Scouting Week 5 DuPage County football games

  • Naperville North's Nathan Jacobs looks for more running room during a loss to Neuqua Valley last week. Both teams return to DuPage Valley play Friday night.

      Naperville North's Nathan Jacobs looks for more running room during a loss to Neuqua Valley last week. Both teams return to DuPage Valley play Friday night. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
and Jake Bartelson
Shaw Local
 
Updated 9/23/2022 6:57 AM

Neuqua Valley (3-1, 1-0) at Naperville Central (3-1, 1-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

 

Previous matchup: Neuqua Valley 20, Naperville Central 17 (2021 at Neuqua Valley)

About this matchup: The Wildcats opened conference play with a 29-16 DVC win over Naperville North at home. "We cannot lose the turnover battle against Neuqua Valley and expect to win," Naperville Central coach Mike Ulreich said, adding one of the biggest reasons for the team's offensive progress is change in personnel. "We have packaged sets where some of our best and most physical defensive players are coming over to play offense like Maverick Ohle. We have also relied on the Nussbaum twins, who give us a lot of versatility and toughness on the perimeter." Ulreih continues to be pleased with the Redhawks' defensive play. "Our defense continues to play sound football," he said. "We prioritize pad level and effort above everything else and our veteran staff has done a tremendous job each week preparing our players. Coach Adam Pucylowski is outstanding leading that unit." Tyler Dodd scored 3 touchdowns in Week 4 and had more than 200 all-purpose yards with rushing, receiving and return yardage added together. Ulreich also lauded Chris McCormick's quarterback play. "Chris did a great job managing the offense at quarterback," he said. John Penny's play on the offensive line, the coach said, has been stellar. "John Penny is so important for our offensive line," he said. "Most of the time he plays right guard, but last week we needed him to play center on short notice. He really got one day of practice at center before the game." Ulreich explained Oliver Robak has progressed in his two-way skills at defensive end and tight end, while John Stout continues to grind away at nose guard. "John does the tough work of taking on double teams so our linebackers are free to make tackles," he said. "He did a great job of with that last week."

Waubonsie Valley (0-4, 0-1) at Metea Valley (0-4, 0-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous matchup: Metea Valley 24, Waubonsie Valley 13 (2021 at Waubonsie)

About the Warriors: The battle of Ogden and Eola roads here with both teams coming in looking for their first overall and DuPage Valley Conference win. "Our willingness to battle through some tough times has become more prevalent," Waubonsie coach Tom Baumgartner said. "We found a little bit more of a run game in the second half last Friday that began to open up the throw game." Baumgartner has no complaints with how his defense comes to play. "Our defense gives great effort, we just need to keep finishing plays for four quarters," he said. Improvement has been seen from the likes of Tyler Threat and Amir Spikener. "Tyler is starting to come into his own as a legit weapon on offense," Baumgartner said. "Amir is playing more time both ways and locking down receivers."

About the Mustangs: "Metea is scrappy and well-coached," Baumgartner said. "We will need to finish plays more frequently than we have the first four weeks to be competitive."

Glenbard South (4-0, 4-0) at Bartlett (3-1, 3-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous matchup: Glenbard South 28, Bartlett 0 (2021 at Glenbard South)

About this game: An important game with Upstate Eight and playoff implications. Glenbard South is tied atop the UEC with South Elgin at 4-0 with Bartlett and Glenbard East a game back at 3-1 at the 44.4% mark of the 9-game conference schedule. Glenbard South, 13-2 over its last 15 games, hasn't scored less than 44 points this year and has hit 49 or more in three of its four games. However, the Raiders opponents thus far have a combined 4-12 record (four 1-3 teams). Bartlett started off with wins against Streamwood, West Chicago and East Aurora (combined 2-10 record right now) and then lost 24-7 to Elgin last week. A Glenbard South win makes them playoff eligible with 5 victories, while a Bartlett win inches it closer to that mark and creates a likely second-place log jam in the UEC.

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Streamwood (1-3, 1-3) at Glenbard East (3-1, 3-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous matchup: Glenbard East 39, Streamwood 7 (2021 at Streamwood)

About the Sabres: Sabres coach Keith McMaster said his squad will have to be on high alert with Glenbard East's offensive attack. "They attack on the ground and in the air," he said. "They are talented on both sides of the ball."

About the Rams: Rams coach John Walters said his team isn't going to let a Sabres' 1-3 record fool it for a second. "Streamwood is tough," he said. "They have a ball-control offense that likes to sideline the opponent's offense. We need to get their offense off the field and put the ball in the end zone to pressure them." Walters said the Glenbard East offense is "really starting to click in all phases of the game," he said. "I really like the way we are executing. It's showing on the scoreboard and in the stat line." And progress is being seen defensively. "I think our defense gets better every week," Walters said. "They are more comfortable and trusting. Our defense is the backbone of this team, no doubt."

