Glenbard North (2-2) at No. 12 Naperville Central (3-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday
Last year: Glenbard North 40, Naperville Central 34.
Key players: Glenbard North — RB Devion Hodges, QB Brett Gasiorowskil; Naperville Central — WR/DB Michael Kolzow, LB Bobby McMillen.
Outlook: Naperville Central returns home for the first time since last year’s Class 8A semifinals in the DuPage Valley Conference opener for both teams. Both relished the excitement of last-second wins Friday. Glenbard North scored the winning touchdown with 1:11 left to beat Naperville North while the Redhawks got a field goal as time expired to beat Wheaton Warrenville South. Running back Kevin Clifford continues to collect yards for the Redhawks while quarterback Conor Joyce has settled in nicely after four starts. Hodges will be the key guy to stop for McMillen and the Central defense.
Naperville North (2-2) at Lake Park (3-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday
Last year: Naperville North 28, Lake Park 24.
Key players: Naperville North — WR D’Angelo Hyshaw, QB Chris Gajcak; Lake Park — RB Kenny Jones, QB Mike Perry
Outlook: It’s been a rough two weeks for Naperville North. The Huskies appeared to rebound nicely last week, but gave up 20 second-half points in a one-point loss to Glenbard North. Lake Park is coming off its first loss of the season. One of Lake Park’s wins was a forfeit. Gajcak continues to be a dual threat for the Huskies. This is the DuPage Valley opener for both schools.
No. 7 Waubonsie Valley (4-0) at Glenbard East (3-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday
Last year: Did not play
Key players: Waubonsie Valley — QB Zack Bennema, RB Tony Durns; Glenbard East — RB/DB Dominic Wilberton, LB Mickey Farnham
Outlook: Waubonsie heads into Lombard for East’s homecoming. The Rams are off to their best start in four years but haven’t faced a team like the Warriors yet. Bennema and Durns have combined for more than 900 yards rushing and they’ve done it against good teams like Naperville Central and Oswego. Farnham and fellow linebackers Anthony Allen and Justin Griffin will need to slow Waubonsie’s ground attack if they hope to keep the night festive for the alumni.
Metea Valley (2-2, 1-1) at South Elgin (2-2, 1-1), 1:30 p.m. Saturday
Last year: Metea Valley 24, South Elgin 21.
Key players: Metea Valley — RB Bryson Oliver, QB Kyle Mooney; Metea Valley — RB Shawn Griffin, QB Hayden Nelson.
Outlook: Metea Valley coach Ben Kleinhans couldn’t scout South Elgin’s loss to Neuqua last Saturday in person because his wife gave birth to couple’s third child. On tape, he was able to watch Neuqua’s offense have its way with the Storm. The Mustangs will need to do that as well because the Storm are very capable on offense behind Nelson and Griffin. Mooney has grown up quickly, and with Nick Dodson, Kris King and Michael Sfikas as wide receivers, the Mustangs will look to continue being a balanced attack to complement Oliver.
East Aurora (0-4, 0-2) at Neuqua Valley (2-2, 2-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Last year: Neuqua Valley 52, East Aurora 6.
Key players: East Aurora — QB Alfonso Dieppa, RB Nathan Booker; Neuqua Valley — LB/FB D.J. Warkenthien, RB Charlie Hunter.
Outlook: East Aurora has been outscored 105-12 the past two weeks while Neuqua’s offense has been clicking since the second half of its Week 3 win over Glenbard East. In addition to Hunter, nine Wildcats received carries during Neuqua’s big win over South Elgin. The Wildcats should be able to control both sides of the ball against the Tomcats.
Benet (4-0, 2-0) at Marist (1-3, 0-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday
Last year: Marist 49, Benet 21.
Key players: Marist — QB Brendan Skalitzky, RB Micah Awodiran; Benet — DB Mac Cooney, RB Brad Sznajder.
Outlook: Marist has dropped three close games in a row, including a 20-18 loss against Notre Dame last week that was decided on a last-second field goal. Benet is coming off a strong second half against St. Patrick. Cooney has three interceptions this season while quarterback Jack Sznajder had his most productive game of his young high school career last Friday. Benet is trying to avoid being one-dimensional on offense and showed diversity last week.