Week 9 football preview capsules
By Erik Jacobsen email@example.com October 18, 2012 9:45PM
Senior running back Mo Jackson helps lead Larkin into its final game of the season Friday at St. Charles East. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 20, 2012 10:33AM
LARKIN (2-6) AT ST. CHARLES EAST (5-3)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Last year: Larkin 26, St. Charles East 20
Notes: Larkin saw its losing streak reach five with last week’s 33-24 defeat at St. Charles North. Junior RB Damion Clemons, who battled a nagging hand injury earlier this season, ran for 196 yards and two touchdowns in the setback. Junior FB Mario Randazzo will be forced to sit out Friday as he serves a one-game suspension because of an on-field incident during last week’s contest.
• St. Charles East managed to hold undefeated Batavia scoreless in the second half last week but still came away with a 19-6 loss. Junior WR Brannon Barry has 39 catches for 473 yards this season for the Saints, who can clinch their first trip to the playoffs since 2009 with a win. Former Larkin coach Matt Gehrig, who led the Royals from 2008-09, is now an offensive line coach at St. Charles East.
Quote: “We’re certainly not taking (Larkin) lightly. They’ve beaten us the last two years, so we’re looking forward to the challenge on Friday.”
— St. Charles East coach Mike Fields
Erik Jacobsen’s pick: St. Charles East
BATAVIA (8-0) AT ELGIN (1-7)
When: 7:30 tonight
Last year: Batavia 49, Elgin 0
Notes: Batavia is ranked No. 8 in the Sun-Times Super 25 after knocking off St. Charles East 19-6 last week. The victory clinched at least a share of a second straight Upstate Eight River title for the Bulldogs, who can complete their second consecutive undefeated regular season with a win Friday. Junior QB Micah Coffey has thrown for 1,431 yards and 15 touchdowns this year.
• Elgin is coming off a 27-8 loss against Streamwood last week. Sophomore WR Dontrelle Gaddy has a touchdown catch in both of his games since being called up to the varsity for the Maroons, who need a win Friday to avoid their second straight 1-8 season. Senior OL/DL Dennis Kruse will be sidelined with an injury.
Quote: “When you get to the last game of the season it’s kind of a two-fold situation. We’ve got a lot of seniors that have been four-year program guys and they want to go out with their best effort. Then you’ve got the underclassmen that want to build for the future. There’s a lot of emotion and we’ll be going against one of the best teams in the state, but our whole season has been more about us trying to improve and get better.”
— Elgin coach Dave Bierman
Erik Jacobsen’s pick: Batavia
ST. FRANCIS (4-4) AT ST. EDWARD (2-6)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last year: St. Francis 49, St. Edward 21
Notes: St. Francis snapped a four-game losing streak by trouncing Guerin 49-0 last week. The Spartans need one more win to have a chance of reaching the postseason for the fifth straight year, but a lack of playoff points could leave them on the outside looking in even with five victories. Senior RB Jack Petrando sat out the first six games of the season with an MCL injury but has 279 rushing yards and three touchdowns since his return.
• St. Edward was no match for undefeated Marian Central last week in a 52-6 defeat. Junior RB Davontae Elam has 870 rushing yards and eight touchdowns this season for the Green Wave, which has lost five of its past six matchups against St. Francis. Sophomore RB/DB Danny Favela sat out practice this week with a shoulder injury and could be sidelined Friday.
Quote: “St. Francis is in a must-win situation. We have seniors that will be playing their last game, and our kids are loose and having fun. Hopefully we go out and put together a good game and see what happens.”
— St. Edward coach Mike Rolando
Erik Jacobsen’s pick: St. Francis
NORTH BOONE (7-1) AT BURLINGTON CENTRAL (5-3)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last year: Burlington Central 49, North Boone 7
Notes: The winner of Friday’s game will clinch at least a share of the Big Northern East championship as North Boone and Burlington Central enter the final week of the regular season in a three-way tie for first place with Richmond-Burton. The Vikings slipped to No. 10 in the Class 3A state poll after suffering their first loss of the season in last week’s 35-14 defeat against Richmond-Burton. Senior QB Austin Baden has thrown for 1,646 yards and 20 touchdowns to lead a high-powered offensive attack.
• Burlington Central’s chances of returning to the playoffs for a second straight year could hinge on the outcome of Friday’s game. The Rockets suffered their second straight loss in last week’s 29-21 defeat at Rock Falls, and with only 31 playoff points entering Week 9 they may not qualify for the postseason with five wins. Senior WR Joe Breeden has 27 catches for 390 yards for Burlington Central, which will start junior QB Casey Matthews under center for the second straight week.
