Analysis | Friday Night Drive

Kane County Chronicle preview capsules for Week 4

DuKane Conference

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

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Batavia 42, Lake Park 8 (2021)

About the Bulldogs: For just the fifth time in the Dennis Piron era, the Bulldogs have two losses at any point in the season. While Batavia isn’t firing on all cylinders in three phases, recent history suggests this team will get back on track soon. Wheaton North averaged 8.3 yards per play last week. While some of that gets a little skewed with three plays allowed of over 50 yards, the defense will need to reset a bit as it averages allowing 5.5 yards per play through three games. Brody Osborne shined at safety last week with 12 tackles.

About the Lancers: Lake Park handled St. Charles East quite handily on the road. Among the highlights: over 300 yards of team rushing, powered by Marco Annecca’s 137-yard rushing effort on 23 carries, and, outgaining the Saints, 285-62, over the first 24 minutes. That is obviously a recipe for winning football. Lake Park has not beaten Batavia since the inception of the DuKane Conference, getting outscored 141-15.

Friday Night Drive Pick: Batavia

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

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last Matchup: Glenbard North 23, St. Charles East 0 (2021)

About the Panthers: Quarterback Justin Bland struggled with turnovers during last week’s loss to Geneva, throwing four interceptions in the second half. The Panthers were still relatively balanced offensively, as Johnnie Robertson caught four passes for 58 yards and Zamar Robinson added five catches for 51 yards. The Vikings were able to run the ball effectively, which is an area St. Charles East has shown the ability to do well so far this season.

About the Saints: After a resurgent two games, the Saints hit a detour at home to Lake Park and were beat soundly last week. Quarterback Lane Robinson completed all of his passes to either Blake Schuette, Mason Tousignant or Charles Bolsoni last week and typically has Trent Matejko to rely on in the backfield.

FND Pick: Glenbard North

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

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last Matchup: Wheaton North 35, St. Charles North 3 (2021)

About the North Stars: The offense appears clicking with Will Vaske installed at quarterback. Jake Mettetal continues to ascend after his seven-catch, 75-yard effort in a win over Wheaton Warrenville South last week. Defensively, the North Stars did an excellent job neutralizing the running game, allowing 64 yards on 30 carries. Drew Surges (450 all-purpose yards and 32 tackles through three weeks) should be busy once again at both his safety/linebacker hybrid and running back.

About the Falcons: One has to give credit to the Falcons, who overcame a 21-13 halftime deficit and stifled the Batavia offense last week. Karsten Libby and Tyler O’Connor are proven big-play heavy-hitters for Max Howser to find downfield. Defensively, linebacker Ross Dansdill and Walker Owens are all over the field.

FND Pick: Wheaton North

Geneva (3-0, 1-0) at Wheaton Warrenville South (1-2, 0-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last Matchup: Geneva 13, Wheaton Warrenville South 12 (2021)

About the Vikings: Geneva has demonstrated the ability to win in a variety of ways through three weeks. Whether relying on a high-powered offense with a ton of talent or takeaways, the Vikings are in a great spot entering Week 4. Troy Velez is a weapon at running back and showcased that with 142 yards on 22 carries. Nate Stempowski appears to have the quarterback position under control.

About the Tigers: Getting Matt Crider and company going in the run game should be a focus for the Tigers this week after being neutralized for just 64 yards collectively. Luca Carbonaro was 16 of 23 for 122 yards last week and Braylen Meredith seems to be a favorite target, finishing with seven catches.

FND Pick: Geneva

CCL/ESCC Orange

Marmion (2-1) at St. Ignatius (2-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: St. Ignatius 20, Marmion 16 (2021)

About the Cadets: The Cadets’ offense struggled quite a bit last week in a loss to Montini. Marmion had five fumbled snaps, with its seven other drives ending on four punts, a turnover on downs and an interception in the 26-3 loss. Montini also had nearly 200 yards rushing, so getting the run defense back on track will probably be a focus. Senior Josh Lim ran for 74 yards and had six catches for 60 yards.

About the Wolfpack : After a tough season-opening loss to St. Patrick, the Wolfpack have gotten back on track in recent weeks, including gutting out a 19-14 victory over St. Laurence last week. Any opposing game plan starts with DL/OL Justin Scott, the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2024 by 247 sports.

FND Pick: St. Ignatius

Fox Valley Conference

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

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Huntley 21, Burlington Central 12 (2021)

About the Red Raiders: Huntley lost to Prairie Ridge, 35-7, last week. … The Red Raiders ran the ball well in their first two games but were held to 139 rushing yards last week. … RB Haiden Janke leads the team with 397 rushing yards. … WR Jacob Witt had eight receptions for 82 yards.

About the Rockets: Burlington Central almost had its second win last week before Dundee-Crown put together a late drive and 2-point conversion for an 8-7 win. … RB Michael Ganziano had a big game last week with 163 yards, putting him at 292 for the season. … Sophomore QB Jackson Alcorn has thrown for 410 yards and four touchdowns.

FND pick: Huntley

-- Joe Stevenson

Kishwaukee River/Interstate 8

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

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Kaneland 42, Woodstock 7 (2021)

About the Knights: Despite two losses in a row to Geneva (38-14) and Morris (32-24) - both of whom are still undefeated - coach Pat Ryan said he’s seen a lot of improvement in his Knights not just from last year but from week to week.

That includes against Morris last week. He said he felt holding Morris to 336 yards of total offense was a good showing against a top-tier offense. He said he saw improvements in both offensive line play and stopping the run.

“I think we’re a better football team than our record indicates,” Ryan said. “We eel as a coaching staff our kids played really, really well Friday despite losing to a really good Morris team. We feel like we’re a good football team. I feel like we were better in Week 3 than in Week 2, and we look to get better in Week 4.”

Troyer Carlson threw 134 yards last week, and he and Aric Johnson continue to be a threat for the Knights.

About the Blue Streaks: Woodstock lost to Sycamore, 41-0, in Week 3. … The Blue Streaks struggled to muster any offense against the state-ranked Spartans, finishing with 72 total yards. … In their first two games, however, the Streaks played within a touchdown of Rochelle and then beat Bartonville Limestone, 31-13, with a strong showing from the run game. … RBs Adrian Perry (169) and Kaden Sandoval (152) lead the rushing game and WR Caden Monti tops the team with seven receptions.

FND pick: Kaneland

-- Eddie Carifio

Metro Suburban Red

St. Francis (3-0, 1-0) at Chicago Christian (1-2, 0-1)

When: 7:15 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: St. Francis won the 2021 meeting by forfeit.

About the Spartans: Staying in the Metro Suburban Red, Spartans coach Bob McMillen saw nice progress from his offensive line last week. “They are getting better and moving in the right direction,” he said. “We are still running past guys and not identifying fronts and blitzes. TJ (McMillen, University of Illinois commit) didn’t play and we played different guys in different spots, but we still have to block the guy in front of us.” Keep an eye on running back Amari Head and wide receiver-defensive back Dash Dorsey. “Amari is becoming more and more of a leader by not only his play, but his work ethic at practice and in the weight room,” McMillen said. “He will continue to have a monster season. Dash leads our team in receptions and receiving touchdowns. More importantly, he is really stepping up for us on the defensive side of the ball. He’s playing way more physical and being a lockdown corner for us.”

About the Knights: “Chicago Christian is a well-coached team that plays good fundamental football,” McMillen said. “We need to be able to execute on all three phases of the game. We still haven’t put together a game where I believe we won at all three.”

FND Pick: St. Francis

-- Mike Miazga, Daily Herald Media Group