Scouting Week 4 Fox football games
Bartlett (3-0, 3-0) at Elgin (1-2, 1-2)
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Previous matchup: Bartlett 29, Elgin 12 (2021 at Bartlett)
About the Hawks: Bartlett coach Milan Vuckovich has a lot to be excited about after a 3-0 start. "What stood out last week was just how resilient our guys are and the leadership we have across the board, not just from the four captains or our seniors, but from every player on that roster," he said. "We have a handful of guys going both ways and to be able to mentally handle the ebbs and flows of a football game is one thing, but to handle them from both sides of the ball and special teams, shows a mental toughness that is both necessary for success and much appreciated by the coaching staff." Bartlett scored no points in the second half against East Aurora last week. "Getting shut out in the second half, that's on me," Vuckovich said. "I have to be better at adjusting to adjustments so we can put our players in the best situation to be successful." That being said, Bartlett's defense has been stellar, Vuckovich noted. "Our defense is playing extremely well right now, only giving up 2 touchdowns so far this season. That's amazing," he said. Vuckovich likes the way senior two-way lineman John Tarasiewicz and junior defensive back Josh Eckelberry have been playing. "John is one of those guys who doesn't say much, but brings his lunch pail to work every day and practices hard. That work ethic during practice has shown up in the games this year. He has been a key component to our very stout defensive line. He was the first player this year to be chosen to carry in our Bartlett flag. With Josh, playing free safety is a big task and starting at free safety since your sophomore year is something to write about. Josh is the quarterback of our secondary and is tasked with making sure everyone is set and ready for action. He has grown as a leader and is really starting to feel comfortable in his leadership role."
About the Maroons: "Elgin has a very balanced offensive attack and good athletes on the edge," Vuckovich said. "Their quarterback is poised in the pocket and is also a very good runner. They give you a lot to plan for and they have shown they can execute extremely well. Defensively, they have played a few different looks so far this season and their 3-5 is very formidable. We will have to stay disciplined on defense and block well on offense to be successful Friday."
Larkin (1-2, 1-2) at South Elgin (3-0, 3-0)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Previous Matchup: South Elgin 51, Larkin 0 (at Larkin)
About the Royals: "South Elgin is a well-coached football team," Larkin coach Grant Dietz said. "They do the little things well. We will have to execute our offense, play great defense and not make mental mistakes. We have a 1-2 record going into a tough game. We have to do what we can to make us a better football team." Dietz said the Royals have to limit penalties and continue "doing the little things better to make us better," he said. Offensive line play has been a recent bright spot, Dietz noted. "The offensive line is starting to play as a unit," he said. Jalen Miller and Chevelle Clements also have been notable. "Jalen and Chevelle have been running the ball hard," Dietz said.
About the Storm: South Elgin coach Dragan Teonic isn't sleeping on Larkin's 1-2 record. "Larkin has improved in every area this year," he said. "We have been impressed with their athleticism, effort and toughness. They have shown the ability to move the ball on everyone, and defensively they are aggressive and physical. We need to trap the ball on defense and special teams, gang tackle and play keep-away when we are on offense. Our best defense on Friday could be our offense holding on to the ball. Larkin's quarterback and running back are two of the most dynamic we will face all year, so tackling in space will be a focus." South Elgin quarterback Jake Sullivan is 24-for-43 passing for 488 yards and 6 touchdowns. He's also carried the ball 29 times for 159 yards and run for three more scores. Teonic also heaped high praise on the Storm offensive line of Nathan Dinse, Tommy Roath, Eddie Ramirez, Hyun Jin Ko and Hernan Cortez.
Chicago Christ the King (0-3) at St. Edward (0-3)
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
About Christ the King: A little test drive here for St. Edward as both of these teams will join the new Chicagoland Christian Conference next season. Christ the King lost to fellow Metro Suburban Conference entrants Wheaton Academy (63-0) and Aurora Christian (56-0) in weeks 2 and 3. "Christ the King has faced some really good opponents this year so their record can be deceiving," St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. "We'll need to execute well and play a very clean game, no mistakes, and know our responsibilities within the team."
