Scouting Week 9 Fox football games

 
By Mike Miazga
Daily Herald Correspondent
By Joe Stevenson and Jake Bartelson
Shaw Local News Network
Updated 10/20/2022 1:06 PM

Glenbard East (7-1, 7-1) at Bartlett (4-4, 4-4)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

 

Previous matchup: Glenbard East 20, Bartlett 7 (2021 at Glenbard East)

About the Rams: "Bartlett needs to win to get into the playoffs," Glenbard East coach John Walters said. "They are at home and they will give us all we can handle." Matt Larson ran for 100 yards on 15 carries on a wet, cold and windy Friday night in Week 8. "Matt has really emerged as our No. 1 back," Walters said. A win would guarantee East a home playoff game and higher seed. An 8-win regular season would be the fourth such occurrence in school history. The Rams have won six games in a row. "I think the shoring up needs to happen with just some consistency on offense," said Walters, of the team's focus on improvements.

About the Hawks: As Walters mentioned, a Bartlett win is a must here in order for it to become playoff eligible. "Glenbard East has a solid team all around," Bartlett coach Milan Vuckovich said. "They ae big and strong up front and have playmakers at the skill positions. They are a complete team. They also just had a huge rivalry gam victory last week against Glenbard South, so you know those kids are pumped up and ready to get back after it. (Our) seniors really want to leave their mark on this program by qualifying for the playoffs with a win." Vuckovich played college football with Glenbard East defensive coordinator Jeff Cherry's son, Travis, at Western Illinois back in 2003. "I was a redshirt senior and he was a true freshman," Vuckovich pointed out. "This is a pretty cool small word, full-circle kind of game for me." Bartlett continues to get production from the three-player running back attack of Dontain Williams, Koleman Salyers and Malcolm Babers. Vuckovich added Jalen Davis and Jacob Caradine at wide receiver along with tight end Ravi Banipal "are all dangerous deep threats who run good routes, block very well and are selfless players," Vuckovich said. Missed tackles on defense and ill-advised penalties on offense have been points of emphasis this week. Senior defensive end-tight end Morrison McCloud has been a model of consistency for the Hawks on offense, defense and special teams. Vuckovich said senior running back-linebacker Joe Palermo continues to grind it out every day. Backup offensive lineman Alex Burburija, a junior, stepped up last week in a starter's role "and played really well," Vuckovich noted. "He has earned more playing time this week and his future is looking even brighter than it already had." The coach also praised the work junior team managers Carson Kingsmill and Charlie Weithofer do. "Carson and Charlie are the backbone of our program and two people I am extremely thankful will be back with us again next year," Vuckovich said. "They have both been part of the program since their freshman year and have established themselves within our team. They are one of the guys with the players and there is a mutual respect between everyone for what they do for our program. Both handle non-coaching duties such as filming practice, filming both the sophomore and varsity games, and helping with equipment and pads. That allows us to just coach. We are so appreciative of them and their strong work ethic."

West Chicago (1-7, 1-7) at Larkin (5-3, 5-3)

When: Friday, 7 p.m. (Memorial Field, Elgin)

Previous matchup: Larkin 48, West Chicago 0 (2021 at West Chicago)

About the Wildcats: "Larkin is a very well-coached, fast and physical team," West Chicago coach Adam Chavez said. "They will be looking to lock up a postseason berth. We will have to cut down on the turnovers on offense and get some takeaways on defense to have a chance to be in a position to win." Vincent Muci ran 20 times for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns and also scored a touchdown on a blocked punt in last week's game. He continues to close in on a 1,000-yard rushing season. Adrian Munoz has passed for 710 yards and 6 touchdowns. "Adrian has turned in a good season passing for a team that uses a rush-oriented offense," Chavez said.

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About the Royals: Simple for Larkin here. Win and the Royals earn a guaranteed playoff spot. Larkin already has 35 playoff points and should be in good position regardless of the outcome. The Royals have won four games in a row since starting 1-3. "West Chicago has improved over the season and will be a tough challenge," Larkin coach Grant Dietz said. "We will have to make sure we execute our offense, play hard, fast and together on defense, and play great special teams. We are at 5-3 and playoff eligible for the second straight season. A win will get us in and who knows what else? We want to take care of our business and finish strong." Robert Grant continues to be a bright spot for the Royals. "Robert is improving every week," Dietz said. "He had an interception last week and played very well on the defensive line." Jalen Miller and Chevelle Clements are leading the Royals in touchdowns and rushing yards. Reducing turnovers and minimizing mental mistakes have been points of emphasis, Dietz said. Larkin's program also has been bolstered by the play of younger players such as freshman quarterback Julius Yandel, sophomore defensive end Sincere Robinson, sophomore defensive back Adrian Gasca and sophomore defensive back Gabriel Gavin. "Julius, Sincere, Adrian and Gabriel are all guys we have brought up to the varsity for their outstanding play and development on the lower level. Our coaches are doing a great job preparing them."

