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Football / Scouting Lake County, Week 3
By Joe Aguilar and Patricia Babcock McGraw | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/8/2011 11:47 PM

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NORTH SUBURBAN CROSSOVER

Antioch (2-0) at Libertyville (2-0)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Antioch def. Waukegan, 17-7; Libertyville def. Chicago Urban Prep, 24-0.

Skinny: There are four undefeated teams left in Lake County and these are two of them. (Lakes and Grayslake Central are the other two.) Antioch coach Brian Glashagel is expecting a battle indicative of the spotless 4-0 record between the Sequoits and the Wildcats. "I think it will be a very exciting game between two really good teams. It will be the first time this season that we've played in a game that will have a playoff atmosphere," Glashagel said. "(Libertyville) reminds us a lot of ourselves. Defensively, they're not overly huge, but they've got a lot of good, athletic guys who can run to the ball. And offensively, they like to run the ball."-Against Urban Prep last week, Libertyville running back Brian Swift rolled up 178 rushing yards on 20 carries. He also ran for 2 touchdowns, including a 65-yarder. Glashagel is also impressed with Libertyville back Joey Salata. "He's really shifty and can make people miss," Glashagel said of Salata. "We saw Libertyville run the ball quite a bit (against Urban Prep), which was a lot different than what they did last year where they threw the ball on almost every down."-Antioch's game plan is the same this year as last: run the ball. The Sequoits had quite a bit of success at that last week against Waukegan, rolling up 334 yards on the ground. Fullback Dan Arden accounted for 182 of those yards himself. He also scored both of Antioch's touchdowns. Backs George Gonzalez and Leroy Chapman were the other heavy lifters within the option offense.

Patricia Babcock McGraw

NORTH SUBURBAN LAKE

Warren (0-2) at Lake Zurich (1-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Warren lost to New Trier, 21-7; Lake Zurich lost to Cary-Grove, 10-7.

Skinny: Both of these perennial heavyweights are looking to get back on track. Warren hasn't hit the win column yet thanks to stiff Class 8A tests against Maine South and New Trier. The Blue Devils have not started the season 0-2 since 2007. That year, the two losses came to, ironically enough, New Trier and Maine South. Warren stopped the bleeding that year with a Week 3 victory over Libertyville but then fell in Week 4 to Lake Zurich to limp to a 1-3 start. The Blue Devils did rebound and finished the 2007 season with a 6-3 record and a playoff berth-Meanwhile, Lake Zurich is also licking its wounds after coming up just short last week in a defensive struggle against Cary-Grove. The Bears didn't manage to score until the final moments of the game. Quarterback Zack Till threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Markert. That scoring drive (of 67 yards) accounted for most of the 150 total yards of offense that Lake Zurich was able to muster. "Cary-Grove is a very good football team with a tough defense. They did a good job against Lake Zurich," Warren coach Dave Mohapp said. "But I liked Lake Zurich's defense, too. I really like the way they play with so much enthusiasm. They get off blocks fast, they run well and they present all kinds of problems with their quick pursuit."-For Warren, which is operating more out of the spread this season instead of its traditional I-formation, Tyler Keith scored the only touchdown last week against New Trier. His 2-yard run was set up by a big 38-yard completion from quarterback Adam Reuss to Mitch Munda-The Blue Devils were hurt last week by 5 turnovers, including 4 lost fumbles. "We have to clean up our mistakes and execute better," Mohapp said. "Two of our fumbles led to scores for New Trier. We had better practices this week working on exchanges and snaps."

Patricia Babcock McGraw

Zion-Benton (1-1, 0-0) at Stevenson (1-1, 0-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. today

Last week: Zion-Benton lost to Evanston 32-15; Stevenson def. Glenbrook South 17-7.

Skinny: The opening kickoff could be interesting if Stevenson is receiving. In its loss to Evanston last Friday, Zion-Benton surrendered 2 touchdowns on kickoff returns, and special teams helped spell the Zee-Bees' demise. They also twice snapped the ball out of the end zone for safeties on punt attempts. Still, the Zee-Bees are an improved team with veteran Alex Pasiewicz leading the way offensively. Pasiewicz rushed for 155 yards and a score against Evanston. In a season-opening win against Deerfield which matched the Zee-Bees' 2010 victory total Pasiewicz rushed 31 times for 226 yards and 3 TDs. ... Stevenson won its home opener last Friday, despite having a depleted offensive backfield. Anthony Bozin missed the game with a concussion, while Nathan Kahn went out with an injury before halftime. Junior Chris Peters stepped up in the place of Bozin and Kahn, rushing 12 times for 81 yards and a score. Kevin Foley added 80 rushing yards on 14 carries, and scored on a 16-yard run. Matt Micucci drilled a 40-yard field goal. ... Veteran linebacker Carl Miller leads the Patriots in tackles with 32, including five for loss. Defensive linemen Mike Kuhn (22 tackles) and Quentin Lorenzo have 5 and 4 TFLs, respectively.

