Scouting Week 6 Lake County football games

Antioch (5-0, 3-0) at Wauconda (4-1, 3-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Scouting this game: Our Lake County blue plate special for Week 6 sees two perennial Northern Lake County Conference powers battle it out for sole possession of first place. "It's a playoff game and title game for us," Antioch coach Brian Glashagel said. "We have to take care of the ball, tackle well, score points and we need to contain their running attack." In last week's win, Sequoits quarterback James Sheehan threw for 226 yards and 2 scores. He's up to 424 passing yards on the year with 6 touchdowns. "James is getting yards via air. Supplementing our running game has been crucial," Glashagel said. Martin Cohen has ran for 819 yards on only 47 carriers and has 14 rushing touchdowns to go with 7 catches for 195 yards and 2 TDs. He also has 1 kickoff return for a touchdown. Nick Day has run for 523 yards on 77 carries and has 10 touchdowns. Junior Tyler Ingman has 6 catches for 113 yards and a score. "Tyler is blocking and becoming a nice threat on offense," Glashagel said. Sophomore defensive back Jack Bucar shows up in the interception and fumble recovery categories. "Jack is playing great on defense for us," the coach said. Senior Clayton Horton has 3 tackles for loss and 2 fumble recoveries. "Clayton is becoming a defensive end offenses have to plan for," Glashagel said. Wauconda won this game 16-14 last year. "Each time we play them, we know it will be a playoff-type game and atmosphere," Bulldogs coach Chris Prostka said. "Winning the turnover battle will be important in this game, as well as limiting lost yards due to penalties. Antioch has some big-play ability and it will be important for us to make good reads, tackle well and play sound team defense. Offensively, we need to get into a rhythm early and spread the ball around to our playmakers." Connor Vanselow ran for 163 yards on 23 carries last week, while Brock Pfeiffer had 2 touchdowns. Conlan Rath stuck 7 tackles, had one tackle for loss and an interception. Cole Porten had 7 tackles. On the season, Vanselow has ran for 834 yards and 8 touchdowns. Zac Johnson and Rath each have 29 tackles, while Connor Coty has 26 tackles, 1 sack and 2 tackles for loss. Prostka has been high on the recent play of the trio of Ryder Garcia, Matt Lee and Nick Ori. "Ryde has been climbing on the leaderboard for tackles and has been a season-long contributor on special teams," Prostka said. "Matt is a big part of our defensive line rotation and Nick has been developing nicely, and had a huge impact on the game last week with an interception." Prostka labels Kyle Bond as one of the team's unsung heroes. "Kyle brings a great attitude every day," he said. "He is always willing to do what is needed to help the team." Antioch clinches an automatic playoff spot with a win, while Wauconda becomes playoff eligible with a win. Big stakes all around in Wauconda. Wauconda has won or shared the last two NLCC titles. Prior to that, Antioch has won every conference title since the NLCC started in 2015.

Mundelein (4-1, 2-1) at Warren (3-2, 3-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Scouting this game: A big North Suburban matchup at the Almond Road campus in Gurnee. Mundelein dropped a tough 10-3 contest to Stevenson last week, while Warren remains tied atop the NSC standings with Lake Forest after a 4-point win at Lake Zurich. "Warren is a good football team," Mundelein coach Vince DeFrancesco said. "They have it rolling over there. They have good size and are very good at what they do. They are a power run team. On defense, they pursue well to the football. To have success against them, we must match their effort and execute our game plan." Linebacker Jake Junia led the Mustangs in tackles against Stevenson and had an interception and fumble recovery. "Jake continues to do a great job defensively," DeFranceso said. "He's leading us in tackles and creating turnovers. He has been a great leader for us this season." Quarterback Danny McNelly has run for 8 touchdowns and passed for four more. Defensive back Trey Thompson had 7 solo tackles against Stevenson. "Trey has stepped up in the defensive backfield. He continues to be great in pass coverage," DeFrancesco said. Offensive lineman Brandon Hansen also has drawn rave reviews. "Brandon has been excellent on the offensive line," DeFrancesco noted. "He's the leader of that unit." Adam Bogenski has been a key two-way player. "Adam has been all over the field for us this fall," DeFrancesco said. "He is our starting tight end and has recently started repping linebacker. He's a captain and phenomenal leader within our program." Warren coach Bryan McNulty said his squad is ready for a battle. "Mundelein has been on the rise for the last several years now," he said. "Coach D and his staff have done a great job of making them contenders and extremely competitive in the NSC. They are one win away from a playoff berth and we know that. They play hard and fast on defense and have a big, physical offensive line." McNulty called the win against Lake Zurich a team effort. "We don't really have any stats that jump out on paper," he said. "Just a group of hard-nosed kids." Sophomore running back Aaron Stewart has run for 743 yards on 124 carries with 6 touchdowns. McNulty likes how junior free safety Antonio Moore and sophomore cornerback X'Zavion Montgomery have been playing. "Antonio has really developed into a leader in the secondary," he said. "X'Zavion is quietly becoming one of the best corners in the conference." Junior defensive tackle Anthony Soto has contributed to a Blue Devils defense that has held foes to under 20 points in each of the last three weeks. "Anthony is disruptive inside right now," McNulty said. Fullback-defensive lineman Nate Brock also has been notable this season. "Nate plays on both sides of the ball and is a key member of both the offensive and defensive unit," McNulty explained. McNulty added Aidan Porecca into that unsung hero category. "Aidan is the other kid playing both ways that does not get noticed as much as he should," he said.