Elgin (3-5, 3-5) at Glenbard South (6-2, 6-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous matchup: Glenbard South 21, Elgin 14 (2021 at Elgin)

About the Maroons: Elgin coach Anthony Mason gave high praise to Matt Lawson for his efforts in last week's game against Larkin. "Matt Lawson showed up for us in the second half of the game," he said. "We all started slow and were behind the eight-ball from the start, only being down 6-0 at half. I wish everyone was ready and we would have been in a better position. We were really in every game this year and had opportunities at 6 wins." Lawson had more than 200 all-purpose yards, 5 tackles and 1 interception against Larkin. Mason said a continued emphasis has been on the front line. "Games are won in the trenches and we have to be ready to battle to give us a chance," he said. Sophomore tackle Adrian Jackson has been another bright spot. "Adrian has been good for us on the offensive line," Mason said. Senior defensive end Kristian Davis also has been a key cog. "Kristian has done everything we asked him to do and has played hard throughout this season," Mason said. Sophomore linebacker Fabian Ramirez had a big game against Larkin. "Fabian has stepped up in only the eighth football game of his life," Mason pointed out.

About the Raiders: "Glenbard South is good," Mason said. "They have players at all levels and we need to play a good game to compete."

South Elgin (8-0, 8-0) at Streamwood (1-7, 1-7)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Previous Matchup: South Elgin 57, Streamwood 8, (2021 at South Elgin)

About the Storm: A win gives the Storm an undefeated Upstate Eight Conference title. "Streamwood is a young team made up of mostly underclassmen," South Elgin coach Dragan Teonic said. "They have taken some lumps this year, but this experience should help them in the future." Some big numbers from last week's win against Bartlett: Jordan Green ran the ball 4 times for 168 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Ari Kravis ran 16 times for 145 yards and 2 scores. Mason Montgomery had a 61-yard interception return, returned a kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown and caught a 9-yard touchdown. Lucas Noworol had a 25-yard touchdown run. South Elgin's offensive line, Teonic noted, paved the way for 443 rushing yards on only 34 carries. Montgomery, Kyle Steinhofer, Green and Kravis continue to lead the stat pages for the Storm. South Elgin is looking for its fourth conference title in a row (can do no worse than share it regardless of Week 9 outcome) and has won 23 UEC games in a row.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

About the Sabres: "South Elgin is always a top-tier team," Sabres coach Keith McMaster said. "They are tough and will be a challenge, especially for our younger players who have been called up to varsity." Freshman running back Elijahh Beckford ran 17 times for 193 yards and 2 touchdowns in last week's game against Fenton (24-22 loss). "Elijahh had a career day on the varsity level," McMaster said. First-year senior Kyle Thompson also has played well. "Kyle has a couple of picks and leads the team in solo tackles," McMaster noted. "He's a tough kid and I really wish this wasn't his first and last season of high school football." Streamwood's youth movement, McMaster said, has been a positive. "The young kids are learning at the varsity level," he said. "At different times in the last game there were up to eight freshmen and sophomores on the field in a varsity contest." McMaster said the team is working to shore up turnover reduction and acquisition. "We have to stop hurting ourselves with turnovers," he said. "Turnovers have cost us the chance at winning games. At the same time, we need to get the ball defensively."

St. Edward (1-7) at Elmwood Park (1-7)

When: Friday, 6 p.m.

Previous matchup: St. Edward 27, Elmwood Park 22 (2021 at St. Edward)

