touchdown, Blake Schuette's 100-yard kick return for a score or Trent Matejko ripping off 137 rushing yards, the potential for growth is clearly there for the Saints. Keep an eye out for right guard/defensive lineman James Brennan, who is back after not playing football since freshman year. The Saints are excited about him.

About the Warriors: Oswego East was largely able to cruise last week by riding quarterback Tre Jones. Waubonsie gave up 14 unanswered points in the first quarter and 21 over the course of the game. Linebacker Mason Ringenbach is the leader of a defense for Waubonsie with several new faces. Luke Elsea returns at quarterback and running back Amir Spikener leads the skill positions.

Wheaton North (1-0) at Providence (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Wheaton North 30, Providence 7 (2021)

About the Falcons: The new-look defending Class 7A champs look like they're still going to be a team to contend with, by the looks of Wheaton North's 28-7 opening win over Downers Grove South. Junior Walker Owens, who saw some action as a sophomore, ran for over 100 yards and two TDs and junior QB Max Howser threw for 82 yards and a TD in his varsity starting debut as the Falcons rolled up 303 yards while holding the Mustangs to 114. Wheaton North should get a pretty good indication of where it stacks up in the coming weeks with games against Providence and then Batavia to open up conference play.

About the Celtics: It was a particularly gritty effort for Providence in its season-opening win. The Celtics blocked two punts in the win, including a fourth-quarter swat that led to a safety that ultimately accounted for the difference in the win. It's the kind of thing that can give Providence some momentum as it tries to scratch and claw its way back into the upper rungs of the CCL/ESCC mix.

Chicago DuSable (1-0) at Westmont (1-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

About the Sentinels: Sophomore Lucas Fears was a key contributor for the Sentinels in their Week 1 triumph over Walther Christian. Fears led the team in tackles with nine and booked an interception back 75 yards for a touchdown. "Lucas made his presence known all over the field," Westmont coach Taj Jackson said. Darius Stevenson keyed the Westmont running attack with 30 carries for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns. "Darius had a career day," Jackson said.

About the Panthers: The Panthers play in the Chicago Public League Blue-Southeast Conference and scored a 2-0 forfeit win over Chicago Juarez in Week 1. "This could easily be a challenge for us because we have no information on their program," Jackson said. "Their Week 1 opponent forfeited. This week we are definitely going into Week 2 blindly. How do we overcome that obstacle? Basically practice every possible scenario as much as we can. We need to keep grinding the basics and fundamentals."

Sterling (1-0) at St. Francis (1-0)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

About the Warriors: Sterling, out of the Western Big 6 Conference, hosted Lakes in Week 1 and scored a 40-7 victory. "Sterling is a very well-coached team that is very physical," St. Francis coach Bob McMillen said. "We will need to match their physicality and play mistake-free football. We will have to spread the ball around and hopefully confuse Sterling's defense."

About the Spartans: Some individual superlatives coming out of the Week 1 win at Lake Forest. Dash Dorsey had 3 catches for 75 yards and a touchdown, while Cole Pickler was active on defense with 9 tackles and 1 sack. Quarterback Alessio Milivojevic was 7 of 12 for 154 yards and a touchdown.

Wheaton Academy (1-0) at Chicago Christ the King (0-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

About the Warriors: In the Warriors' 48-14 win over Marian Central last week, senior two-way lineman Jaret Jawor (6-3, 245) impressed. "The big man on the line is a leader, a captain and does his job," Wheaton Academy coach Jim Johanik said. "He's probably one of the most coachable kids I have ever had. Junior defensive end-offensive tackle Ethan Brunner also caused havoc on both sides of the ball. "Ethan is explosive and intelligent," Johanik said. "He had 2 sacks after running down the quarterback in the flat. Offensively, he's a tactician." Senior defensive back-wideout Breck Peacock was Wheaton Academy's leading receiver and tackler (8 tackles, 1 interception), while sophomore Stephen Fellowes was the team's leading rusher in a balanced offensive attack, Johanik noted. "Watch this kid develop over the course of this year," he said.

About the Gladiators: Christ the King does not play in a conference (but is joining the Chicagoland Christian Conference next year along with Wheaton Academy, Aurora Christian, Chicago Christian, Hope Academy, Marian Central, St. Edward and Timothy Christian). The team opened the season with a 61-16 loss to Dakota. "I have nothing but admiration for what Christ the King is working to build on the west side of the city," Johanik said. Johanik added a key for his team this week will simply be to gain more experience. "Week 1 answered some of the questions I had about our newer players," he said. "I knew they were athletic, but until they see playing time, you never know if their athleticism translates to production. I believe success this week is simply seeing our guys gain more reps and experience."

