Scouting Week 2 Lake County football games

  • John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.comWarren quarterback Adam Behrens throws a pass against Barrington last year. The Blue Devils have a big challenge coming Friday when they play at Maine South, last year's Class 8A state runners-up.

    John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.comWarren quarterback Adam Behrens throws a pass against Barrington last year. The Blue Devils have a big challenge coming Friday when they play at Maine South, last year's Class 8A state runners-up.

 
By Mike Miazga
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/1/2022 12:37 PM

Warren (1-0) at Maine South (1-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

 

Previous Meeting: Maine South 10, Warren 2 (2021 at Warren)

About Warren: This is a rematch of last year's Week 2 heavyweight battle in which Maine South won 10-2 in Gurnee. "We have to play extremely hard," Warren coach Bryan McNulty said. "Maine South is known for its effort and tenacity and we will have to match that." McNulty noted one standout encouraging factor coming out of the Barrington Week 1 win was offensive diversity. "Our offensive balance really stood out," he said. "We are not as one-dimensional as we have been in the past." Offensive lineman Kole Weinberg is a name the Blue Devils are happy to have on the roster. "Kole continues to be a leader and a great teammate as a three-year starter," McNulty said. The coach added Antonio Johnson-Williams and Aidan Porreca drew high marks in their first varsity starts last week.

About Maine South: After losing in the state title game last year, Maine South has reloaded just fine. The Ryan Leyden era began with a boom with the senior quarterback throwing four touchdowns in last week's 42-3 win over Stevenson. The best matchup should be Maine South's wide receivers of Ryan Pothast, Maurice Densmore and Evan Agosto against the Warren secondary.

Lake Forest (0-1) at Carmel (1-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous Matchup: Carmel 26, Lake Forest 14 (2021 at Lake Forest)

About Lake Forest: The Scouts, who went 10-2 a year ago in the tough North Suburban Conference, dropped a 17-6 decision to Wheaton St. Francis in their Week 1 opener.

About Carmel: On the flip side, the Corsairs started strong last week with a win against perennial Northern Lake County Conference toughie Antioch. Expect a competitive game in Mundelein Friday.

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Riverside-Brookfield (1-0) at Wauconda (1-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous Meeting: Wauconda 20, R-B 0 (2021 at Riverside-Brookfield)

About R-B: Bulldogs coach Sam Styler was effusive in his praise of Ryan Novak, Drew Swiatek, Muhammad Salem and Jackson Ramos coming out of the Week 1 victory against Morton. "Ryan had a huge night," he said. "Drew did a phenomenal job all night on defense, and it was clear Morton was trying to run away from his side because he was setting such a hard edge for us. Muhammad had his first start on varsity and was a difference-maker on the offensive side of the ball and on special teams. Jackson had a heck of a night on the offensive line. He was a guy that was imposing his will on their defensive line, and I think all our running backs were grateful to run behind a guy like that. We had so many guys do great things for us." Now, the Bulldogs face a Wauconda team that pitched a shutout in its opener and is the defending Northern Lake County Conference champion. "Wauconda is going to be a very tough opponent, as they always are," Styler said. "They are coming off a great season last year and had a big win last week. We know we are going to be making a long trip to a great environment, and we're excited for the opportunity to compete. We need to beat their physicality they bring every game. We need to be sure to stop the run and get off the field on third down. We had a great night running the ball against Morton, so if we do what we do best, I believe we will be successful."

About Wauconda: "Riverside-Brookfield is always well-coached and a tough team," Wauconda coach Chris Prostka said. "They were a playoff team last year and they have a good number of players returning." Prostka said the Wauconda defense and special teams played key roles in the Week 1 win over Aurora Central. "Our defense and special teams got us some great field position that resulted in scores," he said. "Anytime the defense has a shutout, that is an excellent performance. We did have missed assignments in all three phases. We will certainly be working to clean those things up." The Bulldogs won the turnover battle last week with two take-aways, one on defense (Jackson Ori interception) and one on special teams (Cole Porten recovering a fumble on a kickoff). Nick Smith led the defense with 9 tackles, five for loss. Porten also ran 6 times for 77 yards and a score. "Cole ran hard for us and had an impact on special teams," Prostka said. Logan Olsen was 7-for-8 passing with 2 touchdowns.

Evanston (1-0) at Libertyville (0-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Previous Meeting: Libertyville 32, Evanston 13 (2021 at Evanston)

About Evanston: The Wildkits hosted Indian Trail out of Kenosha, Wisconsin in Week 1 and scored a 53-50 win. "Evanston is a solid team in all phases," Libertyville coach Mike Jones said. "We must stop the run and tackle. Offensively, we must finish drives."

