Week 2 football previews


Batavia (0-1) at Glenbard North (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Batavia won 29-26.

Key players: Batavia — LB Jake Hlava; WR Canaan Coffey; Glenbard North — LB Luke Greenberg, RB Vittoro Tricase.

Outlook: One very good team will start 0-2 since the No. 25 Bulldogs lost 40-38 to Oswego and the Panthers fell to Centerville, Ohio 33-28. Batavia’s two QBs, lefty Evan Acosta and righty Kyle Niemiec, were both superb, spreading the ball around to nine receivers and taking no sacks. Panthers lost standout RB Justin Jackson (Northwestern) but have a strong trio in Vittorio Tricase, Devion Hodges and Dillon Warnecke. “They look explosive,” Batavia coach Dennis Piron said. “You watch ‘em on tape and it looks like the film has been sped up.”

Benet (1-0) at O’Fallon (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Did not play

Key players: Benet – RB Brad Sznajder, DB Mac Cooney; O’Fallon – QB Camden Bauer, WR Clayton Gettis

Outlook: Hopefully Benet’s players fully charge all their electronics before making the five-hour trek to O’Fallon, which is coming off a 16-0 shutout of

Cahokia. Benet quarterback Jack Sznajder turned the ball over three times in last week’s win against Downers Grove South. His older brother can help lessen his stress by continuing to run the ball well, as Brad Sznajder carried the workload with 26 carries, 166 yards and all three of Benet’s touchdowns.

Bloom (1-0) at Lincoln-Way West (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Outlook: The Blazing Trojans are coming off an impressive 21-0 win over Thornwood. However, this is a major step up in competition, which will provide an accurate gauge to Bloom’s legitimacy. Quarterback Jordan Benavides is a playmaker, whether he’s flinging the pigskin or carrying it. He has a dangerous backfield mate in Emmanuel Williams, who rushed for one touchdown and caught another for a score. West is coming off an impressive 14-13 win over Sycamore. The Warriors needed a 99-yard kickoff return from Kurtis Flondor to pull off the win. The Warriors’ offense, which struggled against Sycamore, won’t find the going much easier against a Kyle Pugh-led Bloom defense.

Cary-Grove at Lake Zurich

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Outlook: No. 17 Lake Zurich (1-0) seldom surprises, but always impresses. Last week, the Bears ground out a 10-7 win over Fremd with a productive night from running back Zane Lodico (98 yards rushing, TD reception) and a gutsy defensive showing. That defense will need another stout effort against No. 5 Cary-Grove (1-0) and its potent option attack. With Trevor Ruhland (Notre Dame) and Michael Gomez blocking for sophomore Tyler Pennington (105 yards rushing, 2 total TDs last week vs. Wheaton North), the Trojans are tough to slow down.

Elgin (0-1) at Huntley (1-0)

When: 7:15 p.m. Friday

Last year: Huntley 48, Elgin 16

Key players: Elgin – QB/WR Dontrell Gaddy, QB/WR Terrance Miller-Allen. Huntley – DB Tim Ryan, LB Aaron Rutkowski.

Outlook: Elgin coach Kyle Rohde has a bit of a QB controversy, with Miller-Allen outplaying starter Gaddy last week statistically, but turning the ball over twice. “I don’t like the two-quarterback system or anything like it,” Rohde said. “I think that’s tough to run, so I’ll have to make a choice and stick with a guy.” Elgin’s problems could be the line against a Huntley team boasting numbers and size. Elgin OL Ariel Barazza (foot) is an injury question mark. Huntley beat Bartlett 17-7 last week and coach John Hart’s run defense dominated, allowing only 51 yards.

Grayslake North (1-0) at Hampshire (1-0)

When: 7:15 p.m. Friday

Last year: Grayslake North 42, Hampshire 14

Key players: Grayslake North – QB Merrick Gentile, RB Titus Booker. Hampshire – QB Nick Mohlman, WR Xavier Bennett.

Outlook: Dealing with Grayslake North’s speed will be the big task for Hampshire’s defense and for Mohlman when throwing against the North secondary. Booker is an Indiana recruit, and there is plenty of quickness at wideout. Grayslake North’s offense has dominated this Fox Valley Fox series, winning all three matchups and scoring no less than 42 in all three games.

Lincoln-Way East (0-1) at Lincoln-Way Central (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Outlook: The Griffins are coming off a 49-34 loss to Oak Park-River Forest. While the Knights’ offense doesn’t boast the same firepower, it does have a workhorse in Sean Studer, who carried the ball 30 times for 105 yards vs. Sandburg in Week 1. The Knights would prefer a similar performance from Studer. Why? It would keep the Griffins’ high-powered offense on the sidelines. East quarterback Mike Weller was a major force against Oak Park-River Forest, passing for 333 yards and three touchdowns. However, he was picked off twice, something he must avoid against a savvy Central secondary. The Knights would benefit from a solid performance by quarterback Connor Campbell.

