Offensive line paves way for Lakes' progress
First-year Lakes coach Jason Ellerman likes what he has seen progress-wise from his offense through four weeks.
"Offensively, our running game is getting better each week and that starts with our offensive line," he said.
Ellerman noted linemen Jacob Perry, Andy Mlyniec, Dylan Swanson, Dermott Larson and Jacob Seiler "are the unsung heroes of the team," he said.
"Nothing can get done without those guys moving people. Our offensive line coach Josh Christian has done a great job getting those guys ready on a daily basis. Without them, Amir Al Hindi would not be averaging 5.4 yards a rush."
Grayslake North update:
The Knights are 4-0 after a huge Week 4 win over town rival Grayslake Central.
Some key ingredients in North's great start: Quarterback Jake Donohue has been lights-out, completing 74 of 126 pass attempts for 1,056 yards and 12 touchdowns against only 2 picks.
Knights coach Brian Johnson noted his team is sitting at a plus-10 in the turnover battle through four games with Carter Barenbaum (3 interceptions) and Michael Jefferson (2 interceptions) factoring in heavily there.
Offensively, DJ Nelly came up big against Central, catching 10 passes for 165 yards and a score.
Johnson said sophomore center Sean McMahon has been a difference-maker after being inserted into the offensive line. "Sean was put in after an injury and has done an outstanding job," he said.
The same can be said about Jeffrey Ventura, who also has thrived after an injury to a teammate necessitated a position switch. "Jeffrey switched to the defensive line after an injury and has done a good job filling in," Johnson said.
Johnson also gave a shout out to Mario Vizzini. "Unfortunately, Mario was injured in our scrimmage and he was going to be a two-way starter on the line for us," he said.
Some defensive statistical highlights from the Blue Devils' Week 4 win against Stevenson. Justin Kretz led the team in total tackles with nine, while Colby Kachurik had 8 total tackles and 2 quarterback sacks that resulted in losses of 11 yards. Kole Weinberg also had a sack.
Keymarion Campbell and Logan McDermott each were credited with a safety. Warren finished the game with 6 tackles for loss as a team.
The Blue Devils sit atop the North Suburban Conference standings at 2-0 along with Mundelein and Lake Zurich. Warren and Lake Zurich square off this week in Gurnee.
Seth Gomez is creating a near monopoly on the Antioch defensive player of the game award. Coach Brian Glashagel noted Gomez has won the important award three weeks in a row. Gomez is a senior defensive lineman.
"We figured Seth would be a solid player for us," Glashagel said, "but he has really been playing lights out. He's also been rotating in on the offensive line."
Sophomore Roddy Rathman, who plays tight end and outside linebacker, has been another stellar contributor to an Antioch team that is tied atop the Northern Lake County Conference standings with vastly improved Grayslake North and Wauconda.
"We knew Roddy was a talented sophomore player," Glashagel said. "He really has taken off for us on both sides of the ball."
Circling back to the NLCC, Glashagel likes where his team is at, but cautions more needs to be done to win the league. Antioch welcomes said co-leader Grayslake North to town Friday.
"We are playing pretty solid football in all three phases," he said. "We need to continue to improve to win the NLCC."
Grayslake Central update:
Mark down Andy Galan in the key contributor category for Grayslake Central, which is 3-1 heading into another big game against unbeaten Wauconda this week.
"Andy started two games for us at center," Rams coach Mike Maloney said. "He plays physically and makes very few mistakes. He consistently makes the appropriate line calls and keeps the linemen focused."
Maloney also has been wowed by the efforts of Sean McGrath. "Sean is one of our best scout team players," he said. "He plays very sparingly on Friday nights, but makes a huge impact in preparation every day."
Lake Zurich update:
The Bears are one of three North Suburban unbeatens along with Warren and Mundelein after last week's win over Zion-Benton.
Coach Ron Planz loved how his offensive line reacted to Zion's defensive front.
"Our offensive line did a great job all game," he said. "Zion put seven guys on the line of scrimmage and we were still able to run the ball well."
Planz lauded the play of David Penaherrera on defense in the 42-0 win. "David played well on the defensive line," he said.