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Week 4 Prep Football Preview Capsules

Published: Friday, Sept. 14, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT
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ROCKFORD CHRISTIAN (0-3, 0-1 BIG NORTHERN CONFERENCE EAST) AT GENOA-KINGSTON (1-2, 1-0 BNC EAST)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

Last meeting: Genoa-Kingston 26, Rockford Christian 16, in Week 2 of the 2000 season

Scouting the Royal Lions: From 2009-11, Rockford Christian had a record of 22-7, making the playoffs twice in that span.

But don’t let that mark fool you, as those victories came in the Northeastern Athletic Conference. So far this season, the Royal Lions haven’t shown they can compete with the big boys of the Big Northern. Rockford Christian hasn’t won a game yet, and the school was blown out in its first BNC East game last week, 36-3, against Burlington Central. Rockford Christian’s other two losses came against teams from the BNC West – Winnebago and Mendota.

Keys to victory: G-K can’t hurt itself with turnovers and penalties, as it did the first two weeks of the season. Without a four-turnover performance against St. Edward in Week 1, the Cogs would be 2-1. G-K gave itself a real boost with last week’s win over Richmond-Burton. The Cogs have a good chance to really get back in the playoff hunt with a victory.

– Steve Nitz, snitz@shawmedia.com

DEKALB (0-3) AT OTTAWA (3-0)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last meeting: DeKalb 31, Ottawa 23, on Aug. 26, 2011

Directions: Take Route 23 for 43 miles. Turn left on La Salle Street and drive half a mile. Turn left on Main Street. Drive past the school and turn right on the first driveway, which will lead you to the football stadium.

Scouting the Pirates: After falling behind, 16-0, last season, the Barbs reeled off the last 24 points of the game to beat the Pirates. The Pirates will be a much tougher team to beat this year. Illinois commit Miguel Hermosillo bolsters a strong rushing attack, helping Ottawa outscore its opponents, 141-9, in its three wins.

Keys to victory: Ottawa hasn’t played against a high-caliber opponent thus far, so it’s not far-fetched to say DeKalb could keep this game close. Once again, the Barbs simply need to play smart and limit their mistakes. This team was talented enough to score 30 points in the second half against Sycamore. Now, it needs to put an entire game together.

– Anthony Zilis, sports@daily-chronicle.com

N0. 10 SYCAMORE (3-0, 1-0 NORTHERN ILLINOIS BIG 12) at Geneseo (2-1)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last meeting: First meeting

Directions: Geneseo High School. 700 N. State St. Geneseo, IL 61254. Head west on I-88 for about 85 miles. Take Exit 6 for State Route 92 East and turn left onto IL-92 East. Turn right onto IL-82 and turn right onto west Ogden Avenue.

Scouting the Maple Leafs: Running backs Rayce Singbush, Grant Burress and Ryan Webster carry the bulk of the offensive load for Geneseo, which only occasionally goes to the passing attack.

The Maple Leafs ran for 395 yards in their season opener against Dunlap and 401 yards against Chicago Raby.

Keys to victory: Sycamore’s running attack has improved each week, putting up more than 300 yards in each of the previous two games. The Spartans’ young offensive line needs to open up holes for Austin Culton and Dion Hooker.

Junior QB Devin Mottet tweaked his ankle against DeKalb, so his status is uncertain. If Mottet can play, he will be a huge boost to a Sycamore offense that possesses many playmakers. Junior Nick Feuerbach would be the next option if Mottet isn’t able to go.

Defensively, the Spartans will have to be stout on first and second down. Sycamore needs to consistently force Geneseo into third-and-long situations, making the Maple Leafs pass more than just a handful of times.

– Ross Jacobson, rjacobson@shawmedia.com

NO. 5 KANELAND (3-0) AT STREATOR (0-3, 0-1 NORTHERN ILLINOIS BIG 12)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last game: First meeting

Directions: Streator Township High School. 202 W. Lincoln Ave., Streator, IL 61364. Take IL-23 south. Continue to follow IL-23 to Streator. Turn right onto West Lincoln Avenue and take the first right onto North Jefferson Street.

Scouting the Bulldogs: QB Colton Olson, who started in Week 1 for Streator, has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Stephen Truchon will step in as the starter for Streator.

Streator had a tough time stopping Ottawa RB Michael Hermosillo last week in a 41-6 loss at home. Streator is in the midst of a 21-game losing streak, the longest winless drought in school history.

Keys to victory: Kaneland’s defense stepped up in a big way last week, shutting out Sterling, 42-0. If the Knights get that kind of effort from their defense once again, then there shouldn’t be many problems for Kaneland.

Drew David has thrown six interceptions in three games this season, but if he takes care of the football, the Knights shouldn’t have much trouble putting up a lot of points tonight.

– Ross Jacobson, rjacobson@shawmedia.com

HIAWATHA (2-1 NORTHEASTERN ATHLETIC) AT ROCKFORD CHRISTIAN LIFE (1-2 NAC)

Game time: 6 p.m. Saturday

Directions: Go north on Pearl Street for 3 miles. Turn left on Cherry Valley Road for 4.5 miles. Turn right on Irene Road for 4 miles and make a left on U.S. 20 West for a little more than 3 miles. Stay straight to enter onto Harrison Avenue and make a right on South Perryville Road for 4 miles. Make a left on Spring Creek Road. The school will be on your right after about a mile at 5950 Spring Creek Road.

Last meeting: Rockford Christian Life 21, Hiawatha 0, in Week 4 of the 2011 season

Scouting the Eagles: The Christian Life Wing-T offense has a unique look as it operates out of the shotgun. The Eagles rarely huddle and will look to push the pace rather than grind out tough yards and control the clock.

Christian Life played conference favorite Mooseheart tough in a 35-14 Week 2 loss behind a stout 4-4 defense.

“Christian Life is a very good team that is a few mistakes away from having the same record as us,” Hiawatha coach Sean Donnelly said. “We’ve got to be ready to go.”

Keys to victory: Two straight wins have bolstered the Hawks’ confidence.

“You could sense a change in the players’ attitude last week at practice,” Donnelly said. “They were excited. It’s not just the coaches telling them they are good enough. They believe they can now win a game.”

To extend its winning streak to three games, Hiawatha will have to get its passing game in sync. The Eagles’ 4-4 defense will try to bottle up the Hawks’ inside run game, which should allow running back Dakota Quimby room to operate on the edge and quarterback Mike Mercado the freedom to operate as a passer in the Wing-T.

– James Nokes, sports@daily-chronicle.com

CHRONICLE STAFF PICKS
(staff votes)

Rockford Christian at Genoa-KingstonPick: Genoa-Kingston, 5-0

DeKalb at OttawaPick: Ottawa, 5-0

Sycamore at GeneseoPick: Sycamore, 3-2

Kaneland at StreatorPick: Kaneland, 5-0

Hiawatha at Rockford Christian LifePick: Hiawatha, 3-2

Last Week: 3-1
Season: 7-7

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