Scouting Week 8 Fox football games
Prairie Ridge (6-1, 6-1) at Crystal Lake South (5-2, 5-2)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last matchup: Prairie Ridge won 63-21 in Week 8 last season.
About the Wolves: Prairie Ridge beat Dundee-Crown last week 35-14. … QB Tyler Vasey leads all players by more than 400 yards with 1,720 yards rushing. He averages 10.8 per carry. … FB Nathan Greetham had 868 rushing and freshman RB Luke Vanderwiel has 259. … Prairie Ridge averages 41.9 points a game, highest among FVC teams. … The Wolves have lost 10 regular-season games since the start of the 2015 season and three of those came in the 2021 spring COVID-19 season. … Prairie Ridge is No. 4 in The Associated Press Class 6A poll.
About the Gators: South defeated McHenry 41-14 last week. It was only the second FVC game this season that had a running clock (with a 40-point lead). … RB Nate Van Witzenburg has 21 combined touchdowns (rushing and receiving) with 968 yards. … QB Caden Casimino has 1,826 passing yards and has thrown 13 touchdowns. … WR Michael Prokos has 48 receptions. … South is second in the FVC in scoring (251) and has scored 91 points in its last two games.
Cary-Grove (3-4, 3-4) at Burlington Central (3-4, 3-4)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last matchup: C-G defeated Central 48-7 in Week 8 last season.
About the Trojans: C-G lost to Jacobs 41-7 last week. … The Trojans have not lost three consecutive games since the start of the 2002 season. They need to win their next two games to extend their playoff string to 18 straight seasons. … FB Holden Boone rushed for 137 yards on 29 carries last week, but C-G lost FB-LB Colin Desmet, RB Alex Schuppe and WR-DB Mykal Kanellakis to leg injuries.
About the Rockets: Burlington Central kept its playoff hopes alive with a 21-17 victory over Crystal Lake Central last week. … The Rockets were behind 17-0 at halftime last week before rallying to beat the Tigers. … QB Ryder Bergemann, playing in place of injured Jackson Alcorn, threw for 157 yards and ran for 59 yards last week. He threw and ran for one touchdown each.
Huntley (6-1, 6-1) at Dundee-Crown (2-5, 2-5)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last matchup: Huntley defeated D-C 38-17 in Week 8 last season.
About the Red Raiders: Huntley defeated Hampshire 35-0 last week. … The Red Raiders' defense has allowed an FVC-low 111 points and last week was their first shutout. Huntley has allowed more than 20 points in only one game. … QB Sam Deligio had one of his best games last week when he was 8-of-11 passing for 142 yards and a touchdown, and he ran for 34 yards and two touchdowns. … RB Haiden Janke leads the Raiders with 878 yards.
About the Chargers: D-C lost to Prairie Ridge 35-14 last week. … The Chargers lost their fourth in a row and were eliminated from the postseason. … QB Zach Randl is completing 67.6% of his throws and has 1,301 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. … WRs Anthony Aguilar (34 receptions, 343 yards, 3 TDs), Kali Freeman (21, 362, 5 TDs) and Terrion Bell (21, 235, 4 TDs) are Randl's top targets.
Jacobs (6-1, 6-1) at Hampshire (0-7, 0-7)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last matchup: Jacobs defeated Hampshire 49-13 in Week 8 last season.
About the Golden Eagles: Jacobs defeated Cary-Grove 41-7 last week. … RB Antonio Brown has 1,264 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns. … RB Joey Scrivani has 681 yards rushing. … QB Max Benner had a standout game last week, going 6 for 6 with a touchdown pass each to TEs Grant Stec and Nick True. … The Eagles are No. 8 in Class 7A.
About the Whip-Purs: Hampshire lost to Huntley 35-0 last week. … Sophomore RB Cole Klawikowski has 1,162 yards. … RBs Michael Freeman (160) and Ezaia Evans (150) are next in rushing for the Whips. … Four of Hampshire's losses have been by one score and another was by 13 points.
