High School: Plainfield North
A DePaul recruit, a high flyer, a scoring machine, Brooks had built his reputation. There were people in attendance specifically to see him play.
Comparably, Jack Krieger's family was there for him. To the other fans, Krieger was just another Plainfield North player. He blended in with the rest of his lanky teammates.
Even if someone had seen Krieger play before, he would have been labeled as a shooter. As a junior, Krieger made his living from behind the 3-point line. He was never a threat to drive.
After 32 minutes of basketball, Krieger had a new reputation. When people walked out of the building that evening, they weren't talking about Brooks and Rich South. They were raving about Krieger and his 37 points and 11 rebounds in Plainfield North's upset win.
Nearly two months later, the buzz over Krieger hasn't been muted. From gym to gym around the Chicago area, Krieger, the ESPNChicago.com/Muscle Milk Prep Athlete of the Week, has fans learning his name and his new and improved all-around game.
"I came out with something to prove," the 6-foot-3 guard said of his season debut. "Last year, I knew I was a shooter, and all the teams knew that I could shoot. I knew I had to mix my game up, so that was pretty much a showcase of what I can do.
"It was pretty sweet [to face Brooks.] He's a great player. He can jump out of the gym. He can take over a game whenever he wants. I wanted to prove to everyone really. You don't get a lot of respect out in Plainfield."
Krieger's respect has arrived following a difficult journey. After last season, Plainfield North coach Nick DiForti sat down with Krieger and laid out the truth.
"It was, ‘Jack, people know you can shoot,'" DiForti said. "‘They're going to shut you down eventually, and you have to do something to create your shot.' He took that to heart and worked his tail off in the offseason."
Krieger didn't take offense to his coach's words. Krieger's dream was to play college basketball, and he understood to reach it he had to become a more versatile player. His game needed to expand.
As soon as last season ended, Krieger went to work. He spent hours alone in the gym perfecting his ballhandling, getting comfortable driving to the net and learning ways to finish from everywhere other than the 3-point range. He then took those skills on the road with his high school and clubs teams over the summer.
During that time, Krieger had his ups and his downs. He had shots thrown back in his face. He turned the ball over. None of it deterred him.
"There's always test runs, I guess you would say," Krieger said. "There were plenty of times I failed, but never enough to discourage me in saying, ‘I quit. I'm just going to be a shooter.' I use that as motivation to keep going.
"It was a long road. I gave up my whole summer. I gave up family vacations and a lot of family time to travel around the state and then out of state and going to Las Vegas. I put in a lot of work, but it was worth it."
The reward has been his season. Krieger's big night against Brooks would only be the start. He went over 30 points in three of his first four games for the Tigers. He dropped 39 points on Plainfield South in the Joliet West tournament championship.
He's averaged 24.9 points per game for the season while slowly picking up college interest.
Krieger's status was bumped higher over the holidays at the Pontiac Tournament, one of the state's premier Christmas tournaments. He had 24 points and nine rebounds in a win over Bloomington. He had 25 points and 12 rebounds in a victory over Peoria Manual the following day.
Finally in his most impressive game, Krieger was lights out against Warren and its Division I-caliber athletes. Krieger hit shots fading away. He drained them while leaning forward. He sank them while falling off to the side. Whatever he threw up seemed to drop in the net, and the fans were enjoying every second of it. He would finish with 30 points in a narrow loss to the Blue Devils.
"I was surprised on some of them," Krieger said of his shots. "Sometimes I was cockeyed or turned around or falling around the basket, but I'll take what I can get."
It was nothing new to DiForti, but he was pleased to see Krieger perform so well on such a big stage.
"He's been playing to that caliber, but I think he really showed people what type of player he is against Bloomington, Manual and Warren. It was like, ‘All right, can you do it again against the big, big dogs as opposed to the big dogs in the area? Can you do it against the best in the state?' I think he proved that."
Krieger isn't content yet.
"Obviously, the season's not done, so I'm not done gaining respect," he said. "That's my No. 1 goal, to gain respect for the school, Plainfield North basketball and myself really. I feel like I can compete with anyone.
