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Scouting Week 7 in the Tri-Cities
By Dave Oberhelman | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 10/4/2012 11:29 PM

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Suburban Christian Conference Gold DivisionGame time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Aurora Central Catholic 42, Walther Lutheran 7; Wheaton Academy 56, Guerin 0.

Last year: Guerin 18, Aurora Central Catholic 15.

Outlook: Barring disaster at the hand of a team that’s been outscored 262-43 Aurora Central Catholic will clinch its first playoff appearance since 1997. “These kids are most definitely deserving of the opportunity to play in the postseason,” said ACC coach Brian Casey. “It’s been a goal we’ve certainly set from the beginning.” The Chargers unloaded on Walther from the beginning, leading 42-0 through three quarters. The game was significant in gaining playoff eligibility and also sending both Brian Bohr and Julian Rios — a tabbed preseason starter saddled with a high ankle sprain — over 100 yards rushing while defensive linemen Jake McCarthy and Josiah Padilla bottled up Walther’s array of speedy skill-position players. The defense “allowed us to get off the field on third downs,” Casey said. That’s the expectation against the visiting Guerin Gators, who in 2011 took a shocking 18-0 lead over the Chargers. Receiver John Dabe scored twice, but he’s now over at St. Patrick. That leaves running back-linebacker Kevin Doyle and quarterback Gavin Byrne doing much of the heavy lifting. Casey anticipates a lot of passing by Byrne, which should thrill the likes of sack-hungry ACC defensive lineman Izzy Rosa and linebacker Roman Padilla, who intercepted Walther last week. Casey notes that Guerin defensive lineman Kristof Ifkovits is an imposing 6-foot-4, 270 pounds, but the Chargers offense is doing well and has incorporated more passing to its game. Plus, after last year’s slump ACC won’t likely allow its prospects to dim especially with Marmion and Montini in Weeks 8-9. “These kids know exactly how that felt, and they don’t want to feel it again this year,” Casey said.

Next week: St. Francis (3-3, 1-3) at Guerin, Oct. 13; Aurora Central Catholic at Marmion (1-5, 1-3).Suburban Christian Conference crossoverGame time: 7 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Montini 49, Immaculate Conception 0; Aurora Christian 38, Marmion 14.

Last year: Aurora Christian 35, IC 28.

Outlook: In 2011 this game decided the SCC Gold and in a way it could again. Since crossover results now count in league standings IC is jostling with Aurora Central Catholic for the title. Meanwhile, Aurora Christian is in the thick of the SCC Blue race with 4-0 Montini and Marian Central, who play each other Friday. The Eagles warmed up for Week 8 at Montini with a second win over an SCC “Big Four” foe (after St. Francis), overcoming Marmion’s 7-6 halftime lead with 32 unanswered points. Joel Bouagnon ran for more than 100 yards a second straight game and receiver Cory Windle surpassed 100 yards for the first time this season, 128 yards with 2 touchdowns. Last season, Windle’s 36-yard touchdown grab with eight seconds left beat IC. Aurora Christian coach Don Beebe, enjoying homecoming week, believes IC defensive backs like Tim Hipskind, Clark Brinkman and Demetrius Carr — also a great dual-threat quarterback — are less apt to get beat deep, but Montini exploited the flats and the Eagles’ spread offense also excels sideline to sideline. Offensively IC’s main man is Carr. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior slides off-tackle on keepers, keeping Eagles linebackers such as Ryan Suttle and Brandon Walgren and safety Brandon Mayes busy. Montini handled the Knights’ offensive line last week and Jonah Walker, Nick Larson, Josh Kok and Jon Czerwinski look to continue that. “First and foremost we have to stop this (Carr) kid from running,” Beebe said.

Next week: IC at Walther Lutheran (1-5, 1-3), Oct. 13; Aurora Christian at Montini (6-0, 4-0), Oct. 12.Upstate Eight Conference River DivisionGame time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: St. Charles North 31, Streamwood 14; Batavia 48, Larkin 0.

