Analysis

Suburban Life football preview capsules for Week 7

West Suburban Conference

Hinsdale Central (5-1, 3-0) at York (6-0, 4-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Hinsdale Central 19, York 0 (Spring 2021)

About the Red Devils: Hinsdale Central is riding a five-game winning streak and coming off a 30-20 win over Downers Grove North, a game in which the Red Devils were challenged but scored 16 consecutive points out of a 14-14 halftime tie. The Red Devils are defending Silver division champs, but will likely need a win here to hold on to the title. Thomas Skokna seems to be a touchdown maker wherever he touches the ball, while Billy Cernugel has settled in nicely at quarterback in his first season as starter. Sean Allison, a leader of the Red Devils’ defense at linebacker, has also made his presence felt offensively at running back this fall.

About the Dukes: York announced its arrival as a legit contender in the Silver last week with a 12-10 statement win at Glenbard West, its first win over the Hilltoppers since 2007. Max Hansmann’s 18-yard field goal with 55.1 seconds after a lightning delay won it. York is 6-0 for the first time since 2010, the last time the Dukes won a piece of the Silver title. Junior Matt Vezza, who took over at quarterback for good in the first half of Week 4′s win at Downers Grove North, is a dual-threat who went over 100 yards passing and rushing at Glenbard West. The Dukes’ strength starts with a defense led by junior David Loch that has allowed just 34 points in six games. York last beat Hinsdale Central in 2011. York is ranked eighth in the latest Associated Press Class 8A poll, a new entry to the rankings.

Friday Night Drive Pick: York

Glenbard West (5-1, 2-1) at Downers Grove North (4-2, 1-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Glenbard West 55, Downers Grove North 7 (2019)

About the Hilltoppers: Glenbard West looks to bounce back from a rare Silver loss, 12-10 last week at York. An offense that had racked up 278 points through five games was held in check. Two lost fumbles hurt. Joey Pope did rush for 113 yards and a 2-yard TD, continuing a sensational fall season. Sophomore receiver Julius Ellens had three catches for 42 yards. Glenbard West is ranked No. 9 in the latest Associated Press Class 8A rankings.

About the Trojans: Downers Grove North gave Hinsdale Central a good run, tied 14-14 at half in an eventual 30-20 loss. Can they channel that competitiveness against another Silver power? Ethan Thulin continues to be a big-play threat in multiple phases. He caught TD passes of 19 and 6 passes from Sam Reichert set up a score with a punt return, and had seven catches for 70 yards. The Trojans need one more win to become playoff eligible.

FND Pick: Glenbard West

Lyons (3-3 at Leyden (2-4)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Lyons 38, Leyden 0 (Spring 2021)

About the Lions: Lyons is coming off a 63-0 win over Proviso West, continuing a season-long trend of losses alternated by wins. The Lions’ last two games of the regular season, against Glenbard West and Downers Grove North, will be a challenge – so they can ill afford to stub their toe against a Leyden opponent they should beat if Lyons is to reach the five wins to become playoff eligible and reach the postseason for the first time since 2017.

About the Eagles: Leyden snapped a three-game losing streak last week in a big way, beating Proviso East 40-14. The Eagles have struggled to score against relatively quality opponents. In its four losses Leyden has managed a combined 10 points.

FND Pick: Lyons

Downers Grove South (2-4, 2-1) at Addison Trail (0-6, 0-3)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Downers Grove South 28, Addison Trail 14 (Spring 2021)

About the Mustangs: Downers Grove South picked up a huge win for its playoff prospects last week, beating Hinsdale South 14-7 for its second straight win and first against its Gold rival since 2016. The Mustangs’ offense, like it has all season, didn’t put up many points but the defense held it down, shutting out Hinsdale South in the second half. With three more games left against teams with losing records, the opportunity is there to run the table with five wins to end the regular season and reach the playoffs.

About the Blazers: A difficult fall season continued for the Blazers, 47-7 losers to District 88 rival Willowbrook. In four games against teams at or above .500 this season, Addison Trail has scored a combined seven points.