About the Green Wave: The season finale for the Green Wave and the final game for coach Mike Rolando, who is retiring. "We are both 1-7 and eager to prove we are better than our record," Rolando said. "We have 10 seniors playing their last game and they have their senior night at home. I am sure all the seniors on the field will be playing with a lot of heart and emotion. We will have to clean up our game and be more disciplined and eliminate penalties to be successful." Senior Carson Busto caught 6 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown and had 5 tackles on defense in Week 8, while junior Jack Cozzi had 11 tackles, forced a fumble and had a fumble recovery. Senior Luciano Rolando is the team's leading rusher, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. He has 412 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns, even after missing 1 1/2 games due to injury. He's also thrown for 577 yards and 4 touchdowns. Rolando also leads the defense in sacks with seven and has 31 tackles. Both St. Edward's junior guards and linebackers Cozzi and Nolan Pomeroy lead the team in tackles with 63 for Cozzi (who also has 2 sacks) and 53 for Pomeroy (to go with 3 sacks and an interception). "Luciano, Jack and Nolan never come off the field," Mike Rolando said. A key Friday, Rolando said will be the elimination of penalties and undisciplined play. "We likely had more penalties last week than any game I can remember," he said. "I know the boys will be eager to clean that up." Freshman linebacker Zack Sauceda has 36 tackles in his last 4 games. "He's really stepping up his game and is a bright spot for the future Wave," Rolando said. Senior tackle-defensive tackle Jason Garcia has 31 tackles and 5 sacks, "and is playing well," Rolando added. Senior defensive back-wide receiver Jacob Biewer has 29 tackles and a sack and is playing some defensive end, as well as filling in anywhere on the field when needed, Rolando said. Rolando noted Biewer has played running back, slot, wide receiver, defensive end, linebacker and defensive back in the past few weeks to fill in for teammates. Sophomore defensive back Charlie Elwood has 13 tackles the last 4 games, "and has also stepped up to fill in our defensive backfield," Rolando said. "He's another bright spot for the future Wave."

About the Tigers: Elmwood Park's only win was against 0-8 Walther Christian (41-0) early in the season. In their other games, the Tigers, out of the Metro Suburban Blue, have not scored more than 14 points in any of them. Some quick comparisons: St. Edward lost to Aurora Christian 33-6, while Elmwood Park lost 54-13. St. Edward lost 38-7 to Wheaton Academy, while Elmwood Park lost 48-0.

Aurora Christian (5-3) at Wheaton Academy (7-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Previous matchup: Wheaton Academy 28, Aurora Christian 14 (2021 at Aurora Christian)

About the Eagles: Aurora Christian needs to win here on the road to secure a guaranteed playoff berth. The Eagles have 34 playoff points (sum of opponents' wins) heading into the week and will get more after the conclusion of Week 9 (34 was the cut last year). "We have a tough opponent this week in Wheaton Academy," Aurora Christian coach David Beebe said. "They are very good at the run and pass and play great team defense. We definitely have our work cut out for us. We have to try to eliminate the big plays since they can score at any time." Beebe has been thrilled with the play of offensive linemen Grant Henderson, Eddie Henley, Aidan Malone, Grant Maddox and Braden Hunter. "Our offensive line continues to play consistently," Beebe said.

About the Warriors: "I believe there is more to Aurora Christian than its 5-3 record tells," Wheaton Academy coach Jim Johanik said. "Here's a team that hung with St. Francis for a half and played them tough. They have all the pieces to be a really good football team and I know for certain they would love to see these pieces come together against us." Johanik said senior quarterback Belay Brummel "needs to consistently get the ball into the hands of our many playmakers, such as running backs Gavin Pedone and Steven Fellowes and wide receivers Breck Peacock, Jalen Whitaker and Zach Moravec," he said. Wheaton Academy has 5 shutouts to its credit this season. "Defensively, we have been very strong," Johanik said. "We'll need to prevent the big plays that took place during our game against IC because of some key injuries."

St. Charles East (2-6, 0-6) at Wheaton North (7-1, 5-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Wheaton North 43, St. Charles East 21 (2021)

About the Saints: After a 2-0 start to their season under first-year head coach Nolan Possley, the Saints have had tough sledding since entering conference play with six straight losses, shut out in three of them. St. Charles East actually hung with Batavia for a half last week, and only trailed 14-7 at halftime, before the Bulldogs blew open the game in an eventual 41-14 win. Brandon Swartz ran for 96 yards and a 23-yard TD against Batavia. Austin Barrett, a 6-foot-7, 275-pound tackle committed to Indiana, is the man to watch for the Saints.

About the Falcons: Wheaton North will be doing some scoreboard watching Friday. With a win here, coupled with a Batavia win over St. Charles North, the three teams would finish in a three-way tie for the DuKane Conference title. The Falcons, like they have throughout the course of much of the conference season, made just enough plays last Friday to beat Geneva 20-13. Max Howser found Matt Kuczaj for a 64-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter for the game-winning score, after Geneva had taken the lead on a pick-six. Of the Falcons' six league games, five have been decided by seven points or fewer. Tyler O'Connor, who ran for 100 yards and two TDs last week, continues to be a playmaker on both sides of the ball.

