Northwest Herald area preview capsules for Week 4 of the 2023 season

Huntley visits Prairie Ridge in a battle of 3-0 teams who shared the FVC title last season

Huntley’s Jacob Witt dives for a first down against Jacobs in varsity football in Huntley Friday night.


Huntley (3-0, 3-0) at Prairie Ridge (3-0, 3-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Prairie Ridge beat Huntley 35-7 in Week 3 last season.

About the Red Raiders: Huntley beat Jacobs 40-21 last week. … The Red Raiders played a superb defensive game, shutting down Jacobs’ running game and S Zack Garifo returned an interception 89 yards for a touchdown. … QB Braylon Bower has his best passing game, hitting 11-of-11 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns. … RB Haiden Janke is fifth in area rushing with 314 yards and has scored three touchdowns in all three games. … Huntley cracked The Associated Press Class 8A poll this week at No. 9.

About the Wolves: Prairie Ridge beat Hampshire 50-12 last week. … FB Jack Finn leads the area with 365 rushing yards, with 311 of those coming in the last two weeks. … QB Joey Vanderwiel and RB Luke Vanderwiel had big games last week, including hooking up for a 15-yard touchdown pass. … Prairie Ridge, Huntley and Jacobs shared the FVC title last season. … The Wolves are ranked No. 1 in Class 5A. … Prairie Ridge’s defense has allowed only 26 points, best in the FVC.

Friday Night Drive pick: Prairie Ridge

Cary-Grove’s Jack Rocen, front, and Corey Adams, back, celebrate a defensive stop in varsity football at Metcalf Field in Crystal Lake Friday night.

Cary-Grove (3-0, 3-0) at Jacobs (1-2, 1-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Jacobs beat C-G 41-7 in Week 7 last season.

About the Trojans: C-G defeated McHenry 42-19 last week. … DB Jack Rocen has two punt return touchdowns, one in the opener and one last week. … FB Logan Abrams leads C-G with 339 rushing yards. … RB Andrew Prio is the Trojans’ big-play man with five touchdowns on 18 touches from scrimmage. He averages 10 yards a carry. … C-G is ranked No. 5 in the Class 6A poll. … The Trojans have allowed 39 points, second-best in the FVC to Prairie Ridge.

About the Golden Eagles: Jacobs lost to Huntley 40-21 last week. … The Golden Eagles ran for 141 yards last week, which was well below they want to be. … Sophomore RB Caden DuMelle leads the Eagles with 217 yards rushing and averages 8.0 yards a carry. … Sophomore Connor Goehring was 5 of 6 playing most of the second half last week, throwing for 36 yards.

FND pick: Cary-Grove

Crystal Lake South (1-2, 1-2) at Hampshire (1-2, 1-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: South defeated the Whip-Purs 27-14 in Week 3 last season.

About the Gators: South lost to Burlington Central 35-21 last week. … The Gators were tied with the Rockets before Central scored two touchdowns in the last 5:00. … QB Caden Casimino is completing 60.6% of his passes and has thrown for 577 yards and six touchdowns. … WR Colton Hess has 16 receptions and four touchdowns.

About the Whip-Purs: Hampshire lost to Prairie Ridge 50-12 last week. … The Whips were thrilled to have RB Cole Klawikowski back last week after he suffered an injury in the abdominal area in Week 2 against Jacobs. Klawikowski carried 15 times for 122 yards and a touchdown. He has five rushing touchdowns for the season.

FND pick: Crystal Lake South

Dundee-Crown (0-3, 0-3) at McHenry (0-3, 0-3)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: McHenry defeated D-C 31-12 in Week 6 last season.

About the Chargers: D-C lost to Crystal Lake Central 55-19 last week. … WR Kali Freeman has a touchdown catch in every game, but will miss time with a leg injury suffered last week. Freeman caught a 64-yard touchdown pass before he was hurt. Chargers coach Mike Steinhaus is hopeful Freeman may only miss a couple games. … QB Zach Randl threw for 181 yards and three touchdowns last week. He has thrown for 493 this season. … RB Kadin Malone leads D-C with 240 rushing yards.