FND Pick: Downers Grove South

Willowbrook (4-2, 4-0) at Hinsdale South (2-4, 2-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Willowbrook 42, Hinsdale South 7 (Spring 2021)

About the Warriors: Willowbrook continued to roll since diving into the West Suburban Gold portion of its schedule, beating district rival Addison Trail 47-7. The Warriors have averaged just under 40 points per game in four straight wins after managing a total of 14 points its first two games. With a win Willowbrook can become playoff eligible, which would mark the program’s fifth straight playoff appearance only interrupted by the shortened 2021 spring season.

About the Hornets: Hinsdale South’s playoff hopes took a hit with a 14-7 loss to Downers Grove South last week. Scoring seems to be a recurring issue in the Hornets’ losses. They’ve scored a combined 14 points in their last three losses.

FND Pick: Willowbrook

Proviso East (1-5, 1-3) at Morton (2-4, 2-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Proviso East 51, Morton 28, Morton won by forfeit (2019)

About the Pirates: Proviso East is coming off a 40-14 loss to Leyden. Its defense has struggled to stop people for most of the season. In their five losses the Pirates have given up 44 points per game, and they even allowed 23 points in their only win.

About the Mustangs: Morton is coming off a 41-7 loss to Oak Park-River Forest. With games remaining against Downers Grove South and Willowbrook, this could be the Mustangs’ best opportunity to notch their third win – a feat the Morton program has not accomplished since 2012.

FND Pick: Proviso East

DuKane Conference

Wheaton North (5-1, 3-1) at Wheaton Warrenville South (3-3, 2-2)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Wheaton North 17, Wheaton Warrenville South 14 (Spring 2021)

About the Falcons: Wheaton North sweated out its third straight win last Friday, holding on to beat Glenbard North 21-20 by stopping a two-point conversion in the final minute. Mark Forcucci threw for 189 yards and three TDs, the big one a 59-yarder to Seth Kortenhoeven on third-and-18 midway through the fourth quarter. Kortenhoeven had four catches for 130 yards. Falcons’ running back Brayton Maske left the game with an injury in the third quarter, so his status is something to keep an eye on. Wheaton North appears to have a significant edge on paper here, but surely is aware that anything can happen in the rivalry game. The Falcons can clinch their first playoff appearance since 2017 with a win and keep pace with Batavia in the DuKane race. Wheaton North is ranked No. 3 in the latest Associated Press Class 7A poll.

About the Tigers: WW South is coming off a 41-20 loss to Batavia. Matt Sommerdyke threw for 315 yards and three TDs, two to Reece Young and one to Brandon Bell. But the Tigers need to establish its running game to complement that passing attack. First-year head coach Sean Norris, who starred at quarterback in high school at Wheaton North, faces off against his alma mater for the first time as a head coach. The Tigers have two games remaining against teams with winning records – Wheaton North and then Glenbard North in Week 9 – and likely needs to win at least one to become playoff eligible.

FND Pick: Wheaton North

CCL/ESCC

Leo (2-4) at Nazareth (2-4)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Nazareth 51, Leo 8 (2019)

About the Lions: Leo is coming off a 29-0 loss to Marian Central. The Lions managed just 75 yards of total offense in the loss, 48 of which came on one pass play late in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand.

About the Roadrunners: Nazareth gave St. Rita all it could handle before dropping last Friday’s game 42-39. The loss means the Roadrunners likely need to win out against Leo, Montini and Benet to keep their streak of playoff appearances intact. Nazareth’s offense led by playmakers Trell Harris and Justin Taylor has averaged 40 points its last two games

FND Pick: Nazareth

Montini (3-3) at Marist (4-2)

When: 6 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First known meeting

About the Broncos: Montini is coming off a huge 28-3 win over Providence that revived its fading playoff hopes. Junior QB Cole Teschner was 20-for-24 for 250 yards and a TD, and freshman receiver Donovan Olugbode had six catches for 83 yards and a TD. Teschner has thrown for 1,004 yards and seven TDs on the season. Junior Josh Robinson has rushed for 653 yards and four TDs. Jackson McWhinney has been in on 87 tackles with 46 solos. Four wins could be sufficient for a playoff berth, given Montini’s strength of schedule, but even that could be tricky with Marist, Nazareth and Joliet Catholic left to go.

