Week 3 prep football previews

September, 8, 2011
9/08/11
4:22
AM CT
Here's a look at the third week of action in ESPNChicago.com's top 20.

No. 1 Maine South (2-0) at Deerfield (0-2)

DeerfieldMaine SouthWhen: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Last week's narrow win over Wheaton Warrenville South wasn't pretty, but Maine South escaped and continued to be the top team in the area. The Hawks should have an easier time this week against Deerfield. The Warriors fell to Homewood-Flossmoor 47-0 in Week 2. Maine South also has an explosive offense and will be looking to get back on track after scoring 13 points last week. Deerfield has suffered a handful of early injuries.
Maine South player to watch: Tyler Fahey, an all-area selection last season, has continued to be one of the top linebackers in the state. He made an impressive one-handed interception last week.
Deerfield player to watch: Running back Marc Pagano has scored two touchdowns on the season.
Prediction: Maine South 42, Deerfield 7


No. 2 Glenbard West (2-0) at Lyons (1-1)

LyonsGlenbard West
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Lyons pulled off one of last season's bigger upsets against Glenbard West, beating the Hilltoppers 31-13 on the road. Glenbard West is looking for revenge, and coach Chad Hetlet has used last season's loss as motivation. He used the same tactic against Wheaton Warrenville South in Week 1, and it worked. The Hilltoppers' defense has been stellar through two weeks and has allowed just seven points. Lyons opened the season on a strong note with a win over Stevenson, but lost 28-0 to Downers Grove South in Week 2. Lyons' offense will need a better day if it's going to pull off another win against Glenbard West.
Glenbard West player to watch: Offensive lineman Johnny Caspers has attracted interest from Nebraska and Stanford after playing well on ESPN2 a few weeks ago. Stanford will be in attendance on Friday.
Lyons player to watch: Rennick Thompson was one of the few offensive bright spots last week. He had seven receptions for 112 yards.
Quote: Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet – "You always want to beat a team that you lost to the previous year. They ended our 18-game win streak in conference."
Prediction: Glenbard West 24, Lyons 10


Lockport (2-0) at No. 3 Lincoln-Way East (2-0)

Lincoln-Way EastLockport
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Lincoln-Way East hasn't been challenged the first two weeks, but Lockport should present a step up in talent as both teams open their Southwest Suburban Blue schedules. Last season, the Griffins rolled to a 45-14 win at Lockport. The Porters relied on a balanced running game last week to defeat Plainfield North. They had three different running backs score in the win. Their task this week will be stopping Lincoln-Way East's potent offense. It has scored 94 points in its first two games.
Lockport player to watch: Running back Richie Guess ran in for the game-winning touchdown in last week's win.
Lincoln-Way East player to watch: Quarterback Blake Winkler has lived up to his preseason hype. He has the Griffins offense rolling.
Prediction: Lincoln-Way East 35, Lockport 17


De La Salle (2-0) at No. 4 Mount Carmel (2-0)

Mount CarmelDe La Salle
When: Friday at 7 p.m.
The story: Mount Carmel crosses over to the Catholic League White to meet De La Salle this week. De La Salle has put up points in its first two games, but Mount Carmel will present a stiffer challenge than Gordon Tech and Lane. The Caravan were dominant on both sides of the ball in their wins over Simeon and Morgan Park. The offense hasn't lost a beat this season with quarterback Don Butkus and running back Brandon Greer running the show.
De La Salle player to watch: Running back Mikale Wilbon will be looking to prove himself this week. He rushed for 247 yards and three touchdowns last week.
Mount Carmel player to watch: Defensive lineman Vontrell Williams is considered one of the best in the state. He's being recruited by a number of top programs.
Prediction: Mount Carmel 38, De La Salle 14


Peoria Richwoods (0-2) at Joliet Catholic (2-0)

Joliet CatholicPeoria Richwoods
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Peoria Richwoods ended Joliet Catholic's season last year in the Class 5A state quarterfinals with a 17-14 upset. This isn't the same Richwoods team that went 12-1 last season, but the Hilltoppers would still like some revenge. Joliet Catholic's running game has been off the charts the first two weeks with Northwestern recruit Malin Jones and junior Ty Isaac leading the way. Joliet Catholic defeated Notre Dame 42-0 last week. Richwoods' defense has struggled the first two weeks, allowing a total of 60 points.
Peoria Richwoods player to watch: Kendrick Foster rushed for 216 yards on 33 carries in last week's loss to Washington.
Joliet Catholic player to watch: Joliet Catholic does possess a defense, too. Linebacker Nick Collofello had three sacks in last week's shutout of Notre Dame.
Prediction: Joliet Catholic 42, Peoria Richwoods 21