Last year: Batavia 42, St. Charles North 0.

Outlook: Batavia clinched a third straight playoff berth and 11th in 13 years, while St. Charles North seeks two wins between Batavia, Larkin and South Elgin to become playoff eligible for the first time since 2009. North Starts coach Mark Gould noted Larkin coach Mike Scianna said something about trying to find a weakness in Batavia and couldn’t. “We’ve been trying to do the same thing,” Gould said of the fifth-ranked team in Class 7A. Watching film of Batavia linebacker Mickey Watson, defensive end Marquise Jenkins and safeties Robbie Bowman and Chris Moran hold Larkin to 2 first downs and 33 yards, never allowing the Royals past midfield, must be daunting. St. Charles North is in a bind. While quarterback Ryan Fischbach has had a solid senior season with good targets in Garrett Johnson and big-play receivers Zach Kirby and Ben Kaplan, St. Charles North must establish the run to keep Batavia’s offense off the field. Batavia defenders like Cullin Rokos and Anthony Thielk will make it much harder than last week. George Edlund moved the chains for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns on 25 carries against Streamwood and Evan Kurtz added 43 yards. The North Stars got the added boost of Nick McCullough returning a punt 72 yards for a touchdown then intercepting a pass on Larkin’s next possession, joining Jon Elliott and Conor Lee with interceptions. Gould hopes to keep Batavia from a fast start, but on their senior night Batavia will be stoked. Last week 14 Bulldogss get offensive touches against Larkin. Big numbers come from quarterback Micah Coffey, receiver Zach Strittmatter and, drawing Gould’s particular attention, Anthony Scaccia, who has run for 700 yards and 5 touchdowns. Vinnie Cerezo’s full-time return at cornerback allows Michael Moffatt to play more at receiver, another boon to quarterback Micah Coffey’s 62 completion percentage. Bulldogs coach Dennis Piron expects St. Charles North to employ blitzes, trick plays and extra effort. “Their kids will have extra incentive for a coach (Gould) who’s retiring, playing hard for a coach who’s a good person and a good man,” Piron said.

Next week: Larkin (2-4, 1-3) at St. Charles North, Oct. 12; Batavia at St. Charles East (4-2, 3-0), Oct. 12.Upstate Eight Conference River DivisionGame time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Elgin 35, East Aurora 0; St. Charles East 34, Geneva 27.

Last year: Geneva 45, Elgin 14.

Outlook: This is a game between 1-5 teams, but if the Geneva defense plays as it did last week Vikings coach Rob Wicinski should hand a loss to his friend Dave Bierman at Elgin. Geneva allowed St. Charles East touchdowns on a kickoff return, interception return, a blocked punt recovered in the end zone and set the stage for the Saints clincher losing a fumble at the Vikings’ own 12-yard line. Wicinski said the defense essentially allowed just 6 points. “We are our own worst enemy,” he said, “but we’re playing our best football right now.” They did let Saints back Erik Anderson run for 156 yards though, and with Elgin running back Jaylen Clemons a real threat, run defense will be addressed. The defense returned Jake Boser to the line last week; Wicinski said the Vikings are about the healthiest they’ve been all season despite the continued absence of offensive tackle Jacob Bastin and quarterback Daniel Santacaterina. Linebackers Jake Will and Colin Griffin will get after the Maroons and Clemons inside and out, and the Vikings must contain Elgin quarterback Ryan Sitter. On the other side, tailback Bobby Hess, running behind a line that included State Farm Geneva player of the week Quinn Eink at guard, enjoyed a 143-yard rushing game against St. Charles East, and returned a kickoff 93 yards to open the scoring. Elgin will be more susceptible to Hess’ shiftiness. A similar return could get the ball rolling. “Whoever can jump on the other team first and make them believe they’re 1-5, then I think that’s the team that’s going to get the upper hand,” Wicinski said.