Joe Aguilar

Mundelein (0-2) at Lake Forest (1-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Mundelein lost to Prairie Ridge, 47-2; Lake Forest def. Highland Park, 41-8.

Skinny: A win for Mundelein this week is important not only in terms of wins and losses but in terms of state of mind as well. Adding a third straight loss to start the season would be a tough blow. "You don't want to get mired in a bad losing streak," Mundelein coach Bob Stone said. "This game is important for our team because we don't want the kids to get down mentally. Lake Forest is a very good team, but the good thing is that we feel we match up with them size-wise. We've faced some bigger teams so far and I think this week our guys feel like they have a really great chance, that most of the guys they'll be facing won't weigh over 260 pounds."-Stone says that the Lake Forest offense is more balanced than in the past. "They like to throw the ball like they always do, but they're also running the ball more than they have in the past," Stone said. "They are very balanced."-Mundelein tries to be balanced, too. Running back LD Frison rushed for 144 yards in the season opener against Wheeling while quarterback Gable Leppert has completed 50 percent of his passes thus far.

Patricia Babcock McGraw

NORTH SUBURBAN PRAIRIE

Grant (1-1, 0-0) at Lakes (2-0, 0-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. today

Last week: Grant lost to Grayslake Central 32-21; Lakes def. Woodstock North 23-14.

Skinny: Lakes is seeking its first 3-0 start since 2006, when it began 4-0 and finished with 6 wins in earning a playoff berth in just its second year as a varsity program. The Eagles are facing a Grant squad that began the season with a 42-0 blowout of Johnsburg but spotted Grayslake Central a 26-0 lead at halftime, as the Bulldogs committed 4 turnovers. Grant's ground game is led by QB Alex Villa (13 carries-262 yards) and also features Jonathon Wells (30-170 yds.) and Kyle Whitman (14-154 yds.). Both Villa and Whitman have scored 4 touchdowns. "They are really physical and run the ball very well, just like they always have," Lakes coach Luke Mertens said. "Both their defensive and offensive lines have great size, speed, and motors. We have always had a hard time slowing down their rushing attack, and this year will be the same challenge. Most have them picked as the team to beat in the (NSC) Prairie, and I fully agree." Lakes junior running back Direll Clark rushed for 159 yards and 2 TDs at Woodstock North. Junior wide receiver Justin Bergeron caught his second TD pass in as many weeks.

Joe Aguilar

Vernon Hills (1-1, 0-0) at North Chicago (0-2, 0-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. today

Last week: Vernon Hills lost to Wheaton St. Francis 22-21; North Chicago lost to Chicago King 35-0.

Skinny: DaVaris Daniels (Notre Dame) and Evan Spencer (Ohio State) may be gone, but Vernon Hills can still score. The Cougars have put up 79 points in the first two weeks. Veteran QB Steve Nelson runs the option attack and is coming off a game in which he threw for a score and ran for one, albeit in a heartbreaking loss to a formidable St. Francis squad. Junior running back Dylan McNamara, the son of Stevenson head coach Bill McNamara, has 3 TD runs to lead the team. North Chicago, which went 1-8 last season under former Wauconda coach Glen Kozlowski, has been outscored 70-6 in losses to Waukegan and Chicago Simeon.

Joe Aguilar

Round Lake (0-2, 0-0) at Wauconda (1-1, 0-0)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Last week: Round Lake lost to Grayslake North 49-6; Wauconda lost to Stillman Valley 38-21.

Skinny: Wauconda coach Dave Mills acknowledged with a sheepish grin that he opened a can of worms when he replaced starting QB Branden Rowe with junior backup Austin Swenson, after the Bulldogs fell behind Stillman Valley 31-7 after three quarters. But Mills also said there was "no change in leadership" and that he anticipated Rowe would show in practice that he should still be the starter. Rowe, a transfer from Marian Central, had played great Opening Night at Woodstock before struggling against Stillman Valley. The Bulldogs are going from facing the defending Class 3A state runner-up (and 2009 state champion) to playing a Round Lake squad that has just 1 win since 2008. A homecoming win is crucial for Wauconda, which plays four of its last five games on the road, with trips to Antioch, Stevenson and Vernon Hills included. Wauconda defensive lineman Shawn Sundquist (6-4, 240), who started at tight end the last two years, has gotten his senior season off to a great start. "With his body, his style and what we needed defensively, he was willing to make that switch (from offense to defense)," Mills said. "He's been paying dividends. He's in the backfield all the time. He's a big boy moving." ... Round Lake went 0-2 against Grayslake, opening with a 47-6 loss to Central and then falling by almost the identical score (49-6) to North.