Elgin (3-4, 3-4) at Larkin (4-3, 4-3)
When: Friday, 7 p.m. (Memorial Field, Elgin)
Previous Matchup: Larkin 30, Elgin 28 (2021 at Elgin)
About the Maroons: A game with significant meaning to both teams beyond the usual city rivalry. Elgin must win its final two games to become playoff eligible. "Larkin is playing well and has seized some opportunities within its season," Elgin coach Anthony Mason said. "Being disciplined is No. 1. They will fly around and this game is full of emotion. We need to be disciplined and physical at the point of attack. We are disappointed we have not played well all season and ran into many injuries that have affected the outcomes of games. We don't complain or make excuses. We keep working." Nose tackle Adam Lambaz continues to be a star for the Maroons. "Adam is doing amazing things at nose tackle and has become a dynamic player on the defensive side of the ball," Mason said. Matt Lawson also continues to motor along. "Right now he is Mr. Everything for us and is carrying a large load on offense and defense," Mason said. Terrell Arrington has stepped in at quarterback after James Syrek was injured. "Terrell has stepped up at quarterback and is able to be dynamic," Mason said.
About the Royals: A win here makes Larkin playoff eligible at five wins. "Elgin is not much different from us," Larkin coach Grant Dietz said. "They have weapons that we must account for or else they can hurt you. In a game like this, records can go out the window. There is a lot at stake in this game. We must execute our offense and play great defense, plus mix in game-changing special teams for four quarters. We must do that each week and this one is no different. Our mood is positive. We are focused on one game at a time," Dietz said. Chevelle Clements and Jalen Miller are playing well on both sides of the ball, while Tim Scott is having success at cornerback and Michael Bresnen is also playing well at safety.
Bartlett (4-3, 4-3) at South Elgin (7-0, 7-0)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Previous Matchup: South Elgin 41, Bartlett 0 (2021 at Bartlett)
About the Hawks: Another Upstate Eight and U-46 game with some meaning behind it beyond the obvious annual rivalry. Bartlett becomes playoff eligible with a win here. "South Elgin is a good football team, as their record shows, that plays hard and fast," Bartlett coach Milan Vuckovich said. "We will need to bring the energy and physicality to be successful. Our locker room is solid. They know what they need to do to make the playoffs and that is still their No. 1 goal. This group of seniors understands that their high school football careers are in the final stretch and there is a new type of focus from these players." Vuckovich said the backfield combination of Koleman Salyers, Dontain Williams and Malcolm Babers continues to be a huge bright spot. "They are some of the most selfless football players I have ever been around," he said. "They all run hard and block for each other without hesitation. There are no egos back there. They want each other to be successful and they are the engine for our offense." Vuckovich said time of possession last week against Larkin was a key. After taking the opening kickoff, Bartlett went on a 17-play drive that chewed up 8:40 (but no points), and then scored a touchdown on the next drive that lasted 4 plays. "We have shown that we can possess the ball and cover a lot of ground, while also being able to hit the big play," he said. "It's a good balance and something we are proud of as a staff." Defensively, seniors Juan Villa (linebacker) and Nico Gawlak (defensive line) have turned it up a notch. Junior center Blake McCluskey, Vuckovich pointed out, is the player Bartlett relies on to make calls. "Blake is absolutely crucial to our success in the run game and protecting Gio (Bartlett quarterback Nguyen) when we drop back to pass." Vuckovich also lauded the efforts of senior manager Thomas Lindgren. "Thomas deserves the recognition," he said. "He handles so much for us as a staff, from helping out with the equipment, running our Hudl sideline system, keeping us on time by running the practice segment timer, helping our trainers out with water, to filming when needed. He makes it possible for us to focus on coaching, and for that we are extremely grateful and will miss him next season."
