Jacobs football coach Bill Mitz has been around too long to let a Week 1 loss to a powerful team like Barrington cause him to lose any sleep.
Mitz’s team has rebounded in a big way, and behind running back Josh Walker, the Golden Eagles find themselves 3-1 as Fox Valley Valley play begins Friday night against District 300 rival Dundee-Crown.
“To lose a game against what I’d have to call a sleeper team that is very good — they had 18 starters back from a state quarterfinal team — that wasn’t going to bother us,” Mitz said. “Our kids made adjustments and have played better each week.”
They’ve outscored three opponents 134-26, outgained them almost 1,400 yards to 500, and last week dominated Grayslake Central 42-6 in a crossover game.
Walker, who ran an 11.04-second 100 at state track, leads the area in rushing with 608 yards and is being looked at by Illinois State, Western Michigan and Colgate, despite being 5-6, 160 pounds. He has been running behind a largely experienced offensive line that includes seniors Carson Shoemaker at center and Jeff Sidor at guard, and freshman tackle Jimmy Wormsley, son of the former Dundee-Crown standout and wrestling coach Jim Wormsley. That only heightens the District 300 rivalry.
Jacobs has another tie to Dundee-Crown. Like Chargers’ Week 1 opponent Elgin, Jacobs had D-C running back/safety Malik Dunner in its program at one time.
“Malik was in our junior system and I thought he was going to play for us,” Mitz said. “He’s a very talented young man. It’s a shame he’s been hurt.”
Chargers coach Mike Steinhaus said Dunner will be starting for the first time since suffering a Week 2 ankle injury on the game’s second play.
The Golden Eagles still have top teams in Huntley and Cary-Grove ahead.
“It’s homecoming for us and we have to be focused on D-C,” he said. “We need to take the emotion out of it. I’m sure Dundee-Crown would love to spoil things for us at our place.”
More D-C hurts
While Dundee-Crown gets Dunner back from his ankle sprain and running back Caleb Parson is over an ankle injury, linebacker/defensive leader Brandon Brooks has been out since a Week 3 ankle injury and is “very questionable,” according to Steinhaus.
“It’s like we have a plague of ankle injuries,” Steinhaus said. “We’ve been a young team operating with a lot of moving parts the past few weeks, but football is about adversity and toughness. We’ve had to pull together.”
Burlington Central’s rebound from a 2-0 start with a strong running game can be traced to an offensive line that has been effective despite losing Esteban Escobar earlier with a knee injury.
Escobar is back for Friday’s showdown with Genoa-Kingston, but doesn’t automatically mean the right guard spot.
“We had (Argtim) Jaos (6-2, 280) in there and he’s played so well he’s still going to start,” coach Rich Crabel said. “We’re going to get Esteban back in, though, rotate some spots on the line.
“It’s going to keep us fresher for late in games.”
Green Wave rising
St. Edward’s 4-0 start has drawn the attention of AP pollsters heading into Friday night’s Metro Suburban East opener at Guerin. The Green Wave is tied for 10th with Herrin in Class 4A.
Although winless Guerin came over to the Metro Suburban East, it’s an opponent the Green Wave haven’t faced in three years, and has a new coach in former Bears wide receiver Glen Kozlowski.
“They like to go with an empty backfield a lot and five receivers and throw all over the place, which scares you a little,” St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. “That’s not something we see a lot. We have to make sure not to overpursue, and do our own assignments.”