Next week: Elgin vs. Streamwood (2-4, 1-2), Oct. 12; Metea Valley (1-5, 0-4) at Geneva, Oct. 12.Northern Illinois Big 12 EastGame time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Kaneland 66, DeKalb 23; Rochelle 44, Yorkville 41.

Last year: Kaneland 45, Yorkville 7.

Outlook: Kaneland hadn’t scored 66 points since before Knights coach Tom Fedderly arrived as an assistant in 1993. The explosion bumped them up to No. 2 in Class 6A behind only Crete-Monee. Nate Dyer enjoyed his first 100-yard rushing game, joining usual suspect Jesse Balluff over the century mark, while quarterback David Drew completed 2 touchdown passes apiece to Dylan Nauert and Zack Martinelli on a modest 13 attempts. “Our offensive line is where it starts,” Fedderly said. I he were to award a player of the week it would have gone jointly to Zach Theis, Shane Jorgensen, Nick Sharp, Alex Snyder and Joe Komel. “The thing that is really exciting to me is how physical our offensive line is,” the coach said. “They’re just dominating people up front the last few games.” The Knights’ front five gets to do so again versus Yorkville’s multiple-look defense. After a 3-1 start against NIB12 West teams the Foxes have since lost to Morris, 41-14, then last week’s decision to Rochelle. Headed by Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Famer Karl Hoinkes, the Foxes look to run the ball with Tynus Porter and Anton Jones and throw in the play-action pass. Even with Kaneland linebacker Dan Goress hampered by a bum ankle it’ll be a chore for Yorkville to out-athlete the likes of Gary Koehring, or move 325-pound Jaumaureo Phillips off the line. But as Fedderly always says, the goal is to go 1-0 this week. “Our kids obviously want to become conference champions, they want to be a good team at the end of the year, and they know they need to improve every game,” he said.

Next week: Sycamore (4-2, 1-1) at Kaneland, Oct. 12; Yorkville at DeKalb (1-5, 0-2), Oct. 12.Suburban Christian Conference Blue DivisionGame time: 7 p.m. Friday, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn.

Last week: Aurora Christian 38, Marmion 14; Marian Central 28, St. Francis 8.

Last year: St. Francis 20, Marmion 14.

Outlook: Marmion is in an odd position — no postseason hope after three straight appearances. This is a teachable moment. “With disappointment, the thing is how do you respond to disappointment,” coach Dan Thorpe said. “Athletics can unfortunately easily teach you those lessons. So how do you respond?” Another motivator Thorpe noted will be some familiar faces from the TriCities Chargers youth team. St. Francis’ 315-pound, Michigan-bound offensive tackle Kyle Bosch is, for example, a St. Charles resident. More importantly, the Cadets hoe to hold the ball longer than last week, when Aurora Christian had it 31 minutes to Marmion’s 19. While quarterback Charlie Faunce had a nice game on the ground with 108 yards and a touchdown in addition to 147 yards passing, Jordan Glasgow was contained to 16 yards rushing. St. Francis and wingback Dan Beck stuck right with Marian Central in the first half last week before letting the game get away. Needing wins for the playoffs themselves, the Spartans will try to execute their Wing-T ground game like nobody’s business. The return of defensive back Jake Ruddy will help that, as will sophomore Jordan Sullivan, coming off a 12-tackle game. “They’re so big and big teams have given us problems,” Thorpe said, “so hopefully it’s their size versus our quickness.”

Next week: Aurora Central Catholic (5-1, 3-1) at Marmion, Oct. 12; St. Francis at Guerin (1-5, 0-4).Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: St. Charles East 34, Geneva 27; St. Charles North 31, Streamwood 14.

Last year: St. Charles East 45, Streamwood 34.

