Naperville North, Waubonsie, Metea face tests on the road

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Naperville North (0-1) at No. 23 Thornton (1-0) — 1:30 p.m. on Saturday

Last week: Naperville North lost to Neuqua Valley, 43-20; Thornton beat Orr, 56-8

Storyline: In surrendering the most points in a season opener since losing 48-34 to Palatine in 1996, Naperville North hopes to rebound from last week’s 43-20 loss at home to Neuqua Valley.

Just like after last year’s loss at Neuqua to open the season, Thornton awaits the Huskies on Saturday afternoon as they look to avoid falling to a 0-2 start.

After giving up 456 total yards to Neuqua Valley, including 257 yards on the ground, the Huskies’ defense will have to shore up fast.

Thornton running backs D’Anthony Cross and Illinois State-bound Jamal Towns combined for 210 first-half rushing yards and three touchdowns as the Wildcats raced out to a 43-0 halftime lead over Orr en route to a 56-8 victory, while Thornton quarterback JoWahn Brown tossed three TD passes in the first half.

A year ago, in Naperville North’s 14-10 victory over Thornton, the Huskies limited Towns to 47 yards on 15 carries while keeping Thornton off the scoreboard in the second half.

While Naperville North gave up 43 points to Neuqua Valley last week, its offense did some good things in churning out 423 yards.

Three running backs — Kendall Veluvolu, Sharad Crosby and DeSean Brown — each ran for at least 63 yards against Neuqua and Veluvolu scored twice.

Huskies’ quarterback Johnny Brown threw for 203 yards on 11-of-25 passing and a TD.

Huskies coach Sean Drendel on Thornton: “They’re a good football team and we’ve got our hands full. We’ll be ready to play. Orr had 23 players. I mean, Orr was a mismatch.

“They’re the same team, but obviously they’re a little bit older. So they’ve done a good job of getting better at those types of things and anytime you get a little bit older, you’re gonna be a pretty darn good team.

“(Towns) is quick and makes good decisions and he makes great cuts. He’s a great athlete.

“We better bring a physical brand of defense because they have better athletes than we do, and we know that. And they did last year. We gotta play physical football and not allow them open space.”

Waubonsie Valley (1-0) at Oswego (1-0), 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Waubonsie Valley beat Naperville Central, 34-14; Oswego beat Geneva, 47-21

Storyline: Getting off to a flying start in beating Naperville Central at home last week, Waubonsie Valley shoots for its second straight 2-0 start tonight at Oswego.

Racing to a 21-0 lead against the Redhawks on their way to a 34-14 victory, the Warriors’ offense didn’t disappoint. The win marked their first victory over Naperville Central at home and second straight triumph over the Redhawks.

Waubonsie Valley senior running back Austin Guido ran for 278 yards and scored three times, while Dylan Warden operated effectively out of the quarterback spot in tossing a pair of touchdown passes.

Warden completed 10-of-13 passes for 86 yards and threw touchdown passes to John Burke and Troy Fumagalli.

The Warriors’ defense limited the Redhawks’ offense to 211 total yards, with just 72 of them coming on the ground, and intercepted Redhawks’ junior QB Jake Kolbe once.

Meanwhile, Oswego got the post-Ryan West era off to a flying start in scoring 47 unanswered points in its 47-7 rout of Geneva in Week 1.

Panthers’ quarterback Bret Wainwright threw three touchdown passes against Geneva, his only three completions the entire night, and the Panthers’ defense forced six Geneva fumbles.

Waubonsie Valley beat Oswego 34-14 last year and has won all three meetings between the two programs in their nonconference series that started in 2009.

Warriors coach Paul Murphy on Oswego: “They have big linemen and they’re back to power-I football. They’re gonna run it down your throat and to me, it’s a little like déjà vu — they’re gonna try to do to us what I think Belleville East did at the end of last year. They’re just gonna try to run the ball and keep it away from our offense.

“I know there was talk that they were going to start the freshman (Steve Frank), but from what we saw on film — the freshman played three plays and they played the senior (Wainwright) the rest of the game. I think the fact Geneva turned the ball over six times to them; that kept them in a short field. I think Oswego scored twice on defensive fumble recoveries, so we’re gonna have to make them drive the ball the length of the field.

Obviously, we’ve got to shut down their running game because they have three blockers back there. The quarterback runs quarterback sneaks. The tailback’s (Mickeel Stewart) got really good speed. I know he did a really good job running for them.”

Metea Valley (1-0) at Glenbrook South (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Metea Valley beat Plainfield East, 24-22; Glenbrook South lost at Prospect, 55-41

Storyline: Metea Valley shoots for its second straight 2-0 start Friday night when it travels to play Glenbrook South.

Emerging victorious in a back-and-forth affair with Plainfield East, Nick Dodson’s two fourth-quarter field goals provided the Mustangs their winning margin of 24-22.

Mustangs’ junior QB Blaise Bell completed 11-of-20 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns and an interception against the Bengals.

Bell’s two TD passes to Blaze Miller and Chase Nelson both answered Plainfield East scores, and senior running back Cameron Wilcox ran 36 times for 172 yards.

Mustangs’ defensive coordinator Jeff Cherry’s charges recovered four fumbles despite allowing the Plainfield East offense to gain 322 total yards last week.

Facing a 22-18 deficit heading into the fourth quarter, the Mustangs’ defense kept the Bengals off the scoreboard to allow Dodson, who had three field goals all told, to come through with his two field goals in the game’s final 12 minutes.

The Titans are coming off a 55-41 shootout loss to Prospect in their 2012 season opener, a game they led 41-26 at halftime.

Glenbrook South senior quarterback Max Cohen threw for two touchdowns — finding senior wide receiver Ose Ilenikhena both times — and ran for one, while Ilenikhena added a 10-yard TD run shortly before the end of the first half.

Mustangs coach Ben Kleinhans on Glenbrook South: “That was two good teams playing on Friday, them and Mount Prospect. Both have, obviously from an offensive standpoint, some weapons. (Glenbrook South) definitely has some weapons. Their quarterback (Cohen) is a very good player and athlete. (Cohen) can have some big throws, big plays in the passing game but can also use his legs. They have a fullback that’s just kind of a guy they ram down your throat a little bit and (have) a couple of big, athletic receivers that they use, as well. So offensively, they’re very dangerous. They have a lot of weapons.

“Starting 0-1, it’s kind of a game they look at as sort of a must-win, so they’re gonna be very focused. It’s gonna be a tough test for us.”

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