The Herald-News Football Capsules for Week 2

Nonconference games

Simeon (0-1) at Bolingbrook (1-0)

When: 6 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Bolingbrook 44, Simeon 20 (2006)

About the Wolverines: Simeon experienced in Week 1 what a lot of foes likely will against Joliet Catholic: a lot of difficulty. Simeon’s defense was taxed to the hilt against JCA, and despite having some viable offensive weapons such as Malik Elzy, the Wolverines couldn’t get anything going.

About the Raiders: Despite not having much depth, Bolingbrook played with a lot of energy in a comfortable win over Minooka in Week 1. However, despite having some really positive performances, including a huge effort from QB, Bobby Ervin, the win was marred by penalties that left a sour taste in the mouth of veteran coach John Ivlow.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Bolingbrook

Lake Park (0-1) at Lincoln-Way Central (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Lancers: Lake Park has found itself at the back of the pack over the last couple of seasons in a rigorous DuKane Conference. It didn’t show signs of reversing that trend by dropping all four games in the spring. Lake Park has a lot of returning experience in the interior lines, but is still having some growing pains at the skill positions.

About the Knights: Very little went right for Lincoln-Way Central against what is obviously a rapidly improving Buffalo Grove program, but despite that substantial misstep, it’s hard to ignore a very impressive spring season, where several underclassmen had a positive impact. A rebound seems possible here.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Lincoln-Way Central

Lincoln-Way East (1-0) at Naperville Central (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Lincoln-Way East 31, Naperville Central 10 (2019)

About the Griffins: The Griffins got a strong effort from new quarterback Brennan Stolarek in Week 1. Lincoln-Way East will remain elite as long as he keeps the offense generating enough points to allow a young defense enough time to build confidence.

About the Redhawks: Naperville Central may not have quite as many explosive offensive players as in recent seasons, but experienced QB Owen Prucha should be able to guide a cast of newcomers to sustained success. He might not have to be burdened with doing too much considering the defense stopped a very solid Hinsdale Central offense from doing anything in a 14-2 Week 1 win.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Lincoln-Way East

Lincoln-Way West (0-1) at Oswego East (1-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Warriors: Lincoln-Way West stepped up its nonconference schedule this season and was handed a loss by Hersey in Week 1. The Warriors did run the ball effectively behind a 129-yard effort from Justin Harris, but the passing game really scuffled with just nine completions in 26 attempts.. The Warriors will also need to shore up their pass defense as they gave up four touchdown passes.

About the Panthers: Oswego East opened its season with a win against Waubonsie Valley. University of Illinois recruit Jared Badie anchors a very opportunistic defense, while the offense got a boost with the addition of quarterback Tre Jones via transfer from Montini.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Oswego East

Lockport (1-0) at Metea Valley (0-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First Meeting

About the Porters: Lockport turned in one of the area’s more impressive performances, particularly on defense, in a 41-0 win over Joliet West. The defensive line is fully stocked and led by Andrew Blackburn-Forst and twin brothers Cole and Cody Silser. Offensively, the Porters got a Week 1 lift from quarterback Hayden Timosciek, who spread the football around and finished with four touchdown passes.

About the Mustangs: Metea Valley has struggled near the bottom of the DuPage Valley for several seasons now and early indications are not much has changed. The Mustangs already dropped their season opener to Geneva, another program that has really scuffled in its quest to getting something moving in a positive direction.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Lockport

Crete-Monee (0-1) at Plainfield North (1-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Warriors: Crete-Monee took a big swing against Lincoln-Way East and nearly connected for a big win before falling 35-20.. The Warriors have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. Running back Chance Joseph is a home-run threat.

About the Tigers: Plainfield North flexed its muscles early and often in a easy win over Plainfield East in its opener. Experience in the trenches allowed the Tigers to control the line of scrimmage. Although just about everything worked well in the Week 1 win, expect the Tigers to lean on a punishing ground attack led by bruising running back Jared Gumila.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Plainfield North

Minooka (0-1) at Joliet West (0-1)

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Minooka 49, Joliet West 7 (2019)

About the Indians: Minooka seemed a little out of sync in its season-opening loss to Bolingbrook, but it’s hard to imagine a team with this much returning talent doesn’t make some significant strides from Week 1 to Week 2. The aerial attack didn’t really find its footing until late in the game, but receivers Malik Armstrong and Trevor Hudak are only a few plays away from putting this offense on track.