Hillcrest (0-1) at Montini (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First known meeting

About the Hawks: Hillcrest, a proud program like Montini, itself comes in off a humbling Week 1 loss to CCL/ESCC powerhouse, 46-0 to Brother Rice. The Hawks took a bit of a step back with last season's 5-5 finish, but skill-position talent remains in the pipeline. Running back Ajani Rush, a nationally-ranked track athlete who runs a 4.49 40, is one to watch.

About the Broncos: A disappointing Week 1 loss, particularly defensively, as Montini gave up 413 yards of total offense in losing to IC Catholic Prep 35-16. On the flip side, senior QB Cole Teschner threw for 201 yards and a TD to Mingo Nixon, who had seven catches for 84 yards. The Broncos have a bruising schedule ahead in the CCL/ESCC which makes this home opener one they really need to put in their back pocket as a win.

Moline (1-0) at Benet (0-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Benet 23, Moline 21 (2021)

About the Maroons: Moline, coming off a 9-2 season and second-round playoff appearance, beat St. Laurence 27-21 in Week 1. The Maroons accumulated 346 yards rushing on the ground, led by senior Riley Fuller's 138 yards and three TDs.

About the Redwings: Benet comes in off a 21-13 Week 1 loss to Noblesville, Ind. With games the next two weeks against Brother Rice and St. Rita, the stakes for this game are plenty high. Benet has won three straight meetings with Moline, out of the Western Big Six, since 2018.

Downers Grove North (1-0) at Willowbrook (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Downers Grove North 27, Willowbrook 14 (2021)

About the Trojans: It took an extra day, but Downers Grove North came away with an impressive 36-13 win at 2021 playoff team Hoffman Estates in a game that was postponed to Saturday because of a power outage. The Trojans' win was just one result that stood out from an all-around impressive opening weekend for the West Suburban Silver. Noah Battle, one of the Trojans' wealth of experienced skill-position players, got out well with 146 yards on just 16 carries with three TDs. Ben Bielawski was the ringleader of a strong defensive showing with four sacks and two other tackles for loss. A result like that can only give the Trojans confidence as they go back on the road to face a Willowbrook team licking its wounds from Week 1.

About the Warriors: A bit of a jarring result from Week 1 -- not so much that Willowbrook lost, but the margin of defeat in a 28-0 loss to Notre Dame which was coming off a so-so at best season. The Warriors, though, have tested themselves in the past with difficult Week 1 games against Chicago Catholic League teams and seemed to have bounced back well so the track record for resilience is there. Clearly getting the offense off the ground will be of high priority for the Warriors. This shapes up as one of the better West Suburban Conference crossover games with the class of the Gold going against a team looking to break into the upper crust of the Silver.

Glenbard West (1-0) at Downers Grove South (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Glenbard West 49, Downers Grove South 0 (2021)

About the Hilltoppers: How good is Glenbard West's offense? By early indications pretty darn good. With star running back Joey Pope out Week 1 while recovering from an appendectomy, junior receiver Julius Ellens dazzled both catching and running with the ball in an impressive 33-31 win at Marist. Ellens went over 100 yards in both receiving and rushing with two TDs in each, including an 80-yard TD catch from Korey Tai. Pope is expected back this week, which would seem to qualify as the rich getting richer. A young Hilltoppers' defense appears to still have some growing to do, but the offense looks more than capable of holding down the fort in the meantime.

About the Mustangs: As was the case last season, the Mustangs really need to just survive a gauntlet of a first four weeks. Downers Grove South managed just 114 total yards last week against Wheaton North, 76 of those rushing from junior Deon Davis with the Mustangs' lone touchdown. Ryan Dawson and the Mustangs' passing game needs to establish some balance and the Downers Grove South defense must bear down against quite a high-powered opponent that had its way with the Mustangs last year.

York (1-0) at Morton (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: York 54, Morton 0 (2021)

About the Dukes: York did not encounter much resistance in its 42-0 Week 1 win over Schaumburg, with most of its starters only playing about a quarter. Kelly Watson ran for 107 yards and two TDs and Matt Vezza threw for 90 yards with four TDs. Defensively, linebacker Cole Ostendorf had six tackles, three tackles for loss, and two sacks. The first third of the Dukes' season looks like one they'll navigate without too much trouble but with huge expectations it's doubtful they'll take anyone lightly.