St. Charles North (7-1, 6-0) at Batavia (6-2, 5-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last Matchup: Batavia 36, St. Charles North 29 in 2OT (2021)

About the Bulldogs: It's pretty simple. If Batavia wins, it grabs a share of the DuKane Conference with the North Stars. A loss, and SCN wins outright. This is a matchup that has been by decided by one possession the past several meetings and there is no reason to expect anything different. The Bulldogs have won five straight games since dropping back-to-back games in Weeks 2 and 3.

About the North Stars: The North Stars enter riding a seven-game winning streak and with a ton of momentum. It's well-established by now Drew Surges will be getting the ball early and often. Win, and the North Stars will be DuKane Conference champions outright. St. Charles North has not beaten Batavia since the 2017 Upstate Eight River finale.

Geneva (5-3, 3-3) at Lake Park (1-7, 1-5)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous matchup: Geneva 14, Lake Park 6 (2021 at Geneva)

About the Vikings: Geneva already is playoff eligible and would appear to be in good shape with 35 playoff points heading into this game. A win puts the Vikings in the playoffs with an automatic bid. Geneva has had a bit of trouble running the football in recent weeks, but conversely, the defense has stopped it quite well. "We will need another strong effort on defense to stop some of Geneva's playmakers," Lake Park coach Chris Kirkpatrick said. "Their staff does a great job getting their players the ball in space."

About the Lancers: Kirkpatrick saw plenty of positives from last week's game. "We took a major step as a team, playing hard for four quarters against a quality team in Wheaton South," he said. Kirkpatrick said this week's game has added meaning on multiple levels. "We are excited to honor our seniors and their families on senior night," he said. "This is a group that has had three head coaches in three years and has bought into our mission for the season of changing the culture of Lake Park football. I am proud of the effort by these young men and we hope to send them out on a high note."

St. Charles East (2-6, 0-6) at Wheaton North (7-1, 5-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Wheaton North 43-21 (2021)

About the Saints: Another retooling season will draw to a close on Friday and it's a rather tough test to close with a rolling Falcons squad. St. Charles East will be playing for pride, hoping to secure a conference win and send its seniors out on a high note. There's also extra motivation for a win to negate Wheaton North a possible share of the conference title in the event St. Charles North loses.

About the Falcons: Wheaton North escaped Geneva with a 20-13 win last week in large part due to its defense and large pass plays downfield.

Crystal Lake South (5-3, 5-3) at Huntley (7-1, 7-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Crystal Lake South beat Huntley 28-14 in Week 9 last season.

About the Gators: South lost to Prairie Ridge 48-41 last week. ... The Gators led Prairie Ridge 27-14 after playing their best half of the season but could not hold off the Wolves' high-powered offense in the second half. ... South's offense is dynamic with WR Michael Prokos with 56 catches for 893 yards. In one drive last week, Prokos laid out for a diving catch. Then, after catching a ball on the run, took off at the 3-yard line and somersaulted into the end zone for a touchdown. ... QB Caden Casimino has thrown for 2,122 yards. ... RB Nate Van Witzenburg has 1,114 yards rushing and has scored 24 touchdowns (19 rushing, five receiving). ... South will be headed to the Class 6A playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

About the Red Raiders: Huntley defeated Dundee-Crown 31-19 last week for its fifth consecutive win. ... The Red Raiders are headed back to the Class 8A playoffs after having a six-year playoff run snapped last year. ... Huntley needs a win to lock up a share of the FVC title. The Raiders are tied with Jacobs and Prairie Ridge. They shared the 2019 title with Prairie Ridge. ... Huntley's defense continues to shine with an FVC-low 130 points allowed.

Burlington Central (4-4, 4-4) at McHenry (3-5, 3-5)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Central defeated McHenry 30-13 in Week 9 last season.

About the Rockets: Central beat Cary-Grove 10-7 in overtime on Griffin Kohlhoff's 18-yard walk-off field goal. ... That win kept the Rockets within reach of making the playoffs for the first time since 2014. If they beat McHenry, they will be in the Class 5A playoffs. ... QB Jackson Alcorn has thrown for 973 yards and eight touchdowns. ... WRs Michael Person (27 receptions), LJ Kerr (21) and Caden West (18) are Alcorn's top targets. ... RB Michael Ganziano leads the Rockets with 555 rushing yards.

About the Warriors: McHenry defeated Crystal Lake Central 27-21 last week. ... QB Dom Caruso has thrown for 1,709 yards, with WRs Jacob Zarek (40 catches, 751 yards, four TDs) and Zack Maness (38, 633, five) as his leading receivers.

Hampshire (0-8, 0-8) at Cary-Grove (3-5, 3-5)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Cary-Grove defeated Hampshire 42-14 in Week 9 last season.

