Daily Chronicle football notebook: Genoa-Kingston ready for potent Dixon offense

Sycamore gets its passing offense going ahead of Ottawa matchup; DeKalb looking to come out fired up in DVC opener

Genoa-Kingston’s Brady Brewick runs the ball during practice Friday, Aug. 11, 2023, at the school in Genoa.

A strong runner and two extreme athletes at quarterback and wide receiver.

Genoa-Kingston coach Cam Davekos said his Cogs are ready to take on a potent Dixon offense averaging more than 32 points per game this year.

The Cogs defense is coming off a 20-14 overtime win against Oregon, a week after allowing 35 points in a loss to North Boone. Davekos said it’s about the basics in trying to slow down the Dukes (3-0, 3-0 Big Northern Conference), one of two undefeated teams left in the BNC.

“We need to make sure ... our assignments are sound and we understand down and distance so we know where their threats are at all times,” Davekos said. “That will put us in position to make the best possible play every time. There’s no wiggle room because they are that good.”

Davekos said quarterback Tyler Shaner and receiver Cullen Shaner are a pair of talented athletes, and running back Aiden Wiseman is one of the best backs the Cogs have seen.

The Cogs have three interceptions this year and may be tested against a balanced Dixon team. Nolan Kline has two of those picks.

“We’ve done well at times, but at other times we’re not as disciplined,” Davekos said. “But we’re just building each day, getting better and better, and by the time Friday comes, we’re locked in, ready to go.”

Working on the pass: For the first two weeks of the year, Sycamore hadn’t really gone to the passing game much at all.

But last week in a 42-0 win against Woodstock, the Spartans took to the skies. Burke Gautcher, after completing five total passes in the first two weeks in wins against DeKalb and Simeon, completed five passes to Carter York alone.

Coach Joe Ryan said it was good to get the passing game going and expects it to get better as the season goes along, especially with a first-year quarterback running the show.

“It’s important to have that be a part of our offense, whether it’s Carter who was really good Friday, but we have a lot of other good receivers,” Ryan said. “It adds another dimension to what we do offensively. I feel good where we’re at, but we’ll get even better at the passing game the experience we get in doing it.”

Eyes on the prize: DeKalb coach Derek Schneeman said he’s making sure his Barbs are focused heading into Friday’s DuPage Valley Conference opener against Metea Valley.

Schneeman pointed to the 2021 game in Aurora, a 29-21 loss to start conference play and start a six-game losing streak for the DeKalb.

“Two years ago we went to their place, and I didn’t feel like we went in with the right mentality,” Schneeman said. “Perhaps we even overlooked them. But they got us. I reminded our guys they have to stay grounded and put together 48 minutes on Friday.”

The Barbs (1-2) lost a 41-34 slugfest to Sandburg in Week 3. They were outscored 21-8 in the third quarter, when Sandburg took the lead for the first time and held on for the win.

Schneeman said the Barbs have to do a better job of responding when getting punched. Although he liked that his team fought back in the fourth, he thought it took too long for the Barbs to get back up.

“I think morale is good right now, all things considered,” Schneeman said. “We went back to the film, and there were a handful of plays here and there that make it a different game Friday. We did a lot of good things, and we have to put our best foot forward on Friday.”

Lessons learned: Kaneland enters Friday’s game against Woodstock (0-3, 0-1 Kishwaukee River/Interstate 8 White) at 1-2, having lost its conference opener 43-33 to Morris.

It was the second time this year the Knights lost a game they led in the fourth quarter. In the opener against Washington, the Panthers scored the final 21 points for a 33-27 win.

Washington is 2-1, Morris is undefeated, and the Knights have handed Wauconda its only loss of the year.

“We were right in both games, had the lead in the fourth quarter in both games,” Kaneland coach Michael Thorgesen said. “We played two really tough teams in Week 1 and Week 3, and even Week 2[’s opponent] is 2-1. I feel like we’re getting there. We really want to focus out there Friday night, put our best game forward and see what happens.”

Game-time change: Sycamore’s Week 7 game at Woodstock North has been moved to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7.