Outlook: St. Charles East moved closer to its first playoff appearance since 2009, and can’t afford a slip-up against the Sabres — not with Batavia in Week 8 for a possible River title. The Saints proved both good and opportunistic in win No. 4. Along with running back Erik Anderson’s 156 yards rushing Mitch Munroe amazingly returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown, and returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for another score. Mike Eyre, a horse all season, recovered a blocked Geneva punt in the end zone. The sole long offensive touchdown was Jimmy Mitchell’s 58-yard touchdown pass to Anderson. Long plays are what the Saints need to watch against Streamwood. Northern Illinois-bound receiver Blake Holder has scored on a 79-yard pass and a 75-yard punt return. Noah Polich has a 76-yard TD catch, Sean Patterson an 83 yarder, Austin Mugnai has scored on a 50-yard interception return and last week Deji Giwa caught 7 passes for 84 yards. “They’ve got athletes,” said Saints coach Mike Fields, whose team beat Geneva for the first time in seven games.”Not only Holder, but (Mason Polich) their quarterback throws a nice ball.”Thus a nice game by defensive backs Munroe, Brannon Barry, Justin Cameron, Anthony Sciarrino and Andrew Badowski would be good. Offensively, now that Anderson is healthy, pound him behind fullback Joe Hoscheit and offensive line coach Matt Gehrig’s guys. “Establish the run and take shots in our passing game,” Fields said.

Next week: Batavia (6-0, 3-0) at St. Charles East, Oct. 5; Elgin (1-5, 0-3) vs. Streamwood, Oct. 12.DuPage Valley ConferenceGame time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Wheaton North 41, West Aurora 28; Naperville North 48, Glenbard East 13.

Last year: Naperville North 45, West Aurora 21.

Outlook: West Aurora coach Nate Eimer admitted that after the Blackhawks took a quick 7-0 lead over Wheaton North on Quintez Jones’ 24-yard touchdown pass to Cole Childs, and Bryan Watkins’ kick, that his boys got a little over-excited. Wheaton North buckled down with 41 unanswered points. “Special kids” like Childs, Jones and running back Booker Ross must continue to make those “special plays,” Eimer said. Should that happen and defenders like Spencer Thomas, Alex Shire and Drake Spears have big games, it will put pressure on Naperville North to reach the playoffs, with Naperville Central and Glenbard North left to play. Behind Iowa-bound offensive lineman Colin Goebel, Naperville North will look to run the ball. Last week the Huskies amassed a whopping 480 yards rushing, headed by Sharad Crosby with 147, Desean Brown with 97 and quarterback Johnny Brown with 80. A ball-control team like this will own the game should West Aurora make the mistakes it did in its special teams — though Wheaton North is a special team itself. West Aurora will get reps on the offensive line to Trevor Weeks, Sandro Muro and Colin Stewart, who aim to sustain drives and play penalty-free. “It was a tough week for us physically and mentally,” Eimer said. “And for our kids this week, we need to bounce back and play well.”

Next week: West Chicago (0-6, 0-4) at West Aurora, Oct. 12; Naperville North at Naperville Central (3-3, 3-1), Oct. 12.When: today at 7 p.m. at Rocket Hill

Last year: Richmond-Burton 9, Burlington Central 7

Last week: Richmond-Burton 42, Rockford Christian 0; Burlington Central 28, Marengo 6

Outlook: The annual battle of Rockets usually holds Big Northern East title implications. This tilt is no different. Central has fought through myriad injuries to remain undefeated atop the division with North Boone (6-0, 3-0) hot on its trail. The three teams play head to head in the final three weeks. R-B, the three-time defending league champion, has won three straight since a 1-2 start, led by leading rusher Chris Vlasak, who rushed 126 yards and a touchdown last week. Quarterback Matt Malecki and running back Adam Kinsella each return from a team that last season went 12-2 and attained a runner-up finish in Class 4A. “They’re going to come at us just like any other year,” said Central coach Rich Crabel. They’ve thrown the ball a little more this year than they have ith some of the teams they’ve had in the past. Offensively, I think we can do some things against their defense.” The offense has been lifted of late by the solid play of an improving offensive line and the hard rushing of junior Reilly Marino (6-0, 180). He has rushed for 472 yards and 5 touchdowns this season.