About the RedHawks: Marist is coming off a 33-21 loss to Loyola. The RedHawks’ two losses have come to Mount Carmel and Loyola. Senior QB Dontrell Jackson, a Coastal Carolina commit, is the player to watch offensively. Senior OT Danny McGuire, who tips the scales at 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, is committed to Northwestern. Marist has averaged 40 points per game in its four wins. The RedHawks are ranked No. 6 in the latest Associated Press Class 8A poll.

FND Pick: Marist

St. Patrick (4-2) at Fenwick (4-2)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Fenwick 31, St. Patrick 13 (Spring 2021)

About the Shamrocks: St. Patrick is coming off a 41-12 win over Carmel. Alex Goworski ran for 134 yards and four TDs, and defensively had a sack and three tackles for loss in the win. QB Jermaine Young was 15-for-20 for 170 yards. The Shamrocks are on the cusp of their first playoff appearance since 2013, but the remaining schedule could make it tricky – Fenwick, Loyola and St. Viator.

About the Friars: Fenwick is coming off a 35-28 win over Marmion. Ball State commit Kaden Cobb threw for two TDs and ran for a third in the win. One of his top targets, Eastern Michigan recruit Max Reese, has 33 catches on the season for 623 yards and eight TDs. Fenwick is ranked No. 2 in the latest Associated Press Class 5A poll.

FND Pick: Fenwick

Metro Suburban Conference

Riverside-Brookfield (5-1) at IC Catholic Prep (6-0)

When: 7:15 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: IC Catholic Prep 51, Riverside-Brookfield 0 (Spring 2021)

About the Bulldogs: R-B is coming off its fourth straight win, 51-0 over Westmont. The Bulldogs have scored a combined 154 points during a current four-game winning streak, although only one of those four wins came against a team with a winning record. So, clearly, a visit to IC Catholic represents a significant step up in class.

About the Knights: IC Catholic is coming off a 29-16 win over Wheaton Academy. Malik Gray ran for a career-high 187 yards and two TDs on 29 carries. Defensively, Antonio Richardson had four sacks, two batted balls, three hurries and two tackles for loss. On the season Gray has rushed for 546 yards and seven TDs, and sophomore QB Dennis Mandala has completed 64.6% of his passes for 566 yards and seven TDs. Defensively, senior Conor McCoy has a team-high 32 tackles. IC Catholic is ranked No. 2 in the latest Associated Press Class 3A poll.

FND Pick: IC Catholic

St. Francis (5-1) at Bishop McNamara (3-3)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: St. Francis 37, Bishop McNamara 7 (Spring 2021)

About the Spartans: St. Francis once again impressed last week, rolling 49-27 at Aurora Christian in a game that was 42-10 at the half. The Spartans’ high-octane offense has averaged over 46 points per game in its last four wins on the field. Sophomore QB Alessio Milivojevic was 14-for-16 for 287 yards and three TDs, and Adam Criter had 220 all-purpose yards with a 99-yard kickoff return for a TD. Defensively, Sammy Atkins had 10 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two tackles for loss and two hurries and Dom Beres had eight solo tackles and three tackles for loss. St. Francis is ranked No. 4 in the latest Associated Press Class 4A poll.

About the Irish: McNamara earned a forfeit win over Aurora Central Catholic last week, coming off scoring 77 points in Week 5 against Elmwood Park. This will be the final regular season home game for head coach Rich Zinanni, who is retiring after this, his 47th season as head coach. And the Irish desperately need a win here to keep their playoff hopes alive, with games remaining at IC Catholic and Riverside-Brookfield. Running back Tony Phillips runs behind an experienced McNamara offensive line. The Irish are expected to be without linebacker and two-way starter Jaydon Wright. McNamara is 0-3 against teams at or above .500.

