Five football games to watch for the Aurora area in Week 8

SHARE Five football games to watch for the Aurora area in Week 8

Waubonsie Valley (6-1, 4-1) at Neuqua Valley (5-2, 5-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday at North Central College

Last year: Neuqua Valley won 40-25.

Key players: Waubonsie Valley — LB Ken Woodruff, WR Keaton Casey; Neuqua Valley — QB Broc Rutter, LB D.J. Warkenthien;

Outlook: After back-to-back one-point wins, the Warriors’ streak ended with a double overtime loss to West Aurora. “I can’t tell you if the kids looked past West or not, only the kids could,” Waubonsie Valley coach Paul Murphy said. “I hope we’re going through a lull, kind of like Naperville Central did last year before going on a run to win state. We didn’t play at the top of our game for three weeks. In two, we were good enough to pull out the win. Everything going wrong can be corrected. We need to get back to playing with a chip on our shoulder.” Warriors need to win out to gain share of Upstate Eight Valley title.

Geneva (7-0, 5-0) at Batavia (6-1, 5-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Batavia won 49-20.

Key players: Geneva — DL Stephen Kemp, DL Matthew Loberg; Batavia — LB Colin Thurston, SS Nick Bernabei.

Outlook: This will likely be the third time in the five years of the Upstate Eight River that this rivalry matchup decides the title. Hard to imagine two teams more evenly matched. Geneva averages 39.6 points and allows 13.1, Batavia 38.3 and 12.1. Bulldogs will look to get pressure on QB Daniel Santacaterina (1,547 yards passing), blanket receivers Pace Temple and Michael Landi and stop RB Justin Taormina. Vikings must contend with Batavia QBs Evan Acosta and Kyle Niemiec, who have each passed for 600-plus yards, WRs Canaan Coffey and Peyton Piron, and RB Zach Garrett. Want a prediction? Flip a coin.

Marmion (5-2, 2-1) at Aurora Christian (4-3 ,1-2), 7 p.m. Friday

Last year: Marmion won 35-14.

Key players: Marmion — DB Noel Abraham, T John Gauthier; Aurora Christian — LB Zach Bosek, K/DB Nick Van Gilse.

Outlook: Important Catholic League crossover with playoff ramifications for both. Marmion coach Dan Thorpe says his team needs to get to six wins to clinch a playoff spot because he doesn’t believe the Cadets will have enough playoff points to qualify with just five. They finish the season against Montini. As for the Eagles, “Our playoff points are decent but I’d rather not count on that to get in,” coach David Beebe said. His team meets Leo in Week 9. “They’re big and their running game is fantastic,” he said of Marmion. “We came into the year knowing we had to grow up fast. It hasn’t been as fast as I would like. We’re still having some blown coverages with fairly basic stuff.”

Yorkville (6-1, 3-0) at DeKalb (7-0, 3-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Yorkville won 14-7.

Key players: Yorkville — RB Mike Kurtz, DB A.J. Foster; DeKalb — RB Dre Brown, QB Derek Kyler.

Outlook: Both teams ended long playoff droughts last year, squeezing into the postseason where each was one-and-done, losing to Class 6A finalists. This year, there are no doubts, and they meet to decide the Northern Illinois Big 12 East crown. Yorkville coach Karl Hoinkes is wary of Illinois recruit Brown, but notes his team can’t sell out to stop the talented runner because the Barbs have “three or four guys who can take it to the house on any play. If it’s a track meet, we’ve lost. We want to keep it slow and boring.”

Metea Valley (4-3, 3-2) at Glenbard East (3-4, 1-4), 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Did not play.

Key players: Metea Valley — QB Kyle Mooney, RB Bryson Oliver; Glenbard East — QB Phil Abruzino, DE Sean Corey.

Outlook: Upstate Eight Valley clash is huge for Mustangs, who can guarantee program’s first winning season and become playoff eligible for first time with a victory. “It’s a playoff game for both teams,” Metea coach Ben Kleinhans said. “They’ve had some close games and if a couple plays go their way, they’re sitting at 5-2.” The Rams have lost three straight, by one, three (in OT) and six points. It’s a stretch, but possible the Mustangs and South Elgin could join Waubonsie and Neuqua in a four-way tie for first in the league.

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