Scouting this weekend's DuPage County football games

By David Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit

DeKalb (2-1, 0-0) at Neuqua Valley (2-1, 0-0)

DuPage Valley Conference

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Edwardsville 44, DeKalb 21; East St. Louis 50, Neuqua Valley 48.

Last year: Did not play.

Outlook: DeKalb makes its DVC debut against perhaps the league's top team. The Barbs' defense hadn't allowed a point until last week, and that unit will be tested tremendously by a Neuqua Valley offense that thrived against East St. Louis despite losing the game. Last week DeKalb allowed more than 300 rushing yards, something that surely has Wildcats running back Armani Moreno, who's rushed for 357 yards and 5 touchdowns, thinking big with an experienced line plowing holes for him. One of those linemen, Matt Appel, has been seeing reps on defense with J.J. Robertson out due to injury. In addition to Jack Belskis, the Wildcats are getting great linebacker play from Trey Borske and Nate Williamson. What more can be said about Wildcats quarterback Mark Gronowski, committed to South Dakota State, after his 7 touchdowns against the Flyers? He's completed 65 percent of his passes, with 15 completions and 4 touchdowns going to Southern Illinois-bound Sean Larkin.

Next week: DeKalb at Metea Valley; Neuqua Valley at Waubonsie Valley.

Glenbard East (3-0, 3-0) at Fenton (2-1, 2-1)

Upstate Eight Conference

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Glenbard East 42, West Chicago 15; Streamwood 28, Fenton 21 (2 OT).

Last year: Did not play.

Outlook: Defending UEC champ Glenbard East faces its next threat, though Fenton is new to the league. Last week the Rams overcame 3 first-half turnovers, not all that shocking since they graduated so many from last year's team but still a wakeup call. The offense increased its diversity with backs Chris Whitehead and Benny Miller joining receivers Deon Cook and LaDonus Rogers all with touchdowns. Dan Schager's scoop-and-score was another impact play from the junior cornerback. He'll be spying Fenton quarterback Nick Benn, who had a potential game-tying touchdown pass to Frank Krygier in double-overtime called back by penalty. It was one of a few key mistakes Bison coach Matt Lynch wants his team to reel in. One of the UEC's top backs, Andre Bess ran for 182 yards against Streamwood and has 473 yards rushing and 7 touchdowns to date. Defensive ends Ricardo Saucedo and Jalen Williams look to harass Rams sophomore quarterback Connor Cerkas.

Next week: South Elgin at Glenbard East; Fenton at Bartlett.

IC Catholic Prep (3-0, 1-0) at Bishop McNamara (2-1, 1-0) Metro Suburban Blue

Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday.

Last week: IC Catholic 43, Wheaton Academy 7; Bishop McNamara 56, Riverside-Brookfield 26.

Last year: IC Catholic 21, Bishop McNamara 20; IC Catholic 31, Bishop McNamara 21 (Class 4A championship).

Outlook: As IC Catholic coach Bill Krefft pointed out, had Bishop McNamara not beaten the Knights in the 2015 Class 3A semifinals, ICCP may be seeking a fifth straight state title instead of a fourth. From a 41-0 McNamara win to start the 2014 season, these programs have turned this into a top rivalry. ICCP linebacker Kevin Cooke and defensive linemen Koby Reed and Alonzo Howard - who already has 5 sacks - will face a Fightin' Irish downhill ground game paced by Owen Jackson, who ran for 240 yards last week. Versatile Manny Harris ran for 90 yards and caught 2 Tyler Hiller touchdown passes against Riverside-Brookfield to give 45-year coach Rich Zinanni his 355th win, third all-time. The Knights counter with their dual-threat quarterback, Danny Cronin, and deluxe running back Kyle Franklin, who has scored 8 touchdowns on 38 carries. If McNamara focuses on Franklin, ICCP can look to the passing combo of Cronin to Chauncey Lee.

Next week: Aurora Christian at IC Catholic; St. Francis at Bishop McNamara.