About Libertyville: On the defensive front in the Wildcats' 32-27 loss at Lemont last week, Austin Gomez had 14 tackles and 3 assists, while Hayden Koonce had 12 tackles and 3 assists. "Our kids competed well in Week 1, but we need to clean up our play on the defensive side of the ball and we need to run the ball more effectively," Jones said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

New Trier (0-1) at Stevenson (0-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous Meeting: New Trier 32, Stevenson 14 (2021 at New Trier)

About New Trier: The Trevians, out of the Central Suburban South, dropped a 31-0 decision to Hersey in Week 1. "New Trier is another top program year in and year out," Stevenson coach Brent Becker said. "We will need to play our best football. We are excited for our home opener to play in front of our fans and community. We want to control the line of scrimmage, win field position and execute in all phases."

About Stevenson: The Patriots dropped a close 7-3 decision to Maine South in Week 1. "We want to run the ball better," Becker said. "Our front seven on defense last week stood out as a positive and we found some open receivers in the passing game. Our special teams need to play better as a whole and improve our field position for our offense and defense." Becker said defensive linemen Colin Schultz, Ethan Aghakhan, Shun Yamato and Tamer Dalloul were standouts in the Week 1 Maine South contest.

Mundelein (1-0) at Grayslake North (1-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

About Mundelein: A battle of two teams on the upswing here. "Grayslake North is a very talented football team," Mustangs coach Vince DeFrancesco said. "They have a great quarterback and several athletes who surround him. For us to be successful, we will need to take care of the football and execute our game plan. Grayslake North's defense created 6 turnovers last week against Vernon Hills. They do a great job attacking the ball. Marcel Siepko got it done on both sides of the ball in Week 1, rushing for 234 yards and making 10 tackles. "Marcel was an impact player on both sides of the ball," DeFrancesco said. Sophomore Jake Junia finished second in tackles and had a key pass deflection that resulted in an Emmanuel Willoughby interception. Adam Alkhatib ran for 88 yards on 12 carries. "Adam runs with such physicality and gives us another dimension in the rushing attack," DeFrancesco noted. Brandon Hansen, the coach added, was a leader on the offensive line, while Chris Callas was cited for strong defensive play and for being an impact player on both sides of the ball. DeFrancesco said one point of emphasis is red zone success. "We were 60 percent (finishing drives in red zone) against Grant last week and this is something we would like to be closer to 80 to 90 percent on."

About Grayslake North: The Knights had four different receivers with TD receptions last week and the team did not commit any turnovers, while creating six on defense. "Mundelein is a big school, has a big team with big players," North coach Brian Johnson said. "They have a few monster backs. We are not going to be able to tackle them 1-on-1. We need to be able to get off the blocks and swarm to the ball. We need to tell our guys we are only playing the 11 on the field, not the 111 on the sidelines. We need to stick to the formula, limit their big plays, keep it close into the fourth quarter and hang onto the ball." Johnson gave high marks to standout quarterback Jake Donohue for his play, as well as sophomore defensive back Mitchell Hughes, who had 8 tackles and a fumble recovery.

Lake Zurich (1-0) at St. Charles North (0-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Previous Meeting: St. Charles North 24, Lake Zurich 0 (2021 at Lake Zurich)

About Lake Zurich: Lots of individual highlights from Lake Zurich's 21-7 win over Fremd in Week 1. Senior Ashton Gondeck threw for 196 yards and 2 scores, and averaged 28 yards per completion. He also ran for 96 yards and a touchdown, averaging 8 yards per run. He accounted for all three scores in the win, including a 68-yard scoring strike to Tyler Erkman on the first play of the game. Sophomore Jackson Piggott had 3 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown, while senior Collin Byrne had 5 tackles and 3 sacks from his defensive line position, and also played every offensive snap at guard.

About St. Charles North: The North Stars, out of the DuKane Conference, dropped a 26-14 game on the road to Palatine in Week 1. "St. Charles North is a fast, physical team," Bears coach Ron Planz said. "They have very good skill players on offense, including a sophomore quarterback with multiple Division I offers. Defensively, they fly around the field and really pressure the line of scrimmage. The use multiple defensive fronts and looks. We need to make sure we understand they will make some plays. We have to keep focus and stick to our game plan. This will be a game that is won by the team that makes the fewest mistakes."

Morris (1-0) at Antioch (0-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous Meeting: Morris 31, Antioch 21 (2021 at Morris)

About Morris: The Redskins play out of the Kishwaukee River/Interstate 8 Conference White Division. Morris opened the season with a 49-10 win over Coal City. "Morris is always good," Antioch coach Brian Glashagel said. "They are always a deep playoff team. We need to keep their offense off the field and probably need 20 points to beat them. This is a playoff game again in Week 2. Week 1, we didn't create turnovers and had costly penalties. That's what decided the game."

