Six football games to watch for the Naperville area in Week 7

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Carmel (4-2, 3-1) vs. Benet (4-2, 2-2) at Benedictine, 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Did not play.

Key players: Carmel — QB Michael Huiras, RB Rondel Jamison; Benet — QB Jack Sznajder, RB Brad Sznajder.

Outlook: Carmel is coming off a big win against St. Viator, while Benet dropped its second straight East Suburban Catholic Conference game. Brad Sznajder needs only 37 rushing yards to reach 1,000 for the season, but it’s Benet’s ability to stop Carmel’s running attack that will be one of the keys to the game.

Wheaton North (2-4, 1-1) at No. 8 Naperville Central (5-1, 2-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Wheaton North 31, Naperville Central 17.

Key players: Wheaton North — QB Luke Anthony, RB Doug Michalak; Naperville Central — RB Kevin Clifford, LB Bobby McMillen

Outlook: Another loss and Wheaton North won’t have a chance to make the playoffs so look for the Falcons to put up a big fight against a Naperville Central team that is aiming for its sixth straight win. The last time Naperville Central won six in a row? That would be last year, culminating in beating Loyola in the Class 8A championship. Clifford (31 rushes, 256 yards, TD) is coming off his biggest game of the year against Naperville North.

Wheaton Warrenville South (2-4, 1-1) at Naperville North (2-4, 0-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Naperville North 21, Wheaton Warrenville South 14.

Key players: Wheaton Warrenville South — QB Josh Prueter, RB J.J. Johnson; Naperville North — WR/QB Chris Gajcak, QB Evan Kujawski.

Outlook: One thing is certain —one of these teams is going to lose for the fifth time and see its playoff dreams vanish. Wheaton Warrenville South remained eligible after a thrilling overtime win over Lake Park last Friday, while the Huskies dropped their fourth straight game, losing 27-6 to Naperville Central. The Huskies are allowing an average of 30.5 during their losing streak. Finishing strong would also help. They’ve only scored once in the fourth quarter during the slide.

West Aurora (1-5, 1-3) at No. 7 Waubonsie Valley (6-0, 4-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Did not play

Key players: West Aurora — RB Drake Spears, QB Johnathan Doyle; Waubonsie Valley — LB Luke Marzano, LB Max Ihry

Outlook: Waubonsie Valley hasn’t had any difficulty putting points on the scoreboard and that shouldn’t change against a West Aurora team that’s giving up 39 points a game, including 48 last week to Neuqua Valley. The Blackhawks do pack a punch on offense so Marzano, Ihry and the rest of the Warriors’ defense will need to be on their game to avoid a shootout.

East Aurora (0-6, 0-4) at Metea Valley (3-3, 2-2), 7 p.m. Friday

Last year: Metea Valley 52, East Aurora 28.

Key players: East Aurora — WR Maurice Nichols, RB Nathaniel Booker; Metea Valley — RB Bryson Oliver, QB Kyle Mooney.

Outlook: Metea Valley fell just short of the biggest win in school history last Friday, losing 38-37 at Waubonsie Valley. The Mustangs need to win two of their three remaining games to become eligible for the playoffs. East Aurora has allowed 196 points the past three weeks, including 71 to South Elgin.

Bartlett (3-3, 2-2) at Neuqua Valley (4-2, 4-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Neuqua Valley 34, Bartlett 20.

Key players: Bartlett — LB Daniel Danek, RB Nolan Bernat; Neuqua Valley — WR Evan Moore, QB Broc Rutter.

Outlook: Which Bartlett team is going to show up? The one that shut down Metea? The one that got beaten handily by Waubonsie Valley? The one that got upset by West Aurora? The one that rebounded to stun Glenbard East in overtime? When the Hawks are on, they can be good, but inconsistent play has plagued them. Neuqua Valley is clicking on both sides of the ball, but has to avoid looking ahead to next week’s date with Waubonsie.

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