FND Pick: St. Francis

Westmont (0-6) at Ridgewood (1-5)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Westmont 38, Ridgewood 22 (Spring 2021)

About the Sentinels: Westmont is coming off a 51-0 loss to Riverside-Brookfield. This matchup, against the only team the Sentinels beat in the spring, likely provides their best opportunity for a win this fall season.

About the Rebels: Ridgewood is coming off a 24-16 loss, its fifth straight loss since a season-opening win over Schurz. The Rebels did manage to get on the scoreboard for the first time since Week 1, after four consecutive shutout losses.

FND Pick: Westmont

St. Edward (3-3) at Wheaton Academy (4-2)

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Last matchup: Wheaton Academy 21, St. Edward 7 (2019)

About the Green Wave: St. Edward is coming off a 34-14 win over Chicago Christian. The Green Wave will need to win at least one out of its next two games, against Wheaton Academy and Aurora Christian, to reach the playoffs.

About the Warriors: Wheaton Academy is coming off a 29-16 loss to IC Catholic so a Metro Suburban Blue title is likely out the window, but the Warriors are still in good shape to make the playoffs. Liam White and David Dorn had interceptions in the IC Catholic game in which the Warriors only trailed 13-10 at half. Peter Johanik had nine tackles and Andrew Apostoli ran for 80 yards.

FND Pick: Wheaton Academy

Upstate Eight Conference

Streamwood (1-5, 1-5) at Glenbard South (5-1, 5-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Glenbard South 13, Streamwood 6 (2019)

About the Sabres: Streamwood is coming off a 57-8 loss to South Elgin, its fifth straight loss since a season-opening win over West Chicago. Mickey Estrada’s 3-yard TD run accounted for the Sabres’ only offense. Streamwood has given up over 40 points per game during its losing streak.

About the Raiders: Glenbard South is playoff eligible after beating East Aurora 41-6 last Friday. Sophomore QB Michael Champagne threw for 205 yards and four TDs, and ran for one score. Dominic D’Ambra caught a 75-yard TD, Cam Williams and Trevor Burnett caught TDs and Burnett ran for one. Glenbard South is ranked No. 9 in the latest Associated Press Class 5A poll.

FND Pick: Glenbard South

Bartlett (4-2, 4-2) at Glenbard East (5-1, 5-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Glenbard East 24, Bartlett 21 (2019)

About the Hawks: Bartlett had its four-game winning streak snapped with a 28-21 loss to Larkin last week. The Hawks still are in good position to reach their third straight playoffs under fourth-year head coach Matt Erlenbaugh despite graduating a ton of off their 2021 spring team.

About the Rams: Glenbard East bounced back from its loss to South Elgin with a tidy 49-0 win over West Chicago, clinched its fourth winning record in five seasons and looks headed to the playoffs for the fourth straight season, not counting the shortened 2021 spring season. The Rams have yet to play in a game decided by fewer than 17 points this season, win or loss, but that should change with home games against Bartlett and Glenbard South the next two weeks.

FND Pick: Glenbard East

South Suburban Conference

Lemont (6-0) at Tinley Park (1-5)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Lemont 49, Tinley Park 6 (2019)

About Lemont: Lemont has outscored its conference foes 200-41 in four league contests. Back-to-back 61-point efforts have come from its offense. Most of that damage has been done before halftime in runaway wins. The rest of the regular season doesn’t appear to have many hurdles for Lemont to struggle with either.

About the Titans: Tinley Park is in the midst of a three-game losing streak, including dropping a one-point heartbreaker to Oak Lawn Community in Week 6. The Titans only win came over T.F. North in a close contest, the same T.F. North squad that Lemont routed in Week 5.

FND pick: Lemont