Analysis | Friday Night Drive

Kane County Chronicle preview capsules for Week 3

DuKane Conference

Batavia (1-1) at Wheaton North (2-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Batavia 23, Wheaton North 20, OT (2021)

About the Bulldogs: Coming off a rare loss, the Bulldogs are going to look for a rebound. The offense struggled with turnovers and scoring last week, so those adjustments will be under the magnifying glass. Senior wideout Alec Crum has perhaps quietly emerged as a home run option in the vertical passing game, but Charlie Whelpley, at running back, still leads in catches. Defensively, no surprise, Jack Sadowsky, Brodey Osborne and Tyler Jansey lead in tackles and will be all over the field.

About the Falcons: So far, so good for the new-look Falcons in the early going. The proof is in the pudding: The Falcons have outscored opponents 56-7. Max Howser has looked the part well at quarterback with 268 passing yards and three touchdowns through two weeks, but the Falcons are getting solid production from Walker Owens and Luke Beedle in the backfield. Defensively, Ross Dansdill is a staple at linebacker and is hard to miss in the middle of the Falcons’ defense.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Batavia

Glenbard North (1-1) at Geneva (2-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last Matchup: Glenbard North 21, Geneva 7 (2021)

About the Vikings: Nate Stempowski, again, has taken off for Geneva at quarterback, with eight touchdowns and zero interceptions through two weeks. Eight different receivers have receptions, but Talyn Taylor continues to ascend. Safety Jackson Reyes is leading the defense in tackles with 14, but Charlie Winterhalter is close behind with 10, eight coming from last week against Kaneland.

About the Panthers: Glenbard North is coming off a tough loss to Naperville North, but is still arguably in the mix for one of the better teams in the conference as it continues to shake out. Despite the offense having two turnovers in the red zone, quarterback Justin Bland still emerged with 251 yards passing and 64 rushing yards. Defensively, learn the following names, as they’ll be around the action early and often: junior defensive lineman David Petty and defensive backs Zamari Robinson and Johnnie Robertson.

FND Pick: Geneva

Wheaton Warrenville South (1-1) at St. Charles North (1-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last Matchup: Wheaton South defeated St. Charles North 12-10 in 2021

About the North Stars: After making a switch at quarterback to Will Vaske, the North Stars – alongside a great defensive effort – emerged with a nice win over Lake Zurich last week. Vaske figures to get another chance to solidify himself at the position. Meanwhile, look for wideout Jake Mettetal to continue to emerge in the passing game, while Drew Surges does his usual strong two-way effort. Angelo Bradley and Aidan Zocher should have chances to get to the quarterback.

About the Tigers: Based off of how week one versus Simeon finished, the Tigers enter, perhaps, with the most impressive win for a DuKane Conference team with last week’s triumph over Neuqua Valley. Rush yards were severely limited last week down to 115 from 300 to open the season. Sophomore Luca Carbonaro appears to have settled in at quarterback. Charlie Butt, their No. 1 corner, is one to watch defensively and build off a promising game in his return to the field.

FND Pick: WW South

Lake Park (0-2) at St. Charles East (2-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last Matchup: Lake Park 27, St. Charles East 14 (2021)

About the Saints: Defensively, the Saints have turned up the heat in the last few weeks. They held Waubonsie Valley scoreless in the second half. Mac Paul, a linebacker, had two interceptions and is emerging. Trent Matejko had 134 yards rushing on 24 carries and continues to be an engine for the offense still gaining traction. The Saints have been vocal in previous weeks about their potential once conference play begins. Well, it’s here.

About the Lancers: Lake Park has been outscored 50-27 through two weeks, so it’s a mix of needing more from both sides of the ball in order to be in the hunt in the fourth quarter. Wideout Chaz Orrico is an intriguing talent at wide receiver that should help kickstart the offense.