St. Rita (1-2, 0-1) at Montini (2-1, 0-1)


Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Loyola 24, St. Rita 7; Mt. Carmel 27, Montini 20.

Last year: Montini 29, St. Rita 13.

Outlook: Every CCL/ESCC Green game can potentially decide the division title. St. Rita's nonconference slate began with a win over Joliet Catholic before losses to Richards and Loyola. The Mustangs will get the ball to speedy sophomore Kaleb Brown any way possible. He's run for 311 yards, 5 touchdowns and averages 20 yards a catch. If Montini can limit his long runs that's a plus since St. Rita has thrown more interceptions than touchdown passes. Despite last week's loss Broncos coach Mike Bukovsky was happy with several things - big plays by receiver Nate Muersch and quarterback Deontay Bell's 152 yards rushing to pace Montini's 363-289 edge in yardage over Mt. Carmel. Bolstered by linebackers Trevor Swier and Brandon Liston and safety DiAndre Harris' 16 tackles, the Broncos' defensive line, led by Patrick Peters and Cam Richardson, continued its stout inside play. But key mistakes hurt, and those make a difference against teams like Mt. Carmel and St. Rita.

Next week: Marian Central at St. Rita; St. Viator at Montini.

Wheaton Warrenville South (3-0, 1-0) at St. Charles East (2-1, 0-1)

DuKane Conference

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: WW South 45, Geneva 3; Glenbard North 21, St. Charles East 7.

Last year: WW South 27, St. Charles East 14.

Outlook: The Tigers have improved greatly against the run and last week allowed only 93 rushing yards on 47 carries. This week, though, the challenge is defending the pass with an inexperienced secondary led by Jimmy Muff. Saints quarterback Nathan Hayes threw for over 200 yards in last week's loss. WW South needs to create pressure up front with Micah Roberts and Tommy Barnett. Inside linebackers Michael Rogers and Will Cassin are solid against the run, something they'll need to be wary of after Saints running back Cole Conn rushed for 200 yards two weeks ago. The balance of WW South's offense has been stunning. Jake Arthurs, who last week had 133 return yards on kicks and took some snaps in the Wildcat, and Prince Lankah have equally combined for 500 rushing yards. Quarterback Parker Brown is closing in on 500 passing yards, with Kaleb Clousing remaining his top target. Michigan State-bound kicker Jack Olsen already has 4 field goals and 21 touchbacks.

Next week: Batavia at WW South; St. Charles East at Geneva.

The Rest of the Best

Benet (3-0, 1-0) at De La Salle (2-1, 0-1)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Lineman Cole Walsh's injury absence leaves a hole on defense, but the Redwings are still getting stronger on that side of the ball. Linebacker Dan Glimco and defensive backs Graham Cooney and Marty Garvin had a great effort in last week's win over St. Ignatius.

Christ the King (1-2, 0-1) at Westmont (1-2, 0-0)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: The Sentinels open Metro Suburban Red play on their homecoming. Quarterback Zack Fischer got dinged against St. Francis and if he's unable to go, Mason Pardy gets the call behind center Ryan Midgley. Hard-charging running back Ben Juska improves weekly.

Downers Grove North (2-1, 0-1) at Proviso West (0-3, 0-1)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Trojans linebacker Drew Bielawski is dominating as a junior. Add 16 tackles, including two for loss and a sack, to his ledger after last week. Downers North knows it's on the right track with the running tandem of quarterback Drew Cassens and Josh Lumpkin.

Glenbard North (1-2, 1-0) at Batavia (2-1, 1-0)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Cordell Smiley ran for 154 yards, Jordan McQuarter ran for 106 and the Panthers beat St. Charles East in coach Ryan Wilkens' 100th victory. Batavia will bring myriad formations and packages for linebacker Angelo Cusumano and the defense to diagnose on the fly.

Glenbard South (2-1, 2-1) at East Aurora (1-2, 1-2)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: East Aurora's aggressive defensive front will be another good test for Johnny Golden, Faiz Hameed and the rest of the Raiders' developing offensive line. Running back Kylen Henderson doesn't need much more than a crack, and he'll get plenty of chances.