Maine South at WW South

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Outlook: It was quite a roller-coaster ride for No. 6 Maine South (1-0) last week against Montini, as the Hawks climbed all the way out of a 20-point hole in the final 5:59. QB Brian Collis recovered from a rough start (four interceptions) to pass for 245 yards. No. 21 Wheaton Warrenville South (0-1) will try to get its running game going after not generating much offense on the ground in a 21-10 loss at Glenbard West. Tigers QB Josh Prueter did have a promising varsity debut, displaying the ability to keep plays alive and improvise.

Marist (1-0) at Brother Rice (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Outlook: The RedHawks have recorded two straight victories in this rivalry, aptly dubbed the Pulaski Road Super Bowl. Not only has Marist defeated its archrivals two straight, it’s put up 104 points doing so. Rice was not pleased at the pasting it absorbed from Marist last season, 55-14. Expect the Crusaders to come out flying, with quarterback Alex Alarcon and running back Marcus Jones leading the attack. Alarcon has the ability to inflict harm with his legs and strong arm. There aren’t many familiar faces from last season at Marist. That is, with the exception of Jawill Aldridge, who is coming off a four-touchdown performance vs. DuSable in Week 1. If Rice jumps ahead, don’t expect it to take its foot off the pedal until the final horn sounds.

Metea Valley (1-0) at Glenbrook South (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Glenbrook South 56, Metea Valley 26.

Key players: Metea Valley – RB Bryson Oliver, WR Nick Dodson; Glenbrook South – QB Fitz Stadler, TE San McDonagh.

Outlook: Glenbrook South has qualified for the playoffs nine straight years while Metea is still pursuing its first playoff appearance. If the Mustangs can win in Glenview they’ll be closer to making it a reality, especially with five of their final seven opponents coming off losing seasons. Metea will need big play from defensive lineman Matt Fitzgerald and the rest of the defense. Glenbrook South is led 6-7 quarterback Fitz Stadler and tight end San McDonagh, who scored three times last week. Bryson Oliver (34 carries, 264 yards, 3 touchdowns) had a monster game last week for the Mustangs.

Naperville Central (0-1) at Neuqua Valley (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Naperville Central 58, Neuqua Valley 35, regular season; Naperville Central 47, Neuqua Valley 18, Class 8A quarterfinals.

Key players: Naperville Central – RB Kevin Clifford, LB Bobby McMillen; Neuqua Valley – QB Broc Rutter, RB Charlie Hunter.

Outlook: Neither team is panicking after losing in their respective openers last weekend, but don’t to start 0-2 either. The No. 19 Redhawks struggled with turnovers last week while the Wildcats started slowly against Naperville North before nearly rallying to tie the game in the final minute. Look for both teams to clean it up. No. 15 Neuqua has the edge at quarterback with Broc Rutter in his second full season, while Central’s Connor Joyce makes just his second career start.

Naperville North (1-0) at Thornton (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Naperville North 14, Thornton 0.

Key players: Naperville North – QB/P Chris Gajcak, LB Colin Herbstritt; Thornton – WR Brian Davis, RB Tionte McDaniel.

Outlook: Naperville North has to avoid a letdown after a big victory against Neuqua Valley. The Huskies played exceptionally well defensively and will need to keep 6-5 wide receiver Brian Davis from making big plays. Thornton used two quarterbacks last week due to injuries. Huskies quarterback Chris Gajcak ran for big gains last week and will likely need to do so again, as running back Leon Hardy remains injured. Huskies will look to cause turnovers after forcing four last Friday.

Oswego East (1-0) at Glenbard East (1-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last year: Oswego East won 33-0.

Key players: Oswego East — RB Khalil Driver, DE Jack Borvan; Glenbard East — QB Phil Abruzino, QB Drake Pusateri.

Outlook: Rams are much improved at the skill positions thanks to a strong junior class. Abruzino and Pusateri split duties in last week’s 41-14 pasting of Willowbrook. Abruzino, a junior, threw for 165 yards and three TDs. Wolves coming off shutout of Woodstock. Borvan had nine tackles, including three sacks.

Richards (1-0) at Geneva (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Teams did not meet.

Key players: Richards — QB Hasan Muhammad-Rogers, WR Spencer Tears; Geneva — QB Daniel Santacaterina, DL Matthew Loberg.

Outlook: Third-year starter, Muhammad-Rogers is a dual threat quarterback who led his team to last year’s 6A state championship game in DeKalb vs. Batavia. Victim this summer of a drive-by shooting in which he was not the target is fully recovered and led Richards to 28-9 win over Indianapolis Aresnal in opener. Tears has offers from Louisville and four MAC schools. The No. 13 Bulldogs’ speed will be a concern to Geneva coach Rob Wicinski.

