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Prep Football Preview Capsules: Week 1

Published: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 11:23 p.m. CDT
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Genoa-Kingston at St. Edward

Game time: 7 p.m. FridayLocation: St. Edward High School, 335 Locust St., Elgin 60123Last meeting: St. Edward 15, Genoa-Kingston 14, in Week 1 of the 2012 seasonScouting the Green Wave: St. Edward finished 2-7 last season, but don’t let that deceive you. The Green Wave are members of the extremely tough Suburban Christian Blue Conference, which produced two state champs last year. The Cogs should see a ton of senior tailback Davontae Elam, who ran for 161 yards in the teams’ meeting last season.What’s at stake: It’s an important and winnable game for G-K, with a good Rockford Lutheran team coming up in Week 2, and then the tough Big Northern East slate. The Cogs could easily have won last year’s contest. Expect this one to be close as well.– Steve Nitz, snitz@shawmedia.com

Hiawatha at Mooseheart

Game time:
7 p.m. FridayLocation: Mooseheart High School, 255 James J. Davis Dr., Mooseheart, 60539Last meeting: Mooseheart 35, Hiawatha 0, in Week 6 of 2012 seasonScouting the Red Ramblers: Speed at the skill positions has been a staple that has made Mooseheart a perennial Northeastern Athletic Conference contender. Despite a slew of talent that graduated from last year’s 9-2 team, Hiawatha coach Sean Donnelly expects more of the same from the Red Ramblers. “I’m pretty sure they have just reloaded their talent,” Donnelly said. “They had plenty of guys waiting in the pipeline with a 40-man roster.”  Mooseheart will try to get the ball to its playmakers in space. On defense, the Red Ramblers aggressively pursue their initial reads.What’s at stake: A win would be a big upset that could enhance the Hawks’ confidence after a 3-6 record in 2012. Hiawatha expects to operate at a 60-40 run-pass ratio. But this week Hiawatha might reign in its attack to try to keep Mooseheart’s quick-strike offense off the field. “We’d like to control the clock as much as possible,” Donnelly said. “We expect to be a little short-handed up front, and of our 26 players, we’ve got plenty of youth on the depth chart.” Playmaking quarterback Mike Mercado has a wide array of run-pass options and will need to make decisive reads against a Red Ramblers defense that always is looking to make a big play.– James Nokes, sports@daily-chronicle.com

DeKalb at Vernon Hills

Game time:
7:30 p.m. FridayLocation: Vernon Hills High School, 145 Lakeview Pkwy, Vernon Hills, 60061 Last meeting: No meeting in past 16 seasonsScouting the Cougars: Vernon Hills also enters with a first-year coach in place. It returns senior quarterback Jordan Freibrun. Senior running back Josh Harris will be the focus in the running game for the Cougars. Former Bears Phillip Daniels and Desmond Clark are assistant coaches for Vernon Hills. What’s at stake: DeKalb has a new coaching staff in place for the second straight season. Last year’s team went 0-4 to start the season, but a win in Week 1 would be a huge confidence-builder for the Barbs. With a tough NI Big 12 East schedule, DeKalb needs to claim at least two nonconference wins to have a shot at the playoffs. Week 1 provides a great opportunity to get the first.– Ross Jacobson, rjacobson@shawmedia.com

Sycamore at Lincoln-Way West

Game time:
7:30 p.m. FridayLocation: Lincoln-Way West High School, 21701 S. Gougar Road, New Lenox, 60451Last meeting: Sycamore 19, Lincoln-Way West 13, in Week 1 of 2012 seasonScouting the Warriors: Senior quarterback Justin Keuch returns this year after passing for 1,205 yards and nine touchdowns last season. The Spartans were able to hold Keuch to 8-for-18 passing last year, but the Warriors return hungry after losing to Joliet Catholic last year in overtime of the Class 5A quarterfinals. Lincoln-Way West returns 15 starters, including running back Javier Montalvo, who surpassed the 1,000-yard mark last season, and several defensive veterans, including senior defensive backs Aaron and Austin Gray, who are three-year starters.What’s at stake: Sycamore used a Week 1 win over the Warriors as a springboard for a huge season last year. Against the 10th-ranked team in Class 5A, a win would go a long way toward boosting confidence. Look for a strong offensive game from the Spartans, who are ranked fifth in Class 5A, this year geared toward second-year quarterback Devin Mottet and receiver Ben Niemann, an Iowa commit. The Spartans’ offensive line returns four starters and Class 2A 200-meter champion Dion Hooker should be a scary player for defenses to face this year as a running back.– Anthony Zilis, sports@daily-chronicle.com
Chicago Brooks at Kaneland

Game time:
7:30 p.m. FridayLast meeting: Kaneland 25, Brooks 24, in Week 1 of 2012 seasonScouting the Eagles: Brooks loses a couple big parts of its offense as four-year starting quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw graduated and continues to play at Army. Running back Cleveland Clark also graduated and he had both of Brooks’ touchdowns in the Eagles’ playoff loss to Evergreen Park.What’s at stake: Kaneland has posted three consecutive undefeated regular seasons and will look to start on the right path toward a fourth. The Knights have talked in the offseason about how they looked past Lincoln-Way West in last year’s playoffs. Similarly, Kaneland came out flat in last year’s season opener, needing a second-half comeback to gain a one-point win. Their home opener provides the Knights a chance to show they are focused and remain a strong contender to make a run at the Class 5A state championship.– Ross Jacobson, rjacobson@shawmedia.com

CHRONICLE STAFF PICKS

Ross Jacobson (0-0) St. Edward Mooseheart DeKalb Sycamore Kaneland

Steve nitz (0-0) Genoa-Kingston Mooseheart Vernon Hills Sycamore Kaneland

James nokes (0-0) St. Edward Mooseheart Vernon Hills Sycamore Kaneland

Anthony zilis (0-0) Genoa-Kingston Mooseheart DeKalb Sycamore Kaneland

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