Metea Valley’s Kyle Mooney comes into his own at quarterback

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Metea Valley quarterback Kyle Mooney waited in the shadows of Blaise Bell last season.

Now his passes are leaving opponents in the dark.

Mooney threw a career-best four touchdowns in Saturday’s win against South Elgin. He’s thrown an area-best 10 touchdown passes.

“I think we all knew he could play,” Mustangs wide receiver Nick Dodson said. “He stays in the pocket well and he adjusts without panicking and quickly finds the open man.”

Mooney has completed 45-of-81 passes for 696 yards.

Dodson, who has caught four of Mooney’s touchdown passes, is finally feeling close to 100 percent after having thumb surgery during the summer and a strained quad earlier this month.

“I finally felt healthy on Saturday,” Dodson said. “The strained quad really made it difficult to run my routes and break away.”

The Mustangs certainly need Dodson, Mooney and the rest of their team at their best when they travel to Waubonsie Valley on Friday.

Off and running

Running a kickoff for a touchdown wasn’t on Neuqua Valley junior Luke Sawicki’s itinerary during Friday’s win over East Aurora, but that’s exactly what he found himself doing for 50 yards.

“It was pretty big,” he said. “They had been doing these onside-type squib kicks. I just caught the ball and took a step and started running.”

As a starting outside linebacker, Sawicki may have dreamed of getting a pick-6 to get into the end zone, but not a kickoff return.

“I’ll take it,” he said. “I didn’t expect it, but it shows you always have to be ready to make a play.”

Teammate Zach Herdman, who shares kickoff duties primarily with Isaiah Robertson, also returned a kickoff for a score on Friday, going 93 yards. It was his first touchdown on just his third attempt.

“I got an opportunity and I took advantage of it,” Herdman said. “I saw a nice hole and Isaiah Robertson put a great block on a guy in front of me and that opened things up.”

Rivalry week

This Friday will feature a pair of big local conference games, including the Naperville Central versus Naperville North game at North Central.

The Huskies have won six of the past 10 games against the Redhawks. Both teams are streaking, but in different directions. The Redhawks have won three straight while the Huskies have lost three in a row.

If history is any indication, it’ll likely be a close game. In six of the last 10 games, the game was decided by three points or less.

Waubonsie Valley has dominated Metea Valley during the brief history between the two schools. The Warriors have won all four games and have outscored the Mustangs, 168-34.

If the Mustangs can score an upset, they’d be a win away from playoff eligibility.

Of note

Waubonsie Valley has more than doubled up opponents on the ground, enjoying a substantial 1,422 to 632 edge in yardage.

Naperville Central’s defense worked overtime in Friday’s win against Glenbard North. The Panthers ran 73 offensive plays compared to Naperville Central’s 35 and dominated time of possession, 32:51 to 15:41. Of course, what matters most is the final outcome, and the Redhawks beat the Panthers, 28-14.

Metea Valley’s Michael Sfikas kicked a career-best 38-yard field goal at South Elgin on Saturday.

D.J. Warkenthien leads the Neuqua Valley defense with 39 tackles, including five for loss.

Benet quarterback Jack Sznajder has completed passes to 11 different Redwings.

One positive out of Naperville North’s loss at Lake Park on Friday was the play of backup quarterback Evan Kujawski, who threw three second half touchdowns, including two to starting quarterback Chris Gajcak.

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