Northwest Herald area preview capsules for Week 8

Fox Valley Conference

Crystal Lake South (4-3, 4-3) at Prairie Ridge (5-2, 5-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Prairie Ridge beat South, 63-26, in Week 4 of the 2021 spring season.

About the Gators: South defeated McHenry, 33-13, to move within a win of being playoff eligible. … The Gators can qualify for the postseason with a win in one of their past two games, they finish with Huntley next week. … South beat McHenry with a little different offensive attack last week as RB Nate Van Witzenburg ran for 202 yards and three touchdowns. He moved up to fourth on the area rushing list at 882. … QB Justin Kowalak leads the area with 1,511 passing yards and WR Michael Prokos is fourth among area receivers with 35 catches and third with 620 yards.

About the Wolves: Prairie Ridge beat Dundee-Crown, 49-7, ending a two-game losing streak, to become playoff eligible for the eighth consecutive season. … FB Nathan Greetham leads a balanced rushing attack with 841 yards, RB Zach Bentsen has 774 and QB Mason Loucks has 499. … RB Tyler Vasey, one of the Wolves’ fastest players who was supposed to start at quarterback, has returned from an elbow injury and ran for 143 yards on 12 carries in two games.

Friday Night Drive pick: Prairie Ridge

Crystal Lake Central (5-2, 5-2) at McHenry (1-6, 1-6)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: McHenry defeated Central, 38-26, in Week 4 of the 2021 spring season.

About the Tigers: Central became playoff eligible with a 28-16 victory over Burlington Central. … QB Colton Madura has been a force the past two weeks after missing three games with a hip injury. He rushed for 314 and threw for 414 combined in the past two games. … RB Brent Blitek has 755 yards rushing and WR Jake Carnrite leads the Tigers with 27 receptions.

About the Warriors: McHenry lost to Crystal Lake South, 33-13, last week. … The Warriors are led by RB Brody Hallin with 551 yards and WR Kyle Kaempf, second in the area with 42 receptions and seven touchdowns. Kaempf returned an interception for a touchdown last week. … QB Andrew Hoffman has thrown for 1,171 yards.

FND pick: Crystal Lake Central

Dundee-Crown (0-7, 0-7) at Huntley (2-5, 2-5)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Huntley beat Dundee-Crown, 40-6, in Week 4 of the 2021 spring season.

About the Chargers: D-C lost to Prairie Ridge, 49-7. … The Chargers have some young talent with QB Zach Randl and RB Keegan Otte, but wins in the tough FVC have been difficult to come by.

About the Red Raiders: Huntley lost to Hampshire, 15-7, in overtime. … The Raiders may not make the playoffs for the first time since 2013. They have to win their last two games and hope, as Shaw Media brackets expert Steve Soucie surmises, the 256-team group includes a significant number of 4-5 teams. His current projection has 14 4-5 teams in, but Huntley is not one. … RB Ryder Hunkins has sparked the offense in the past two weeks and has 375 rushing. … The Raiders’ defense has allowed 170 points, third-lowest in the FVC.

FND pick: Huntley

Burlington Central (2-5, 2-5) at Cary-Grove (7-0, 7-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: C-G beat Burlington Central, 28-20, in Week 1 of the 2021 spring season.

About the Rockets: Burlington lost to Crystal Lake Central, 28-16. … The Rockets are led in rushing by RB Gavin Sarvis (516 yards) and QB Shawn Adkerson (486). … Burlington does not throw a lot, Adkerson has 426 yards passing for the season.

About the Trojans: C-G defeated Jacobs, 36-22, in its first close game of the season. … The Trojans led by one touchdown in the fourth quarter and drove for FB Nick Hissong’s 33-yard TD run with 5:03 remaining to seal the game. … Hissong’s 882 yards lead the Trojans in rushing, with RBs Drew Magel (541) and Wade Abrams (479) and QB Jameson Sheehan (416) also making big contributions. Their rushing averages per carry are Hissong (9.2), Magel (16.9), Abrams (16.0) and Sheehan (11.9). … C-G’s defense has allowed an FVC-low 100 points. … The Trojans are No. 2 in The Associated Press Class 6A poll.

FND pick: Cary-Grove

Hampshire (5-2, 5-2) at Jacobs (4-3, 4-3)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: Hampshire beat Jacobs, 32-14, in Week 2 of the 2021 spring season.

About the Whip-Purs: Hampshire beat Huntley, 15-7, in overtime to become playoff eligible for the first time since 2015. … The Whip-Purs beat Huntley when RB Ray Hill scored on a 2-yard run and Hampshire’s defense picked off a pass in the end zone on Huntley’s fourth-down play. … QB Tyler Fikis is second in area rushing (945) yards and has thrown for 1,005 yards with 10 touchdowns. … Hampshire’s defense has given up 166 points, second in the FVC to C-G.

About the Golden Eagles: Jacobs lost to C-G, 36-22. … The Eagles were the first team to make C-G play a full four quarters with its starters. RB Nasir Canty’s 6-yard run in the fourth quarter, made it a one-score game before the Trojans responded with a touchdown drive to seal it. … RB Ben Ludlum leads the area with 1,142 yards rushing and Canty is seventh with 841. … Jacobs can become playoff eligible for the first time since 2017 with a victory.

