DVC race coming down to the wire in Week 9
An interesting final week is shaping up in the DuPage Valley Conference.
For starters, the conference title will be up for grabs in Week 9. Naperville Central-Naperville North play at Central Friday. Central is tied with Neuqua Valley atop the DVC at 4-1, while North is a game back at 3-2. DeKalb also sits at 3-2.
A Central win guarantees it no worse than a share of the title. Neuqua Valley finishes out the regular season at 1-7 Metea Valley, while DeKalb hosts 0-8 Waubonsie Valley.
A North win would give it a piece of the title dependent on Metea beating Neuqua.
Statistically you could anywhere from having a singular champion to having four teams share the title.
The playoff picture is a little less murky. Central, Neuqua and Naperville North are all guaranteed to be in with 6 wins already.
Seven wins would increase the chances of hosting a first-round playoff game. DeKalb earns a guaranteed spot at 6 wins with a win over Waubonsie.
There will be a test on this.
West Chicago update:
The West Chicago football team has a couple of ironmen residing on its offensive line.
Coach Adam Chavez gave high praise to Alexis Correa and Adrian Cuautle. Both have started all eight games so far and have not missed an offensive snap.
"Alexis and Adrian have been stalwarts on the offensive line," he said.
Another key starter has been sophomore Tommy Doyle at wide receiver.
Doyle has 15 catches for 359 yards and 5 touchdowns heading into the Wildcats' season finale Friday in Elgin against Larkin.
"Tommy has started every game at wide receiver and has turned in a solid season so far," Chavez said.
Glenbard East update:
In terms of playoff health, the Rams are in real good shape. A win at Bartlett puts them at 8-1 and guarantees playoff football will arrive in Lombard in Week 10.
On the individual front, East coach John Walters loves how Raul Garcia conducts himself. "Raul continues to lead," Walters said. "He is like having a defensive back coach on the field."
Also of note has been the play of Jordan Boykin up front on defense, continuing Walters' emphasis on just how key the Rams' defense has been. Last week's win against Glenbard South marked the sixth game in a row where a foe has failed to score double digits.
"Jordan has been very consistent this season and doesn't seem to get the accolades the other three defensive linemen get," Walters said.
Lake Park update:
Special teams was a bright spot for the Lancers in their Week 8 game against Wheaton Warrenville South.
"Our special teams had some major key plays to keep us in the game," Lancers coach Chris Kirkpatrick noted.
Senior defensive tackle Tyler Michelini blocked a punt in the game and booked it back for a touchdown, while junior wide receiver Matt Rodriguez returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score "to spark us," Kirkpatrick said.
Wheaton Academy update:
Wheaton Academy is headed to the state playoffs and coach Jim Johanik addressed the team's slate of games this season. The Warriors are 7-1 headed into the regular-season finale against 5-3 Aurora Christian at home.
"Some have said we've played a softer schedule this year," Johanik said. "Well, consider this: Four out of the nine opponents we faced this year have a combined 16 state championships, six in the last 10 years. I think COVID changed the scheduling landscape significantly. Some programs bumped higher, while several dipped, almost overnight. I think I can speak for Aurora Christian in that we are both looking forward to this upcoming game between two programs that have remained consistent through it all."
St. Francis update:
In last week's road win at Riverside-Brookfield that bumped the Spartans to 8-0 on the season, Amari Head ran the ball 17 times for 121 yards. He wasn't the only big stat accumulator, though. Brady Piper ran 14 times for 109 yards and 1 touchdown, while quarterback Alessio Milivojevic completed 10 of 16 pass attempts for 173 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also added a rushing touchdown of his own. Dash Dorsey caught 6 passes for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Spartans, who will see Week 10 playoff action in Wheaton, round out the regular-season slate on the road Friday against perennial power IC Catholic Prep (7-1) in a battle of the Metro Suburban Conference's two division winners.
York is one victory away from recording its first 9-0 undefeated record season in program history. The Dukes crushed Willowbrook 50-0 last week to run their season offensive output to 303 points against just 58 points allowed. The Dukes play at Oak Park-River Forest on Thursday night.
In the West Suburban Gold, Downers Grove South (5-3, 5-0) has won five in a row heading into Saturday's home game against Leyden.
-- Bobby Narang contributed to this story