Kane County Chronicle football preview capsules for Week 4

DuKane Conference

Batavia (3-0, 1-0) at Lake Park (1-2, 1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last Matchup: 56-0 Batavia in 2019

About the Bulldogs: Jalen Buckley is asserting himself as Mr. 4th Quarter for the Bulldogs this season, evidenced by his incredible performance last week to lift Batavia over Wheaton North at home. Quarterback Ryan Boe seems to be growing more comfortable each week and Drew Gerke is an increasingly reliable target. While unlikely to return this week, the offense is expected to welcome back Josh Dornink at some point this season from an ankle injury. Vincie Solano and Anthony Roberts are bonafide playmakers in the secondary.

About the Lancers: Lake Park picked up its first win of the season last week in dramatic fashion over St. Charles East. Zach Simich had an 88-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter and Mikey Mangialardi had another interception to seal the game. Desmond Horton is a big-play threat in both special teams and offensively.

FND Pick: Batavia

St. Charles North (2-1, 0-1) at Wheaton North (2-1, 0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: St. Charles North 14, Wheaton North 12 (spring 2021)

About the North Stars: St. Charles North’s defense, unscored upon the first two weeks, finally showed a little give – but not much, a 12-10 loss to Wheaton Warrenville South on a late field goal still a yeoman effort by that side of the ball. Drew Surges ran for 99 yards and a TD and also caught a pass for 18 yards. Freshman quarterback Ethan Plumb threw for 107 yards and an interception; the North Stars will want to prioritize protecting him better, as he was sacked six times. Linebacker George Litgen is the leader of the fierce St. Charles North defense. The North Stars have won all three DuKane meetings with Wheaton North, allowing a total of 32 points. St. Charles North is ranked No. 9 in the Associated Press Class 7A poll.

About the Falcons: Wheaton North is surely anxious to get back on the field to erase the bad taste of last week, a 23-20 overtime loss at Batavia in a game the Falcons led by 10 in the second half. Neither Wheaton North or St. Charles North will want to fall too far behind in what should be quite a DuKane Conference race. Mark Forcucci threw for 117 yards and Brayton Maske ran for 79 yards and two TDs at Batavia. The experienced, talented Falcons’ skill-position players against a nasty North Stars’ defense is a matchup to watch. St. Charles North has won the last two meetings with Wheaton North by a total of five points, and another close call seems likely. Wheaton North is ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press Class 7A poll.

FND Pick: Wheaton North

-- Joshua Welge

St. Charles East (1-2, 0-1) at Glenbard North (3-0, 1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last Matchup: 37-21 GBN in 2020

About the Saints: Make no mistake, Mason Tousignant (five catches, 168 yards last week) is emerging as a top playmaker in the DuKane Conference and has fit in the offense nicely. Austin Barrett is also continuing his solid season at left tackle. While the Saints’ results have been a bit uneven thus far, they’re still capable of keeping it competitive into the fourth quarter.

About the Panthers: Shea Gaffney is a legit option for Justin Bland in the passing game. Gaffney had 156 receiving yards last week to pace the Panthers. Darius Robinson, Max Eick and David Petty are all forces on the defensive line.

FND Pick: Glenbard North

Wheaton Warrenville South (2-1, 1-0) at Geneva (2-1, 0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Wheaton Warrenville South 45, Geneva 3 (2019)

About the Tigers: WW South bounced back from a Week 2 loss to Neuqua Valley with an inspired effort capped off by Ben Berkley’s 29-yard field goal in the final seconds. Defensive tackle Kael Poulsen had a dominant effort in leading the Tigers’ defense with 10 tackles and two sacks and Emmett Johnson had an interception. Matt Sommerdyke threw for 157 yards with a clutch 40-yard throw to Danny Healy on the game-winning drive. There is no let-up in the DuKane Conference, though, especially on the road against a much-improved Geneva club. WW South is ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press Class 7A poll.

About the Vikings: Geneva’s early-season turnaround under first-year head coach Boone Thorgesen has been a feel-good story, and the Vikings still should be feeling encouraged even after a 21-7 loss at Glenbard North last week. The Vikings allowed just 73 yards rushing to go with tallying three sacks, recovering a fumble in the red zone and stopping the Panthers early in the fourth quarter on downs. A late pick-six hurt Geneva last week. Running back Carter Powelson, a converted defensive end, has had quite the start at his new position with 356 yards rushing in Geneva’s first two games.