Grant (3-2, 2-1) at Grayslake Central (2-3, 2-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Scouting this game: Central after an 0-2 start has gone 2-1, losing 19-8 last week to a Wauconda team that is capable of putting points on the board. "Grant continues to get better each game," Central coach Brent Pearlman said. "They are a good team with very good athletes that play together very well. Our defense continues to play very had and since Week 3 has been a huge key in keeping us in games." Matty Jens, Sean Mullen and Romeo Reyes continue to lead the way for the Rams, while Pearlman noted Cordell Johnson, Alex Carter and Rarri Bernabe "have stepped their games up and are doing some really good things on the field," he said. Pearlman said the key to success this week at home is simple. "In order to be successful we need to play as one team," he said. "Trust the system and our teammates and have tremendous discipline in all three phases of the game."

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

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Scouting this game: An important NLCC contest here. The winner keeps playoff-eligibility hopes alive and the loser is eliminated from postseason contention. "Our defense is playing pretty good football right now," Lakes coach Jason Ellerman said. "Defensive coordinator Garrett Youngren has done a really good job installing a new scheme this year." On the other side of the ball, Ellerman said finishing drives will be key. "We move the ball and then stall out when we are near the red zone with penalties and turnovers," he said. Sophomore Rondelle Griffin leads the team in rushing with 491 yards on 5.0 yards per carry. Linebackers Dillian Davis (sophomore) and Zach Raffone (junior) lead the team in tackles. The Lakes defensive line of seniors Drew Schmidt and Austin Gonzales, along with junior Brayden Thornton "is providing us with stability and making our offensive line better every day in practice," Ellerman said. North looks to stop a four-game losing skid. "Lakes has one of the more athletic teams we have faced so far this year," Knights coach Brian Johnson said. "They have a talented receiver that we are going to need to slow down. Their coaches do a great job getting their players ready each week. We will get their best. They run a lot of different formations. We need to identify them and properly align. We have not done a very good job limiting turnovers this year. If we can possess the ball and limit the big mistake, we can be successful. We need to be able to control our emotions for this game. Lakes has always been a rivalry game and it is our homecoming." Last week, Tyler McBride led North with 8 tackles and 5 assists. Carter Barenbaum had 7 tackles and 2 assists. "Carter has brought some senior leadership to the defense with his return to the lineup from an offseason injury," Johnson noted. Cameron Bates caught 5 passes for 76 yards, while Eli Woyat had 5 catches for 64 yards. Bates is up to 27 catches for 384 yards. McBride leads the way on defense with 44 tackles. Max Bouma has 31 tackles, while Juan Marquez has 5 quarterback sacks. Junior center Sean McMahon continues to play well for North. "Sean has been the glue on the offensive line," Johnson said. "We have had six offensive linemen come out with injuries this year and he has been an exceptional leader, directing the line and making sure they get up to speed. He's practically an extension of the coaching staff."

Libertyville (3-2, 1-2) at Lake Zurich (4-1, 2-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Scouting this game: Lake Zurich is coming off a Week 5 loss to Warren at home, while Libertyville snapped a two-game losing streak with an 18-point win at Waukegan. "Libertyville has an explosive offense and aggressive defense," Lake Zurich coach Ron Planz said. "We have to limit the big play from them on both sides of the ball. We are going to have to take care of the ball and score points offensively, while making sure we are sound with the pass rush and open-field tackling on defense." Lake Zurich senior quarterback Lucas Lappin ran the ball 10 times for 129 yards and a score last week and passed for 79 yards and another touchdown. "Lucas is growing into the quarterback position after playing wide receiver last year," Planz said. "Every week, he gets better and more confident." Offensively, Chris Pirrone has run for 455 yards and 5 touchdowns, while James Piggott has 9 receptions for 134 yards (14.9 yards per catch) and 1 touchdown. The defense is led by the likes of Lincoln Adams, who has 67 tackles (35 solos), 5 tackles for loss and 1 sack. "Lincoln is the best player in Lake County," Lake Zurich coach Ron Planz said. "He is all over the field on defense. He also plays offense for us and has 5 rushing touchdowns." Connor Sole has 32 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. Coplan Oettinger has 27 tackles and 1 pick, while Chris Chang has 24 tackles. "As a sophomore, Chris is constantly making plays and being a physical force for us on the edge," Planz noted. Cason Gwizdala has 21 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss and 1 interception. Logan Cunningham plays both sides of the line for the Bears. "Logan has been a true two-way player for us all year," Planz said. "He continues to push through adversity and be a leader by example for us while getting his job done." Lake Zurich, the defending NSC champion, becomes playoff eligible with a win.

Other Lake County games

Stevenson (3-2, 1-2) at Lake Forest (4-1, 3-0), Friday, 7 p.m.

North Chicago (1-4, 1-2) at Round Lake (0-5, 0-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

Vernon Hills (2-3, 1-0) at Niles West (4-1, 1-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m.

St. Viator (3-2, 1-0) at Carmel (4-1, 1-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m.

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