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No. 10 Neuqua Valley (3-0, 1-0 Upstate Eight Valley) at St. Charles East (2-1, 1-0 Upstate Eight River), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Neuqua Valley won at South Elgin, 42-20; St. Charles East won at St. Charles North, 23-13
Storyline: Having won its first three games to start a season for the first time ever in its 15-year history, Neuqua Valley is in rarified air.
Traveling to St. Charles to meet St. Charles East, the hope for the Wildcats is to continue to engineer and add to the best start in program history, which has seen it rise all the way to 10th this week in the Associated Press’ Class 8A poll.
Beginning the season with a third straight game that saw its offense score over 40 points, another program first, Neuqua Valley overwhelmed South Elgin last Saturday with a 42-20 victory.
Allowing senior quarterback Dylan Andrew to attempt just eight passes, the Wildcats’ running game carried the heavy lifting against the Storm by contributing 351 of the Wildcats’ 377 total yards on offense.
Senior Joey Rhattigan kept his strong start to the season going in running 26 times for 165 yards and scoring three times—bringing his season totals to 583 yards and eight touchdowns on 82 carries—an average of 7.1 yards per carry.
With the Wildcats up 21 points on South Elgin in the fourth quarter, Rhattigan added in an 85-yard kickoff return for a TD in for good measure—the Wildcats’ second kickoff return for a TD in as many weeks.
Earning a 23-13 victory on the road over crosstown rival St. Charles North last week, St. Charles East comes into tonight riding a two-game winning streak.
Saints’ senior running back Joe Hoscheit scored all three of his team’s touchdowns, including a 56-yard touchdown reception late in the fourth quarter, against the North Stars, and the Saints’ defense recovered four fumbles.
Tonight marks the first meeting between the two programs since a 7-3 St. Charles East victory on Oct. 16, 2009. Neuqua Valley’s last victory in the series came on Oct. 3, 2008, courtesy of a 49-42 victory in four overtimes.
Neuqua Valley coach Bill Ellinghaus on St. Charles East: “They beat St. Charles North, playing their big rival game and they, on film, it looked like they kind of dominated that game. And they’re well-coached up there. That’s cause of the new guy up there. He’s got those guys believing in what they’re doing up there. They have a very, powerful running attack up there and they do some things out of their run game that we haven’t seen. So this will be another challenge for our defense. Offensively, they run pretty much the same but they run a very aggressive defense, I would call it.
“St. Charles East is no slouch. They’re a very good football team. They’ve only lost to Cary-Grove, which is probably gonna be, very possibly could be state champion again.”
Lake Park (2-1, 1-0 Upstate Eight Valley) @ No. 20 Waubonsie Valley (3-0, 0-0 Upstate Eight Valley), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Lake Park beat Metea Valley, 35-23; Waubonsie Valley won at Streamwood, 56-0
Storyline: Off to the program’s first 3-0 start since 1994, Waubonsie Valley enters Upstate Eight Valley play tonight when it welcomes Lake Park to Aurora.
Topping the 50-point mark in each of its last two victories over Oswego and Streamwood, respectively, the Warriors’ offense is in high octane mode, averaging 48 points a game.
For the second time in as many weeks, Warriors’ senior running back Austin Guido is coming off a four-touchdown game on the ground after running for 130 yards against Streamwood.
While the offense continues to roll, Waubonsie Valley’s defense forced six turnovers and posted six sacks last week at Streamwood.
Four of the six Streamwood turnovers the Warriors forced were interceptions of Sabres’ quarterback Mason Polich.
Senior defensive back Jeff Markham hauled in two of the four interceptions, while senior defensive back Andrew White returned one of the four picks for a touchdown.
Last week, Lake Park earned a 35-23 home victory over Metea Valley, its second straight overall after a Week 1 loss to Conant.
Behind Kevin Teglia’s five receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns, the Lancers’ offense was able to capitalize off of three interceptions of Metea Valley junior QB Blaise Bell.
Niko Daniello picked Bell off twice and both of his interceptions directly proceeded Lancer touchdowns.
Waubonsie Valley defeated Lake Park, 54-7, in 2011 and has won five straight over Lake Park overall.
The Lancers’ last victory in the series came by virtue of a 21-14 triumph in Roselle on Oct. 6, 2006.
Waubonsie Valley coach Paul Murphy on Lake Park: “Well, their offense has some real good skill players. Their tailback is very, very good. Two of their wide receivers (are) dynamite. (Teglia) might be one of the best receivers in the conference. So they got some offensive firepower that concern you because they can run the ball and pass the ball, so they’re gonna try to be balanced—which anytime you’re playing defense, you’re trying to get them one-dimensional because it makes it easier to defend.
