Scouting Week 6 DuPage County football games

  • Glenbard South tailback Jalen Brown rushed for a school-record 286 yards last week in a win over Bartlett. The Raiders put their 5-0 record on the line Friday against 5-0 South Elgin.

      Glenbard South tailback Jalen Brown rushed for a school-record 286 yards last week in a win over Bartlett. The Raiders put their 5-0 record on the line Friday against 5-0 South Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
By Mike Miazga
Daily Herald Correspondent
By Josh Welge and Jake Bartelson
Shaw Local News Network
Updated 9/29/2022 4:59 PM

Naperville North (4-1, 1-1) at Naperville Central (3-2, 1-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

 

Previous matchup: Naperville Central 28, Naperville North 16 (2021 playoffs at North)

About the Huskies: "It is Naperville Central week," North coach Sean Drendel said. "It's always a huge game with your rival. This year is no different. We must match their physicality and stop their running game." This game has both conference and playoff-qualifying-improvement implications for both teams. North is playoff eligible with a win here. Drendel noted Huskies running backs are averaging 6.75 yards per carry with seniors Nathan Jacobs and Danny Eloe and junior Cole Arl performing well out of the backfield. "We have been able to use three backs and they work so well together," he said. "They are very unselfish while still wanting any opportunity that comes." Drendel also has been impressed with the improvement he has seen on a defensive line that features seniors Jackson Bauer, Gavin Ericksen, Justin Melgar and Cyrus Patton, along with juniors Lawson Grier, Alex Kushenbach, Blake Robinson and Kyle Gatlin. "Upfront, our defensive line continues to get better," he said. "They work well as a unit and have pride in the rotation." Also playing well is the trifecta of Aidan Gray, Luke Williams and Luke Pettaway. "Aidan, Luke and Luke are starting to heat up," Drendel said. "They find ways to make big plays in big moments."

About the Redhawks: This is the third meeting between the two teams since last year. Central lost to North in the regular season, but went to North and won in the state playoffs. "Naperville North has a tremendous amount of speed that we have to contend with," Central coach Mike Ulreich said. "They have a handful of players who can score from anywhere on the field. Fitting the run and tackling space are really critical this week, but it is a team game and our offense can help our defense by controlling the football. Offensively, we need to sustain drives, execute on short-yardage situations and we cannot give them extra possessions by turning the ball over." Ulreich said no stats jumped out from last week's 14-7 loss to Neuqua Valley, but "the only stats that mattered were 5 turnovers, 7 penalties and going 3-for-9 on third down," he said. He did like the way the defense played. "I was so impressed with the toughness displayed by our defense," Ulreich said. "We put them in tough positions all game and they never yielded." Ulreich said Oliver Robak played an outstanding game at defensive end against Neuqua, while Gavin Wade continues to be a difference-maker at outside linebacker. And credit Logan Ellison with the play of the night, Ulreich, said, via a 54-yard pick-6.

Metea Valley (1-4, 1-1) at Neuqua Valley (4-1, 2-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous matchup: Neuqua Valley 31, Metea Valley 0 (2021 at Metea Valley)

About the Mustangs: Metea broke into the win column last week with a 17-7 win over neighbor Waubonsie Valley. Last week, Noah Larson threw for more than 100 yards and rushed for more than 100 yards, and had both passing and rushing touchdowns. He also had 9 tackles, a pass deflection and a sack on defense. Mustangs coach John Parpet noted injuries have not been kind to the Mustangs this season. "We're starting to get healthy," he said. "We've had between eight and 10 starters out since Week 2. The number of injuries have plagued us all year. We've needed to play multiple players out of position because of this. Last week was our first game since the first half of Wek 2 that we've been this healthy." In addition to Larson's plays at quarterback and linebacker, Parpet also cited recent strong play from running back Devon Draughton and offensive and defensive lineman Ramon Arteaga.

