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The Rest of the Best in DuPage County
Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/26/2011 12:41 AM

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Benet at Nazareth

Game time: 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

The quick hit: The marathon of eight East Suburban Catholic Conference games begins right off the bat. Benet seeks a new offensive identity with only quarterback Nick Mankowski returning. It's a different story for Nazareth, which returns 17 starters.

Downers Grove North at Lockport

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Downers North couldn't hold an early lead in last year's 42-20 loss to the Porters. The Trojans' traditional split-veer running offense won't be 3 yards and a cloud of dust. With strong-armed quarterback Riley McGinnis the offense is more diverse.

Fenton at Leyden

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: All eyes will be on Fenton's new offense, which should feature a greater emphasis on the pass with quarterbacks Alan Geneva and Sean Havlovic. With third-year lineman Freddy Joyner back, though, don't expect the Bison to abandon the run.

Willowbrook at Glenbard East

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: New coaches on both sides with John Walters at Glenbard East and Nick Hildreth at Willowbrook. Both were their respective team's defensive coordinators last season, but new offensive schemes will be the focal point of this rivalry game.

Hinsdale Central at St. Charles North

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: First-year Red Devils coach Rich Tarka looks to win his first game in the trenches with linemen Ryan Callen and sophomore Brian Allen. With new personnel will the North Stars be similar to the team that set program passing records last year?

Hinsdale South at Romeoville

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: When coach Mike Barry took the helm at Hinsdale South in the off-season he stressed massive change in the program. It starts on offense where junior quarterback D.J. Deolitsis heads a lightning-quick unit running a spread, no-huddle scheme.

Lake Park at Conant

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

The quick hit: Prefacing a 2-7 Lake Park season, Conant returned the opening kick for a touchdown on the way to a 27-0 lead. With a second varsity season under the belt of Lancers quarterback Zach Gehant, Lake Park should convert more than 1 of 11 third downs.

Metea Valley at Plainfield East

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

The quick hit: Metea's first senior class seeks revenge after last year's varsity debut, when Mustangs quarterback Jarrett House's late touchdown pass to Raysean Parker was answered by Plainfield East's game-winning pass, on fourth-and-13, with five seconds left.

Oak Park at Glenbard North

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: It's all about setting the tone for the Panthers. Look for them to pound powerful running back Phil Jackson at the Huskies, who are a bit of an unknown with first-year coach John Hoerster. The Panthers' defense also aims to make a statement.

Plano at Lisle

Game time: 7:15 p.m. Friday, Benedictine University

The quick hit: In a rare off-year, 2-7 Plano still ran for 228 yards and led 24-0 entering the fourth quarter. If the host Lions want to reach the playoffs, they've got to buckle up and steal a win or two from one of these Interstate Eight Large Division crossover foes.

Prairie Ridge at Glenbard South

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: A tough opener for the Raiders, Prairie Ridge and its triple-option offense have reached the Class 6A semifinals the last two years. Glenbard South's offense needs to establish itself early with running back Wes Sanders and quarterback Tyler Padera.

Ridgewood at Immaculate Conception

Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday, Plunkett Field

The quick hit: The host Knights look to repeat last season's 28-7 win, this time with ex-Naperville Central assistant Chris VanDyke at the helm. He's installed a spread offense; will be interesting to see how junior quarterback Demetrius Carr runs the new scheme.

Riverside-Brookfield at St. Francis

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday, College of DuPage

The quick hit: In 2010 St. Francis outgained the Bulldogs 313 yards to 96 on the ground in a 34-7 win. Spartans coach Greg Purnell wants to improve the pass game, but with a bevy of backs behind big tackles Kyle Bosch and Robert Dwyer, if it ain't broke...

South Elgin at Downers Grove South

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: While the Mustangs lean on the experience of seven returning defensive starters, running back Josh Williams begins his quest for another 1,000-yard season. Two all-conference tackles and a third-year starter lead a formidable Storm offensive line.

West Chicago at Addison Trail

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: With 16 returning starters, Addison Trail will hit the ground running. Defense should be the Wildcats' strength but can linebackers Nate Sudnick and John Ragano slow Blazers running back Anthony Catanese and quarterback Trevor Bermingham?

Wheaton Academy at Westminster Christian (Mo.)

Game time: 5 p.m. Friday, St. Louis

The quick hit: The Warriors look to repeat last season's 28-6 win, but a long trip, an odd start at a lightless field and a fresh varsity lineup provide challenges. Win or lose, a good bonding experience awaits both within the program and with a likeminded opponent.

York at Rolling Meadows

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: York's defense returns only three starters, but one is lineman-linebacker Nick Skuteris back for his fourth varsity season. Rolling Meadows is an unknown with a new coaching staff, but quarterback Jack Milas leads an experienced offense.