Lake Forest Academy (1-1) at No. 6 Loyola (2-0)

LoyolaLake Forest Academy
When: Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
The story: Loyola's offense couldn't do any wrong in last week's 41-24 win over Montini. Quarterback Malcolm Weaver threw for five touchdowns and rushed for another. Loyola coach John Holecek, a former NFL linebacker, wasn't as pleased with his defense. Look for the Ramblers to correct their defensive mistakes against Lake Forest Academy. The Caxys dropped their season opener to Antioch, but responded with a 42-7 win over St. Joseph last week.
Lake Forest Academy player to watch: Lake Forest Academy defensive end Faith Ekakitie has 18 offers already on the table. Illinois, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State and Tennessee are among the schools after him.
Loyola player to watch: Marquese Martin-Hayes is one of the many talented receivers Weaver can throw to.
Quote: Loyola coach John Holecek – "Alignment and assignment errors are costly against good teams. More common sense and understanding of the defensive call is a must. We need to go back to the basics of responsibility and key."


Fenwick (1-1) at No. 7 St. Rita (1-1)

St. RitaFenwick
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: St. Rita traveled nearly five hours to East St. Louis on Sunday and came back with a 7-0 loss against a tough team from Tennessee. The Mustangs struggled in the red zone and will be focused on cleaning that up in this week's game. Fenwick moved over to the Catholic League White this season. The Friars are coming off a 6-0 loss to Marmion.
Fenwick player to watch: Junior quarterback Pat Hart continues to make strides for the Friars. He'll look to bounce back from last week's shutout.
St. Rita player to watch: Quarterback Scott Thomas had his positives and negatives in last week's loss. He'll be a key to the offense again this week.
Quote: St. Rita coach Todd Kuska – "I think playing two very good opponents on the road will help us down the line in the playoffs when we have to travel and face some adversity. Obviously, I would have rather won the game on Sunday, but sometimes it takes a loss to refocus the team."
Prediction: St. Rita 31, Fenwick 14


No. 8 Carmel (1-1) at Notre Dame (0-2)

Notre DameCarmel
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Nearly every week matters in the East Suburban Catholic title race this season with teams playing eight conference games in 2011. Carmel bounced back from its season-opening loss to Joliet Catholic with a 27-3 win over Nazareth last week. Jordan Kos rushed for 127 yards and is now about 1,200 yards away from the school record. Notre Dame has struggled in its first two games. The Dons fell at home to Joliet Catholic 42-0 last week. The defense will have to do a better job stopping the run to have a chance this week.
Carmel player to watch: Linebacker Tyler Lees is one of the area's best. He had an interception in last week's win.
Notre Dame player to watch: Senior wide receiver Matt Livingston had six receptions for 84 yards in last week's loss.
Quote: Carmel coach Andy Bitto – "Our team has played well the first two weeks of the season. We have played solid defense, great special teams, and our offense is getting better every day. They responded very well after a tough loss and having been practicing extremely hard."
Prediction: Carmel 42, Notre Dame 10


No. 9 Homewood-Flossmoor (2-0) at Lincoln-Way Central (1-1)

Lincoln-Way CentralHomewood-Flossmoor
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Homewood-Flossmoor's offense has put up astronomical numbers so far. The Vikings have scored 123 points in two games with quarterback Tim Williams leading the way. Lincoln-Way Central may not be able to contain the Vikings, but they should slow them down. Lincoln-Way Central is coming off a 41-20 win over Thornridge.
Homewood-Flossmoor player to watch: Gerald Butler had two touchdown receptions in last week's 47-0 win over Deerfield.
Lincoln-Way Central player to watch: Brett Ditchman rushed for 271 yards and three touchdowns against Thornridge last week.
Prediction: Homewood-Flossmoor 35, Lincoln-Way Central 10


Morton (1-1) at No. 10 Downers Grove South (2-0)

Downers Grove SouthMorton
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Downers Grove South has shown signs so far this season it can be a state title contender. The offense and defense came up big in wins over South Elgin and Lyons. Running back Josh Williams has flourished this season. Morton will likely have its hands full. Morton lost 49-0 to Downers Grove North last week.
Morton player to watch: Quarterback Ismal Ledezma is a threat to run or pass the ball.
Downers Grove South player to watch: Quarterback A.J. Simoncelli's experience is a major reason why the Mustangs' offense has run so smooth this season.
Prediction: Downers Grove South 49, Morton 7