About the Wildcats: Neuqua leads the DuPage Valley with a 2-0 conference mark, the only remaining undefeated loop team. "Neuqua Valley has a very physical and active defense," Parpet said. "They are always in the right spot and are incredibly well-coached. We will need to make plays when they present themselves and not get frustrated at a 3-and-out." Neuqua is on a three-game winning streak with all wins coming against teams with winning records.

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Wheaton Academy (5-0, 3-0) at IC Catholic Prep (4-1, 3-0)

When: Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Previous matchup: IC Catholic Prep 29, Wheaton Academy 16 (2021 at Wheaton Academy)

About the Warriors: This game will likely determine who wins the Metro Suburban Conference Blue Division. Wheaton Academy has outscored opponents 254-14 this season and has not allowed a point since the first week of the season. "IC is an established and successful football program," Wheaton Academy coach Jim Johanik said. "They have an unusual amount of size and team depth for a small Class 3A school. If you think about it, just under a third of the enrollment of the entire school plays football. That's downright impressive and it demonstrates how intentional they are in developing an elite product on Friday nights. My hat goes off to them in what they have built in Elmhurst. We have to somehow overcome that size and depth by playing near-perfect football. In all frankness, as a program we are not yet where they are at, though I do believe we've closed the gap somewhat. We are the underdogs playing at their place on their homecoming in a tough environment. We know what we are up against and it's going to take a Herculean effort to come out on top." Johanik pointed out this will be a battle of two of the top statistically ranked quarterbacks in the state, according to one online stat-keeping service. ICCP quarterback Dennis Mandala is 10th at 1,047 yards, while Wheaton Academy standout Belay Brummel is 11th at 1,044. "They are identical in other stats as well," Johanik said. "The big difference is IC played current top programs in Joliet Catholic and Montini and we played former top programs in Marian Central and Bishop Mac. Regardless of who we have played, I'm a coach and I am excited to see these two good QBs square off against each other." Johanik noted junior strong side linebacker Brett Dieter "has developed as of late in making better reads and playing better coverage," he said. "It's resulted in him leading the team in tackles the past three games combined." Sophomore Stephen Fellowes continues to improve at running back and safety. "We're asking a lot from him and he produced more than 120 yards rushing on offense and had an interception on defense last week. Sometimes, you forget his age out there." Senior two-way lineman Jaret Jawor "is just a tough nut," Johanik said. "We don't capture pancake blocks as a statistic, but we are creating a highlight reel of his exploits driving guys 15 yards downfield. He's fun to watch and a joy to coach."

About the Knights: "Wheaton Academy is a pretty athletic team," IC Catholic Prep coach assistant coach Thomas Gibbons said. "Their passing offense is a challenge we are ready to take on. Brummel gets the ball out on time and is a dual-threat quarterback. We always look at us. Our week of preparation is the most important thing. We will put our guys in the right spots and we are very confident they will execute our game plan." Kaleb Ellis took the opening kickoff back last week for a score. "Kaleb is such a great player for us," Gibbons said. "He plays all three phases and is a leader on and off the field." Denzel Gibson leads the Knights in rushing yards and touchdowns. "Denzel is a leader on the field," Gibbons said. "He plays running back, wide receiver and strong safety. He doesn't come off the field. He's an excellent young man who loves being an IC Knight." First-year starter Marcheon Griffin also has stepped it up. "Marcheon is a playmaker for us at defensive end," Gibbons pointed out. "His improvement each week is special. He's a cornerstone of our defense." Nathan Omolo has been an invaluable piece to the puzzle as well. "Nathan is asked to play multiple positions on offense and defense and owns it. He does not say a word about it," Gibbons said. Gibbons added another key for the Knights has been the efforts of younger players "who have stepped up when called upon," he said. "First-year varsity starter Joey Gliatta comes to mind. He does everything right. He plays the safety position just as we teach it and then some."

