No. 19 Naperville Central (0-1) at No. 15 Neuqua Valley (0-1), 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 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. 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.
Benet (1-0) at O’Fallon (1-0), 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.
No. 12 Waubonsie Valley (1-0) at No. 22 Oswego (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Last year: Waubonsie Valley 40, Oswego 21, regular season; Oswego 33, Waubonsie Valley 13, Class 7A second round.
Key players: Waubonsie Valley – RB Tony Durns, DL Nick Horn; Oswego – QB Steve Frank, FB Connor Cavins
Outlook: Both are coming off huge victories. Waubonsie Valley knocked off 8A state champ Naperville Central while Oswego stunned 6A state champ Batavia. In addition, the teams have some great history, splitting two games last year. The Warriors will have to pressure Oswego quarterback Steve Frank, who threw four TD passes against Batavia. The Panthers will try to keep Waubonsie honest by handing the ball to Connor Cavins and Treshon Washington. Durns ran wild last week for the Warriors and new quarterback Zack Bennema showed an ability to run.
Metea Valley (1-0) at Glenbrook South (1-0), 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 North (1-0) at Thornton (1-0), 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.