Knowing is part of being the perfect player as coach says. Everyone has their flaws. If you come out ready to play every single game and give it your all, the result is going to be great."
Here a look at where things stand in the race to be named ESPNChicago.com's player of the year.1. Wheaton Warrrenville South senior quarterback Reilly O’Toole (previously ranked No. 1)Last week: O’Toole continued picking apart defenses in the Tigers’ 49-7 win over Benet in the opening round of the Class 7A playoffs. He was 10-of-12 passing for 143 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 43 yards on four carries. Wheaton Warrenville South improved to 10-0.
Season: 116-of-157 passing for 2,089 yards, 32 touchdowns and one interception; two rushing touchdowns.
Last week: Ferguson rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries in Joliet Catholic’s 49-7 win over Washington in the Class 5A playoffs. The Hilltoppers improved to 9-1.
Season: 1,585 yards and 23 touchdowns on 118 carries. He’s averaging 13.4 yards per carry.
3. Simeon junior quarterback Robert Gregory (5)
Last week: Gregory was 8 of 12 for 144 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 87 yards and two touchdowns in Simeon’s 47-0 win over St. Ignatius in the Class 7A playoffs. The Wolverines improved to 10-0.
Season: 54-of-89 passing for 1,115 yards and 15 touchdowns; 864 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.
4. Plainfield North senior running back Kapri Bibbs (2)
Last week: Bibbs’s season ended with Plainfield North’s 51-12 loss to Glenbard West in the Class 7A playoffs. On the first play from scrimmage, he took off for an 80-yard touchdown, but Glenbard West slowed him down the rest of the day. He finished with 127 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries. He also completed 2-of-2 passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. Plainfield North fell to 7-3.
Season: 2,646 yards and 38 touchdowns on 301 carries. He averaged 8.8 yards per carry. His indivual season numbers for yards placed him 16th all-time in state history and his touchdowns put him at 14th.
5. Elk Grove senior quarterback Nick Meyer (3)
Last week: Meyer’s season ended with Elk Grove’s 38-21 loss to Schaumburg in the Class 7A playoffs. Meyer was 20-of-36 passing for 143 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, and he rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. Elk Grove fell to 7-3.
Season: 179-of-294 passion for 2,235 yards and 20 touchdowns; 1,031 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.
The story:Wheaton Warrenville South looks to put the finishing touches on its second consecutive unbeaten regular season. The Tigers have been perfect in the regular season three of the past four years. They will be the favorite to win the Class 7A state championship when the playoff pairings are released on Saturday night.
Prediction: Wheaton Warrenville South 49, West Aurora 7
No. 14 Loyola (7-1) at No. 2 St. Rita (8-0) on Friday
The story:The Catholic League championship will be decided with this game. If St. Rita wins, it takes full possession. If Loyola wins, the Ramblers, St. Rita and Mount Carmel could all finish the conference season with one loss. Mount Carmel is the lone team to defeat Loyola this season. The Ramblers are led by junior quarterback Malcolm Weaver. St. Rita has relied on running back Jahwon Akui. ESPN 1000 will be in attendance.
Loyola player to watch: Quarterback Malcolm Weaver receives a lot of the press, but his receivers also make him look good. E.J. Webb has been his top target.
St. Rita player to watch: Mustangs linebacker Matt Mullen came up with a couple huge tackles last week. St. Rita will look for more of the same against a talented Loyola offense.
Quote:Loyola coach John Holecek -- “Rita’s O-line and running back are awesome. They’re fast and have a physical defense. We must score on all opportunities to keep up and must have no errors in the passing game. Running back Spencer Perry has to have a game if they decide to cover everything. We need to try and limit the big plays and withstand their muscle and speed. … Hope for divine intervention.”
Prediction: St. Rita 28, Loyola 27
Lyons (7-1) at No. 3 Glenbard West (8-0) on Saturday
The story:Lyons stands in the way of Glenbard West’s third consecutive unbeaten regular season. The Lions have been in a handful of close ones this season. Four of their games have been decided by a touchdown or less. Their lone defeat was to York. The Hilltoppers have been dominant on both sides of the ball all season. They’ve out-scored opponents 288-62. They defeated York 27-10 in Week 7.