“Defensively, they’re a 4-4. They’re very, very aggressive. They caused four turnovers on Metea Valley. So far, knock on wood, we’ve done a very good job of the turnover game. We gotta keep it down on the turnovers and execute our offense against a 4-4 front, which will be the first time we saw that this year and go from there.”
Bartlett (2-1, 1-0 Upstate Eight Valley) @ Metea Valley (1-2, 0-1 Upstate Eight Valley), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Bartlett beat East Aurora, 67-0; Metea Valley lost at Lake Park, 35-23
Storyline: Suffering a setback in Roselle last week at Lake Park, Metea Valley returns home tonight hoping to snap its two-game losing streak.
After four turnovers doomed its cause in a Week 2 loss to Glenbrook South, Mustangs’ junior quarterback Blaise Bell threw three interceptions in a 35-23 loss to Lake Park.
While Bell completed 11 of his 25 passes for 177 yards against the Lancers, Metea Valley did find some success on the ground, in hopes of finding some much-needed consistency with that aspect of its offense.
Senior running back Cameron Wilcox ran 30 times for 156 yards while adding three touchdown runs for the Mustangs against Lake Park.
Bartlett, meanwhile, is coming off a 67-0 shutout of East Aurora and has outscored its opposition over the last two weeks, Elgin and East Aurora, respectively, 116-7.
Taking advantage of a beleaguered and overwhelmed Tomcats’ defense, Aaron Everson ran just 11 times, gaining 227 yards, and found the end zone on six of those 11 carries for the Hawks.
Losing starting quarterback Steve Hrbacek for the year with a broken collarbone in its 49-0 loss to Wheaton North in Week 1, sophomore Jordan Flint has taken over the reins of Bartlett’s offense.
Bartlett shut out Metea Valley, 42-0, last year and has outscored Metea Valley, 83-7, in the programs’ two all-time meetings.
Metea Valley coach Ben Kleinhans on Bartlett: "Well, Bartlett just kinds of does what they do every year and that's year in and year out. They want to come in and they want to play a good, physical type style of football. The power run game is what they lean on. What they really want is just kind of run the ball down your throat. On defense, they're gonna play their same 4-4. They just really want to come challenge you physically. That's what they do every year and that's no different this year. So we got to be able to be ready to match that. Be able to try and match a little bit of what they're gonna try and do when they come in here. There's no secret of what they want to do. It's the same thing every year. As a coach you respect that because they have their core things that they do and they do them well. You know that's what they're gonna do and then it's your job to try to stop it or beat it.
“(Everson’s) athletic. He's powerful. But really it’s their whole scheme. Their line is big. They have big tight ends. Their fullback gets in there and makes some big holes for him. So, while he's a very good football player, it's the whole scheme, the whole mentality of what they do. They seem to have a running back there every year and it's kind of the next guy in every year. Same type of kid, so it's more a credit to their philosophy and that kind of thing. But, no, he's having a great year. He's put up some big numbers the past couple weeks against Elgin and East Aurora. So we know it's gonna take all we can to slow him and slow that running game down."
Rich Central (2-1) at Benet (2-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Rich Central beat Urban Prep-Englewood, 18-6; Benet lost at St. Patrick, 17-16
Storyline: Losing for the first time this season last week at St. Patrick after John Duvic’s 50-yard field goal fell short with five seconds left, Benet returns home for the first time in three weeks.
Sophomore quarterback Jack Beneventi kept the Redwings in the game throughout against the Shamrocks, completing 24 of 41 passes for 342 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Beneventi’s 342 passing yards against St. Patrick eclipsed the program’s previous single-game record of 305.
Jack Euritt caught a third of Beneventi’s 24 completions in hauling in eight receptions for 119 yards and a TD.
Euritt’s 16-yard touchdown reception late in the first half gave Benet a 10-7 lead at halftime, but Benet could only manage to put six more points on the board in the game’s final 24 minutes.
Rich Central defeated Urban Prep-Englewood, 18-6, last week. That 12-point victory for the Olympians came a week after losing 28-7 to Oak Forest.
Coming off consecutive 5-4 seasons in 2010 and 2011 that saw it miss out on the postseason both times because it didn’t have enough playoff points, Rich Central hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2005.
Benet coach Pat New on Rich Central: “It looks like they play good defense. They’re very athletic and they run real well, so I think that’s the strength of their team. They haven’t scored a ton of points and that’s good for our defense. Our defense has been pretty tough this year. We really want to try to spread it around a little bit more. We’ve got some four-wide packages that we’re gonna throw at them.”
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