FND Pick: Wheaton Warrenville South

-- Joshua Welge

Fox Valley Conference

Burlington Central (2-1, 2-1) at Huntley (1-2, 1-2)

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Last matchup: Huntley 35, Burlington Central 0 (2021 spring season)

About the Rockets: Burlington defeated Dundee-Crown, 24-7, last week. … The Rockets were able to rest RB-LB Gavin Sarvis last week, except for punting, as he recovered from a quadriceps injury. … QB Shawn Adkerson took on the bulk of the rushing duties, carrying 18 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

About the Red Raiders: Huntley lost to Prairie Ridge, 27-7, in Week 3. … The Red Raiders have struggled to generate offense and finish drives in their last two games. They scored an offensive touchdown last week on QB Sam Deligio’s 41-yard pass to WR Josh Witt, but their two touchdowns in Week 2 came by an interception return and a blocked punt return. … RB Emmanual Tinajero leads the team with 146 rushing yards. … Deligio has thrown for 369 yards.

FND pick: Huntley

-- Joe Stevenson

Kishwaukee River/Interstate Eight White

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

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Knights: Kaneland led against Sycamore, 21-7, in the first quarter of the conference opener last week, but injuries to the Knights’ top two backs and some costly turnovers sank their chances in a 56-28 loss.

Backup Tony DeBlassio is done for the year, coach Pat Ryan said, and Corey Phillips is questionable. That will leave a lot up to quarterback Troyer Carlson, who has thrown for 847 yards, eight scores and four picks this year.

“We’re using this week to figure out who to play at running back,” Ryan said. “We’ll figure out who the best options are, and it will be sorted out by Friday. The other piece is we have to continue to protect Troyer at quarterback and give him time to throw the ball. At the end of the day, we can’t turn it over, either.”

Friday will be military appreciation night at the stadium. Ryan said the Knights will be wearing special desert camouflage uniforms, and there will be ceremonies throughout the game.

About the Thunder: North went 2-1 in the abbreviated spring 2021 season but are searching for their first win of the fall after a 56-12 loss to Morris last week.

Henry Goetz has led the offense with 346 rushing yards, averaging 4.3 yards a carry.

“It’s not a familiar opponent; it’s the first time we’ve played them,” Ryan said. “What we do know is they run a triple-option that can be a fit for teams. If you make a mistake on your assignments, it turns into a big play. They’ve put together some sustained drives in their previous games, and we haven’t been exactly lights out against the run.”

FND Pick: Kaneland

-- Eddie Carifio

CCL/ESCC White

Marmion (3-0) vs. St. Ignatius (3-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last Matchup: 38-14 Marmion in 2019

About the Cadets: Daniel Chung, Jacob Bottarini, Joshua Lim and Tyler Bradshaw all powered the Cadets’ running game last week, combining for 298 yards in a 27-10 win over Montini.

About the Wolf Pack: In an impressive start to the season, the Wolfpack have outscored opponents 140-8 through three games. Running back Jack Molloy and lineman Will Mulchrone were returning starters heading into the season with Vinny Rugai another big-time returning standout.

FND Pick: St. Ignatius

Metro Suburban Conference

Chicago Christian (1-2, 0-1) at St. Francis (2-1, 0-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: St. Francis 49, Chicago Christian 0 (2013)

About the Knights: Chicago Christian comes in off a 42-6 loss to Riverside-Brookfield, and has dropped its last two games by a combined 89-14. A trip to St. Francis doesn’t seem to promise an immediate turnaround.

About the Spartans: St. Francis posted an impressive 34-27 win at Prospect last Friday in a game scheduled when both teams’ opponents couldn’t play because of a COVID situation. Sophomore QB Alessio Milivojevic, in particular, opened eyes, completing 24 of 32 passes with one interception and a touchdown for 290 yards in his best game to date. Adam Criter had a combined 218 yards and three TDs rushing and receiving, Blake Lawson 185 yards and two TDs rushing and receiving and Sammy Atkins led the Spartans’ defense with 10 tackles. Given the Spartans’ non-conference schedule, they should be more than prepared for whatever the Metro Suburban Conference throws at them. St. Francis is ranked fourth in the latest Class 4A Associated Press poll.

FND Pick: St. Francis

-- Joshua Welge

Jacob Bartelson

Jacob Bartelson

Jake is a full-time sports reporter writing primarily for the Kane County Chronicle covering preps. His collective work is featured across several Shaw markets and platforms, including Friday Night Drive and Bears Insider. Jake began full-time in 2017.