Four takes from Week 3 in high school football

St. Rita’s unbeaten start, Hersey’s Power Five combo, DuKane dominance and a Notre Dame recruit produces.

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St. Rita’s Justin Buckner (11) James Kingsbury, III, (40) celebrate the Mustangs’ victory over Joliet Catholic.

St. Rita’s Justin Buckner (11) James Kingsbury, III, (40) celebrate the Mustangs’ victory over Joliet Catholic.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

St. Rita is off to an undefeated start after three games under new coach Martin Hopkins.

The hot start sets up a major showdown at rival Mount Carmel on Friday. The top-ranked Caravan will be favored, but experienced quarterback Jett Hilding and powerful running back DJ Stewart should give the Mustangs a fighting chance.

St. Rita opened the season with a 42-21 win at Sandburg against former Phillips coach Troy McAllister. Then the Mustangs beat a talented Kenwood team 33-20 at home.

The biggest test of the season so far was last Friday in Joliet against a ranked Joliet Catholic squad fresh off of a 19-0 pounding of rival Providence.

St. Rita trailed by 10 at halftime but surged back in the second half, scoring twice in the final three minutes to beat the Hilltoppers 20-10.

“We got some pace going in our offense, and our energy going,” St. Rita quarterback Jett Hilding said. “Once we did that, they couldn’t keep up.”

Power Five combo

Hersey’s Colton Gumino to Carson Grove connection has been one of the area’s best combinations so far this season.

Grove, a senior receiver committed to Northwestern, had five catches for 196 yards and a touchdown in a win against Glenbrook North in Week 3.

Gumino, a 6-2, 195-pound quarterback, appears poised to become one of the area’s most highly-recruited players. He currently has offers from Iowa State, Kansas and Oregon. Expect that list to grow.

The junior was 11-for-19 passing for 285 yards and four TDs against Glenbrook North. He was 20-for-24 for 274 yards in Week 2 against Fremd and threw for 171 yards in the opener against New Trier.

The undefeated Huskies have a tough showdown at home against Prospect in Week 6, but Buffalo Grove (2-1) is the only other team above .500 they will face this season.

Future Fighting Irish

Glenbard South’s Cam Williams, a Notre Dame recruit, is one of the players in the area with a possible NFL future. The 6-2, 190-pound senior has his team off to a 3-0 start and he’s doing it on both sides of the ball.

Wiliams had seven receptions for 189 yards with TD catches of 34 and 69 yards against Larkin in Week 3. He also had a touchdown run and an interception.

The Raiders play in the Upstate Eight, which isn’t the area’s strongest conference. Their schedule doesn’t have room for nonconference games, so the biggest matchup of the year for Glenbard South will be Week 6 against South Elgin. Both teams could be unbeaten heading into the game.

DuKane quality

All four of the CCL/ESCC Blue teams (Loyola, Mount Carmel, St. Rita, Brother Rice) opened the season in the rankings and all four remain ranked.

But there is another conference in the area with four Super 25 teams, the DuKane. Geneva is undefeated. Batavia, St. Charles North and Wheaton North are 2-1.

All four teams are threats to advance to the state finals at ISU. It is anyone’s guess which one ends up winning the conference. But through the first three weeks of the season, all four are living up to preseason expectations, so there should be some fantastic football in the West suburban conference over the next few months.

Contributing: Mike Clark

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