Scouting Week 9 football games in the Northwest suburbs
Hersey (7-1, 3-1) at Buffalo Grove (7-1, 3-1)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Hersey lost to Prospect 24-23; Buffalo Grove beat Wheeling 35-7
Spring score: Buffalo Grove 22, Hersey 10
Outlook: At stake here is a higher seed in the playoffs and the possibility of tying for the Mid-Suburban East title. Hersey will look to rebound after its tough loss last week. The Huskies battled to the end last week thanks to a defense that was able to adjust and an offense that got on track thanks to the play of Jimmy Makuh, who has yet to throw an interception this season. Buffalo Grove's option game continues to improve. The Bison have piled up 2,685 yards on the ground this season. Trystan Anderson and Eli Shereshovech have been keys to the Bison defense.
Hoffman Estates (7-1, 4-0) at Palatine (5-3, 3-1)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last Week: Hoffman Estates beat Schaumburg 49-20; Palatine beat Fremd 31-16
Spring score: Palatine 42, Hoffman Estates 0
Outlook: Hoffman Estates has already clinched a share of the MSL West title, its first since 1994. Now the Hawks can win the conference outright with a win over Palatine. But first, Hoffman needs to score against Palatine, a feat it has not accomplished in the last two games against the Pirates. Palatine was on the verge of elimination two weeks ago. But the Pirate defense came to the rescue and Palatine has been on its way since. It should be a great battle between two of the top running backs in the conference in Hoffman's Joshua Pettis-Taylor and Palatine's Dominick Ball.
Barrington (4-4, 2-2) at Fremd (1-7, 1-3)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last Week: Barrington beat Conant 56-14; Fremd lost to Palatine 31-16
Spring score: Barrington 35, Fremd 21
Outlook: Barrington's offense exploded last week, just when the Broncos needed it most to stay alive for a playoff berth. Now Barrington needs a win this week to clinch a playoff spot and keep its playoff streak of 7 consecutive seasons alive. Evan Panesis continues to run well for the Broncos while quarterback Harley Thompson has stepped up his game. Fremd is hoping to be the killjoy here and is led by Archie Cox, who has 6 touchdowns for the Vikings. It will also be the last game for Viking defensive coordinator Brent Pearlman, who is stepping down.
Rolling Meadows (4-4, 2-2) at Prospect (7-1, 4-0)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Rolling Meadows beat Elk Grove 41-13; Prospect beat Hersey 24-23
Spring score: Prospect 48, Rolling Meadows 14
Outlook: Rolling Meadows needs a win to clinch a playoff spot. But the Mustangs, who have lost three games by a total of 6 points, could still back into the playoffs with a loss, thanks to their very high playoff points. The Mustangs aren't looking to do that and continue to have great success thanks to the play of quarterback Evan Grace and wide receivers Ethan Groark and Michael Brigham. Prospect has clinched a tie for the MSL East title and the Knights want even more. A win gives them the title outright and high seed in the Class 7A playoffs. Frank Covey is already showing that he can be one of the best quarterbacks in the Class of 2023.
Elk Grove (2-6, 0-4) at Wheeling (1-7, 0-4)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Elk Grove lost to Rolling Meadows 41-13; Wheeling lost to Buffalo Grove 35-7
Spring score: Elk Grove 47, Wheeling 15
Outlook: It has been a difficult season for both teams but one of them will end on a happier note. Both teams have been playing well as of late. Elk Grove was within a touchdown last week thanks to the running of Jacob Elsner and the play of quarterback Mitch Janczak. Wheeling was close at the half and trailed 21-7. The Wildcats continue to get solid play from Simon Micula and Brandon Roma at quarterback.
Schaumburg (2-6, 0-4) at Conant (3-5, 2-2)When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last Week: Schaumburg lost to Hoffman Estates 49-20; Conant lost to Barrington 56-14
Spring score: Conant 27, Schaumburg 14
Outlook: This will be the end of the line for both teams this season and expect the defenses to take the night off. Schaumburg has been scoring points in bunches the last few weeks, averaging 33 points per game. Takumi Fred has run the ball well all season while quarterback D.J. Wilson and Omarion Jones. It is a tough end to a sensational career for Conant quarterback Giuseppe Dugo. It would be difficult to find a quarterback that runs the option as well as Dugo has these past three seasons, leading the Cougars to 32 points per game this season.
Maine South (7-1, 4-0) at New Trier (5-3, 2-2)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Maine South beat Evanston 31-23; New Trier beat Niles West 42-14
Spring score: Maine South 14, New Trier 9
Outlook: With its win last week, Maine South has wrapped up the CSL South tile for the 20th time in the last 21 years. Now the Hawks will be looking for some momentum and a high playoff seed. Mike Sajenko, who is coming off a 109-yard performance last week, is a force to deal with. New Trier is the only team to beat Maine South in conference play since 2001. The Trevians beat Maine South in 2016.
Vernon Hills (6-2, 3-1) at Maine East (0-8, 0-4)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Vernon Hills beat Highland Park 28-6; Maine East forfeited to Deerfield
Spring score: Vernon Hills 63, Maine East 6
Outlook: Maine East forfeited last weeks' game due to a number of injuries and other factors. It would be easy for these seniors to just call it a season. But the players, to their credit, want to end their season and their careers on the field on Friday.
Maine West (2-6, 1-3) at Highland Park (3-5, 1-3)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Maine West lost to Niles North 48-6; Highland Park lost to Vernon Hills 28-6
Spring score: Did not play
Outlook: Maine West is looking to end its season on a high note. The Warriors have struggled in past weeks but look to change their fortune after losing their last three. Quarterback Conor McAndrews and running back Claudio Castellanos, who are both seniors, have played well in recent games.
St. Patrick (4-4, 2-0) vs. St. Viator (3-5, 2-0) at Forest ViewWhen: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: St. Patrick lost to Loyola 35-6; St. Viator lost to Mt. Carmel 42-7
Spring score: Did not play
Outlook: Although it appears that St. Viator has been eliminated from the playoffs, the Lions still have plenty to play for. At stake is the CCL/ESCC Purple Division title. If the Lions are successful here, it would be their third consecutive division title won or shared. St. Patrick also has twice the incentive here. A win gives the Shamrocks the conference title and it will earn them a state playoff berth.
Downers Grove South (4-4, 4-1) at Leyden (3-5, 2-3)When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Downers South beat Morton 17-7; Leyden beat Addison Trail 28-7
Spring score: Downers Grove South 28, Leyden 14
Outlook: Leyden is coming off a solid effort last Friday. Diego Mendoza had a trio of touchdown runs and ran for 87 yards as Leyden piled up 178 yards on the ground. The Eagles are looking to play spoilers this week. A win by Leyden would eliminate Downers Grove South from the playoffs.