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Four Downs: News and notes from Week 3 in high school football

Kaleb Brown’s possible return date, South Elgin’s rise, Batavia magic and more.

Batavia players celebrate Jalen Buckley’s (27) winning touchdown during overtime in the game against Wheaton North.
Batavia players celebrate Jalen Buckley’s (27) winning touchdown during overtime in the game against Wheaton North.
Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Kaleb Brown had the game against Loyola circled on his calendar and he wasn’t afraid to mention it in the preseason.

“Loyola,” Brown said. “I want to beat them. I haven’t done that in high school, so I want to accomplish that.”

The Ohio State recruit won’t ever get a chance to do that. He’s still on the shelf after picking up a leg injury Week 1 against Mount Carmel.

Brown found himself wandering the Mustangs’ sideline on Saturday in Wilmette. He posed for some pictures and watched his teammates lose without him. St. Rita managed just 25 rushing yards in the game, about one medium-sized Brown run.

St. Rita’s major goal is a state championship and that is still possible. Brown said he’s hoping to be back for Week 6 against Nazareth or Week 7 against Marian Central.

Get to know the Storm

It’s probably safe to assume that most fans don’t know much about South Elgin football. This is only the 16th year the school has been around. The Storm has advanced to the playoffs six times, a very respectable start. But things are ramping up lately.

South Elgin was 9-2 in 2019-20 and undefeated in the spring season. Dragan Teonic’s squad is 3-0 so far this season, making it 24-4 so far in his four years in charge. The Storm has knocked off St. Viator (48-7), East Aurora (58-0) and Glenbard South (35-7) so far this season.

Running back Mason Montgomery had 12 carries for 204 yards on Friday against Glenbard South and sophomore quarterback Jake Sullivan had 24 carries for 126 yards. The Storm runs a triple option offense.

South Elgin’s remaining games are against Larkin, Glenbard East, Streamwood, Elgin, Bartlett and West Chicago. There’s a real chance the team could head into the playoffs as a fairly unknown unbeaten Class 8A team.

South suburban clashes

The Catholic League matchups will get most of the hype this week. Top-ranked Loyola is at No. 3 Brother Rice and No. 6 Mount Carmel is at No. 4 Marist. All four teams are unbeaten.

But there are two fun games in the south suburbs on Friday as well. No. 20 Lockport is at No. 16 Homewood-Flossmoor. The Vikings are a young team with a new head coach, but a road win for the Porters would definitely open some eyes.

The Joliet area will be hyped for Providence at Joliet Catholic. The Hilltoppers are undefeated and ranked fifth. They enter as heavy favorites. But this one could wind up close. The Celtics knocked off Fenwick in Week 3.

Batavia magic

It really looked like Wheaton North was going to win at Batavia on Friday night.

The Falcons led by 10 in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Mark Forcucci is a three-year starter, one of many experienced players for coach Joe Wardynski.

But there just seems to be some magic sprinkled on the Batavia football program the past several years, especially at home.

The Bulldogs found a way. Jalen Buckley ripped off a huge 83-yard touchdown run and everything changed. By the time overtime hit all the momentum was with the hosts, who pulled out a 23-20 win in overtime.

Keep an eye on Batavia linebacker Tyler Jansey, the younger brother of Michael Jansey. He was excellent throughout. Both games I saw this weekend featured underrated linebackers with impressive lineage. Loyola’s Josh Kreutz was a monster against St. Rita.

Neither player seems to be getting much attention in the recruiting world, but that is likely to change.