Four Downs: News and notes from Week 2 in high school football

Lincoln-Way East impresses, Brad Vierneisel dominates, quarterback injuries and Brother Rice’s first impressions.

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Lincoln-Way East’s Braden Tischer (15) sees a huge opening and turns a pass play into a 55-yard touchdown run.

Lincoln-Way East’s Braden Tischer (15) sees a huge opening and turns a pass play into a 55-yard touchdown run.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Mount Carmel and Loyola were the talk of the opening week of the season. Lincoln-Way East, the third team in the area’s top tier, had to wait a little longer for the spotlight.

The Griffins delivered in Week 2, dominating Batavia early for a 31-16 victory. It was an impressive display in Frankfort, and it appears very little separates the top three teams this early in the season.

Lincoln-Way East returned nearly everyone from last season’s team, but there were some questions about breakout threats on offense. Those questions are being answered.

Braden Tischer, a junior making his second start at quarterback, ripped off a 55-yard run in the first quarter for the Griffins.

Tischer also threw two touchdown passes. One was to senior Jayden Cook, Lincoln-Way East’s other offensive star. He had five catches for 99 yards.

The Griffins led 31-0 at halftime, a score that sent shockwaves around the area on Friday.

Big numbers in Mount Prospect

Prospect quarterback Brad Vierneisel set a school record in Week 1, throwing for 452 yards and six touchdowns in a lopsided win at home against Sandburg.

The senior didn’t let up in Week 2, finishing with 376 yards passing and five touchdowns in a 52-20 home win against Barrington.

Northwestern recruit Frank Covey, one of the top players in the area, is a top target.

The Knights host Evanston on Friday and have a massive game in Park Ridge against Maine South in Week 5.

Quarterback injury woes

Two traditional powers suffered quarterback injuries in Week 2.

Mark Mennecke, Neuqua Valley’s dynamic quarterback, was injured in the first half of the Wildcats’ overtime loss to Wheaton-Warrenville South. It could be very difficult for Neuqua Valley to replace Mennecke, whose swashbuckling style is the key to the team’s offense.

Maine South quarterback Ryan Leyden was injured in the second quarter of the Hawks’ loss to Warren. Junior Jack DeFillipis filled in admirably.

South Side tussle

Brother Rice vs. St. Rita matched up in Week 2. It was the first game between the South Side rivals since 2018.

The host Mustangs won 17-12, a solid rebound from the rough loss at Mount Carmel in Week 1.

There were a ton of questions surrounding the Crusaders this season. Brother Rice has a new coach, Casey Quedenfeld, and basically an entirely new team.

The Crusaders, led by defensive lineman Roderick Pierce, dominated Hillcrest in Week 1 and a competitive showing on the road against St. Rita is a solid sign of progress for the young team. Ryan Hartz has taken over as quarterback for 2021 Sun-Times Player of the Year Jack Lausch, who is now at Northwestern.

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