About the Warriors: McHenry lost to Cary-Grove 42-19 last week. … The Warriors have scored 25 points in their three games and are trying to put things together with younger players. … RB Jacob Jones leads the team with 138 rushing yards. … QB Joseph Pineda and TE Jonathan Wiseman hooked up for a TD pass last week.

FND pick: Dundee-Crown

Burlington Central's Lucas Kerr celebrates with Burlington Central's Joseph Kowall after Kowall scored a touchdown during a Fox Valley Conference football game against Crystal Lake South on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, at Crystal Lake South High School.

Burlington Central (2-1, 2-1) at Crystal Lake Central (1-2, 1-2)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Last matchup: Burlington Central defeated the Tigers 21-17 in Week 7 last season.

About the Rockets: Burlington Central beat Crystal Lake South 35-21 last week with a pair of late touchdown runs by Joey Kowall. … Kowall ran for 117 yards and four scores and is fourth in area rushing with 325 yards. … QB Ryder Bergeman came off the bench for injured Jackson Alcorn and completed 10-of-16 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown.

About the Tigers: Crystal Lake Central beat Dundee-Crown 55-19 last week. … QB Jason Penza is second in area passing with 813 yards and six touchdowns. … WRs George Dimopoulos (15 catches, 16.2 yards per catch) and Tommy Hammond (16, 7.7) lead the Tigers and Carter Kelley caught two scoring passes from Penza last week. … RB Griffin Buehler has 288 rushing yards and ran for 145 and four touchdowns against D-C.

FND pick: Crystal Lake Central


Rochelle (2-1) at Harvard (0-3)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Rochelle beat the Hornets 47-13 in Week 4 last season.

About the Hubs: Rochelle beat Johnsburg 48-0 last week. … The Hubs defense also recorded a shutout against Woodstock in the opener. The only points Rochelle allowed were in a 27-26 loss to Morton in Week 2. … RB Grant Gensler ran for 204 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s victory.

About the Hornets: Harvard lost to Ottawa 38-8 last week. … QB Adam Cooke ran for 93 yards and a touchdown in the loss to Ottawa. … The Hornets have scored 18 points, but have not been shut out this season. … WR Daniel Rosas leads the Hornets with 11 receptions.

FND pick: Rochelle

Sandwich (3-0, 1-0) at Richmond-Burton (3-0, 1-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Richmond-Burton beat Sandwich 7-6 in Week 2 of the 2017 season.

About the Indians: Sandwich defeated Plano 27-7 last week. … The Indians’ other two victories were over Manteno 34-14 and over Peotone 42-19. It is a remarkable start given that they did not have a team due to low numbers last year. … Sandwich will do most of its business on the ground, the Indians average 402 yards rushing a game. … RB Simieon Harris leads the team with 522 yards and five touchdowns. RBs Nick Michalek (311) and Parker Anderson (199) are the other two top rushers.

About the Rockets: R-B defeated Marengo 42-0 last week for its 26th consecutive KRC or KRC/I-8 Blue victory. … The Rockets, who are ranked No. 4 in Class 4A, have allowed 137 and 140 total yards and a combined six points in their last two games. … FB Braxtin Nellessen is second in area rushing with 346 yards. … R-B doesn’t throw often, but is efficient when it does. QB JT Groh has completed 13 of 17 passes for 256 yards and four touchdowns. … The Rockets are 57-5 under Mike Noll, who is in his sixth season as their coach.

FND pick: Richmond-Burton

Johnsburg's AJ Bravieri throws a pass during a Kishwaukee River Conference football game against Woodstock North Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, at Woodstock North High School.

Marengo (1-2, 0-1) at Johnsburg (2-1, 0-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Marengo defeated Johnsburg 69-48 in Week 4 last season.

About the Indians: Marengo lost to Richmond-Burton 42-0 last week. … RB Isaac Anthony leads the Indians with 245 yards rushing. … QB David Lopez has thrown for 253 yards and WR Mason Lampe has a team-high 15 receptions.