Lyons player to watch:Chris Klotz caught a touchdown pass and blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone in the Lions’ win over Leyden last week.
Glenbard West player to watch: Beau Warden has been one of the best linebackers in the state this season. He has 91 tackles, seven sacks, five forced fumbles and two interceptions.
Quotes:Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet -- “LT is a well-balanced offense even though they run a four- and five-receiver set. To be successful, we need to be able to run the ball and keep the chains moving.”
Prediction:Glenbard West 31, Lyons 17
No. 4 Carmel (8-0) at Elder (Ohio) (2-5) on Saturday
The story: Carmel closes out its season by traveling to Ohio on Friday. Elder has had a rocky season, going 2-5. The Panthers are coming off a bye week and have had time to prepare for Carmel’s arrival.
Prediction: Carmel 42, Elder 20
Brooks (3-5) at No. 5 Simeon (8-0) on Thursday
The story: Simeon has rolled through the Public League, and this city playoff opener shouldn’t be different. The Wolverines’ focus will be on the state playoffs as they try to become the first Public League team to win a state title.
Prediction: Simeon 56, Brooks 7
No. 6 Joliet Catholic (7-1) at Benet (5-3) on Thursday
The story:In a rare Thursday East Suburban Catholic game, Joliet Catholic travels to play an inconsistent Benet team. The Redwings likely clinched themselves a playoff spot with last week’s 10-7 win over St. Viator. Joliet Catholic’s offense has been unstoppable lately. The Hilltoppers have scored 48 or more points in their last four games.
Prediction:Joliet Catholic 49, Benet 17
McHenry (1-7) at No. 7 Crystal Lake South (8-0) on Friday
The story: Crystal Lake South clinched the Fox Valley Valley title last week. The Gators have won with a balanced offense and defense. They’ve out-scored their opponents 253-86.
Prediction:Crystal Lake South 42, McHenry 6
Naperville Central (4-4) at No. 8 Glenbard North (7-1) on Friday
The story:Naperville Central needs to win this game to have a shot at the playoffs. Glenbard North is looking to bounce back from its 49-6 loss to Wheaton Warrenville South last week.
Prediction:Glenbard North 23, Naperville Central 17
No. 9 Lincoln-Way East (7-1) at Joliet Central (0-8) on Saturday
The story:Lincoln-Way East has been playing well heading into the playoffs. The Griffins have won their past six games since losing to Wheaton North.
Prediction:Lincoln-Way East 56, Joliet Central 7
No. 10 Stevenson (8-0) at Antioch (7-1) on Friday
The story: Stevenson is the top team in the North Suburban Lake, and Antioch is in second place behind Vernon Hills in the North Suburban Prairie. Prairie teams haven’t fared well against Lake teams this season.
Prediction: Stevenson 35, Antioch 14
No. 11 Lake Zurich (7-1) at Lake Forest (6-2) on Friday
The story: Lake Forest is coming off a 21-0 win over previously-unbeaten Vernon Hills. It was the first time Vernon Hills had allowed a point this season. Lake Forest’s two losses came to conference foes Stevenson and Warren. Lake Zurich’s defense has been among the best in the state this season. The Bears have allowed 10 or less points six times this year.
Prediction: Lake Zurich 24, Lake Forest 10
No. 12 Wheaton North (6-2) at Glenbard East (3-5) on Friday
The story:Wheaton North is hoping that this won’t be another nail-biter. The Falcons’ last two wins came down to the final minutes. They defeated Naperville Central 23-21 two weeks ago and Naperville North 14-7 last week.
Prediction:Wheaton North 41, Glenbard East 13
Providence (2-6) at No. 13 Mount Carmel (6-2) on Friday
The story:The season hasn’t gone according to plan for Providence, which was the 6A state runner-up last season. The Celtics began the year 0-4 and never could bounce back. If they could upset Mount Carmel, that might help their offseason. The Caravan have scored 40-plus points in five games this season.
