Naperville North eyes 6th victory, playoff spot
Naperville North has plenty to play for heading into the final two weeks of the 2022 regular season.
A win Friday against Waubonsie Valley would give the Huskies an automatic playoff bid at 6 wins and even more momentum heading into a Week 9 showdown with town foe Naperville Central.
But Huskies coach Sean Drendel likes where his team is at right now. In last week's win against Metea Valley, Drendel noted seven different players scored in a wide variety of ways.
"We take care of the ball at a high level," Drendel continued. "We don't turn the ball over much and we continue to win the turnover battle. Our negative play number is down to a great level and we hope to keep it there."
The Huskies also have been bolstered by a high-performing defense that has held teams to under 20 points four times this season.
"Defensively, our young guys on the back seven have really stepped up," Drendel said.
Cornerback William Korosec, outside linebacker Sam Gehrs and inside linebacker Josh Lovick did not start the first game of the season.
"They have been pressed into playing because of injury and are starting to play really well," Drendel said. "As they continue to grow, our defense gets better."
Glenbard North update:
Senior David Petty had quite the game in the Panthers' Week 7 win over Lake Park in DuKane action. Petty caught 4 passes for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns and was also lauded for his defensive efforts.
"Our defense overall played well with David leading the way," Glenbard North coach Ryan Wilkens said.
Wheaton Academy update:
Wheaton Academy coach Jim Johanik noticed something off kilter with his squad last week and quickly addressed it.
"We experienced some midseason lethargy in last week's practice and game, and I challenged our seniors to take seriously the leadership of the program," he explained. "I believe they have responded. This week has less to do with our opponent and more to do with addressing our leadership and execution."
Warriors kicker Declan Finnegan, who as Johanik puts it is the school's starting soccer goalie turned placekicker, struck a 41-yard field goal in last week's win, his fourth field goal of the season.
"Declan is our leading scorer through his field goal and extra-point production," Johanik said.
West Chicago update:
A couple of neat stats for the Wildcats courtesy of coach Adam Chavez. In last week's contest against 6-1 Glenbard South, West Chicago ran the ball 62 times for 289 yards.
On defense, Josiah Weems has yet to give up a touchdown at his cornerback position.
"Josiah has played corner, wingback and special teams and never comes off the field," Chavez noted.
Glenbard East update:
Rams coach John Walters noted his squad limited Fenton to negative yards in last week's 49-0 win.
"That's kinda crazy to think about," he said.
Gus Winkler continues to be a key cog for East. He had 2 interceptions in the Fenton triumph.
"Gus Winkler has put back-to-back huge games together," Walters said.
Also tearing it up is of late is Demontay Mack.
"I think someone that isn't putting up numbers simply because teams are working so hard to double him and keep him out of plays? Demontay Mack," Walters said. "He's been a rock inside for us."
St. Francis update:
Let's talk Spartans defense for a moment. St. Francis coach Bob McMillen continues to give high marks to linebacker Dom Beres. "I would match him up with any linebacker in the state," he said. "Pound for pound he's the smartest and toughest guy around. This kid should get some serious looks. What's the famous saying? It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog."
Linebacker Danny French is second on the team in sacks with 4.5.
"Danny is playing really well as of late and making some huge plays," McMillen said.
Cam Engesser also is excelling after moving over to safety. "Cam is starting to understand the position of late," McMillen noted.
Defensive lineman Jaylen Torres is just a freshman "and has been an anchor on our defensive line," McMillen said. "He's playing great lately and has more than 30 tackles this season."