Genoa-Kingston (2-2, 2-0) at Burlington Central (2-2, 2-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Last year: Genoa-Kingston 43, Burlington Central 0.
Key players: Genoa-Kingston — RB Jesse Bade, DB Ian Fell. Burlington Central — OL Argtim Jaos, RB Jason Berango.
Outlook: The two teams are tied with Johnsburg for first in Big Northern East. The Rockets’ power game has kicked in with Berango and Trevor Davison running behind Argtim Jaos and a strong O-line, but their defense confronts another team with a budding running attack, led by backs Bade and Joe Murray. The Cogs scratched out a one-TD win over Marengo but were knocked off by Byron and St. Edward. Whether G-K has the receivers to balance its attack, and the linemen to consistently block Central’s D-line, are at issue. If it’s close late, the Rockets could wear out G-K because they play full platoon football.
Dundee-Crown (2-2, 0-0) at Jacobs (3-1, 0-0), Friday, 7:15 p.m.
Last year: Jacobs 34, Dundee-Crown 7.
Key players: Dundee-Crown — RB/S Malik Dunner, QB Jeff Atherton. Jacobs — RB Chris Walker, G Jeff Sidor.
Outlook: It’s the District 300 rivalry game in a Fox Valley Valley opener, but it has become a one-way affair. Jacobs has won every game since 2002, the last five by a combined score of 182-16. Injuries hurt D-C the last two weeks in losses, but RB Caleb Parson and Ball State-bound Dunner return this week. The issue will be whether the Chargers can block a Jacobs team that lost only to unbeaten Barrington in Week 1. There could be distractions for Jacobs. It’s homecoming, and showdowns with Huntley and Cary-Grove loom the next two weeks.
Huntley (4-0, 0-0) at Cary-Grove (4-0, 0-0), Friday, 7:15 p.m.
Last year: Cary-Grove 16, Huntley 13.
Key players: Huntley — QB Anthony Binetti, RB Casey Haayer. Cary-Grove — G Trevor Ruhland, RB Tyler Pennington.
Outlook: Unbeatens collide, but Huntley hasn’t played a team its own size that was considered a threat since Week 1 against Bartlett. Binetti has been accurate, throwing his first interceptions only last week, but Cary-Grove’s defensive front is formidable. The Trojans’ conservative running attack, led by Pennington and run-pass threat Jason Gregoire at QB, will provide Huntley’s biggest test yet. Cary-Grove beat Huntley in a thriller last year.
Bartlett (2-2, 1-1) at West Aurora (0-4, 0-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last year: Did not play.
Key players: Bartlett — OL/DL Kyle Sanft, RB Nolan Bernat. West Aurora — OL Karl Fowler, RB Daquan Cross.
Outlook: Bartlett’s offense has struggled all year (31 points), and coming off a rout at the hands of division leader Waubonsie Valley, the Blackhawks could be just what they need to see. West has given up an Upstate Eight Valley-worst 159 points. Bernat has carried the Hawks’ load for three games, but West’s defense could provide a chance to balance the attack. Sanft and the bigger Hawks line could overpower speed-oriented West.
Metea Valley (2-2, 1-1) at South Elgin (2-2, 1-1), Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Last year: Metea Valley 24, South Elgin 21.
Key players: Metea Valley — OL Mark Konkle, QB Kyle Mooney. South Elgin — WR Nick Menken, RB Shawn Griffin.
Outlook: One of Metea Valley’s strengths is special teams, with Bryson Oliver a threat to go all the way on returns, but South Elgin has struggled on coverage teams. A strong defense has kept Metea in games, but the Storm and QB Hayden Nelson have been able to move it even on the best defenses. Last year’s game was a thriller and this looks to be as well. The loser will be in a difficult situation in the playoff chase.
OTHER FRIDAY GAMES
Hampshire at Urbana, 7 p.m.
Alden-Hebron at Westminster Christian, 7 p.m.
Elgin at Geneva, 7:30 p.m.
West Chicago at Larkin, 7:30 p.m.
St. Charles East at Streamwood, 7:30 p.m.
St. Charles North at Batavia, 7:30 p.m.
St. Edward at Guerin, 7:30 p.m.