About the Green Wave: Tackling took a step forward last week, Rolando noted. "I thought our guys tackled better than we had the first two games," he said. "We'll need that this week. Christ the King has some good athletes who could hurt us in the open field." Sophomore Charlie Elwood and freshman Zack Sauceda are making headlines of late for the Green Wave. "Charlie stepped into a starting role at defensive back for an injured teammate and has done very well," Rolando noted. "Zack got the start at outside linebacker for an injured teammate and has made some nice contributions."
Aurora Christian (2-1, 0-0) at Riverside-Brookfield (2-1, 1-0)
When: Friday, 7:15 p.m.
Previous matchup: R-B 26, Aurora Christian 14 (2021 at Aurora Christian)
About the Eagles: A key Metro Suburban Red Division game here for Aurora Christian. Eagles coach David Beebe feels his team is in a strong spot after three games. "We are growing each week, which is key," he said. "We are cleaning things up and knowing what our assignments are. The upside to this team is very high since we are very young and are using the season to grow." Beebe likes what Drew Kegebein has brought to the table. Beebe is also high on the Aurora Christian offensive line. "Our offensive line has been doing a great job," he said. As has the Eagles' defense, the coach added. "Defensively, we are finding people who can really play," he said. "Coach Perry (Aurora Christian defensive coordinator) is making some very good adjustments as the weeks go by as we continue to find out who is a gamer on Friday nights."
About the Bulldogs: "We play a very tough opponent at Riverside-Brookfield at their place," Beebe said. "They are always good and this year in no exception. We have to protect the ball. We also need to stop their running attack, which is very good. We definitely have our work cut out for us."
Aurora Central Catholic (0-3, 0-1) at Elmwood Park (1-2, 0-1)
When: Friday, 6 p.m.
Previous Matchup: ACC 48, Elmwood Park 12 (2021 at ACC)
About the Chargers: ACC opened Metro Suburban Blue play last week with a 49-0 loss to Wheaton Academy. "When the chips are down, this team continues to battle and stay in a positive mindset," Chargers coach Christian Rago said. "The team is a young core that is learning and getting better every week." Rago has liked how Zach Stuck, Walker Szweistis and Ethan Waters have performed lately. "Zach stepped up in moments when the team needed a spark," Rago said. "Walker continues to be a great leader on and off the field and Ethan has moved around to multiple positions and continues to have a great attitude when facing adversity."
About the Tigers: Elmwood started conference play with a 53-0 setback to perennial power IC Catholic Prep. "Elmwood Park has some talented, scrappy athletes and a big and strong offensive and defensive line," Rago said. "We need to be sound in our assignments and take care of the football to be successful."
Glenbard South (3-0, 3-0) at Streamwood (1-2, 1-2)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Previous Matchup: Glenbard South 48, Streamwood 16 (2021 at Glenbard South)
About the Raiders: South sits tied atop the Upstate Eight with Bartlett and South Elgin at 3-0. "Glenbard South is tough and a playoff team every year," Streamwood coach Keith McMaster said. "We are going to need to stay disciplined, eliminate mistakes, take care of the ball and cause turnovers."
About the Sabres: Streamwood lost its first two games by a combined 10 points (notably by four to Bartlett in the opener). "Our team faced some adversity in the third quarter against Elgin last week, but we stepped up," McMaster noted. "The close games we had in the first two weeks helped with that. Our defense is much improved from last season and our offense is starting to get on track. We are a young team, so there is some growing that the team is doing in the heat of the battles." Part of that defensive improvement stems from the play of free safety Kyle Thompson and linebacker Chris Marquez. "Kyle has been calling the shots defensively, defending passes and helping with run support," McMaster noted. "He is also one of our team leaders in tackles. Chris plays on all aspects of the ball. He punts, blocks from the offensive line and tackles from the linebacker position. He's a multitalented athlete who can fit in almost anywhere."