Elgin (2-2, 2-2) at West Chicago (0-4, 0-4)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous matchup: Elgin 41, West Aurora 0 (2021 at Elgin)

About the Maroons: "West Chicago has some good things happening with the triple option and that offense can always pop if we are not disciplined and tough," Elgin coach Anthony Mason said. "We have to execute properly every play and play disciplined football." A win here keeps the Maroons on track in the playoff hunt.

About the Wildcats: Vincent Muci was huge for the Wildcats last week, rushing for 190 yards and 3 touchdowns. Johnny Montana caught a touchdown pass and made several tackles on defense. Coach Adam Chavez also cited recent strong play from Alan Cuautle, Ali Nasib, Alexis Correa, Joseph Flores, as well Ean Arizmendi. "Ean had a great night opening up huge holes for the running game," Chavez said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Fenton (1-3, 1-3) at Larkin (1-3, 1-3)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous matchup: Larkin 56, Fenton 0 (2021 at Fenton)

About the Bison: The Bison got into the win column last week with a 1-point victory over West Chicago, snapping the program's 15-game losing streak dating back to the COVID spring season of 2021. "Fenton is improving and it will be a tough task," Larkin coach Grant Dietz said. "Coach (Matt) Lynch will have them ready to play. We have to put pressure on them and force them to make mistakes."

About the Royals: Running back Jalen Miller, a junior, scored 2 touchdowns against South Elgin.

Batavia (2-2, 1-1) at Glenbard North (2-2, 1-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Batavia 21, Glenbard North 20 (2021)

About the Bulldogs: Batavia rolled in last week's 42-0 victory over Lake Park. There are plenty of standout performances to choose from, whether it was Ryan Whitwell's 173 yards rushing, linebacker Tyler Jansey's 13 tackles or Ben Fiegel's 10. Both of these teams feature power running games and physical front sevens defensively, but that brand of football tends to favor the Bulldogs more often than not.

About the Panthers: Glenbard North scored 20 unanswered points in the second half of last week's 41-34 victory over St. Charles East. Damarion Elliston rushed for a game-high 183 yards and will likely be a point of interest for the Panthers to sustain this week. Defensively, the Panthers did give up a number of chunk yardage plays, but clearly limited the damage after halftime.

St. Charles East (2-2, 0-2) at Wheaton Warrenville South (1-3, 0-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: WW South 24, St. Charles East 7 (2021)

About the Saints: St. Charles East will likely want to make up for a second half last week in which it blew a 13-point halftime lead and ultimately was outscored 20-0 after halftime. The Saints were able to break off some big-yardage plays between Mason Tousignant, Charles Bolsoni, Blake Schuette and more, but had a tough time limiting the running game, an area the Tigers have struggled a little bit to get going offensively for themselves in recent weeks.

About the Tigers: WW South's defense has sputtered a bit in recent weeks, giving up 35 points in consecutive games. Couple that with a limited running game impact, the Tigers are looking to get back to the basic identity of what they typically do best: Running the football and limiting mistakes defensively. Charlie Butt had a blocked punt last week as well. With road games remaining at Batavia, Wheaton North and Glenbard North, the Tigers have very little margin for error to reach the playoffs. Sophomore quarterback Luca Carbonaro completed 15-of-24 passes for 153 yards and senior running back Jake Vozza added 67 yards rushing against Geneva. The Tigers' room for improvement starts at the defensive end. WW South has given up an average of 37 points in its three losses.

Wheaton North (3-1, 1-1) at Lake Park (1-3, 1-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous matchup: Wheaton North 41, Lake Park 7 (2021 at Wheaton North)

About the Falcons: The Falcons, who are 14-2 over their last 16 games, sit a game back in the DuKane standings at 1-1 (along with Lake Park), trailing 2-0 Geneva and St. Charles North. Wheaton North lost by a point (22-21) to St. Charles North last week and defeated Batavia in its conference opener in Week 3 (27-24). Tyler O'Connor ran for 165 yards and two touchdowns and had an interception defensively in the loss last week.

About the Lancers: Lancers coach Chris Kirkpatrick said his team is happy to be back home after a pair of DuKane road games at St. Charles East (24-0 win) and Batavia (42-0 loss). "We are excited to be back home for homecoming," he said. "We hope to have a packed house and a great environment for our young men to play in front of. As we work to change the culture of Lake Park football this year, I have been really impressed with our community support and support of our Lancer Nation student section."

St. Francis (4-0) vs. Champaign Central (1-3)

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

About Champaign Central: St. Francis coach Bob McMillen said a quick Central team awaits in this Week 5 nonconference contest. "Champaign Central looks very athletic and fast on film," he said. "We will need to be able to have a balanced attack on offense. Amari and Brady have been a great 1-2 punch at running back and we have had great quarterback-wide receiver play the last few games. We will need to stop the run." The Maroons lost 42-0 to Normal West to open Big 12 Conference play, lost 50-14 to Normal Community in league action, defeated Granite City 18-13 in nonconference play and lost 45-20 to city rival Champaign Centennial last week.

About St. Francis: McMillen said his undefeated squad is communicating more often on both sides of the ball. "The boys are talking more, seeing the checks faster and identifying their blocking schemes," he explained. Defensive improvements have revolved around tackling. "We are tackling much better and swarming to the football," he said. Last week, TJ McMillen had 7 pancakes, 2 tackles, recovered a fumble and ran it in for touchdown and had a 40-yard run. Quarterback Alessio Milivojevic was 14-for-16 for 198 yards and 3 touchdown passes. He also ran a score in.

York (4-0, 2-0) at Lyons Township (4-0, 2-0)

When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Last matchup: York 14, Lyons 7 (2021)

About the Dukes: York, in its first close game of the season, answered the challenge with a thrilling 24-17 overtime win over at time also unbeaten Downers Grove North. Damian Glodz kicked a game-tying field goal at the end of regulation and Kelly Watson, who ran for 145 yards on 21 carries, took in his second TD for the game-winner in OT. York's defense has allowed just 24 points in four games. The ringleader of that unit is junior linebacker Cole Ostendorf, who had 14 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and a forced fumble last week. A huge stretch of games continues with Lyons, Glenbard West and Hinsdale Central the next three weeks.

About the Lions: The Lions, coming off a huge program win over rival Hinsdale Central, showed no letdown last week, going on the road and handling Oak Park-River Forest 38-13. Lyons is 4-0 for the first time since starting 5-0 in 2017. Junior QB Ryan Jackson leads the Lions' offense while junior lineman and high Division I prospect Eddie Tuerk is a player to watch up front. The Homecoming crowd should be fired up for a showdown of two of the West Suburban Silver's three remaining unbeatens.

Proviso West (2-2, 0-2) at Downers Grove North (3-1, 0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Downers Grove North 42, Proviso West 0 (2021)

About the Panthers: Proviso West started the season 2-0, surpassing last year's win total. It has encountered a reality check upon entering West Suburban Silver play -- outscored 105-12 the last two weeks.

About the Trojans: Downers Grove North comes in off a heartbreaking 24-17 loss at York, a game it led in the final seconds of regulation. Still, a result like that should offer validation that the Trojans belong in the upper echelon of the West Suburban Silver which bodes well long-term. This Friday's game offers a get-well game against a struggling opponent. Big-play threat Ethan Thulin caught two more TDs last week from QB Sam Reichert, who threw for 76 yards and ran for 57. Owen Thulin had a fumble recovery and interception as part of the defensive effort.

Oak Park-River Forest (2-2, 0-2) at Hinsdale Central (2-2, 0-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Hinsdale Central 38, Oak Park-River Forest 20 (2021)

About the Huskies: Oak Park-River Forest, after starting the season 2-0, has dropped back-to-back games in the West Suburban Silver after its 38-13 loss to Lyons.

About the Red Devils: The Red Devils were able to ease past district rival Hinsdale South 16-7, but the margin and Hinsdale Central's lack of offensive output is concerning. Aside from its Week 2 win over Proviso East the Red Devils have managed just 32 points in three games. On the flip side, Joe Boggs and the Red Devils' defense has given up just 17 points over the last three weeks. With games remaining against Downers Grove North and unbeatens York and Glenbard West, Hinsdale very much needs to bank a win in its Homecoming game.

Downers Grove South (1-3, 1-0) at Proviso East (0-4, 0-3)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Downers Grove South 37, Proviso East 14 (2021)

About the Mustangs: Downers Grove South comes off a 28-13 win over Willowbrook, a significant result on multiple fronts. It was the Mustangs' first win, first win over Willowbrook since 2015 -- and also snapped Willowbrook's 29-game winning streak dating back to 2016. It may be only one game but it also puts Downers Grove South in the driver's seat to win the Gold. Mack O'Halloran, Deon Davis, Chris Williams and Joey Portell scored TDs and Will Potter and Dylan Spencer had interceptions in the win last week.

About the Pirates: The Pirates nearly pulled off their first win of the season last week, losing at Addison Trail 23-20.