West Chicago (0-2) at No. 11 Glenbard North (2-0)

Glenbard NorthWest Chicago
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Glenbard North has coasted so far this season. The Panthers had no troubles against Oak Park or Fenger. Their offense and defense have been equally as dominant. This week they have a chance to continue that trend. West Chicago is coming off losses to Addison Trail and Larkin. Glenbard North won last year's matchup 42-14.
strong>West Chicago player to watch: Quarterback Matt Green had a passing and rushing touchdown in last week's 18-16 loss to Larkin.
Glenbard North player to watch: Junior quarterback Paul Murphy has run the offense consistently well. He had 185 all-purpose yards last week.
Prediction: Glenbard North 48, West Chicago 7


West Aurora (2-0) at No. 12 Wheaton Warrenville South (0-2)

Wheaton Warrenville SouthWest Aurora
When:Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Wheaton Warrenville South hung right with Maine South and Glenbard West, but its offense couldn't capitalize on its chances. Tigers coach Ron Muhitch used senior Thaddeus Armstrong and sophomore Ryan Graham at quarterback last week. He may continue to experiment with both until someone gives his offense some consistency. West Aurora isn't the same caliber of team as the Tigers' previous opponents, but it does have talent. West Aurora out-scored East Aurora and St. Charles East 68-13 in the first two weeks.
West Aurora player to watch: Senior linebacker Brandon Warren can cause offenses fits. He forced a fumble and scored a touchdown in last week's win.
Wheaton Warrenville South players to watch: Running backs Dan Vitale and Patrick Garner each have scored a touchdown this season.
Quote: Wheaton Warrenville South coach Ron Muhitch – "What we learned from Weeks 1 and 2 is that we are able to play with two of the top teams in the Chicagoland area this 2011 season. We need to eliminate mistakes on offense that have been self destructive. "
Prediction: Wheaton Warrenville South 24, West Aurora 10


Marmion (1-1) at No. 13 Montini (1-1)

MontiniMarmion
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Montini edged Marmion 27-21 in last year's Suburban Christian Blue meeting. Montini ended up in the Class 5A state championship game last season, and Marmion played in the 6A title game. Montini will be favored again this season. The result may also depend on which Marmion defense shows up. Marmion allowed 36 points to Batavia in Week 1 and then shut out Fenwick last week. Montini's defense was abused by Loyola last week and was challenged in practice this week.
Marmion player to watch: Senior lineman Ryan Glasgow is receiving Division I interest. He's 6-4 and 270 pounds.
Montini player to watch: Senior linebacker Frank Bruscianelli will be one of the key players if Montini's defense is going to improve.
Quote: Montini coach Chris Andriano – "We are a long way off on defense from being a great team. Too much poor tackling and bad angles in pursuit."
Prediction: Montini 28, Marmion 10


No. 14 Prairie Ridge (2-0) at Huntley (0-2)

HuntleyPrairie Ridge
When: Friday at 7:15 p.m.
The story: Prairie Ridge has been as good as anybody through the season's first two weeks. The Wolves have put away their opponents quickly and have out-scored them 97-12. Prairie Ridge's starters haven't had to play more than a half so far. Huntley should give them more of a game. The Red Raiders have a physical defensive line.
Prairie Ridge player to watch: Quarterback Nick Nissen took a step forward in the offense last week. He ran the option better and had two big passing plays.
Huntley player to watch: Running back Ethan Connor broke a 33-yard touchdown run in last week's game.
Quote: Prairie Ridge coach Chris Schremp – "I am not surprised that we've scored that many points. We have a great defense and special teams that gives our offense very good field position. For teams that are outside of our conference, they tend to struggle with stopping our option. It's a hard offense to prepare for if you don't see it every year."
Prediction: Prairie Ridge 38, Huntley 7


Antioch (2-0) at No. 15 Libertyville (2-0)

LibertyvilleAntioch
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Libertyville has quickly become the only undefeated team remaining in the North Suburban Lake. The Wildcats had an easy time with Urban Prep, winning 24-0 last week. They'll be favored again this week, but Antioch isn't to be overlooked. It has won two close games, and its defense has contained opponents. The Sequoits defeated Lake Forest Academy 14-12 and Waukegan 17-7.
Antioch player to watch: Running back Danny Arden has three touchdown runs on the season. He scored twice in last week's win over Waukegan.
Libertyville player to watch: Austin Williams will find a way to impact Friday's game. He has kicked field goals, punted, rushed with the ball and caught passes this season.
Quote: Libertyville coach Randy Kuceyeski – "This season feels entirely different than any other because I don't want to have any regrets in any anything that I do."
Prediction: Libertyville 27, Antioch 10