Glenbard North (1-2, 0-1) at St. Charles East (2-1, 0-1)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Previous Matchup: Glenbard North 23, St. Charles East 0 (2021 at Glenbard North)
About the Panthers: A big game for both teams in terms of breaking into the DuKane Conference win column. The Panthers are coming off a close 14-10 loss to 3-0 Geneva. Glenbard North's first three opponents have a combined 8-1 mark. "We need to cut down on penalties and turnovers," North coach Ryan Wilkens said. "We are improving, but we are not where we need to be running the ball or stopping the run. Both groups are still building cohesiveness up front." Wilkens said two stats jump off the page at him. "We are passing the ball twice as much than we have in the past and the penalties," he said. "We need to cut down on penalties." On the topic of passing, Wilkens lauded the efforts of Justin Bland, Zamari Robinson and Johnnie Robertson. "These three guys have been a huge part of the pass game," he said. Robertson caught four passes for 58 yards last week and Robinson added five catches for 51 yards.
About the Saints: St. Charles East opened the season with nonconference wins over Lincoln-Way Central and Waubonsie Valley (10-7), but lost to Lake Park 24-0 last week in its DuKane opener. East's three opponents have a combined 2-7 mark heading into Week 4. The Saints have already equaled their win total from a year ago with six games left to play. "St. Charles East has a very good offensive and defensive line," Wilkens said. "Their running back and quarterback are very athletic." Quarterback Lane Robinson completed all of his passes to either Blake Schuette, Mason Tousignant or Charles Bolsoni last week and typically has Trent Matejko to rely on in the backfield.
Lake Park (1-2, 1-0) at Batavia (1-2, 0-1)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Previous Matchup: Batavia 42, Lake Park 8 (2021 at Lake Park)
About the Lancers: Lake Park opened DuKane action last week with a shutout win against St. Charles East. Among the highlights: over 300 yards of team rushing, powered by Marco Annecca's 137-yard rushing effort on 23 carries, and, outgaining the Saints, 285-62, over the first 24 minutes. "Our offensive and defensive lines really asserted themselves early in the game and set the tone for our entire team," Lancers coach Chris Kirkpatrick said. "We need to see that again." A strong four quarters also was notable against St. Charles East. "Our team has played really well in the second half all year," Fitzpatrick explained. "Last week, we came to play right away. We are still learning to play four-quarter games, but our guys are learning what it takes in practice to prepare." Fitzpatrick said Tyler Michelini, Kevontae Vignaude, Nick Cairo and Will Sierra "are helping to solidify a very physical defensive front," he said. Cairo also is getting the job done on the offensive line. "Nick Cairo is playing as well as any offensive lineman I have ever coached at any level right now, and is setting a physical tone that our whole team is feeding off of," Fitzpatrick said. "At 6-3, 260, he is a major sleeper in the Class of 2024 right now."
About the Bulldogs: Batavia opened the season with a 43-6 win over Chicago Phillips and then dropped contests to Lincoln-Way East and Wheaton North (a pair of 3-0 teams). The Bulldogs lost by a field goal to Wheaton North last week. For just the fifth time in the Dennis Piron era, the Bulldogs have two losses at any point in the season. While Batavia isn't firing on all cylinders in three phases, recent history suggests this team will get back on track soon. Wheaton North averaged 8.3 yards per play last week. Brody Osborne shined at safety last week with 12 tackles. Lake Park has not beaten Batavia since the inception of the DuKane Conference, getting outscored 141-15. "Batavia is a tough, well-coached team year in and year out," Fitzpatrick said. "In the DuKane, you get to test yourself against great teams every week. We need to build on some of the steps we took last week toward executing our offense, defense and special teams at a higher level."
St. Charles North (2-1, 1-0) at Wheaton North (3-0, 1-0)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Previous matchup: Wheaton North 35, St. Charles North (2021)
About the North Stars: The offense appears clicking with Vill Vaske installed at quarterback. Jake Mettetal continues to ascend after his seven-catch, 75-yard effort in a win over Wheaton Warrenville South last week. Defensively, the North Stars did an excellent job neutralizing the running game, allowing 64 yards on 30 carries. Drew Surges (450 all-purpose yards and 32 tackles through three weeks) should be busy once again at both his safety/linebacker hybrid and running back.