Prediction: Mount Carmel 38, Providence 20
No. 15 Plainfield South (8-0) at Plainfield North (6-2) on Friday
The story:This has the potential to be a fun one. Plainfield South has one of the state’s premier offenses. The Cougars have scored 397 points this season. They haven’t scored less than 41 points in a game. Plainfield North has scored 33 or more points six times this year and possesses running back Kapri Bibbs, who has run for 2,000-plus yard this season. The game will decide the Southwest Prairie championship.
Plainfield South player to watch:Running back Dondre Adams is the Cougars’ offensive threat.
Plainfield North player to watch:Bibbs is in the running for the ESPNChicago.com Player of the Year award. He has 2,166 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns this season.
Quotes: Plainfield North coach Tim Kane -- “They have an explosive offense with weapons at quarterback, wide receiver and running back. Defensively, we will need to do all we can to eliminate big plays -- long runs and the deep pass. Offensively, obviously, we will need to get the ball in Kapri Bibbs' hands often. However, we will make some adjustments with formations and plays to maybe get it to him in different ways than we had previously as I am sure South has us very well scouted.”
Plainfield South coach Greg Banner -- “Gonna be great a high school football atmosphere, two strong teams battling for either a share of the conference title or the outright title. The biggest two keys are who makes the least mistakes, and who can stop the other from making big plays on offense. North has a strong rushing attack led by Bibbs. They have a lot of guys playing both sides of the ball, and they are talented. Should be a really exciting game.”
Prediction:Plainfield South 63, Plainfield North 54
Buffalo Grove (4-4) at No. 16 Prospect (7-1) on Friday
The story: Prospect has been one of the year’s bigger surprises. The Knights lost their season-opener and now have won seven straight, including an overtime win over Elk Grove last week. Buffalo Grove needs to win this game to be playoff eligible.
Prediction: Prospect 35, Buffalo Grove 20
No. 17 Schaumburg (6-2) at Hoffman Estates (1-7) on Friday
The story:Barrington, Fremd and Schaumburg all enter the final week with one Mid-Suburban West loss. Schaumburg’s only MSL West loss was to Barrington.
Prediction:Schaumburg 41, Hoffman Estates 10
Clark (4-4) at No. 18 Morgan Park (7-1) on Friday
The story:Morgan Park opens the Public League playoffs with Clark. The Mustangs are coming off a narrow win over previously-unbeaten Hubbard. Morgan Park quarterback Dae’Shaun Hurley was this week’s ESPNChicago.com Prep Athlete of the Week.
Prediction: Morgan Park 47, Clark 6
No. 19 Marmion (8-0) at Montini (6-2) on Friday
The story:This should be one of the better games in Week 9. Marmion started off the year with a couple of narrow wins and has since been crushing opponents. Montini opened the season with back-to-back losses to Joliet Catholic and Loyola and has been on a roll ever since. The Broncos have allowed six points in their past four games. The Suburban Christian Blue championship will be decided here.
Marmion player to watch:T.J. Lally ran for 209 yards on just seven carries last week.
Montini player to watch:Jordan Westerkamp has been one of the state’s top wide receivers this year. He has 52 catches for 967 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Quote: Montini coach Chris Andriano -- “The key to this week’s game is for our defense to shut down their dangerous running attack. If they are able to sustain long drives and win the time of possession, we will be in trouble. Our defense will need to get off the field on 3rd down to give our offense more possessions. Offensively, we will need to be able to run the ball to keep their defense honest. Our QB will need to continue to make good decisions and distribute the ball to all of our receivers.”
Prediction:Montini 31, Marmion 24
No. 20 Lemont (8-0) at Hillcrest (0-8) on Friday
The story: The Indians haven’t lost more than three games in a season since 2003. That won’t change this season.