About Antioch: Glashagel said standout Joey Neumann was a key cog in the Week 1 game against Carmel. "Joey is a Division I player who didn't leave the field," he said. "He played great in all three phases." Josh Reynoso, Glashagel pointed out, moved to center two weeks ago. "Josh blocked great and his snaps were perfect," he said. Basketball standout Marshall Gehrke also had a strong 2022 football debut. "He might be a football star," Glashagel said. "He played both ways making tackles and plays all night." Martin Cohen ran for 106 yards, played corner, returned kicks and blocked a punt.

Chicago Taft (0-1) at Grant (0-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Previous Meeting: Chicago Taft 41, Grant 14 (2021 at Taft)

About Taft: The Eagles, who went 7-3 last year, dropped a 16-14 nonconference game at home to Glenbrook North in Week 1. "Taft is a big, physical team that likes to run the ball," Grant coach Tim Norwood said. "If we want to be successful we need to match their physicality and compete at the line of scrimmage."

About Grant: Senior defensive lineman Ke'Sean Louramore was a key performer in Grant's Week 1 game against Mundelein. "Ke'Sean did a nice job against a big, physical Mundelein offensive line," Norwood said. Sophomore cornerback Vincent Hurst also drew praise. "Vincent came in after an injury and did not miss a beat," Norwood pointed out. "He had a big interception in the red zone."

Round Lake (0-1) at Maine East (0-1)

When: Friday, 6 p.m.

Previous Matchup: Round Lake 26, Maine East 7 (2021 at Round Lake)

About Round Lake: Panthers coach Scott Blecha liked how Levi Graham conducted business on the defensive side of the ball against Wheeling in Week 1. "Levi didn't start Week 1, but tied for the team lead in tackles through a supporting role. He's slowly finding his way onto the field as a contributing player," he said. Isaac Jackson a 46-yard touchdown run in the game, while Blecha noted Anthony Bishop "did a little bit of everything on both sides of the ball. He may not fill up the stat sheet, but is always in on every play," he said. Bishop also tied for the team lead in tackles along with Jovanny Guzman in his first varsity start. "Jovanny is learning the game and catching up to the speed of the varsity game," Blecha said.

About Maine East: The Blue Demons lost 48-6 to Addison Trail in Week 1. "Maine East is a similar team to us with a lot of players playing both ways," Blecha said. "They have some size on the line that we need to be prepared to go up against, and their backs have speed in the open field. Their Week 1 score and overall performance is not indicative of the team we expect to see Friday. With both teams having lower numbers and a lot of guys going both ways, overall conditioning will play a big role in the outcome of this game. We need to minimize our mistakes. We had way too many turnovers in Week 1 and made it too easy on Wheeling to get ahead and stay ahead. It is imperative we make Maine East work for every yard and first down with long drives and force them into making mistakes."

Geneseo (1-0) at Grayslake Central (1-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

About Geneseo: The Maple Leafs compete in the Western Big 6 Conference and opened the season with a 52-6 win over Chicago Noble/Comer in nonconference action. "Geneseo is a storied program in Illinois," Rams coach Mike Maloney said. "Their tradition, perennial success and fan support are part of the fabric of high school football in Illinois. This iteration of the Maple Leafs is strong, disciplined and well-coached in all three phases of the game. They have several key returning starters, and it's obvious they have physically developed in the offseason. Taking the field against a program whose minimum expectations are playoff qualification and whose eyes are always on Thanksgiving weekend will be a great litmus test for our football program and community. Our linemen must operate as a like-minded and cohesive unit committed to moving the opponent against their will. Our skill players will need to maximize their opportunities by exploiting leverage and space in the open field. The linebacking group must bring a new level of intensity and laser focus on their keys to neutralize Geneseo's powerful run game and quickly react to their misdirection in order to limit chunk yardage that they are accustomed to. Whether it's a slugfest or a track meet, we are capable of winning both scenarios. It will come down to possessions and take-aways."

About Grayslake Central: In his first varsity start, Rarri Bernabe made 3 solo tackles out of his middle linebacker slot in Week 1. Maloney noted Garrett Guenther and Kaiden Miller "were the firepower on offense," he said. Both of Miller's runs resulted in touchdowns (85 yards worth) and Guenther caught 3 passes for 87 yards, two of those going for scores.

Vernon Hills (0-1) at Lakes (0-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

About Vernon Hills: The Cougars opened the season with a 38-26 loss at home to Grayslake North. "Vernon Hills is a good program that is balanced in running and throwing the ball," Lakes coach Jason Ellerman said. "They play a physical brand of defense, particularly with their defensive line. We need to run the ball, finish blocks, tackle better and have a better effort on special teams."

About Lakes: The Eagles got a boost from Tyson Dewey who had 14 catches, while Amir Alhindi "was elusive with the ball when he got into space," Ellerman said.

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