About the Falcons: One has to give credit to the Falcons, who overcame a 21-13 halftime deficit and stifled the Batavia offense last week. Karsten Libby and Tyler O'Connor are proven big-play heavy-hitters for Max Howser to find downfield. Defensively, linebacker Ross Dansdill and Walker Owens are all over the field.
Geneva (3-0, 1-0) at Wheaton Warrenville South (1-2, 0-1)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Previous matchup: 13-12 Geneva (2021)
About the Vikings: Geneva has demonstrated the ability to win in a variety of ways through three weeks. Whether relying on a high-powered offense with a ton of talent or takeaways, the Vikings are in a great spot entering Week 4. Troy Velez is a weapon at running back and showcased that with 142 yards on 22 carries. Nate Stempowski appears to have the quarterback position under control.
About the Tigers: Getting Matt Crider and company going in the run game should be a focus for the Tigers this week after being neutralized for just 64 yards collectively. Luca Carbonaro was 16 of 23 for 122 yards last week and Braylen Meredith seems to be a favorite target, finishing with seven catches.
Marmion (2-1) at St. Ignatius (2-1)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Previous matchup: St. Ignatius 20, Marmion 16 (2021)
About the Cadets: The Cadets' offense struggled quite a bit last week in a loss to Montini. Marmion had five fumbled snaps, with its seven other drives ending on four punts, a turnover on downs and an interception in the 26-3 loss. Montini also had nearly 200 yards rushing, so getting the run defense back on track will probably be a focus. Senior Josh Lim ran for 74 yards and had six catches for 60 yards.
About the Wolfpack: After a tough season-opening loss to St. Patrick, the Wolfpack have gotten back on track in recent weeks, including gutting out a 19-14 victory over St. Laurence last week. Any opposing game plan starts with DL/OL Justin Scott, the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2024 by 247 sports.
Huntley (2-1, 2-1) at Burlington Central (1-2, 1-2)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last matchup: Huntley 21, Burlington Central 12 (2021)
About the Red Raiders: Huntley lost to Prairie Ridge, 35-7, last week. ... The Red Raiders ran the ball well in their first two games but were held to 139 rushing yards last week. ... RB Haiden Janke leads the team with 397 rushing yards. ... WR Jacob Witt had eight receptions for 82 yards.
About the Rockets: Burlington Central almost had its second win last week before Dundee-Crown put together a late drive and 2-point conversion for an 8-7 win. ... RB Michael Ganziano had a big game last week with 163 yards, putting him at 292 for the season. ... Sophomore QB Jackson Alcorn has thrown for 410 yards and four touchdowns.
Prairie Ridge (3-0, 3-0) at Jacobs (3-0, 3-0)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last matchup: Prairie Ridge won last season, 49-48, in Week 4.
About the Wolves: Prairie Ridge defeated Huntley, 35-7, last week. ... QB Tyler Vasey runs the Wolves' triple-option offense masterfully and may be the most dangerous offensive player in the FVC with 722 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Vasey is a threat to score from anywhere on the field. ... FB Nathan Greetham has 440 yards. ... Freshman RB Luke Vanderwiel has 152 yards and three touchdowns. ... Prairie Ridge's defense slowed Huntley's running game, holding the Red Raiders to 227 total yards. ... The Wolves are No. 1 in The Associated Press Class 6A poll.
About the Golden Eagles: Jacobs defeated McHenry, 28-22, last week. ... The Golden Eagles ground out the running yards last week but did not complete a pass against McHenry. ... RB Antonio Brown has 500 yards rushing and seven touchdowns. ... RBs Joey Scrivani (339) and Paulie Rudolph (195) are the other top rushers. ... Jacobs is No. 5 in the Class 7A poll.
Crystal Lake Central (0-3, 0-3) at Hampshire (0-3, 0-3)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last matchup: Hampshire defeated Central, 43-6, in Week 4 last season.