About the Tigers: Joliet West is likely looking to simply turn the page after a blowout loss to Lockport Week 1. This offense has some capable players, but a lot of learning still needs to be done in order for them to click. Defensively, an experienced secondary, led by Robert Satterwhite and Jerry Richards, will really need to step up for the Tigers this week.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Minooka

Plainfield South (0-1) at DeKalb (1-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Cougars: Plainfield South coach Bill Bicker didn’t make it a secret that the Cougars would be going into the season with a young, relatively inexperienced squad. They showed in Week 1 against West Aurora that they’ve still got some growing to do. But any squad with an explosive runner like Brian Stanton can’t be discounted too quickly.

About the Barbs: DeKalb picked up a hard-fought win over Sycamore in its season opener and is trying to position itself well before steering into a difficult and deep DuPage Valley Conference slate. Running back Toriano Tate is a bulldozer that might be hard for Plainfield South to rein in.

Friday Night Drive Pick: DeKalb

Rich Township (1-0) at Joliet Central (0-1)

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Raptors: Rich Township is playing its first full season as a cooperative agreement between the programs that were formerly known as Rich Central, Rich East and Rich South. The Raptors appear to be getting along just fine in their union as they rolled Oak Lawn Community in Week 1. Moving to 2-0 would give them a leg up prior to Southland Conference play that looks wide open behind Crete-Monee and Kankakee.

About the Steelmen: It didn’t end the way Joliet Central wanted in a Week 1 loss to Argo, but it did manage to punch in a pair of touchdowns later in the contest to make the game relatively competitive. It’s an encouraging sign for the Steelmen moving forward, as was the play of QB Carl Bew.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Rich Township

Romeoville (0-2) at West Aurora (1-0)

Romeoville has forfeited this game to West Aurora. West Aurora is now playing Blue Island Eisenhower.

Shepard (0-1) at Plainfield East (0-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Astros: Shepard still has high expectations despite being handled rather easily by an up-and-coming Kankakee program in its opener. Kendrick Washington should be a productive runner for the Astros. If Plainfield East doesn’t shore up its defense, he could have a field day.

About the Bengals: It is probably going to take a little time for Plainfield East’s defense to grow into itself. It was a rough go in its opening loss to Plainfield North, but some big strides need to be made in a hurry, especially with the offense suffering some growing pains of its own.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Shepard

Yorkville (1-0) at Plainfield Central (1-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Yorkville 26, Plainfield Central 14 (spring 2021)

About the Foxes: It was another strong start for the Foxes who overwhelmed Romeoville in a Week 1 win. Wide receivers Malachi Jones and John Swarn look capable of shouldering the load.

About the Wildcats: Plainfield Central looked to be turning the corner during the spring season and continued that progression with a win over Addison Trail. Although it would be hasty to put too much stock in a big win over a historically struggling program, the dominating fashion in which it was done is a good sign for the Wildcats. Aaron Larkins netted five touchdowns, while Abram Zimmerman joined Larkins in breaking the 100-yard barrier.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Yorkville

Joliet Catholic (1-0) at Cardinal Ritter (Mo.) (1-0)

When: 3 p.m. Saturday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Hilltoppers: In a display of what might be coming often from Joliet Catholic, the Hilltoppers dominated Simeon from the start in 55-6 win, getting over 100 yards and two touchdowns from Jordan Anderson and followed up by a three-score performance from Vinny Iannantone.

About the Lions: Cardinal Ritter is typically one of the strongest programs in Missouri, but the Lions might still be working through a 2019 debacle that caused them to forfeit their entire season, exclude themselves from the Missouri playoffs and dismiss their entire coaching staff. Ritter picked up a win over an interesting Cahokia team in Week 1, but JCA brings a much larger problem to the table.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Joliet Catholic

Providence (1-0) at Wheaton North (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Celtics: The Week 1 victory over Willowbrook was a little surprising in the sense that Providence was breaking in a number of new players all over the field, but the bigger surprise came with the fact that the defense turned in a shutout against a Willowbrook team that historically posted points in bunches.

About the Falcons: Wheaton North had a very strong spring, going 5-1, and appears to have carried that momentum right into the fall by throttling Downers Grove South in its opener. Holy Cross-bound quarterback Mark Forcucci is a real gunslinger, and the Falcons have an experienced front line capable of providing plenty of protection for him to fire darts around the field.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Wheaton North

Nazareth (0-1) at Lemont (1-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Nazareth 26, Lemont 7 (2014)

About the Roadrunners: Nazareth has a different look than in years past with its top expected returning player Tyler Morris, who injured his ACL in the spring, transferring to Plainfield East. There’s still top-shelf talent on the roster in players such as Trell Harris, who holds multiple Division I offers, and Naval Academy recruit Peter Roll. Nazareth doesn’t have a lot of depth overall though and lost its opener to Richards, 20-19.

