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Week 8 Prep Football Preview Capsules

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Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

Directions: Take Route 23 north for 22 miles. Turn left onto South Division Street and go two miles. Turn right onto East Harrison Street, then left at North Jefferson Street. The school will be on your right.

Last meeting: Harvard 48, Genoa-Kingston 7, in Week 9 of 2011 season

Scouting the Hornets: Harvard likes to run the ball, and running backs Christian Kramer and Sammy Soliz should take on a majority of the carries. The Hornets have won three games this year, but they’ve come against teams that have combined for only two victories. Even with several injuries, the Cogs should be able to score against a team that has given up 74 points over its past two games.

Keys to victory: The pervasive thought around Genoa-Kingston is that this team is better than its record. After close losses to St. Edward, Burlington Central and North Boone, the Cogs are deflated not to be a playoff team.

The Cogs can prove they’re better than a typical 2-5 team against Harvard, a team that still is in the playoff hunt. Injuries have depleted the Cogs’ roster, and quarterback Adam Price will shift to fullback this week, leaving sophomore Griffin McNeal to play quarterback. Price’s play for a thin running back corps will be important as will McNeal’s confidence in his first start.

– Anthony Zilis,


Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last meeting: DeKalb 30, Yorkville 13, in Week 8 of the 2011 season

Scouting the Foxes: The Barbs should be ready for the Foxes after game-planning for Morris. Yorkville likes to run the ball, like Morris, but is much less effective. The Foxes were shut out in a loss to Kaneland last week after losing, 44-41, to Rochelle the week before. Four times this season, Yorkville has scored six or less points.

Keys to victory: The Barbs are happy to come home after having a rough time on Morris’ muddy field last week. The DeKalb offense has steadily become more comfortable this season as the offensive line has improved and Jack Sauter has gained more experience at quarterback. With running back Dre Brown coming off a shoulder injury, expect the passing game to be a big part of DeKalb’s game early. The defense has had a rough go lately, allowing 122 points over the past two games, so fixing those issues is a must this week.

– Anthony Zilis,

SYCAMORE (5-2, 2-1 NI BIG 12 EAST) AT KANELAND (7-0, 3-0 NI BIG 12 EAST)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last meeting: Kaneland 35, Sycamore 21, in Week 8 of the 2011 season

Keys to victory for the Spartans: Kaneland quarterback Drew David likes to put the ball in the air, racking up 1,483 yards this season. However, he has been picked off 10 times this season. The Spartans forced five turnovers two weeks ago against Morris, and takeaways once again will be crucial against a potent Kaneland offense. It’s not easy to gameplan for Kaneland’s passing game, so the defensive backs will have to be alert at all times.

On offense, Austin Culton will need to have another big game. When the area’s leading rusher is on, the Spartans are lethal.

Keys to victory for the Knights: The Spartans haven’t played against a team that likes to throw the ball in a long time, so the passing attack could be something the Knights key on. The Knights have looked unbeatable over the past five games, giving up more than six points only once. If David is his usual self and the defense keeps up its other-worldly play, the Knights will be tough to beat tonight.

– Anthony Zilis,


Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday

Last Meeting: Christian Liberty 41, Hiawatha 21, in Week 8 of the 2011 season

Directions: Start out going north on South 1st Street. Turn right and go 20 miles on IL 72/Main Street. Turn left on US-20/IL-47 for 3 miles. Merge onto I-90 East/Jane Adams Memorial Highway for 21 miles. Merge onto IL-53 for about three miles. Take the East Euclid Exit and the school is about two miles on your left. 

Scouting the Chargers: A lost season has a glimmer of hope as Christian Liberty closes its 2012 slate against opponents with a combined mark of 2-12. Expect the Chargers to pound their running game behind a big offensive line.

Linebackers will be a key in the Chargers’ 4-4  defense as they will be tested to control the length and width of the field against the Hiawatha spread. The Christian Liberty senior class started the football program at the Arlington Heights school and has two home games left to notch a 2012 win.

Keys to victory: Determination will go a long way this week. Eliminated from playoff contention with a 44-19 loss at Alden-Hebron last week, Hiawatha is focused to show last year’s loss to Christian Liberty was an aberration and snap a four-game losing streak.

A different and deeper team awaits the Chargers. Hiawatha has found consistency on the offensive line and is a deeper squad. Whereas last year Hiawatha hadn’t scored in six weeks heading into its matchup with Christian Liberty, this year the Hawks have been able to find the end zone with more consistency. The implementation of the spread offense has involved more players and limited the number that must go both ways. 

The Hawks’ slot receivers should have play-making opportunities against slower linebackers if the Chargers stay in their 4-4 defense. Early deficits have plagued the Hawks over the past three weeks. Hiawatha has to jump on the winless Chargers with early scores.

“Everything gets thrown out the window when you’ve got to play catchup,” Hiawatha coach Sean Donnelly said. “Liberty won’t want to go winless, and they will enter the game motivated.”

– James Nokes,


(staff votes)

Genoa-Kingston at Harvard
Pick: Genoa-Kingston, 3-2

Yorkville at DeKalb
Pick: DeKalb, 4-1

Sycamore at Kaneland
Pick: Kaneland, 5-0

Hiawatha at Christian Liberty Academy
Pick: Hiawatha, 4-1

Last Week: 4-1
Season: 23-10

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