About the Tigers: Central lost to Cary-Grove, 41-20, last week. ... QB George Dimopoulos threw for 230 yards and a touchdown last week and is looking more comfortable in the job. Dimopoulos was supposed to be the Tigers' top receiver, but QB Jason Penza suffered a season-ending injury in the opener, and Dimopoulos was moved to QB. ... WR Griffin Buehler caught eight balls for 158 yards and a long touchdown last week.
About the Whip-Purs: Hampshire lost to Crystal Lake South, 27-13, last week. ... Sophomore RB Cole Klawikowski ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns and has 744 yards on the season. ... The Whips have been in every game, having lost tight games after having the lead against Burlington Central and Dundee-Crown before last week's setback.
Crystal Lake South (2-1, 2-1) at Dundee-Crown (2-1, 2-1)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last matchup: South defeated D-C, 39-23, in Week 4 last season.
About the Gators: South defeated Hampshire, 27-13, last week. ... RB Nate Van Witzenburg had a big game with 151 yards and three touchdowns. He has 416 yards for the season, sixth in the area. ... QB Caden Casimino has thrown for 804 yards and seven touchdowns. ... WRs Michael Prokos (19), Colton Hess (10) and Brady Schroeder (nine) are Casimino's top targets.
About the Chargers: D-C beat Burlington Central, 8-7, last week. ... Chargers coach Mike Steinhaus was not impressed with his offense until the winning drive, when D-C put it together and QB Zach Randl hit WR Kali Freeman with a 30-yard scoring pass, then with the 2-point conversion. ... RB Keegan Otte has 272 rushing yards through two games, but missed last week and still is out with an injury. Steinhaus termed him week-to-week. Jeff Boerger carried 12 times for 42 yards as his replacement. ... Randl has thrown for 492 and Freeman and Anthony Aguilar both have more than 10 catches.
McHenry (0-3, 0-3) at Cary-Grove (2-1, 2-1)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Last matchup: C-G defeated McHenry, 56-14, in Week 4 last season.
About the Warriors: McHenry lost to Jacobs, 28-22, last week. ... That was the third consecutive loss by one score to one of the FVC's top programs (Prairie Ridge and Huntley in the first two weeks). ... QB Dom Caruso has passed for 801 yards.
About the Trojans: C-G defeated Crystal Lake Central, 41-20, last week. ... The Trojans are ranked No. 9 in Class 6A and have won 22 of their past 23 games. ... FB Colin Desmet has rushed for 411 yards and averages 9.3 per carry. ... RBs Andrew Prio (254) and Holden Boone (160) are other threats, and sophomore QB Peyton Seaburg ran for 116 and four touchdowns last week.
Woodstock (1-2, 0-1) at Kaneland (1-2, 0-1)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last matchup: Kaneland 42, Woodstock 7 (2021)
About the Knights: Despite two losses in a row to Geneva (38-14) and Morris (32-24) -- both of whom are still undefeated -- coach Pat Ryan said he's seen a lot of improvement in his Knights not just from last year but from week to week. That includes against Morris last week. He said he felt holding Morris to 336 yards of total offense was a good showing against a top-tier offense. He said he saw improvements in both offensive line play and stopping the run. "I think we're a better football team than our record indicates," Ryan said. "We feel as a coaching staff our kids played really, really well Friday despite losing to a really good Morris team. We feel like we're a good football team. I feel like we were better in Week 3 than in Week 2, and we look to get better in Week 4." Troyer Carlson threw 134 yards last week, and he and Aric Johnson continue to be a threat for the Knights.
About the Blue Streaks: Woodstock lost to Sycamore, 41-0, in Week 3. ... The Blue Streaks struggled to muster any offense against the state-ranked Spartans, finishing with 72 total yards. ... In their first two games, however, the Streaks played within a touchdown of Rochelle and then beat Bartonville Limestone, 31-13, with a strong showing from the run game. ... RBs Adrian Perry (169) and Kaden Sandoval (152) lead the rushing game and WR Caden Monti tops the team with seven receptions.