Chris Walker’s football notes: Neuqua gets fill with new fullback

SHARE Chris Walker’s football notes: Neuqua gets fill with new fullback
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Neuqua Valley added a new wrinkle to its offense the past two weeks, getting senior D.J. Warkenthien involved at fullback. While he only carried once in wins over Glenbard East and South Elgin, both resulted in big gains of 34 and 47 yards.

“We’re still trying to find our way through our fullback position,” Wildcats coach Bill Ellinghaus said. “Typically, our fullback doesn’t get a lot of carries, but if we can two or three big runs, that really helps our offense.

“D.J. has been a pleasant surprise and provided a spark there.”

The Wildcats catch a break the next two weeks with games against winless East Aurora and West Aurora. It could give the team a chance to give more opportunities to Dominick Muoghalu, Kimani Mobley and others. Charlie Hunter (72 carries, 294 yards, 7 touchdowns) has been the team’s go-to guy in the backfield while quarterback Broc Rutter seems to be settling in.

“Dominick played very well against South Elgin,” Ellinghaus said. “It was a little warmer on Saturday and we felt we needed to give D.J. more of spell because he means so much to our defense.”

Sznajder to Schmidt

Last year, Benet quarterback quarterback Jack Sznajder and wide receiver Karl Schmidt were quite a duo on the sophomore team.

During Friday’s 28-7 win against St. Patrick, they had their best games as juniors.

Sznajder completed 16 of 22 passes for 225 yards and a pair of TDs. Schmidt caught seven of those passes for 70 yards.

“Karl’s been doing great,” Sznajder said “I’m looking forward to see what we can do the rest of the season.”

Senior Colin Brahler also had a breakthrough game with three catches for 110 yards. Most of his yards came after he turned a short pass from Sznajder into an 82-yard TD.

“It doesn’t matter about the drops,” Sznajder said. “He came out and made some big plays when we needed.”

Take me home

No. 12 Naperville Central finally returns home this Friday to entertain Glenbard North.

The Redhawks opened the season with four straight road games. Last year they opened with four consecutive home games.

The game will also be the DuPage Valley Conference opener for both teams. While DVC teams played conference opponents last week those games, were considered nonconference. Teams will have rematches in Week 9 that will count in the conference standings.

Running and rolling

Bartlett hadn’t allowed a TD since Week 1, but the Waubonsie Valley had little trouble running past the Hawks, putting up 49 points for the second straight week.

The undefeated Warriors are running all over teams. Running back Tony Durns and quarterback Zack Bennema have combined for 919 yards rushing and 12 TD.

Now or another year

It seems like every game is a must-win if Metea Valley hopes to make the playoffs for the first time in school history.

The Mustangs will head Saturday to South Elgin, a team they beat 24-21 a season ago. A victory there is vital. Last year they took a 3-2 record into Week 6, but lost three of their final four, including a heartbreaking 49-45 decision to Geneva.

Fortunately, the Mustangs appears to be back on track after a big win over West Aurora. Unfortunately, they’ll need to beat Waubonsie or Neuqua as well as the Storm and Glenbard East to become playoff eligible.

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