Prediction:Lemont 31, Hillcrest 13
The story: York has been one of the year’s more surprising teams. After going 4-5 last year, the Dukes are off to their best start in school history and are coming off a big win over previously unbeaten Lyons. Despite their success, Glenbard West will still be a grand challenge. The Hilltoppers have been ranked in the top 5 all season and are dominant on both sides of the ball. York should benefit from being at home. ESPN 1000 will be in attendance.
Glenbard West player to watch: Nick Burrello is in the running for the ESPNChicago.com Player of the Year award. He’s dangerous in the running, passing and return game.
York player to watch: Running back Ryan Kent leads York’s offense. He ran for 180 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries in last week’s win.
Quotes: “[Nick Burrello] has always had great speed, but now he has the vision to go along with it. He’s played really confident and has had over 1,500 all-purpose yards.” -- Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet
“Ryan Kent is a kid who works hard, and he’ s really matured over the years he has been at York. I think there is a solid cohesiveness within this group that makes them special.” -- York coach Bill Lech
Prediction: Glenbard West 34, York 21
No. 12 Vernon Hills (6-0) at Grant (3-3) on Friday
The story: Vernon Hills has outscored its opponents 290-0. The 290 points scored was expected. The zero points allowed was not. The Cougars look to extend their unlikely shutout streak against Grant in a North Suburban Prairie game. The Bulldogs have put some points up this season. They’ve scored more than 40 twice and have 178 points on the season.
Vernon Hills player to watch: DaVaris Daniels, who is committed to Notre Dame, is among the front-runners for the ESPNChicago.com Player of the Year award. He does a lot of everything for Vernon Hills.
Grant player to watch: Fullback Steven Niewiedzial has been racking up yards and touchdowns all year. He ran for 244 yards and three touchdowns in a win two weeks ago.
Quote: “Over the years our two programs have been the most consistent in the Prairie and [it] has kind of become our rivalry game. Everyone knows to win the Prairie you have to beat two teams, Grant and Vernon Hills. Two years ago, we beat them in the regular season and then they knocked us out in the playoffs in double overtime. We expect it to be a hard-hitting rivalry game Friday night with a playoff-type atmosphere.” -- Vernon Hills coach Tony Monken
Prediction: Vernon Hills 38, Grant 10
Waubonsie Valley (5-1) vs. Neuqua Valley (4-2) at North Central College on Friday
The story: This is a key game in the Upstate Eight Valley. Waubonsie Valley is still undefeated in the conference, and Neuqua Valley is only a game back. Waubonsie Valley has been faced with a handful of injuries and illnesses over the past few weeks and have handled them well. Quarterback Matt Schapen has filled in for Tom Kolzow (concussion) the past three weeks and has kept the Warriors afloat. Neuqua Valley lost to South Elgin two weeks ago, but bounced back with a 42-0 win over Metea Valley last week. Both teams have quality defenses.
Waubonsie Valley player to watch: Sophomore linebacker Austin Lacke is one to watch for the future. He’s been among the Warriors’ top defensive players this season.
Neuqua Valley player to watch: Safety Sami Khalil is among the Wildcats’ best defensive players. He had two interceptions, including one for a touchdown, in last week’s win.
Quote: “Our defense is averaging three turnovers per game. When they give the offense great field position, it is a lot easier to score. Our offense has also been able to get big plays during the games as well. So we basically can score from anywhere on the field, which makes it harder for the defenses to defend us.” -- Waubonsie Valley coach Paul Murphy
“We have been playing well in all aspects of the game. Our defense has shown the ability to stop the run, and our offense has had success running the ball. When a team is able to do both of those things, it will have success.” -- Neuqua Valley coach Bryan Wells
Prediction: Waubonsie Valley 24, Neuqua Valley 21
Bolingbrook (4-2) at No. 9 Lincoln-Way East (5-1) on Friday
The story: The Southwest Suburban Blue will likely be decided by this game. Lincoln-Way East has a one-game lead on Bolingbrook and Homewood-Flossmoor. The Griffins have already defeated Homewood-Flossmoor and will now host Bolingbrook. The Raiders will again be without quarterback Aaron Bailey, who also missed last week’s loss to Homewood-Flossmoor with an ankle injury. Lincoln-Way East junior Blake Winkler is quickly becoming one of the area’s better quarterbacks.