FND Pick: St. Charles East

CCL/ESCC Orange

Montini (1-1) at Marmion (2-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Marmion 27, Montini 10 (2021)

About the Cadets: The Cadets are coming in red hot and have plenty of playmakers to account for. Start with the simple fact they’re winning the scoring margin by an eye-popping 97-0 and they’ve been able to rest and cycle in different players. Ryan Prell had three total touchdowns last week and Josh Lim had 128 all purpose yards. Jack Lesher has been all around the football defensively and will be a matchup problem.

About the Broncos : After a tough loss week one, Montini bounced back with a resounding win over Hillcrest, 31-6. Senior QB Cole Teschner seems to have gotten the offense back on track and Mingo Nixon seems to be a favorable target over the past few weeks.

FND Pick: Marmion

Fox Valley Conference

Burlington Central High School (1-1) at Dundee Crown (1-1)

When: 7 p.. Friday

Last Matchup: 24-7 Central (2021)

About the Rockets: It was a tough finish for the Rockets last week against Prairie Ridge, but they did emerge with 353 total offensive yards, 262 from passing from Jackson Alcorn. LJ Kerr had four receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns and leads an efficient receiving corps alongside Michael Person and Caden West. James Muetterties is always a huge threat defensively and will need to be accounted for.

About the Chargers: Keegan Otte appears to be a focal point in the Chargers’ offense at running back. Kali Freeman should figure to be a top target for quarterback Zach Randl to lock in throughout the contest.

FND Pick: Burlington Central

Kishwaukee River/Interstate 8

Kaneland (1-1) at Morris (2-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Morris 49, Kaneland 35 (2021)

About the Knights: Kaneland walloped Andrew in Week 1 and appeared to be in a good place. But the Knights ran into a bit of a brick wall in Week 2, as Geneva tossed five touchdown passes against a beleaguered Kaneland defense. The Knights’ ability to bounce back here will start with a much better defensive effort coupled with getting talented QB Troyer Carlson and the offense a bit closer to the level of production that allowed them to post 50-plus points in their opener.

“We had a tough loss Friday and I think our kids are responding well,” coach Pat Ryan said. “They know the areas we have to get better at. After practice [Tuesday] I walked away feeling like we were a better team than we were Friday night.”

Against Morris, Ryan said the Knights need to be able to run the ball more effectively than they did last week. And after giving up what Ryan said he thought was a school record 556-rushing yards to Morris last year, the run defense needs to improve as well.

About Morris: Morris is firing on all cylinders in the early going and even got some big plays from its special teams unit in order to separate itself from Antioch in Week 2. There’s a lot to like from what Morris has been able to do thus far, where new QB Carter Button seems to be settling nicely into the role, having played a part in multiple touchdowns this season while utilizing a number of different options to keep defenses guessing.

FND pick: Morris

-- Eddie Carifio

Metro Suburban Red

St. Francis (2-0) vs. St. Edward (2-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: St. Francis 50, St. Edward 8 (2013)

About the Spartans: St. Francis, ranked No. 3 in Class 4A, did some impressive work in the non-conference portion of its schedule. The Spartans followed up a 17-6 win over Class 8A school Lake Forest with a 35-27 win over Sterling last Friday. If junior running back Amari Head isn’t a household name yet, he may be soon, after 163 yards of offense and three TDs against Sterling. Junior QB Alessio Milivojevic was 15-for-22 passing for 179 yards with a TD. Leading the charge defensively was Dom Beres with 11.5 tackles and Illinois recruit TJ McMillen up front with six tackles, two tackles for losses and a blocked extra point.

About the Green Wave: Not the start to the season St. Edward wanted, losses to Platteville (Wisc.) 49-14 and Taylorville 24-21 heading into an extremely difficult matchup with St. Francis. It is the two teams’ first meeting since they were members of the Suburban Christian Blue. St. Edward has eight returning starters from last year’s 4-5 team, but depth is a concern with eight starters playing both ways.

FND Pick: St. Francis

-- Joshua Welge