About the Storm: A win here for South Elgin would inch it closer to the Upstate Eight title and increase its chances for an even more favorable seed come state playoff time. "Week 8 is rivalry week in the Upstate Eight Conference, so we are very familiar with our rival," Storm coach Dragan Teonic said. "They have had an inconsistent year due to injuries and things outside their focus of control. They are able to move the ball on the ground effectively and have a complementary play-action game. We view this as any other game, so our focus is on ball security, physicality and pad level. We must control the line of scrimmage and dominate our individual assignment." Last week, Nathan Downey, in relief of starting quarterback Jake Sullivan, went 5-for-7 for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns after going 4-for-6 for 124 yards and 2 scores the previous week. "We are so proud of Nathan and his preparation," Teonic said. Mason Montgomery ran the ball 3 times for 81 yards and 1 touchdown and also caught 2 passes for 41 yards and 2 touchdowns in Week 7. Teonic said Josh Camacho played his best game of the year on defense last week, while Isaiah Alejandre also was impressive with a blocked punt. "Josh Camacho has tackled well and is comfortable in man and zone coverage," Teonic said. The coach added Bryce Moore has been a force in the middle of the line on defense with multiple hurries and tackles for loss.
Streamwood (1-6, 1-6) at Fenton (1-6, 1-6)
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Previous Matchup: Streamwood 47, Fenton 7 (2021 at Streamwood)
About the Sabres: Streamwood coach Keith McMaster noted his team already had a youthful look to it before injuries caused it to move freshman Elijah Beckford and sophomore Juan Cortes into the running back position. McMaster also was thrilled with the play last week from the returning Jace Wolf. "Defensively, we received a tremendous boost from Jace, who returned after being out six weeks," he said. McMaster added Streamwood's defense features only 3 seniors on it. "The rest have been juniors and sophomores," he said. "As the season progresses, the physicality of varsity football is starting to wear on these players. However, this is a great learning experience for their futures." Oscar Villapando has enjoyed a fine season at defense back. "Oscar has had a great season," McMaster said. "He not only covers the top receivers, but he aids in the run game from the outside."
About the Bison: Fenton's only win came by a point against West Chicago in Week 4. "Fenton is balanced offensively and defensively," McMaster said. "They probably throw the ball more than any team we have seen this season. It always comes down to execution to win a ballgame."
West Aurora (1-6, 0-3) at Plainfield North (7-0, 3-0)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Previous Matchup: Plainfield North 28, West Aurora 9 (2021 at West Aurora)
About the Blackhawks: West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said his players continue to power forward. "The mood is great and these kids are great," he said. Eimer said a continued focus is the run game on both sides of the ball. "It's our inability to run the ball and stop the run," he said. "It's something we need to improve on these last two weeks in order to compete." Eimer said a bright spot has been the play of Casey Roney on special teams. "Casey has been great at kicking all season," he said.
About the Tigers: Plainfield North is undefeated, having outscored teams 240-59 this season, including a notable 19-9 win at home against Naperville Central in Week 2. "Plainfield North will be competing for a state title -- no weaknesses," Eimer said.
Wheaton North (6-1, 4-1) at Geneva (5-2, 3-2)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last matchup: Wheaton North 27, Geneva 0 (2021)
About the Falcons: For the second year in a row, the Falcons pulled out a win late last week to beat its crosstown rival, in this case clinching a playoff bid. Tyler O'Connor's fourth-quarter touchdown run and two-point conversion pass to Joe Barna lifted Wheaton North to an 8-7 win. Defensive back Matt Kuczaj had a key interception late to seal the win. O'Connor seems to be a playmaker for the Falcons in multiple facets, with an interception last week as well as his offensive heroics. Wheaton North has been no stranger to close conference games. Four of the Falcons' five DuKane games have been decided by a total of 12 points. Wheaton North, along with Batavia a game behind St. Charles North, still has a path to win the league championship.