South Elgin (5-0, 5-0) at Glenbard South (5-0, 5-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous matchup: South Elgin 35, Glenbard South 7 (2021 at South Elgin)

About the Storm: The winner of this game takes control of first place in the Upstate Eight and earns an automatic playoff bid. Kyle Steinhofer caught 6 passes for 114 yards and 2 scores in South Elgin's Week 5 win, chipped in an interception on defense and kicked a field goal. South Elgin coach Dragan Teonic noted the Storm averaged more than 20 yards per reception last week. Mason Montgomery is averaging 11.5 yards per carry and 21.4 yards per catch. South Elgin also benefits from a strong running attack with Jordan Green (195 yards, 4 TDs), Brandon Belk (94 yards) and Ari Kravis (127 yards, 3 TDs). "We have been a three-headed monster at running back," Teonic noted. Teonic has been impressed with how well his team has responded to adversity, "from summer camp through Week 5," he noted. "We have been challenged and always have risen to the occasion." Senior defensive back Denver Davis has allowed 1 reception in coverage this season while being targeted 18 times. He has 1 interception. Davis also averages 28 yards on kickoff returns. Junior wide receiver Lucas Noworol has thrived with his blocking skills "and is a threat with the ball," Teonic noted. Junior offensive lineman Hyun Jin Ko "has been playing really well for us the last two weeks," Teonic added.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

About the Raiders: The Raiders feature senior tailback Jalen Brown who rushed for a school-record 286 yards on 21 carries and scored 4 touchdowns to lead the Raiders to a 47-6 win over Bartlett last week. Junior receiver and Notre Dame commits Cam Williams added 6 catches for 98 yards. "Glenbard South is highly talented and playing at a high level," Teonic said. "They are undefeated for a reason. They rarely turn the ball over and create explosives almost at will. We will have to create explosives and protect the football to be successful."

Aurora Christian (3-2, 1-1) at St. Francis (5-0, 2-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous matchup: St. Francis 49, Aurora Christian 27 (2021 at Aurora Christian)

About the Eagles: St. Francis coach Bob McMillen knows his team will have to be on its toes against Aurora Christian. "Aurora Christian is a well-coached, championship team," he said. "Coach (David) Beebe and his staff will have these kids ready to play. We have to match the intensity and not make mistakes. They have a big offensive line that can move people. We need to be able to disrupt the quarterback and make some plays behind the line of scrimmage. On offense, we need to be efficient and not turn the ball over."

About the Spartans: Quarterback Alessio Milivojevic went 8-for-9 last week for 170 yards and threw 5 touchdowns against no interceptions. Jack Reilly, the backup quarterback, was 3-for-3 for 79 yards and threw 3 TDs in the 69-14 win over Champaign Central. Amari Head ran 4 times for 118 yards and a touchdown. Milivojevic has thrown for 732 yards with 11 touchdowns and no picks while completing 75 percent of his passes. Head has run for 381 yards (8.5 yards per carry) and 5 touchdowns, while Cooper Winslow is 24-for-25 on point-after attempts (his only miss was a block). "I am pleasantly surprised by the play of our younger kids," McMillen said. "We have five kids who are either freshmen or sophomores starting on our varsity. I love the way they come to practice and prepare each week. It's been showing since the start of the season and they are getting better. I am looking forward to seeing their development the next few weeks." Junior two-way lineman Dan Theiss continues to impress. "Since his move to guard, he has been playing at a much higher level," McMillen said. "On defense, we are able to plug him in anywhere on the line and we don't skip a beat." Sophomore wide receiver-safety Liam Kolinski has been starting at strong safety all year. "He's one of the kids who punches in every day to get better," McMillen noted. "The last few weeks he has started for us at split end due to injuries and has started to build a good relationship with our quarterbacks." Junior center Jack Donovan also has responded. "Jack is a kid who had some big shoes to fill because we moved TJ (McMillen) to left tackle. Jack has been a solid anchor in the middle of the offensive line, making checks and moving people around. He's a huge part of why we have a good amount of success on offense. And McMillen added this fun fact: "Jack is probably the best dancer on the team," he said.