Bolingbrook player to watch: Quarterback DJ Pruitt has been making strides since taking over for Bailey. He’ll look to take another step in his progress against Lincoln-Way East.
Lincoln-Way East player to watch: Wide receiver J.J. Robertson had two touchdown catches of 50-plus yards last week. He’s one of the area’s top wide receivers.
Quotes: “Quarterback Blake Winkler has shown tremendous progress. He has stepped up time and time again in crucial situations and made the big plays. Most impressive is the way he responds to adversity or a negative play. He lets it go and usually makes a very positive play soon after.” -- Lincoln-Way East coach Rob Zvonar
“No turnovers and being able to run the ball are the keys to the game.” -- Bolingbrook coach John Ivlow
Prediction: Lincoln-Way East 31, Bolingbrook 17
Minooka (5-1) at Plainfield North (5-1) on Friday
The story: Two of the state’s best running games will be on display in this Southwest Prairie matchup. Plainfield North running back Kapri Bibbs has ran for nearly 2,000 yards despite missing the season’s first game and is coming off a state-record 520-yard performance. No one has been able to stop him this season. Minooka has a number of players capable of carrying the ball. Running backs Kalvin Hill and Kyle Banks and quarterback Mitch Brozovich have all been dangerous. Minooka’s only loss was to undefeated Plainfield South. Plainfield North lost in its season-opener against West Chicago without Bibbs.
Minooka player to watch: Indians running back Kalvin Hill rushed for 217 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s win over Oswego East.
Plainfield North player to watch: Kapri Bibbs is putting together an incredible season. He’ll be playing at Colorado State next season.
Quotes: “We won't stop Kapri, but we do hope to limit his touches. We also hope to limit his long plays. Our offense must put long scoring drives together that eats up clock. Special teams must play well. We are a much better football team than we have shown. We are still waiting to throw the ball consistently and kick the ball consistently. We need to improve our third-down defense and reduce the number of big plays on defense." -- Minooka coach Bert Kooi
“We need to find a way to stop their powerful running game. They have four very good weapons in the backfield. Their quarterback does an outstanding job faking and running the ball. Obviously, Minooka will be very aware of Kapri and have a game plan to stop him. We will need to make necessary in-game adjustments to be able to move the ball.” -- Plainfield North coach Tim Kane
Prediction: Plainfield North 55, Minooka 49
No. 4 Carmel (6-0) at Marian Catholic (5-1) on Friday
The story: Carmel faces another difficult test as it travels to face Marian Catholic in the East Suburban Catholic matchup. Carmel is undefeated with a combination of strong offense and defense. The Corsairs lead the conference with 243 points scored and 78 points allowed. Marian Catholic enters the game on a five-game winning streak after losing to Homewood-Flossmoor in Week 1. Spartans coach Dave Mattio has been pleased with his team’s effort, but said it has yet to put together a “signature” win, which he described as a “contest played with 48 minutes of intensity if all three phases of the game.”
Carmel player to watch: Running back Jordan Kos has been a nightmare for defenses for much of the season. He had 168 yards and two touchdowns last week.
Marian Catholic player to watch: Junior running back Jeruel Taylor has a big reason for the Spartans’ success. He had 221 yards in last week’s 31-27 win over Crete-Monee.
Quotes: “We need to run the ball well and prevent Marian from having big plays. We need to be sure their skilled backs do not have 20-yard-or-more plays. -- Carmel coach Andy Bitto
“Carmel plays with a great deal of energy and confidence. It is important for Marian Catholic to play with the same two attributes from the start of the contest. There have been a number of contests this year where the Spartans have shown a resiliency to come back from a deficit or to make big plays to change momentum of a contest.” -- Marian Catholic coach Dave Mattio
Prediction: Carmel 35, Marian Catholic 20
One to latch onto to him. A second to slow him down. A third to put him to the ground.