FND pick: Jacobs

Kishwaukee River/Interstate 8 Blue

Marengo (4-3, 3-1) at Sandwich (0-7, 0-4)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First meeting

About Marengo: The Indians are coming off a crucial 21-20 victory last week over Plano that kept them in the top half of the Kishwaukee River/Interstate Eight Blue standings and kept their realistic hopes of a playoff berth alive and well, despite undefeated and KR/I8 Blue-leading Richmond-Burton lurking in Week 9. … After a struggle stopping Rochelle the week before, Marengo’s defense came up big in Week 7, complementing an offense led by RB Dylan Stolz (177 yards vs. Plano), WR Exzavier Meyer and dual-threat QB Josh Holst (323 yards passing against Rochelle).

About Sandwich: The KR/I8 Blue’s other Indians came tantalizingly close to their first victory of the campaign last Friday, leading late before eventually falling 29-24 to new divisional foe Harvard. … RB Seven Tornga turned in another strong performance for Sandwich in the loss, rushing for 165, two touchdowns — including a 56-yarder to open the scoring – and a two-point conversion. … QB Austin Sinetos threw a TD pass to Tornga as well, but the Indians are still searching for that secondary wing-T threat. … Cainan Haick recorded three tackles for loss last week for a Sandwich defense that is surrendering 44.2 points a game the five times it has taken the field.

FND pick: Marengo

Harvard (2-5, 1-3) at Richmond-Burton (7-0, 4-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: R-B defeated Harvard, 51-0, in Week 1 of the 2021 spring season.

About the Hornets: Harvard returned to the field for the first time in three weeks and defeated Sandwich, 29-24. … The Hornets missed two weeks for a COVID-19 quarantine and started slow against Sandwich, but put up 21 second-quarter points. … RB Bailey Livdahl is just outside the area’s top 10 in rushing, despite missing two games, with 682 yards. He ran for 158 and three touchdowns last week.

About the Rockets: R-B defeated Johnsburg, 23-20, its closest game of the season. … The Rockets are No. 3 in the Class 4A poll and have the state’s longest current winning streak at 27 in a row. … FB Brock Wood is third in the area with 889 rushing yards and second with 17 rushing touchdowns. … R-B’s defense has allowed 67 points for the season, with 40 coming in the past two weeks against Sycamore and Johnsburg.

FND pick: Richmond-Burton

Kishwaukee River/Interstate 8 White

Woodstock (3-4, 1-3) at Sycamore (5-2, 4-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Blue Streaks: Woodstock lost to LaSalle-Peru, 34-13. … The Blue Streaks do most of their offensive business through the air. QB Liam Mickle has thrown for 1,320 yards and 13 touchdowns. … WRs Sean Ryan (23) and Caden Monti (22) and TE Kaden Hunter (22) are Woodstock’s leading receivers. … The Streaks need wins in their final two games to become playoff eligible for the first time since 2009.

About the Spartans: Sycamore beat Woodstock North, 40-0, and is ranked No. 10 in Class 5A. … RB Nathaniel Alpeter ran for 153 yards last week and leads the Spartans with 477 rushing yards. … QB Eli Meier has thrown for more than 1,000 yards and averages 9.1 yards a carry.

FND pick: Sycamore

Nonconference

Johnsburg (1-6) at Woodstock North (0-7)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: North beat Johnsburg, 30-16, in Week 3 of the 2021 spring season.

About the Skyhawks: Johnsburg lost to Richmond-Burton, 23-20. … The Skyhawks have had some close losses to playoff-bound teams, such as Wilmington, Plano and R-B. … RB Jake Metze has 482 yards rushing and is third in the area with 39 receptions. … QB Luke Conroy had one of his best games last week, throwing for 249 yards and two touchdowns. That put Conroy past 1,000 passing yards for the season.

About the Thunder: North lost to Sycamore, 40-0. … FB Henry Goetz leads the Thunder with 731 yards rushing and QB Jay Zinnen has run for 334 yards. … Thunder coach Jeff Schroeder, the only football coach in school history, has had only one winless team, his first one in 2009 when the school opened.

FND pick: Johnsburg

Fenwick (5-2) at Marian Central (3-4)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: First meeting

About the Friars: Fenwick beat St. Patrick, 42-14, last week. St. Patrick beat Marian, 21-20, in Week 3. … Fenwick is ranked No. 2 in Class 5A and took its losses against Providence, 21-20, and Loyola, 27-24.

About the Hurricanes: Marian lost to St. Rita, 44-28, last week. … WR Christian Bentancur has 43 receptions, 811 yards and eight touchdowns, which leads the area in all three categories. He caught 12 passes for 219 yards and two scores last week. … QB Brendan Hernon has thrown for 1,352 yards and 14 touchdowns. … Marian finishes with DePaul, but likely would not have enough playoff points at 4-5 to get into the playoffs. They probably need to win their last two games to qualify.

FND pick: Fenwick

Eight-Man Football

River Ridge (2-5) at Alden-Hebron (2-5)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Last matchup: River Ridge beat A-H, 58-0, in Week 4 of the 2019 season.

About the Wildcats: River Ridge lost to Polo, 66-6, and to Orangeville, 70-8, in their last two games. … Like A-H, one of River Ridge’s wins came via forfeit from Ashton-Franklin Center.

About the Giants: A-H lost to South Beloit, 30-0, last week. … The Giants had smaller margins of loss against common opponents Milledgeville and Orangeville.

FND pick: Alden-Hebron

• J.T. Pedelty and Eddie Carifio contributed to this report.

Joe Stevenson

Joe Stevenson

I have worked at the Northwest Herald since January of 1989, covering everything from high school to professional sports. I mainly cover high school sports now.