About the Vikings: Geneva comes in smarting from its 33-7 loss to Batavia, the Vikings' 12th consecutive loss to their close rivals. Still, Geneva appears to be a program on the come, following up a playoff appearance last year with another winning season. Speedy sophomore receiver Talyn Taylor (34 catches, 519 yards, seven TDs) already holds offers from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin and is the favorite target of junior QB Nate Stempowski, who has thrown for 1,108 yards and 14 TDs with just two interceptions. Junior linebacker Tommy Diamond, who has 38 tackles and seven for loss, is the leader of the Geneva defense.
St. Charles North (6-1, 5-0) at Glenbard North (3-4, 2-3)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Previous Matchup: Glenbard North 28, St. Charles North 16 (2021 at St. Charles North)
About the North Stars: Glenbard North hosts the DuKane Conference leaders for an important game with playoff implications. The North Stars are on a 6-game winning streak since losing their season-opener to 6-1 Palatine. "We need to stop their run game," said Panthers coach Ryan Wilkens said, who also noted St. Charles North has a "very active defense."
About the Panthers: Glenbard North needs wins in both its final regular-season contests to become playoff eligible. First up is St. Charles North followed by 2-5 Wheaton Warrenville South in Week 9. Wilkens lauded the work of Justin Bland and Damarion Elliston in last week's game against Lake Park (35-14 win). Bland was 13-for-19 passing for 190 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Elliston ran the ball 22 times for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns. David Petty also caught 4 passes for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Batavia (5-2, 4-1) at St. Charles East (2-5, 0-5)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last matchup: Batavia 42, St. Charles East 0 (2021)
About the Bulldogs: Drew Gerke continues to build his resume as perhaps the top player in the DuKane Conference following another three-touchdown effort last week. Meanwhile, Batavia is running the ball effectively and the defense has only allowed 13 points over the last month. Batavia needs a win to become playoff eligible ahead of a much-anticipated regular season finale against St. Charles North next week.
About the Saints: The Saints are primarily playing for pride at this point with a playoff berth highly unlikely. St. Charles East did avoid a shutout last week against St. Charles North with a score late in the fourth quarter, but has had trouble with limiting teams early in games. Step one will be focusing on Bulldogs running back Ryan Whitwell defensively.
Leo (2-5, 0-2) at Marmion (2-5, 0-2)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Last matchup: Marmion 34, Leo 3 (2021)
About the Cadets: The Cadets are effectively on the outside looking in at a postseason berth, but still have the talent to be competitive to close the season. The Cadets played backup quarterback Henry Garrison (13 of 19, 164 yards, TD) last week, but Carmel made four field goals to extend the Cadets' losing streak to five games.
About the Lions: Leo shut out Thornton two weeks ago, but Nazareth halted that momentum with a convincing 42-6 win last week.
Kaneland (4-3, 2-2) at Woodstock North (1-6, 0-5)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last matchup: Kaneland 56, Woodstock 21 (2021)
About the Knights: The Knights have won three of their last four, including a 44-3 win against Marengo last week. Coach Pat Ryan said the Knights have been getting better every game. A win Friday and the Knights become playoff eligible."All three phases of the game are playing well and we're looking to build on that and get another win," Ryan said. Chris Ruchaj raced the Knights to a 14-0 lead last week with touchdown runs of 73 and 20 yards and the defense took care of the rest. Johnny Spalasso and Sebastian Chavez each had an interception, Nicklaus McNamara had a sack and Marengo managed just 132 total yards. "We haven't had a whole lot of injury issues so that's been a bonus," Ryan said. "As the season has gone on we've tackled better and played faster."
About the Thunder: North lost to Sycamore 48-15 last week. RB Landan Creighton led the Thunder with 10 carries for 79 yards last week, while QB Jay Zinnen ran for 55 yards. FB Kaden Combs leads the Thunder with 452 yards rushing and Zinnen has 378.
Other Friday Fox Games
Ridgewood (4-3, 1-3) at Aurora Central Catholic (1-6, 1-3), 6 p.m.
St. Edward (1-6, 0-3) at Aurora Christian (4-3, 1-2), 7 p.m.