Joe Aguilar

FOX VALLEY FOX

Grayslake Central (2-0, 0-0) at Hampshire (0-2, 0-0)

When: 7:15 p.m. today

Last week: Hampshire lost to DeKalb 37-14; Grayslake Central def. Grant 32-21.

Outlook: Hampshire delves into Fox Valley Conference play officially as the Whip-Purs welcome the Rams for the Fox Division opener. "Our approach is like any other game," Hampshire coach Dan Cavanaugh said. "We're just working on what we need to work on and going at it. We haven't emphasized that this is the first time in a new conference or anything like that because the guys have heard all the hype. We're just focused on improvement. We're really happy because we thought we saw some big jumps from Week 1 (36-22 loss to Burlington Central) to Week 2 on both sides of the ball. We're tackling better, our offensive line is really coming together and Kyle Anderson is taking some big steps at quarterback." Cavanaugh also credited the superb play of senior fullback Chase Lundry, who last week rushed for 225 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20 carries. The Hampshire defense is tasked with stopping 5-foot-10, 215-pound senior running back Joey Valdivia. He rushed 13 times for 114 yards and scored 3 touchdowns a week ago. Valdivia has already scored 7 TDs, including three on passes from QB Ray Beckman. A win will give the Rams a 3-0 record for the first time in Nick Goshe's five years as head coach.

Jerry Fitzpatrick

Grayslake North (1-1) at Jacobs (2-0)

When: 7:15 p.m., today

Last week: Grayslake North def. Round Lake, 49-6; Jacobs def. Johnsburg, 28-0.

Skinny: Coaches who have been around Lake County for a while know all about the offensive tendencies of Jacobs coach Bill Mitz. Prior to last season, he was the head coach at Stevenson for 28 years and made a living at rushing the ball down opponents' throats. But his team at Jacobs this year is a bit different. "Jacobs threw the ball like 30 times last week," Grayslake North coach Steve Wood said. "That's unusual for a Mitz-coached team. He still likes to run and he's got some big guys up front to run behind. But he seems to be really comfortable passing the ball a lot, too. In the past, maybe you could just focus on the run if you were going to face Mitz. This definitely adds a new dimension to how you have to prepare for his team now."-Against Johnsburg last week, Jacobs quarterback Jason Judson completed 17-of-27 passes for 194 yards. But more than half of the Golden Eagles' 493 total yards still come on the ground. Kyle Wright led the way with 145 rushing yards and Caz Zyks added 99 yards-Grayslake North, which put a running clock on Round Lake last week in the second quarter, showcased its own potent passing game thanks to quarterback AJ Fish, who completed 9-of-13 passes for 150 yards. He also rushed for 104 yards-The Knights have unleashed a brand-new no-huddle offense this season that is keeping defenses on their toes.

Patricia Babcock McGraw

EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC

Carmel (1-1) at Notre Dame (0-2)

When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last week: Carmel def. Nazareth, 27-3; Notre Dame lost to Joliet Catholic, 42-0.

Skinny: The Corsairs passed head coach Andy Bitto's test with flying colors last week. He threw down the challenge immediately after his team lost a heartbreaker in the final seconds of its season opener at archrival Joliet Catholic. "Right after the game, I told them that playing Joliet Catholic is always a great test for us but that we have another test and that will be to see what kind of character we have (in preparing for Nazareth)," Bitto said. "I told them that either we'll work hard in practice or we'll feel sorry for ourselves. It was a hot week of practice but we had a great week of practice so I knew we'd play well."-Carmel rolled up more than 300 rushing yards against Nazareth while the defense not only kept Nazareth out of the end zone but also allowed just 4 Nazareth first downs the entire game. Running back Jordan Kos scored 2 touchdowns and rolled up 134 yards on 12 carries. Quarterback Brian Brennan also had 134 yards on 12 carries-Notre Dame won't rush the ball nearly as often. "They pass it probably 80 percent of the time," Bitto said of Notre Dame, which is led by quarterback Nick Pieruccini, wide receiver Matt Livingston and running back Chris James. "But I feel like we'll defend against it pretty well. Nazareth had only 34 passing yards last week and we had a solid pass rush going." Bitto pointed to the strong play so far this season of players in his defensive backfield such as JC Pawlak, John Salvi and Tyler Murphy. Salvi, in particular, had a handful of big hits and an interception against Nazareth.

Patricia Babcock McGraw