About the Whip-Purs: Hampshire lost to Jacobs 28-17 last week. ... Despite being winless, the Whip-Purs' losses to Prairie Ridge and Huntley were the only ones in which they lost by big margins. ... RB Cole Klawikowski leads the Whips with 1,162 yards rushing, but missed last week because of an injury. ... Logan Massie filled in for Klawikowski and ran six times for 59 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three passes for 28 yards and a score.

About the Trojans: C-G lost to Burlington Central 10-7 in overtime last week. ... The loss kept the defending Class 6A state champions out of the playoffs for the first time in 18 years. ... C-G has been decimated by injuries, but only one of its losses was by more than 11 points. The Trojans have not lost four consecutive games since the beginning of the 2002 season. ... RB Andrew Prio (551 rushing yards) and FB Holden Boone (409) are the leading remaining healthy players in the backfield.

Dundee-Crown (2-6, 2-6) at Jacobs (7-1, 7-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Jacobs defeated D-C 47-14 in Week 9 last season.

About the Chargers: D-C lost to Huntley 31-19 last week. ... QB Zach Randl is one of the area's most accurate passers with a 70.2% completion rate. He has thrown for 1,580 yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. ... WRs Anthony Aguilar (40 catches, 417 yards, four TDs), Kali Freeman (29, 480, five) and Terrion Bell (24, 263, four) are D-C's leading receivers.

About the Golden Eagles: Jacobs defeated Hampshire 28-17 last week. ... Jacobs had to battle from behind to beat Hampshire with two second-half touchdowns. ... RB Antonio Brown has 1,467 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. He had a huge game last week, topping 200 yards with RB Joey Scrivani (681 yards) out with an injury. ... Jacobs is ranked No. 8 in Class 7A.

Marmion (3-5, 0-2) at De La Salle (1-7, 0-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Marmion 34, De La Salle 15 (2021)

About the Cadets: The Cadets are effectively still on the outside looking in at a postseason berth, but certainly helped themselves with a shutout win over Leo last week.

About the Meteors: Defensively, it's been very tough sledding for De La Salle this season, surrendering at least 40 points four times this season. De La Salle's lone win was a 49-2 victory to open September.

La Salle-Peru (5-3, 5-3) at Kaneland (5-3, 3-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Kaneland 55, La Salle-Peru 13 (2021)

About the Knights: They are surging toward the postseason, having won four of their past five, the lone blemish a 28-7 loss to undefeated Sycamore. Last week was their second dominant victory in a row, knocking off Woodstock North, 45-6 a week after beating Marengo, 44-3. The defense has given up 136 points this year, the third-fewest in the conference. With most of the same players last year, Kaneland gave up 319 points in 10 games. "I think as a coaching staff we're happy with the progress we've made on that side of the ball," Kaneland coach Patrick Ryan said. "We expected we'd be better, I don't think we thought we'd be this good. At times we've looked really, really tremendous on defense. There's always room for improvement, so we'll continue to work on things and get better. But compared to last season we weren't just very good. We were so young and inexperienced. Most of the kids are back and they look like a different group. They've grown physically and mentally and it's showing."

About the Cavaliers: L-P is looking to win more than five games in a regular season for the first time since 2009 when it was 7-2.

Minooka (5-3, 2-2) at West Aurora (1-7, 0-4)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Previous Matchup: Minooka 20, West Aurora 14 (2021 at Minooka)

About the Indians: Don't let the Indians' 5-3 record fool you. Minooka lost to 8-0 Plainfield North 22-21 in Week 7 and lost 7-0 to 7-1 Yorkville last week, this after beating 5-3 Oswego East 16-13 in Week 6. "Minooka is another playoff-eligible team," West Aurora coach Nate Eimer noted. "Depending how Joliet West does, we may end up with seven playoff teams on our schedule, plus Oswego, which is probably the best 3-win team in the state," he said. "Bottom line, Minooka is another really good football team."

About the Blackhawks: Junior Domenik Aguilar led West Aurora in tackles last week. "We are still competing as best we can given our 1-win season and a lot of injuries," Eimer said. Eimer added the Blachawks continue to focus on running the ball better and stopping the run. Casey Roney has been perfect on extra points this season and has only missed 1 field goal, "that was not his fault," Eimer pointed out. Sean Weigand took over the team's long-snapping duties last week, "and he has been really good," Eimer said. Malcolm Smith has started on both lines the past three weeks, "and is doing well," Eimer added. Amir Greene scored his first career touchdown last week after coming back from injury.

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