About Lemont: Lemont dismantled St. Charles East, 41-6, in Week 1. RB Albert Kunickis ran with authority, which could provide a nice balance with a defense that looks like a top-notch group.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Lemont

Coal City (0-1) at Bishop McNamara (0-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Coal City 34, Bishop McNamara 20 (2019)

About the Coalers: Although it was a Week 1 loss to Morris, there were some very positive signs to be taken away. Coal City’s defense fenced in a potentially prolific Morris offense for most of the contest. With that kind of effort, the Coalers won’t need to score many points to post wins.

About the Fightin’ Irish: Bishop McNamara took a mildly surprising loss to Marmion, unable to get its offense on track in a 12-7 loss. Sophomore running back Tony Phillips is certainly a talent, but the unit couldn’t find its rhythm. This is the final season for veteran Bishop McNamara head coach Rich Zinanni, one he’d really like to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole in.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Coal City

Johnsburg (0-1) at Wilmington (1-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Skyhawks: Johnsburg dropped its Week 1 decision to Marian Central after controlling most of the first half. But despite three touchdowns from Jake Metze, the Skyhawks wouldn’t score in the second half and allowed the Hurricanes to take control.

About the Wildcats: Wilmington slipped right into its normal routine with a convincing road win over Marengo in Week 1. The squad’s two leading running backs, Colin James and Jacob Friddle combined for nearly 200 rushing yards, while the salty Wildcat defense kept Marengo in check.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Wilmington

Arcola (0-1) at Reed-Custer (1-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Purple Raiders: Arcola is a tough read in the early going. The Purple Raiders are likely to be in the mix for the Lincoln Prairie Conference title, but struggled in their season opener against Tuscola, another stronghold in their area.

About the Comets: It was a really strong opening effort for Reed-Custer as it took apart Elmwood Park for a 60-0 win. The 60 points were a program record. Now the Comets aim to go 2-0 for the first time since 2009.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Reed-Custer

Peotone (1-0) at North Central (Ind.) (0-1)

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Blue Devils: Peotone wasn’t exactly sharp in its Week 1 win over Peoria Manual, struggling significantly on special teams. But it did just enough to get by as Dylan Sroka rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns.

About the Thunderbirds: After it dropped a week 1 clash in overtime, North Central was forced to call off its Week 2 contest (Indiana starts a week earlier) because of COVID-19 concerns. It is believed that the Thunderbirds will be able to line up on Saturday. North Central went 2-7 last fall and were outscored 362-66 in the process.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Peotone

Antioch (0-1) at Morris (1-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Sequoits: Antioch has been one of the stronger programs in northern Illinois over the past few seasons, but are definitely in a transition period without the Kaliakmanis brotherss, Athan and Dino, who both have moved on to play for Minnesota. The Sequoits dropped their season opener to one of the stronger programs in Wisconsin, Memorial Catholic, 44-8.

About Morris: Morris maneuvered its way through a defensive scuffle with Coal City, but there’s firepower in the offense that can be utilized. QB Zach Romak has plenty of options at wide receiver for him to choose from. It’s just a matter of getting all the cylinders firing at once.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Morris

Bismarck-Henning (2-0) at Dwight (0-2)

Dwight has forfeited this game to Bismarck-Henning.

Seneca (0-1) at Hoopeston (0-1)

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Last matchup: First Meeting

About the Fighting Irish: Seneca seemed to be starting out on the right foot in its season opener against Westville, scoring first on a Nathan Grant touchdown run. But the Fighting Irish wouldn’t score again and surrendered 26 consecutive points in a loss. Seneca should be able to its rushing attack back on track this week.

About the Cornjerkers: Hoopeston has really struggled to make much of an impact on the other side of the Vermilion Valley Conference. It scuffled offensively in a Week 1 loss to Iroquois West, another program that hasn’t exactly dominated in recent years.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Seneca

Steve Soucie

Steve Soucie

Steve Soucie has been the Sports Editor at the Joliet Herald News since August of 2018. Prior to that, Soucie worked at the Kankakee Daily Journal and for Pro Football Weekly.