Quote: “We’re looking at it as we have to win to get in. I don’t think our points are going to be good enough to qualify at 5-4.”
— Burlington Central coach Rich Crabel
Erik Jacobsen’s pick: North Boone
CRYSTAL LAKE CENTRAL (6-2) AT HAMPSHIRE (3-5)
When: 7:15 p.m. Friday
Last year: Crystal Lake Central 55, Hampshire 6
Notes: Crystal Lake Central clinched its third straight trip to the playoffs by blanking Johnsburg 28-0 last week. Junior FB Connor Hines and senior RB Tyler Jenkins both have over 450 rushing yards this season. The Tigers are holding opponents to 14.9 points per game.
• Hampshire’s hopes of reaching the postseason were dashed in a 46-14 defeat at Woodstock North last week. Senior RB Phil LaPointe has 573 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns this season. Junior OL/DL Mike Gibas has bronchitis and likely won’t play for the Whip-Purs, who are 0-4 at home this year.
Quote: “As always (Crystal Lake Central) is big and physical. They try to run the ball right at you, and we’ve got to try to match that physicality up front.”
— Hampshire coach Dan Cavanaugh
Erik Jacobsen’s pick: Crystal Lake Central
BARTLETT (6-2) AT NEUQUA VALLEY (8-0)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Last year: Bartlett 34, Neuqua Valley 7
Notes: Bartlett can secure a share of its third straight Upstate Eight Valley title with a victory this week. The Hawks are coming off a 27-7 win against rival South Elgin, which clinched the program’s 12th trip to the playoffs in 13 years. Senior RB Aaron Everson has 1,709 rushing yards and 26 total touchdowns this season, both of which are school records.
• Neuqua Valley can lock up the outright UEC Valley title and cap its first undefeated regular season in program history with a win Friday. Senior RB Joey Rhattigan has 1,170 rushing yards and 22 total touchdowns this season for the Wildcats, who are averaging 44.4 points per game after last week’s 53-23 win at Lake Park. Neuqua Valley, which is ranked No. 6 in the Sun-Times Super 25, trails 9-6 in the all-time series against Bartlett.
Quote: “I’m sure (Neuqua Valley) is heavily favored and they should be. They have quality linemen besides a great running back. The quarterback is good and the defense flies all around. They’re pretty tough on both sides of the ball and we definitely have a big challenge awaiting us.”
— Bartlett coach Tom Meaney
Erik Jacobsen’s pick: Neuqua Valley
GENEVA (3-5) AT STREAMWOOD (3-5)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Last year: Geneva 42, Streamwood 0
Notes: Geneva’s offense was in top form during last week’s 61-48 victory against Metea Valley. Senior RB Bobby Hess has 1,352 rushing yards for the season after running for 251 yards and scoring five touchdowns last week. Despite a two-game winning streak, the Vikings will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2003.
• Streamwood is coming off a 27-8 victory at Elgin last week. The Sabres limited the Maroons to only 178 total yards in the victory and got 128 rushing yards and two touchdowns from junior RB Lenard Brown. Streamwood is 0-4 in home games this season and will miss the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 years.
Quote: “We feel like we’ve been doing some things a little bit better lately. We hope to finish strong, and it’s always nice for your upperclassmen to go out with a win.”
— Streamwood coach Cal Cummins
Erik Jacobsen’s pick: Geneva
MCHENRY (3-5) AT HUNTLEY (5-3)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last year: McHenry 31, Huntley 27
Notes: McHenry saw its chances of returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 come to an end with last week’s 41-7 loss against Prairie Ridge. Senior QB Kyle Snedeker has thrown for 1,272 yards and eight touchdowns this season. The Warriors are 4-2 against Huntley since the Red Raiders joined the Fox Valley Conference in 2003.
• Huntley can clinch its first trip to the playoffs since 2009 with a win. The Red Raiders became playoff eligible with last week’s 49-21 victory at Woodstock, and they appear to have enough playoff points to reach the postseason even with a loss Friday. Senior QB Kam Sallee has 1,158 passing yards and 519 rushing yards this season.
Quote: “Since we were 0-2, we have really tried to treat every game like a playoff game. Our kids have done a great job of that. Last week was probably our best overall performance both offensively and defensively.”
— Huntley coach John Hart
Erik Jacobsen’s pick: Huntley
ERIK JACOBSEN’S RECORD
Last week: 9-1