About the Mustangs: Morton, coming off an encouraging 3-6 season for a program that has struggled, dropped a 35-28 Week 1 game to Riverside-Brookfield in Week 1. Four-year starting wide receiver Leon Kelsick and 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end/defensive end Aaron Miramontes are among the players to watch for Morton. Clearly this is a tough challenge, but the Mustangs are showing signs of progress.

Lyons Township (1-0) at Addison Trail (1-0)

When: 6 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Lyons 56, Addison Trail 0 (2021)

About the Lions: Lyons is coming into this one on a high after rallying from a four-point halftime deficit to win at 2021 playoff team Buffalo Grove 38-35 in Week 1. Junior running back Jack Cheney, who missed the last eight games of last season with a broken foot, is back in a big way. Cheney ran for 230 yards on 33 carries with four TDs. Not to be outdone, fellow junior and QB Ryan Jackson was 17-for-20 for 230 yards. That kind of production both on the ground and through the air is a good indicator of the work of linemen Kevin Cruz, Aidan Hallett, Eddie Tuerk, Mikey Nunez and Cooper Komsthoeft.

About the Blazers: Addison Trail, coming off an 0-9 season, got back in the win column in a big way with a 48-6 win over Maine East (also 0-9 last season) in Week 1. Junior QB Gio Long threw for 217 yards and three TDs and senior Damarius Allen ran for 135 yards and a score. For a team that scored just 63 points all of last season, that's something to build on regardless of the opponent. That being said, the Blazers get a huge step up in class this week with Lyons. A competitive result could provide a sign that Addison Trail is not to be overlooked once intra-divisional play begins.

Hinsdale Central (0-1) at Proviso East (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Hinsdale Central 51, Proviso East 0 (2021)

About the Red Devils: For the second season in a row, Hinsdale Central's offense struggled in a Week 1 loss to Naperville Central -- last Friday, a 24-9 defeat. The Red Devils should hope more history repeats itself as they won their next nine games in 2021. Hinsdale Central, at least through one game, is taking the approach of rotating its two QBs Billy Cernugel and Ben Monahan -- at times even during the same drive. Cernugel passed for 71 yards and ran for 66 yards last week. Monahan finished with 46 yards passing and an interception and 33 yards rushing, but Hinsdale's offense was held to under 100 yards in the first half. A matchup with a struggling Proviso East program should afford the Red Devils the opportunity to iron out the kinks before the Silver schedule gets rolling.

About the Pirates: Proviso East, coming off a 1-8 season, dropped a 47-22 Week 1 game to Champaign Centennial. The Pirates gave up a whopping 409 points last season, just over 45 a game, so this looks like a good tonic for what ailed Hinsdale Central in its Week 1 loss.

Oak Park-River Forest (1-0) at Hinsdale South (0-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Oak Park-River Forest 48, Hinsdale South 7 (2021)

About the Huskies: The Huskies opened their season in fine fashion with an emotional 35-7 win over Fenwick -- the first meeting between neighborhood rivals since 1989. Jack Gooch, a third-year starting QB, was 18-for-30 for 234 yards for two TDs and ran for a third. His favorite target, clearly, is senior Ryan Martin, who had nine catches for 135 yards. Oak Park-River Forest also forced six turnovers. Junior defensive back Khalil Nichols, who had three interceptions, is among the players to watch defensively.

About the Hornets: Hinsdale South dropped a 15-12 Week 1 game to Deerfield, the game-winning touchdown coming with 2:29 remaining. It's a tough result, but there should be plenty to build on with a close outcome against a 2021 nine-win playoff team. Junior Nathaniel Fundator went over 100 yards rushing with a fourth-quarter TD run that had given the Hornets their final lead at 12-8.

Other Friday Games

IC Catholic Prep (1-0) at Joliet Catholic (1-0), 7:30 p.m.

Lincoln-Way Central (0-1) at Lake Park (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

Lisle (1-0) at Wilmington (1-0), 7 p.m.

Metea Valley (0-1) at Lockport (1-0), 7 p.m.

IC Catholic Prep (1-0) at Joliet Catholic (1-0), 7:30 p.m.

Glenbard South (1-0) at Fenton (0-1), 7 p.m.

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