Scouting Week 5 Lake County football games

  • Grayslake North's Chris Filas catches a pass late in the first half against Grayslake Central last week. Grayslake North has another tough game this week in NLCC play against undefeated Antioch.

      Grayslake North's Chris Filas catches a pass late in the first half against Grayslake Central last week. Grayslake North has another tough game this week in NLCC play against undefeated Antioch. John Starks | Staff Photographer

By Mike Miazga
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/22/2023 6:59 AM

Warren (2-2, 2-0) at Lake Zurich (4-0, 2-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.


Scouting this game: A North Suburban Conference humdinger in Lake Zurich that will help put the league race into clearer focus. These teams along with Lake Forest and Mundelein all sit with 2-0 marks heading into today's action. Lake Forest faces Zion and Mundelein will square off with Stevenson. Lake Zurich won this battle last year on its way to the NSC title. "This game is going to come down to who is the most physical and makes the least number of mistakes," Lake Zurich coach Ron Planz said. "Plain and simple this will be a hard-hitting slugfest between two good football teams. An old-school North Suburban Conference game." Bears sophomore tailback Kaden Abrantes filled in for Chris Pirrone last week and ran 22 times for 122 yards in the first varsity action of his career. Lincoln Adams has 13 tackles (6 solos) in the win against Zion. Adams, a linebacker, has 54 tackles (29 solos, 2 tackles for loss), while defensive lineman Cason Gwizdala has 14 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss and a pick on the season. Pirrone is up to 432 yards rushing on 80 carries with 5 touchdowns through three games. Due to injuries, Planz noted, junior Alex Gressick made his first varsity start and senior Treavor Schuetz moved out to tackle as part of a revamped Lake Zurich offensive line. "Both players have performed well in their new roles," Planz said. Planz also likes how Andrew Dekker has played this season. "Andrew has brought great energy to our special teams units, especially the kickoff team," he said. "He has been playing with reckless abandon." Don't let Warren's 2-2 mark fool you. The Blue Devils lost by a touchdown to 4-0 Barrington and 28-7 to perennial state power Maine South (3-1) before opening North Suburban play with wins over Libertyville and Stevenson.

Grayslake Central (2-2, 2-0) at Wauconda (3-1, 2-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Scouting this game: Some greater clarity will emerge in the early NLCC race after Friday. One of these teams will remain atop the conference standings with Antioch also factoring in at 2-0 and on the road at Grayslake North -- so either a two-way tie with four weeks to go or either Central or Wauconda on top alone. "Wauconda is a strong team with several very good players and clearly a strong team concept," Central coach Brent Pearlman said. "In order for us to have success against Wauconda or any other team for that matter, we need to pay attention to all the details, continue to grow as a team and have 11 guys on the field executing and playing full speed for the entire game." Pearlman said Bryce Carlson "did some nice things last week at receiver," while Romeo Reyes "continues to lead by example and is having a nice season at the tailback position," he said. Pearlman noted Brady Carlson has done a nice job stepping in at the quarterback position and running the offense, while Matty Jens continues to lead a defense "that is playing better every week," he said. Punter Connor Flood also drew high praise. "Connor has done a tremendous job this year of helping us establish field position from every part of the field," Pearlman said. In Wauconda's win last week, Connor Vanselow ran 23 times for 294 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Brock Pfeiffer had a receiving touchdown, an interception and made five solo tackles. Conlan Rath and Zac Johnson each had 8 tackles on defense. "Grayslake Central is on a two-game win streak," Wauconda coach Chris Prostka said. "They are well-coached and well-prepared. Central has good team speed and closes hard on defense. We will need to stay solid in our running game and take advantage of opportunities to throw the ball downfield. Offensively, they will spread the field to get their playmakers the ball in space. They also are willing to line up and run the ball inside. We will need to be solid in our assignments and tackle in space." Vanselow has now has racked up 671 total yards and 8 touchdowns, while Johnson (25 tackles) and Rath (22 tackles) continue to lead the defense. Prostka likes the way second-year starting center Liam Carney is playing. "Liam has taken on a larger role playing defensively as well this year," the coach pointed out. The Bulldogs have received a boost as well from Jake Hawley. "Jake is currently second in rushing yards on the team," Prostka said. "He has been having a nice season running the ball and has improved tremendously as a blocker." Special teams play helped Wauconda last week against Grant with Jake Wurster logging two big kickoff returns in the second half.

Antioch (4-0, 2-0) at Grayslake North (1-3, 0-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Scouting this game: Antioch won its first two Northern Lake County games by a combined 110-19 count and now hits the road to face a North team looking for its first conference win. "Grayslake North's heavy passing offense is their identity," Antioch coach Brian Glashagel said. "They have the ability to score quickly and third and long may as well be third and 2. We need to get their offense off the field." Last week, Martin Cohen ran the ball 5 times for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns, caught a 32-yard touchdown pass and returned a kickoff for a score. He's at 750 yards rushing on just 35 carries with 13 touchdowns. Nick Day has run 58 times for 435 yards and 8 scores. Chris Cook leads the defense with 26 tackles. Glashagel likes how Cook, a senior, junior Brock Wagner and senior Ryan Swanson play out of the linebacking spots. "Brock is making tackles not only on defense, but on special teams," he said. Swanson is right behind Cook in tackles (Cook at 26, Swanson at 25). The Sequoits also have received a boost from senior kicker Carter Webb. "Carter is kicking a lot of PATs and kickoffs with precision," Glashagel said.

Round Lake (0-4, 0-2) at Grant (2-2, 1-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Scouting this game: Grant beat Grayslake North by 28 and lost to conference co-leader Wauconda by a field goal in its first two NLCC contests. "We need to be more disciplined and play with better execution if we would like to be successful against Round Lake," Grant coach Tim Norwood said. Against Wauconda, sophomore quarterback Matthew Gipson completed 17 of 26 passes for 225 yards and 3 touchdowns. "Matthew took a big step last week and had a nice day passing the ball," Norwood noted. Sophomore wideout Max Hembrey caught 2 passes for 119 yards, both for touchdowns. Sophomore tailback Tyler Zdon has run for 445 yards on 79 carriers and 3 touchdowns. Senior wide receiver-free safety Pryde Mendoza has been a key presence as well. "Pryde has been a big part of the passing game and will start to get some more defensive reps as well," Norwood said. Senior Ayden Sheppard, Norwood added, has handled the kicking duties well this season. "Ayden has been consistent all year as both our kicker and punter," he said.

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Lakes (1-3, 1-1) at North Chicago (0-4, 0-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Scouting this game: "North Chicago is a team that is athletic and physical," Lakes coach Jason Ellerman said. "They are going to challenge us in all three phases of the game. We will have to swarm the ball on defense because they can score from anywhere on the field. We are a running team on offense and we are going to need to control the time of possession." Senior Prodive Matumona caught 7 passes for 127 yards and a score last week against Round Lake and now has 230 receiving yards on the year. Sophomore John Zutkis stepped into a starting role at wide receiver and scored his first career touchdown last week. "Wide receivers coach Scott Kapchinski has done a really good job getting our young receiving corps varsity ready," Ellerman said. Sophomore Jordan Phelan is Lakes' starting right tackle and also handles the kicking duties. "He was perfect on PATs last week," Ellerman pointed out.

Mundelein (4-0, 2-0) at Stevenson (2-2, 0-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Scouting this game: Mundelein is off to a 4-0 start for the first time since the 2004-2005 season. "Stevenson is a huge school and football program with a ton of talent," Mundelein coach Vince DeFrancesco said. "They are well-coached and are disciplined in all three phases of the game. To have success, we will need to match their discipline. All 11 guys need to execute their job on every play." Wyatt Soudan led the Mustangs in receiving in Week 4. "Wyatt is one of our leaders on the perimeter and has 3 touchdowns on the season," DeFrancesco said. "He has the ability to impact the game on any given play." Danny McNelly leads the Mustangs with 8 rushing touchdowns and 4 passing touchdowns. Mundelein averages more than 250 yards and 90 passing yards per game. DeFrancesco also gave props to Adam Bogenski and Dylan Coe. "Adam has stepped up on both sides of the ball," he said. "He's a difference-maker in all three phases of the game. Dylan has been all over the field this fall. He is a two-way starter and currently leads our defense in tackles for loss." Also in the highly notable category for Mundelein is place-kicker Kristian Garcia, who is 14-for-14 on extra points and 4-for-5 on field-goal attempts. "Kristian has been rock-solid on special teams," DeFrancesco said. "He has been incredibly consistent all season." Stevenson looks to snap a two-game losing streak. "Mundelein is off to a great start, is playing well and is hungry," Stevenson coach Brent Becker said. "Coaches have done a great job with their turnaround. They want to run the ball and have caused a lot of turnovers. Those will both be keys to our success -- stop the run and take care of the football." Ethan Aghakhan and Armand Burris continue to be two key cogs for the Patriots. "Ethan and Armand are two seniors we look to for leadership," Becker said. Ben Owen, Becker added, has been a special teams standout. "Ben is our long snapper and has been on point so far this season," he said. Aidan Crawley has thrown 7 touchdown passes, while Frank Costabile is averaging 7.8 yards per carry (528 rushing yards, 5 scores) and Armand Burris has caught 20 passes for 382 yards and 5 touchdowns, and is averaging nearly 20 yards a grab. Sophomore middle linebacker D'Angelo Washington has 30 total tackles, while Jesse Adams has 4 tackles for loss. Aghakhan has 3 quarterback sacks and Griffin Suren has a pick-6 to his credit.

Vernon Hills (1-3) at Maine East (1-3)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Scouting this game: The Central Suburban North opener for both teams. "We need to focus on ourselves this week and focus on the things we can control," Vernon Hills coach Bill Bellecomo said. "Maine East is the least of our worries right now. We need to get a little healthier and get back to the fundamentals this week." Shep Ratnow leads Vernon Hills with 9 catches for 192 yards and 3 touchdowns and also has run the ball 3 times for 50 yards.

Libertyville (2-2, 0-2) at Waukegan (1-3, 0-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Scouting this game: Libertyville quarterback Quinn Schambow threw for 247 yards last week, while Damarion Baker ran for 54 yards and Blaise LaVista had 118 receiving yards. "Waukegan is an athletic team that has the ability to score some points, so our defense will have to play well," Libertyville coach Mike Jones said. "Offensively, we must execute at a high level and not turn the ball over." Schambow has completed 70% of his passes this season for 660 yards and has 11 touchdowns against only 1 interception. LaVista has caught 16 passes for 314 yards and 4 touchdowns. Also providing key assistance for the Cats are senior offensive lineman Andrew Johnson and junior safety Mason Strader. "Andrew has shown improvement in every game," Jones said. "Mason has been consistent in the secondary and has developed into a leader." Jones also lauded the efforts of sophomore Jack Treutelaar on special teams. "Jack is an elite long snapper," he said.

Other Lake County Week 5 Games

Carmel (4-0) at Chicago Mt. Carmel (4-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m.

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