Crystal Lake South (2-0) at No. 16 Cary-Grove (2-0)

Cary-GroveCrystal Lake South
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Crystal Lake South won its first Fox Valley Conference title last season since 1992. To do so, the Gators defeated rival Cary-Grove 28-14. Cary-Grove would like to redeem itself on Friday. The Trojans are the riding the momentum of last week's 10-7 upset of Lake Zurich. Cary-Grove's defense has allowed only one touchdown this season. Crystal Lake South's defense hasn't been bad itself. The Gators have given up six points this year.
Crystal Lake South player to watch: Senior Brad Walovitch is always around the ball whether at wide receiver or defensive back. He had an interception in last week's win.
Cary-Grove player to watch: Junior defensive back Zach Marszal intercepted two passes in last week's win over Lake Zurich.
Prediction: Cary-Grove 14, Crystal Lake South 13


Warren (0-2) at No. 17 Lake Zurich (1-1)

Lake ZurichWarren
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Lake Zurich's offense will look to respond after managing just one touchdown in a loss to Cary-Grove last week. The Bears' running game looked dominant in the opening week, but struggled last week. Lake Zurich's defense gave up only 10 points last week and continues to be among the area's best. Warren has had a disappointing start with back-to-back losses, but did face top-ranked Maine South and an improved New Trier team.
Warren player to watch: Kicker Patrick Kenney gives Warren another offensive element. He's connected on field goals of 29 and 44 yards this season.
Lake Zurich players to watch: Running backs Connor Schrader and Mike Shield had a tough time against Cary-Grove and will try to bounce back.
Prediction: Lake Zurich 24, Warren 13


Joliet Central (0-2) at No. 18 Bolingbrook (2-0)

BolingbrookJoliet Central
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Bolingbrook is off to a hot start and looks to be the real deal this season. The Raiders' offense has scored 79 points this season and cruised to wins over Plainfield South and Belleville East. The next few weeks shouldn't be much more challenging for them. Joliet Central has dropped its first two games by a combined total of 75-8.
Joliet Central player to watch: Quarterback Carlos Curry rushed for a touchdown and threw for a two-point conversion against Lincoln-Way West.
Bolingbrook player to watch: Junior quarterback Aaron Bailey has already received an offer from Northwestern. Plenty of other schools are likely to follow.
Prediction: Bolingbrook 49, Joliet Central 6


Geneva (2-0) at St. Charles East (0-2)

St. Charles EastGeneva
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Geneva needed a little luck to pull off last week's 33-24 win over Wheaton North with two onside kicks going the Vikings way. They should be able to stay away from a similar scenario this week. St. Charles East has struggled to score points in its first two games. It's been out-scored 48-7 so far with losses to Cary-Grove and West Aurora.
Geneva player to watch: Quarterback Matt Williams can do a lot of things on the field. He executed two onside kicks last week.
St. Charles East player to watch: Nick Devor returned a kickoff for a 98-yard touchdown against West Aurora. Devor also doubles as the team's nose guard.
Quote: Geneva coach Rob Wicinski – "We need to continue to play consistent football, protect the ball, go for ball and be the most excited to play."
Prediction: Geneva 35, St. Charles East 7


No. 20 Waubonsie Valley (2-0) at Bartlett (1-1)

BartlettWaubonsie Valley
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The story: Waubonsie Valley is off to its best start since 1992. The Warriors have been solid on both sides of the ball in wins over Naperville Central and Oswego. Last week, they shut down quarterback Ryan West, one of the area's best. This week, they face another talented quarterback in Bartlett's AJ Bilyeu, an Air Force recruit. Bilyeu threw for four touchdown in last week's win over Elgin. Bartlett lost to Wheaton North in Week 1.
Waubonsie Valley player to watch: Dee Gray is one of the area's top receivers. He had four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown last week.
Bartlett player to watch: Linebackers Mike Partyka and Kevin Kirchhoff helped key Bartlett's 42-0 win over Elgin last week.
Quote: Waubonsie Valley coach Paul Murphy – "What I hope to see this week is the same as the past two weeks -- play with confidence, execute the game plan and be ready to play 48 minutes of rocke'em, sock'em football. It's going to be a war on the field this Friday night."
Prediction: Waubonsie Valley 28, Bartlett 24
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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