About the Skyhawks: Johnsburg lost to Rochelle 48-0 last week. … RB Brett Centnarowicz has a team-best 271 rushing yards. … QB A.J. Bravieri had a tough time against Rochelle, but played well in a 40-37 win over Reed-Custer in Week 2. Bravieri has 326 passing yards.

FND pick: Johnsburg


Morris (3-0, 1-0) at Woodstock North (1-2, 0-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Morris beat North 41-0 in Week 4 of last season.

About Morris: Morris defeated Kaneland 43-33 last week. … Morris is once again making offense look like a breeze, averaging over 400 yards per game. Jacob Swartz is the leader of a multi-pronged offensive attack. He’s already rushed for 500-plus yards this season, including a 200-yard plus effort in the only game this season where Morris has been pushed, last Friday’s win over Kaneland. …Morris has also gotten a strong start from A.J. Zweeres, who has 16 receptions, six of which have gone for scores. … Morris is No. 3 in Class 4A.

About the Thunder: North lost to LaSalle-Peru 35-24 last week. … Thunder QB Landan Creighton has been a threat running and throwing, with 235 passing yards and 210 rushing yards. … WR Max Dennison has a team-high nine receptions and has caught a TD pass in every game. … RBs Parker Halihan (145) and David Randecker (142) are next on the Thunder’s rushing list.

FND pick: Morris

Kaneland (1-2, 0-1) at Woodstock (0-3, 0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Kaneland defeated Woodstock 49-7 in Week 4 last season.

About the Knights: Kaneland lost to Morris 43-33 in a game it led early in the fourth quarter. … Both Kaneland losses have come in the closing minutes, with Washington staging a similar comeback in Maple Park in Week 1. … QB Troyer Carlson threw for 170 and ran for 175 in the loss, accounting for four total touchdowns. Dom DeBlasio had five catches for 120 yards, while Josh Mauthe ran for 129 yards.

About the Blue Streaks: Woodstock fell to Sycamore 42-0 last week. … That was the second time the Blue Streaks were shut out, with the first coming in a 40-0 loss to Rochelle in the season opener. … RB Landen Stoltz leads the Streaks with 159 yards rushing. … QB Caden Thompson has thrown for 325 yards and three touchdowns. WR Charlie Gilmore has 10 catches for 141 yards.

FND pick: Kaneland


Chicago Christian (2-1, 0-1) at Marian Central (1-2, 1-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Marian Central defeated Chicago Christian 42-0 in Week 8 of the 2011 season.

About the Knights: Chicago Christian lost to Wheaton Academy 35-0 last week. … The Knights have not played in a close game so far. Their wins were by big scores, 35-0 over Chicago Sullivan and 52-6 over South Bend (Ind.) Clay.

About the Hurricanes: Marian beat Bishop McNamara 40-0 last week. … QB Cale McThenia completed 18 of 23 passes for 335 yards and six touchdowns in the Week 3 win. … WR Christian Bentancur had seven catches for 206 yards and four touchdowns. Bentancur now has 160 receptions for his career and two 200-yard games this season. WR Rylan Dolter and Bentancur are tied with 21 receptions to lead the area.

FND pick: Marian Central


Alden-Hebron (1-2) at Galva (0-3)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: This is the first time the two teams have played.

About the Giants: A-H lost to South Beloit 35-20 last week in a game that was tied at 14-14 at halftime. … QB Ben Vole (273) and RB Wyatt Armbrust (215) lead the rushing attack for the Giants. … Vole has thrown for 367 yards and four touchdowns. … Armbrust, Fabian Carreno and JP Stewart are A-H’s leading receivers.

About the Wildcats: Galva lost to Bushell-Prairie City 57-7 last week. … The Wildcats have been outscored 149-13 in three games this season. Galva has played two seasons in eight-man football, going 0-9 and 2-7. Before that, Galva combined with ROWVA and Williamsfield and played as the Mid-County Cougars in 11-man football.

FND pick: Alden-Hebron