Sandburg (0-1) at Andrew (1-0)

When: 7:15 p.m. Friday

Outlook: The Eagles boast a 9-1 advantage in this District 230 rivalry. The Thunderbolts’ success will hinge largely on the production of running back Ben DeVries, who is coming off a 243-yard performance against Bremen. Sandburg likely will be focused on containing DeVries and forcing the Thunderbolts to the air. If Andrew quarterback Bobby Kman can establish a consistent passing attack, Andrew will have a shot. Sandburg’s offense sputtered during a season-opening 14-7 loss to Lincoln-Way Central, producing just three first downs all night. The Eagles used Zak Zavod and Avery Verble at quarterback, without much success. Sandburg kicker Jonathan Milazzo might be the difference in this one.

South Elgin (1-0) at Crystal Lake South (0-1)

When: 7:15 p.m. Friday

Last year: Did not play.

Key players: South Elgin – QB Hayden Nelson, RB Shawn Griffin. Crystal Lake South – QB Payton Minogue, DB Joe Ahsmann.

Outlook: South Elgin’s offense exploded on St. Charles East for 501 yards behind Griffin’s 101 rushing and Nelson’s 333 passing, but doing it against a stronger Gators defense will be another matter. Although South got shut out 32-0 by Marian Central last week, Marian is fifth in the AP Class 5A poll and has a D-1 QB. One of South’s strengths is a defensive secondary with three seniors, so the Storm need to get the ground game going and play defensively like last week when they allowed only 2.5 yards per play.

Stevenson (1-0) at Homewood-Flossmoor (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Outlook: This has turned into one of the state’s top early-season rivalries, a North Side vs. South Side matchup with playmakers galore on both sides. Neither team was tested in Week 1, as No. 2 Stevenson (1-0) routed Indian Trail (Wisconsin) in a weather-shortened game and No. 3 H-F (1-0) coasted past inexperienced Harlan. Look for some offensive fireworks. Stevenson aims to air it out with QB Willie Bourbon and WR Cameron Green and H-F counters with a deep ground game led by twins Deante and Devonte Harley-Hampton.

Streamwood (0-1) at Dundee-Crown (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Dundee-Crown 59, Streamwood 14

Key players: Streamwood – QB Max Draper, WR Noah Polich. Dundee-Crown – RB/S Malik Dunner, LB Zach Thelen.

Outlook: Dundee-Crown’s Dunner rushed for 177 yards last week but looked capable of more. The Chargers can also run Caleb Parson, who has been nursing an ankle injury, or power back Brandon Brooks. QB Jeff Atherton was sharper than his stats showed against Elgin in a 36-22 win, as he had three drops, including a sure TD. “We definitely have to respect their passing, but (Dunner) is a fantastic runner and they’re an offense committed to the run; we’ll have to stop that,” Sabres coach Mark Orszula said. Streamwood was better than a 42-25 loss to Hoffman Estates showed. The Sabres fell behind 21-0 immediately, but made a game of it behind Draper (28-of-42, 321 yards). “Our defense has to start faster is the big thing,” Orszula said.

Waubonsie Valley at Oswego

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Outlook: It’s another year and No. 12 Waubonsie Valley (1-0) has another talented running back in Tony Durns. The senior broke off a 54-yard touchdown run against defending Class 8A champ Naperville Central last week and finished with 171 yards on 18 carries in a 20-6 win. No. 22 Oswego (1-0) got some good news with the decision of last year’s leading receiver, 6-4 Zach West, to rejoin the team after initially planning to skip football to concentrate on basketball. He won’t be eligible till Week 4 because of IHSA practice rules. But the Panthers still have QB Steven Frank, who threw for 257 yards and four TDs including the game-winner on an untimed down in a 40-38 win over Batavia.

Vernon Hills (0-1) at Larkin (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last year: Did not play.

Key players: Vernon Hills – QB Connor McNamara, RB/LB Richard Clark. Larkin – RB/DB Chevelle Clements, WR/DB A.J. Hunter.

Outlook: Cameron Tomlin’s return to the lineup will help, but Larkin had many holes to plug defensively after last week in a 61-12 loss when the defensive ends and safeties struggled. Playing Vernon Hills will be a different type of challenge. “They’re 180 degrees different than McHenry,” Larkin coach Dragan Teonic said. “They’ll go five receivers all over the field. It’s good preparation for conference because everyone does something different.” Vernon Hills lost to DeKalb 33-14 last week.

West Aurora (0-1) at Plainfield East (1-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last year: Plainfield East won 35-12.

Key players: West Aurora — RB Daquan Cross, DB Drake Spears; Plainfield East — DE Daniel Jackson, RB Jake Mayon.

Outlook: Bengals expect to challenge Oswego for Southwest Prairie title after making it to playoffs for first time last year. They had 36-20 win over Rich Central, 9-2 last year. QB Cole Kotopka returns and RB Jake Mayon averaged 9.0 yards-per-carry. Jackson is a Western Michigan commit. Blackhawks showed flashes last week with Tarshma Jackson and Daquan Cross both rushing for more than 100 yards.

Contributing: Pat Disabato, Rick Armstrong, Gene Chamberlain, Chris Walker

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