Glenbard West (3-0) at Addison Trail (0-3)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: One thousand rushing yards through three games for Glenbard West, which continues to lean on its quartet of running backs - Jalen Moore, Joey Richmond, Nic Seifert and Samson Zander. Not a good sign for the Blazers, who have struggled stopping the run.

Herscher (1-2, 0-1) at Lisle (2-1, 0-1)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday at Benedictine University in Lisle.

The quick hit: Urgency is this week's mantra for Lisle, particularly on defense after allowing Manteno 36 points. The Lions hope to continue last week's 30-point boom, highlighted by Connor Nigro, Demetrius King and Aidan Lombardo. Lisle averages nearly 18 yards a reception.

Hinsdale Central (3-0, 0-0) at Oak Park (1-2, 1-0)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: It's WSC Silver games from here on out for the Red Devils. Quarterback Mike Brescia is finding several receivers, not just Braden Contreras. Not only is Nick Franko contributing to the ground game, he also blocked a punt in last week's win over Hinsdale South.

Lake Park (1-2, 0-1) at Wheaton North (2-1, 0-1)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Much depends on the health of Lake Park, which could return running back Jordan Colon, defensive back Anthony Beacom and lineman Anthony Roberts from injury. Kaiden Libby, one of several Wheaton North sophomores, had 9 catches for 114 yards last week.

Lyons Twp. (1-2, 0-1) at York (2-1, 1-0)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: The Dukes are controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, thanks in much part to Josh Mathiasen. Special teams play was critical last week. A blocked punt, a blocked last-minute field goal and good field position all night led to a key Silver win.

Metea Valley (1-2, 0-0) at Naperville Central (0-3, 0-0)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: C.J. Wilcox helped the Mustangs string together a bunch of drives of double-digit plays last week. The Redhawks rolled up 800 combined yards against Lincoln-Way East and Pickerington Central. Running back Elijah Jordan saw his first action last week.

Morton (0-3, 0-1) at Hinsdale South (1-2, 0-0)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: The Hornets have scored 6 touchdowns, all of them by quarterback Marquese Garrett. At some point Hinsdale South needs to get others more involved in the offense, and this may be the week to do it. Receiver Jaylon Smith is a prime candidate to break out.

Proviso East (2-1, 1-0) at Downers Grove South (1-2, 0-1)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Watch out for the Pirates, who are averaging 35 points a game. Downers South must be ready for an explosive offense after last week's disappointing loss to Willowbrook. The Mustangs moved the sticks effectively with Jayden Lambert running out of the Wildcat.

Waubonsie Valley (2-1, 0-0) at Naperville North (0-3, 0-0)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Expect a bounce-back game from Waubonsie, similar to what you saw against Libertyville. Last week the Warriors allowed two safeties and managed minus-21 rushing yards against Trinity. The Huskies' Matt Maschmeier has been great, even on special teams.

West Chicago (0-3, 0-3) at Larkin (0-3, 0-3)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: West Chicago linebackers Marco Calderon and Alex Resendiz helped force 3 Glenbard East turnovers in a solid first half for the Wildcats. Senior receiver Mark Pinkevich sure doesn't look like a first-year football player, having already caught 4 touchdown passes.

Wheaton Academy (2-1, 0-1) at St. Francis (2-1, 0-0)

Game time: noon Saturday at Wheaton College.

The quick hit: Against St. Francis quarterback Tommy Rittenhouse, Wheaton Academy seeks a pass rush from Christian Pares, Josh Brunner and Jared Samuelson, who had 3 sacks against St. Edward. St. Francis back Jason Klank returns to enhance the ground game.

Willowbrook (2-1, 1-0) at Leyden (1-2, 1-0)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: The Warriors' ground game remains a work in progress with running backs Ta'Vion Geanes and sophomore Jaylon White but quarterback Sam Tumilty's receiving corps is in great hands with Deandre Holliday, Everett Stubblefield and sophomore Nick Mabutas.

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