Opposing defenses have been discovering that the hard way this season. Bibbs, the ESPNChicago.com Prep Athlete of the Week, has not only been envisioning that no one can stop him, but he’s also been proving it.
Despite missing Plainfield North’s season opener, Bibbs has rushed for 1,169 yards and 19 touchdowns in four games. He’s run for 300-plus yards on three occasions and has scored four or more touchdowns in all of his games.
“Whenever you see him run and do some of the things he does, you expect them to a certain extent,” Plainfield North coach Tim Kane said. “We knew he had made quite some progress, but some of the things he has done during games quite honestly have been special.”
Bibbs’ season did get off to a slow start as he had to miss the season opener because he hadn’t participated in enough preseason practices to be eligible.
In Week 2, he quickly made up for lost time. Against Grant, he rushed for 338 yards and six touchdowns, both career highs.
From there, Bibbs knew this season would be one to remember.
“My sophomore year I was real dominant at the sophomore level, but I was jittery my junior year,” Bibbs said. “This year I’m putting out all my weapons. I’m not holding back, and I love it.
“I feel stronger. I feel faster. I feel like those 11 guys on the defense don’t stand a chance against the offense. That’s how I feel.”
For anyone who thought Bibbs’ first game was a fluke, he went out the next week and ran for 177 yards and five touchdowns against Plainfield East. The following week he had 306 yards and four touchdowns against Plainfield Central. Finally last week, he rushed for 340 yards, a new career high, and four touchdowns.
Bibbs’ combination of power and speed has always impressed Kane, but it’s his vision that amazes him.
“He has the ability to make a big play out of what would be an average play,” Kane said. “He can take a 4-, 5-yard run and turn that into a 40-yard touchdown run. He’s made some pretty good plays where defenses have blitzed right into him or we missed a block up front.”
Bibbs can credit his 4.3-second 40-yard speed and 350-pound bench press to hard work, but he’s not sure where his vision comes from. It doesn’t run in his family. His family was a basketball one until Bibbs took up football in fifth grade.
However he’s acquired it, he is thankful for it.
“I think it’s the best attribute I have,” Bibbs said. “It’s natural. It’s just natural ability cutting back and finding an open field.”
With Bibbs putting together such a remarkable season, colleges have been calling. The problem is when Bibbs answers, he lets everyone know he’s already committed to Colorado State, and he has no plans of changing that no matter how yards or touchdowns he runs for this season.
“They’re committed to me, and I’m committed to them,” Bibbs said. “I thought about the Big Ten. I was learning toward Purdue and [Illinois]. But I kind of wanted to get away, see some new places. Going West will open up new things for me.”
Kane has no doubt that Bibbs will continue his football success at Colorado State.
“The thing people don’t realize about him is he’s such a fierce competitor,” Kane said. “This kid hates to lose. It’s not about how many carries or yards he gets. He wants to win. He wants to be the best running back in the field. He’s pretty motivated to be successful.”
1) Mount Carmel running back Michael Banks is hard to catch when he gets going. He ran for 199 yards and two touchdowns in the Caravan's overtime win over Loyola. He had runs of 33, 57 and 82 yards against the Ramblers.
2) Plainfield North running back Kapri Bibbs has to be in the running for ESPNChicago.com's Player of the Year. He ran for another 306 yards and four touchdowns in the Tigers' win over Plainfield Central.
3) Minooka's 1-2 backfield punch was too much for Plainfield East. Running backs Kalvin Hill and Kyle Banks combined for 308 yards and six touchdowns in the Indians' win.
4) Prospect's Peter Bonahoom showed again why he's one of the area's most dynamic players. He ran for 206 yards and three touchdowns and returned a kickoff for a 97-yard touchdown in the Knights' win over Palatine.
5) Taft's Omar Ramirez, who is 5-4 and 145 pounds, ran for 148 yards and scored three touchdowns in the Eagles' win over Steinmetz.
1) Lincoln-Way West's Kevin Kintzel had 11 tackles and one interception in the team's win over Thornridge. He also had two touchdown catches.