Glenbard East (4-1, 4-1) at Elgin (3-2, 3-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous matchup: Glenbard East 37, Elgin 6

About the Rams: "Elgin is on a two-game winning streak and is at home," Glenbard East coach John Walters said. "We will need a balanced attack to be able to have success on offense." Walters liked what he saw on offense a week ago with a balanced attack. Walters also had high praise for the Rams' defense. "I think defensively, you hope you are as good as you think you are going into the season. Our guys have been stout through five weeks. They have been very impressive as a unit. Through five weeks, we are really not giving up a ton. We have been able to limit points and yardage. Winning the turnover battle each game has been huge for us." Matt Larson leads the Rams' running attack, while Eric McClain and Dailen Zolicoffer are neck and neck in the receiving category. "Matt Larson has given us a shot in the arm in the running game with his speed and ability to make people miss. Dillon Williams continues to put up strong numbers at quarterback," Walters said. Gus Winkler has been another standout on defense. "Gus is quietly developing into a very solid varsity linebacker," Walters said.

About the Maroons: The Maroons hold wins the last two weeks against Bartlett and West Chicago. "Glenbard East is good," Elgin coach Anthony Mason said. "They don't let up many points on defense and they play fast and hard on offense. We have to play a great game for four quarters to be successful. They have established themselves as one of the top teams in our conference and we have to bring our A-game for four quarters." Nate Aquino returned an interception 102 yards for a score last week against West Chicago, helping continue Elgin's nice recent momentum swing. "Our second half play has been good," Mason said. "We are not starting strong and that has to change if we plan to be successful these next four weeks. In the second half, we have scored more than 100 points in five games. Defensively, we have given up only 37. If we can be that second-half team, we would be 5-0 right now and prepping for the playoffs. We are not, so we are not at the level of hoping to get into the playoffs because we did not start games well." Junior running back and defensive back Matt Lawson has been a plus of late. "Matt is bouncing back after injury and having to sit out a few games," Mason noted. "This is a big year for him and he is starting to get healthier and explosive." Senior quarterback James Syrek and senior lineman Adam Lambaz also drew praise for recent strong play. "When James is relaxed in the backfield and knows his reads, he can be really good," Mason said. "Adam has shown signs of dominance and is able to fill in at any spot within the trenches. He's extremely valuable to our team."

Bartlett (3-2, 3-2) at Fenton (1-4, 1-4)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Previous matchup: Bartlett 43, Fenton 0 (2021 at Bartlett)

About the Hawks: Coach Milan Vuckovich liked the way his offense performed in last week's loss to Glenbard South. "Our run game was pretty solid and it was probably the best all-around game our offensive line has had this season," he said. "We controlled the clock and converted first downs. We were also able to use our play-action passing game to gain good chunks of yards." Bartlett is looking to snap a two-game losing streak. "I like our resiliency as a team," Vuckovich said. "So far this season we have experienced the highs and the lows that the game of football can provide. We started out hot out of the gate, going 3-0, and now we have hit a rough patch. One thing that hasn't changed is the heart of this team. They have rallied together and have continued to push themselves and each other in practice. There is no quit in this team, and our seniors want to make their mark on this program as well. They want to leave legacy for the future to build upon." Junior quarterback Gio Nguyen was called upon after the East Aurora game when starting quarterback Matthew Teruel was injured. "Gio has exceeded our expectations and has put this offensive unit on his shoulders," Vuckovich said. "He has become one of the leaders in the group and commands the huddle like a seasoned vet. It's like having a coach out on the field." Sophomore offensive lineman Donald Hubbard also continues to gain momentum. "Donald is another one of our young guys who has really exceeded our preseason expectations," Vuckovich said. "We thought he could play as the sixth man off the bench as a rotational guy, but he has worked his tail off all season and solidified himself as a bona fide varsity starter on our offensive line. He has speed and quickness along with a nasty side to him that you need to have to be successful in the trenches." Senior defensive lineman Nico Gawlak also is thriving, Vuckovich noted. "Nico has found a home on our D-line as an interior lineman. He has a motor that does not stop and his work ethic in the weight room has spilled over onto the field. He was one of those guys with perfect attendance during our spring lifting and has done a great job transforming himself into a darned good football player. He made some plays last week that really jumped on film."

About the Bison: "I have known coach (Matt Lynch) now for a little over five years ever since he took over the Fenton program while I was an assistant coach at Buffalo Grove," Vuckovich said. "One thing I know is that he is a phenomenal coach that surrounds himself with awesome coaches, and his players always play their hearts out. This year is no different. You can see it on film. His guys play through the whistle, they play tough, hard-nosed football and have a never-say-die mentality. They are going to be ready for a football game Friday and we need to be ready as well. To be successful, we need to control both sides of the line of scrimmage and play mistake-free football."

Glenbard West (5-0, 2-0) at York (5-0, 3-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: York 12, Glenbard West 10 (2021)

About the Hilltoppers: Glenbard West's offense just keeps chugging along, averaging 41.8 points per game on the season. Julius Ellens was dynamite as the Hilltoppers' lead back while Joey Pope was sidelined by injury. Pope returned last week against Addison Trail, which makes the Glenbard West run game even more potent with that dynamic duo running behind a huge offensive line. The Hilltoppers and Dukes are the two remaining unbeatens in what appears to be a very deep West Suburban Silver. Glenbard West, ranked No. 3 in the latest Class 8A Associated Press poll, no doubt remembers York's 12-10 win at Duchon Field last season and would like to re-establish itself as king of the hill in the Silver.

About the Dukes: York, which moved to No. 4 in the Class 8A AP poll, joined Glenbard West as an unbeaten in the Silver with its 27-14 win at Lyons last Saturday. The Dukes' signature win last season was a last-minute 12-10 win over Glenbard West, York's first in the series since 2007. York's depth showed last week, as Jake Melion ran for 114 yards and three TDs after starting RB Kelly Watson left with an ankle injury. Dynamic dual-threat QB Matt Vezza both ran and threw for over 100 yards in last year's meeting. He threw for 209 yards last week with a long TD pass to Charlie Specht, who had five catches for over 100 yards. York's defense has allowed just 38 points on the season, but gets by far its greatest challenge this week. If it hasn't already, York can very much establish its cache on the state scene with another win over the Hilltoppers.

Hinsdale Central (3-2, 1-1) at Downers Grove North (4-1, 1-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Hinsdale Central 30, Downers Grove North 20 (2021)

About the Red Devils: Hinsdale Central picked up a much-needed, perhaps critical win for its playoff fortunes last week -- and in dramatic fashion. Andrew Lyne's 9-yard TD catch from Billy Cernugel capped a comeback from two touchdowns down to beat Oak Park-River Forest 22-19. Reece Kolke was a huge part of the comeback with nine catches for 154 yards and a TD. The Red Devils played their first game without injured captain, linebacker and leading tackler Joe Boggs. Hinsdale Central has won the last 14 meets in the Old Oaken Bucket series with Downers Grove North that dates back to 1935.

About the Trojans: Downers Grove North bounced back from its first loss in a big way, beating Proviso West 49-0 last week. Ben Bielawski and the Trojans' defense has been the backbone of the team all season, allowing just 44 total points. Ethan Thulin and Noah Battle are playmakers for the Downers Grove North offense piloted by Sam Reichert. A couple big tests for the Trojans the next two weeks with Hinsdale Central and Glenbard West. Downers Grove North's last win in the Old Oaken Bucket series came in 2006. After a stretch of seasons in which Hinsdale Central won one-sided games with the Trojans, the rivalry is definitely healthy again with Downers Grove North's resurgence.

Downers Grove South (2-3, 2-0) at Hinsdale South (2-3, 2-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Downers Grove South 14, Hinsdale South 7 (2021)

About the Mustangs: Downers Grove South took care of business last week, leading 40-7 at halftime and beating Proviso East 46-28 for its second consecutive win since entering Gold play. This Friday's visit to Darien should provide a more difficult challenge. Mack O'Halloran continued a strong season with two TDs last week, Joey Portell had a TD and Will Potter had an interception. This shapes up as the Mustangs' toughest test the rest of the season and could ultimately decide the West Suburban Gold title.

About the Hornets: Hinsdale South last week turned away a spirited challenge from Morton for a 27-17 win. Sam Schuyler had three interceptions, one of which he returned for the go-ahead TD. He also ran for 102 yards as Hinsdale South went for over 300 yards on the ground. Michael Jefferson ran for 78 yards and a TD and Nathaniel Fundator scored two TDs and ran for 58 yards. Prior to last season, Hinsdale South had won the previous three meetings and five of six in the series for the Rebel Cannon.

Willowbrook (2-3, 2-1) at Addison Trail (2-3, 1-1)

When: 6 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Willowbrook 47, Addison Trail 7 (2021)

About the Warriors: Willowbrook got back on track last week with its 35-7 win over Leyden. Damian Banaszewski scored two TDs, one a pick-six, and Joe Hanson and DaeVeon Madison each scored TDs. Willowbrook has won the last six meetings with its district rival, most of them by one-sided margins.

About the Blazers: Addison Trail comes in off a 48-14 loss to Glenbard West. This year has provided some reason for optimism with the Blazers' program with two wins, but their defense has given up 43.3 points per game in three losses. Addison Trail's last win in the District 88 series came in 2016. A more competitive result would be a huge sign of progress.

Glenbard North (2-3, 1-2) at Wheaton North (4-1, 2-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous matchup: Wheaton North 21, Glenbard North 20 (2021 at Glenbard North)

About the Panthers: It's getting into the critical mass time for the Panthers, who have to win out to earn an automatic playoff bid or go 3-1 the rest of the way to become playoff eligible. Coach Ryan Wilkens has been pleased with the play of late of defensive lineman David Petty. "David is playing well on both sides of the ball at defensive end, tight end and wide receiver," he noted. Glenbard North comes in off a rough 35-6 loss to Batavia, and it doesn't get any easier with a trip to Wheaton. Justin Bland threw for 186 yards and a TD to Zamari Robinson, but the Panthers had a tough go of it most of the night against the Batavia defense.

About the Falcons: The Falcons' only setback was a 22-21 loss to DuKane leader St. Charles North in Week 4. North also defeated Batavia 27-24, while Glenbard North lost 35-6 to the Bulldogs last week. "Wheaton North is a very good fundamental team," Wilkens said. "They run the ball well and are very tough against the run. We have to try and stop their run game and try to get our ground game going." Wheaton North bounced back from its first loss with a 28-7 win over Lake Park last week. Luke Beedle ran for two TDs, QB Max Howser and Tyler O'Connor each had scores and Walker Owens ran for 70 yards. The Falcons' defense has been stout this season, allowing just 60 points, fewest in the DuKane Conference.

St. Charles North (4-1, 3-0) at Lake Park (1-4, 1-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous matchup: St. Charles North 42, Lake Park 0 (2021 at Lake Park)

About the North Stars: The North Stars lead the DuKane Conference with a 3-0 mark. Four of the five teams North has played have 4-1 records heading into Week 6 action. A win makes the North Stars playoff eligible. "St. Charles North is a well-coached team that plays really hard and doesn't beat itself," Lake Park coach Chris Kirkpatrick said. "They make you earn everything."

About the Lancers: Kirkpatrick noted Will Sierra is having himself "a great season at linebacker," he said. "He is the emotional leader of our defense." Sierra had 14 total tackles in Week 5 against Wheaton North. Marco Anneca and Michael McCormick totaled more than 200 rushing yards together last week. "Marco averaged 6 yards per carry and ran with physicality," Kirkpatrick said. "We are going to need that type of effort to have success against St. Charles North."

Wheaton Warrenville South (2-3, 1-2) at Batavia (3-2, 2-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Batavia 41, Wheaton Warrenville South 20 (2021)

About the Tigers: WW South picked up a much-needed 27-0 win over St. Charles East last week. Colin Moore was huge in all three phases with a 26-yard interception return for a TD, a 69-yard punt return that set up a field goal and three catches for 51 yards that led to another TD. The Tigers picked up four passes as a team with a stellar defensive effort, momentum they'll need against a Batavia offense that appears to be picking up steam. Jake Vozza ran for 75 yards and a TD in the St. Charles East win for a WW South offense that has shared the wealth in the running game this season. A tough two Fridays await for the Tigers, back-to-back games at Batavia and Wheaton North.

About the Bulldogs: Batavia, after consecutive losses to Lincoln-Way East and Wheaton North in Weeks 2 and 3, sure seems to have its mojo back. The Bulldogs have outscored their last two opponents by a combined 77-6, blasting Glenbard North 35-6 last week. WR Drew Gerke, limited to mostly defense in the early season with a broken hand, caught three TD passes at Glenbard North. Defensive end JP Chaney had five tackles for loss and three sacks. QB Ryan Boe has thrown for 769 yards and seven TDs with just one interception on the season and Ryan Whitwell is Batavia's leading rusher with 529 yards. Tyler Jansey, a Wisconsin recruit, anchors the Batavia defense with a team-high 46 tackles and three sacks.

Benet (2-3, 0-1) at Notre Dame (4-1, 1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Benet 20, Notre Dame 17 (2021)

About the Redwings: Benet held on for much-needed 20-14 win at Marian Catholic last week. There's no letup in the CCL/ESCC, though. This will be the first of three consecutive road games for the Redwings.

About the Dons: Notre Dame, after a disappointing 3-6 2021 season in which it missed the playoffs for the first time since 2014, has returned to its winning ways this year. The Dons have won back-to-back games, beating St. Viator 33-7 last week, since its lone loss to Mount Carmel. Senior lineman Karl Schmalz, a Brown commit, leads the Dons' defense.

Providence (3-2, 0-1) at Montini (3-2, 0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Montini 28, Providence 3 (2021)

About the Celtics: Providence continued its recent offensive momentum, as it stacked up 56 points in its victory over Marian Central Catholic and has scored 93 points over the last two weeks. Although the Celtics would certainly like to keep that going, they will likely settle for stacking wins against one of the state's more difficult schedules. RB/LB Mason Santiago continues to be a driving force for Providence on both sides of the football.

About the Broncos: Montini took care of business last week with its 38-14 win over Leo, setting the stage for a gauntlet of a closing stretch -- Providence, Marist, Nazareth and at Joliet Catholic. Senior QB Cole Teschner threw for 251 yards and four TDs, B.J. Searcy catching three of them. Mingo Nixon, Montini's leading receiver on the season, had six catches for 46 yards and a TD. Teschner on the year has completed 64.3% of his passes for 1,079 yards and 10 TDs, five of them each to Nixon and Searcy. Jonathan Goff continues to be the ringleader of the Montini defense with six tackles last week, 47 for the season.

Other Friday DuPage Games

DeKalb (3-2, 1-1) at Waubonsie Valley (0-5, 0-2), 7 p.m.

Riverside-Brookfield (4-1, 3-0) at Westmont (2-1, 0-0), 7 p.m.

Lisle (2-3, 1-3) at Herscher (1-4, 0-3), 7 p.m.

West Chicago (0-5, 0-5) at Streamwood (1-4, 1-4), 7 p.m.

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