Leyden (0-4, 0-2) at Willowbrook (1-3, 1-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Willowbrook 36, Leyden 7 (2021)

About the Eagles: Leyden comes in off a 30-29 loss to Morton, just missing out on its first win. It was the Eagles' second loss by three or fewer points.

About the Warriors: It has been a tough start to the season for the Warriors, and the struggles surprisingly carried over into West Suburban Gold play last week. Willowbrook's loss to Downers Grove South snapped a 29-game win streak in the Gold. Still, the Warriors' track record suggests that they can and will pull it together. Willowbrook was without starting QB AJ Pawlicki last week. Regardless of his status the Warriors will want to get the ball in the hands of Joey Tumilty.

Hinsdale South (1-3, 1-0) at Morton (2-2, 2-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Hinsdale South 24, Morton 14 (2021)

About the Hornets: Hinsdale South hung right in there with district rival Hinsdale Central last week in a 16-7 loss, and while there are no moral victories that kind of competitive result could bode well as the Hornets resume West Suburban Gold play. Robbie Spang scored Hinsdale South's lone touchdown last week. The Hornets have struggled to score in their losses. Does it change against an opponent that does play some high-scoring games?

About the Morton: The Mustangs collected their second consecutive win last week, 30-29 over Leyden. They can match last year's win total with a third straight victory this Friday. Morton can clearly put up points. Aside from a Week 2 loss to York, the Mustangs have averaged 32 points per game.

Addison Trail (2-2) at Glenbard West (4-0)

When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Last matchup: Glenbard West 56, Addison Trail 0 (2021)

About the Blazers: Addison Trail picked up its second win last week, 23-20 over Proviso East, positive energy for a program that has struggled mightily in recent years and comes off a winless 2021 season. A visit to Duchon Field clearly represents a huge step up in class, but at least the Blazers bring some confidence into the Saturday matinee.

About the Hilltoppers: Glenbard West, which remains No. 4 in the latest Class 8A poll, continues to roll. The Hilltoppers beat Proviso West 51-12 last week. Its offense is averaging just a tick over 40 points per game. Julius Ellens continued his big junior season with three TDs and Connor McLaughlin and Aidan Murphy also scored TDs. This would figure to be a tune-up for what is a gauntlet of a four-game stretch in the Silver to close the season.

Montini (2-2) at Leo (1-3)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Montini 39, Leo 32 (2021)

About the Broncos: Montini finds itself in a difficult situation playoff-wise after its 20-14 loss at St. Laurence snapped a two-game winning streak. Leo provides an ideal opportunity to get back on track, but the Broncos can't take anyone lightly with a bear of a schedule ahead. Senior QB Cole Teschner has thrown for 828 yards and six TDs on the season. Mingo Nixon is his top target with 17 catches for 328 yards and four TDs, and Santino Florio has 15 catches for 121 yards. Jonathan Goff is the ringleader of the defense with 41 tackles and three sacks.

About the Lions: Leo, after winning its opener, has dropped three in a row after a 14-12 loss to DePaul Prep last week. Sophomore QB Darrion Lee has thrown for 931 yards and eight TDs with six interceptions. Senior Kevin Jackson is a big-play threat with 14 catches for 507 yards and six TDs. Noteworthy, though, Leo has rushed for just 68 yards at 1.6 yards per carry through four games.

Benet (1-3) at Marian Catholic (3-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Benet 47, Marian 28 (2021)

About the Redwings: Benet comes in off a 41-12 loss to St. Rita, and it does not get any easier with four consecutive road games -- three against in-state opponents with a combined record of 10-2. Benet standout Pierce Walsh, a Minnesota recruit, has 21 catches for 269 yards and two TDs through four games. Getting him touches is a good way to get a Benet offense going that has averaged just 11.7 points in its three losses.

About the Spartans: The Spartans have already matched last year's win total as they seek to join the 2019 team as the only Marian playoff teams since 2010. Marian dominated its first three opponents in a 3-0 start by a combined margin of 153-42, but received a bit of a reality check with a 32-25 loss to a good St. Patrick team last week. Head coach Nicholas Lopez is in his first season. Dual-threat Senior QB Kyle Thomas rushed for more than 1,100 yards and is committed to Northern Illinois as a wide receiver.

Other Friday DuPage Games

DeKalb (3-1, 1-0) at Naperville North (3-1, 0-1), 7 p.m.

IC Catholic Prep (3-1, 2-0) at Aurora Central Catholic (1-3, 1-1), 7:15 p.m.

Riverside-Brookfield (3-1, 2-0) at St. Edward (1-3, 0-1), 7 p.m.

Coal City (2-2, 1-1) at Lisle (2-2, 1-2), 7 p.m.

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