2) Glenbard North's defense held its fourth consecutive opponent to 14 points or less in Friday's 17-14 win over Wheaton North, which had scored 30-plus points heading into the game.
3) Notre Dame's Nick Bascom blocked a Benet punt, and Conner Gavin recovered the ball and scored for a key touchdown in the Dons' 35-31 win.
4) Stevenson's defense had seven sacks and forced three turnovers in the Patriots' shutout win over Mundelein.
5) Pat Foley recovered two Hinsdale Central fumbles, which both later lead to Lyons' touchdowns, in the Lions' conference win.
1) St. Rita 14, Fenwick 13: Mustangs defensive lineman Joe Filomeno stopped Fenwick quarterback Patrick Hart from entering the end zone for a 2-point conversion with 28.7 seconds remaining to give St. Rita the win.
2) Crystal Lake South 24, Prairie Ridge 20: Gators quarterback Drew Ormseth connected with Brad Walovitch for an 80-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to provide the difference in the game.
3) Carmel 31, Joliet Catholic 28: The Corsairs' defense held Joliet Catholic scoreless for nearly three quarters after a rough start in the all-important East Suburban Catholic game.
4) Elk Grove 36, Schaumburg 34: Quarterback Nick Meyer threw for 231 yard and three touchdowns and ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Grenadiers to the Mid-Suburban League upset win.
5) Richards 13, Shepard 12: Richards fought back from a 9-0 fourth-quarter deficit and pulled out the win when Andre Gallion dove for a 16-yard touchdown catch with 1:12 left in the game.
The high school football is flying by. Week 3 has come and gone, but here’s one last look.Powers’ playmakers
1) South Elgin backup quarterback Zach Gross stepped in for the Storm and provided 114 passing yards, 95 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the team’s 48-0 win over Lake Park.
2) Plainfield North’s Kapri Bibbs rushed for 177 yards and five touchdowns in his team’s 47-6 win over Plainfield East.
3) Stevenson’s Stephen Salata caught six passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots’ 24-7 win over Warren.
4) Glenbard West senior Nick Burrello accounted for three of the touchdowns in the Hilltoppers’ 28-7 win over Hinsdale Central. He scored on runs of 24 and 44 yards and returned a 90-yard kickoff.
5) Thornton running back Damien Bell continued his big season, rushing for 183 yards and two touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 27-24 overtime win over Andrew. He has 529 yards and six touchdowns on the year.
1) Simeon defensive back Darius Scott intercepted two Morgan Park passes for touchdowns as the Wolverines rolled 48-16 in the marquee Public League match up.
2) Glenbard North safety Sean Fogarty provided the game’s only score against Naperville North when he returned an interception for a touchdown. He also had another interception.
3) Barrington’s Ben LeCompte had three interceptions in the Broncos’ 35-14 win over Hersey.
4) Lake Zurich linebacker JJ Raffelson sacked North Chicago’s quarterback twice, including a safety, in the Bears’ 36-0 win.
5) Vernon Hills’ defense posted its third consecutive shutout with a 47-0 win over Lakes. The Cougars have out-scored opponents 148-0 this season.
1) Glenbard North 10, Naperville North 3: The Panthers’ defense came up huge in this upset win. It held Naperville North three times in the second half on fourth-down attempts in the red zone.
2) Lyons 38, Downers Grove North 28: The Lions remained undefeated thanks to sophomore Matthew Harris. He returned a kickoff for an 88-yard touchdown and intercepted a fourth-quarter pass that led to the game-winning touchdown.
3) Waukegan 34, Maine West 33: The Bulldogs prevailed in the Central Suburban League crossover battle behind the play of quarterback Reggie Richter and his four touchdown passes.
4) Loyola 21, Providence 7: The Ramblers avenged last season’s loss to the Celtics in the Catholic League meeting. Loyola’s defense contained Providence, and Malcolm Weaver threw his seventh and eighth touchdowns of the season in the win.
5) Metea Valley 39, East Aurora 6: The Mustangs won their first varsity game in school history. Tre’Sean Mackey led the way as he ran for 103 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries.