Scouting Week 9 in Lake County


Vernon Hills Cougars (3-5, 1-3) at Glenbrook North Spartans (6-2, 3-1)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Last week: Vernon Hills defeated Maine East, 57-6; Glenbrook North defeated Deerfield, 21-7.

Skinny: It's been a rough season for Vernon Hills. Early on, head coach Bill Bellecomo had to have an unexpected heart procedure and has been sidelined ever since. Meanwhile, injuries have piled up for the Cougars in key positions. But after five straight losses since Week 3, Vernon Hills got a huge win last week against Maine East. Vernon Hills receiver Quinn Geren caught 7 passes last week, including a 63-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Derek Jarrell, to set the school's career record with 108 receptions. On the game, Jarrell was 12-for-15 passing for 229 yards and 4 touchdown passes. He also rushed for a touchdown.

Next: End of season for Vernon Hills; playoffs for Glenbrook North


St. Patrick Shamrocks (5-3, 3-3) at Carmel Corsairs (3-5, 3-3)When: 7 p.m., Friday

Last week: St. Patrick defeated St. Viator, 20-0; Carmel lost to Notre Dame, 21-7.

Skinny: St. Patrick wants a sixth win to officially qualify for the playoffs and has been trending upward lately. The Shamrocks have won three of their last four games. Carmel, which has tripled its win total of 1 win from last year, won't be going to the playoffs but could play the role of spoiler. The Corsairs have had good outings in recent weeks with wins in two of their last four games. In trying to keep its playoff hopes alive, Carmel went all out in last week's game against Notre Dame, going for it on fourth downs and trying fake punts. But Notre Dame's running game was too much for the Corsairs. Sophomore running back Syone Usma-Harper continues to shine for Carmel. He rushed for 106 yards and Carmel's lone touchdown last week.

Next: Possible playoffs for St. Patrick; end of season for Carmel


Warren Blue Devils (7-1, 6-0) at Mundelein Mustangs (2-6, 1-5)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Last week: Warren defeated Stevenson, 21-0; Mundelein lost to Lake Zurich, 42-0.

Skinny: Warren clinched its first North Suburban Conference title in 10 years last week with its definitive win against Stevenson. The Blue Devils can now run the table in league play with a win over Mundelein. Warren has been outstanding since a Week 1 loss to Barrington, allowing just 16 total points since then. Warren boasts the stingiest defense in the NSC, allowing just 5.9 points per game overall and a stunning 2.7 points per game in conference games. Against Stevenson, the Warren defense limited drives with big stops and forced turnovers, one that even led to a touchdown. Linebacker Malachi McNeal recovered a Stevenson fumble and ran in from 48 yards out for a touchdown. Mundelein was shut out last week for the third time this season and the second time in the last three weeks. The Mustangs are averaging just 12.5 points per game.

Next: Playoffs for Warren; end of season for Mundelein

Lake Forest Scouts (4-4, 4-2) at Stevenson Patriots (6-2, 4-2)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Last week: Lake Forest defeated Libertyville, 16-9; Stevenson lost to Warren, 21-0.

Skinny: It should be an electric atmosphere at Stevenson as the Patriots host Senior Night and Lake Forest fights for its playoff life. The Scouts need a win in Lincolnshire in order to be eligible for playoff consideration on points. Stevenson has already clinched a playoff spot, but will be focused on its seniors as well as on rebounding from a rough loss to Warren last week, a shutout that yielded few offensive highlights.

Next: Possible playoffs for Lake Forest, playoffs for Stevenson

Lake Zurich Bears (5-3, 4-2) at Waukegan Bulldogs (0-8, 0-6)When: 12:30 p.m., Saturday

Last week: Lake Zurich defeated Mundelein, 42-0; Waukegan lost to Zion-Benton, 63-6.

Skinny: A favorable schedule has put Lake Zurich in a position to finish the season with two big wins. Last week, the Bears ate up a Mundelein team that has lost four straight games and has scored just 23 points over that span. Now, Lake Zurich gets a winless Waukegan team that has scored only 24 points over the last 7 games. The Bulldogs are averaging a North Suburban Conference-low 6.3 points per game, while allowing a North Suburban Conference-high 48.7 points per game. A win over Waukegan would officially qualify Lake Zurich, which advanced to the Class 7A state championship game last year, for the playoffs with six wins.

Next: Possible playoffs for Lake Zurich; end of season for Waukegan

Libertyville Wildcats (2-6, 2-4) at Zion-Benton Zee-Bees (4-4, 3-3)When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Last week: Libertyville lost to Lake Forest, 16-9; Zion-Benton defeated Waukegan, 63-6.

Skinny: Libertyville may be out of the playoffs, but can still put its thumbprint on the playoff picture. The Wildcats could bounce Zion-Benton from playoff consideration by getting a big road win to end the season. Zion-Benton has been trending upward lately in fighting for a playoff spot. The Zee-Bees have won three of their last four games including the last two, a clutch 2-point win over Lake Forest in Week 7 and a blowout of Waukegan last week. Libertyville has won two of its last four games but was unable to recover from its rough start to the season. The Wildcats opened with four straight losses.

Next: End of season for Libertyville; possible playoffs for Zion-Benton


Antioch Sequoits (8-0, 6-0) at North Chicago Warhawks (2-6, 1-5)When: 6:30 p.m., Friday

Last week: Antioch defeated Lakes, 43-24; North Chicago lost to Grayslake Central, 25-16.

Skinny: Antioch is vying for its third straight undefeated regular season and a top seed in the IHSA playoffs. The Sequoits have boasted one of the best offenses (43.5 ppg) and defenses (9.1 ppg) in Lake County all season. Now the trick for the Sequoits is to parlay that dominance into a playoff run. The last two years, after undefeated runs through the regular season, Antioch has lost in the first round of the state playoffs. Antioch cinched another conference championship last week by defeating sister school and rival Lakes in exciting, come-from-behind fashion. The Sequoits were down 24-7 in the second quarter but scored 36 unanswered points to steal the win. Quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis scored on a couple of touchdown runs for Antioch and Brandon Reynolds was also tough to stop on the ground, rushing for 109 yards and a touchdown for the Sequoits. North Chicago has lost four straight games.

Next: Playoffs for Antioch; end of season for North Chicago

Grant Bulldogs (3-5, 3-3) at Wauconda Bulldogs (4-4, 3-3)When: 7:15 p.m., Friday

Last week: Grant lost to Grayslake North, 40-7; Wauconda defeated Round Lake, 46-20.

Skinny: It's a tale of two season finales for two sets of Bulldogs. Grant's Bulldogs will turn in equipment following Friday's game. Wauconda's Bulldogs are in the position to keep the season rolling if they can defeat Grant. Wauconda would finish with the IHSA playoff minimum of five wins and could qualify on playoff points. Wauconda enters this game having won two of its last three games to keep its playoff hopes alive. Quarterback Nick Bulgarelli has made big plays on the ground and through the air all season for Wauconda, which has scored 30 or more points in five of eight games this season. Grant has lost three of its last four games and is giving up 31.8 points per game over that stretch.

Next: End of season for Grant; possible playoffs for Wauconda

Grayslake Central Rams (2-6, 2-4) at Grayslake North Knights (4-4, 4-2)When: 7:15 p.m., Friday

Last week: Grayslake Central defeated North Chicago, 25-16; Grayslake North defeated Grant, 40-7.

Skinny: It's the battle of Grayslake between Central and North, two teams that are coming off wins but could be going in different directions. A Grayslake North win could mean the playoffs for North, and the end of the season for Grayslake Central. A Grayslake Central win would still be the end of the season for Central, but also the end for North as well. After starting the season 0-4 Grayslake North has rallied to win four straight games and give itself a chance to make the IHSA playoffs on playoff points. The Knights have been getting impressive production out of quarterback Austin Martineau, who completed 16-of-24 passes for 225 yards last week against Grant. He also scored 5 touchdowns. Grayslake Central snapped a 2-game losing streak by edging North Chicago last week.

Next: End of season for Grayslake Central; possible playoffs for Grayslake North

Round Lake Panthers (1-7, 0-6) at Lakes Eagles (6-2, 5-1)When: 7:15 p.m., Friday

Last week: Round Lake lost to Wauconda, 46-20; Lakes lost to Antioch, 43-24.

Skinny: Lakes is looking to rebound from a heartbreaking loss to undefeated Antioch last week in which it wasted a 24-7 second-quarter lead. A couple of mistakes and turnovers proved costly for the Eagles in being able to finish the job. Not only was a better playoff seed on the line for the Eagles, so was the Northern Lake County Conference championship. Lakes, which was tied in NLCC play with Antioch heading into the game (both teams were 5-0), has lost three conference games over the last eight years and all three have been to Antioch. D'Lo Hardy had another big game for the Eagles last week against Antioch. He rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Lakes is averaging 36 points per game, which helps to neutralize its high points-allowed-per-game average. The Eagles allow 26.5 points per game, third-most in the Northern Lake County Conference. Round Lake has lost six games in a row and is allowing 39.8 points per game, most in the Northern Lake County Conference.

Next: End of season for Round Lake; playoffs for Lakes

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