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Prep Football Preview Capsules: Week 2

Genoa-Kingston (0-1) at Rockford Lutheran (1-0)

Game time:
7 p.m. Friday
Location: Rockford Lutheran High School, 3411 N. Alpine Road, Rockford
Last meeting: Lutheran 56, Genoa-Kingston 10, in Week 2 of the 2012 season
Scouting the Crusaders: It wasn’t too long ago that Lutheran was a pushover. However, last season the Crusaders turned things around, going 8-1 and winning the Big Northern West, earning a playoff win before falling in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs. Watch out for Lutheran tailback James Robinson, who ran for more than 2,000 yards as a freshman last season.
What’s at stake: It’s too early to call this a must-win, but after an opening-week loss at St. Edward last week, the Cogs certainly could use a victory with the always-tough Richmond-Burton Rockets heading to Genoa in Week 3. In last week’s loss, G-K allowed four touchdowns of 50 yards or longer. The Cogs have to limit the big plays against the Crusaders.
– Steve Nitz,

North Shore Country Day (0-1) at Hiawatha (0-1)

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday
Last meeting: North Shore 39, Hiawatha 22, in Week 5 of the 2012 season
Scouting the Raiders: With four receivers and a quarterback always in shotgun, the Raiders mix passes with a quarterback read option with a lone back. Defensively, NSCD lines up in a 5-2 and blitzes one of its linebackers nearly every play. With six on a rush that crashes up field hard, the Raiders play man coverage in the secondary.
What’s at stake: A win provides the Hawks with a path to the playoffs that doesn’t require considerable obstacles. Starting running back Nick Doolittle carved up Mooseheart for 70 yards in just less than a quarter of action last week before suffering a knee injury that will sideline him tonight. Michael Speer and Matt Wendt will get Doolittle’s carries and quarterback Mike Mercado will have an even greater role in the Hawks’ offense.
“At the end of the Mooseheart game we had 14 healthy bodies,” said Hiawatha coach Sean Donnelly about the 45-6 loss Saturday. “We just ran out of bodies. We were down 18-6 and just scored after a turnover. It looked like we’d have some momentum. Instead, we had three straight turnovers on the first play of three straight possessions. Give Mooseheart credit, they scored on all three turnovers.”
Although Donnelly said Doolittle’s injury is a “huge blow,” the Hiawatha offensive line provided running lanes. The Hawks worked on running backs hitting their holes this week in practice.
– James Nokes,

DeKalb (1-0) at Hampshire (1-0)

Game time:
7:15 p.m. Friday
Location: Hampshire High School, 1600 Big Timber Road, Hampshire
Last meeting: Hampshire 33, DeKalb 27, in Week 2 of 2012 season
Scouting the Whip-Purs: After winning only three games last year, the Whip-Purs rocked Burlington Central with a 41-7 win last week, and their running game was a big reason why. Hampshire returned three offensive linemen this season along with running backs Nick Kielbasa, Mason Fluery and Chris Calvin. Kielbasa racked up 134 yards last week at 5.8 yards a carry, and Calvin finished with 81 yards on 10 carries.
What’s at stake: A win tonight could be a huge confidence-builder heading into next week’s game against Sycamore. The Whip-Purs looked like a playoff contender in Week 1, so this will be no small feat. With conference games against state title contenders Morris, Kaneland and Sycamore, a loss would leave little room for error for the rest of the season if the Barbs want to win five games and qualify for the playoffs.
– Anthony Zilis,

North Lawndale (0-1) at Sycamore (1-0)

Game time:
7:30 p.m. Friday
Last meeting: Sycamore 40, North Lawndale 7, in Week 2 of 2012 season
Scouting the Phoenix: North Lawndale held a fourth-quarter lead against Chicago Christian in Week 1, but a late touchdown handed the Phoenix a 20-18 loss in their home opener. North Lawndale finished 5-4 last year, but didn’t play in the postseason. The player to watch is senior Imani Payton. He was part of North Lawndale’s 4x100-meter relay team that took fifth place in the Class 2A state meet last year and also finished ninth in the 300 hurdles.
What’s at stake: If there’s a more prime example of a potential let-down game, please tell us. Sycamore pummeled North Lawndale on the road last season and could be looking ahead to next week’s matchup against DeKalb at Huskie Stadium. Although there are no Northern Illinois Big 12 implications, this game will have potential playoff consequences for Sycamore. The difference of one win can mean hosting or playing a road game in the postseason.
– Ross Jacobson,

Immaculate Conception (1-0) at Kaneland (1-0)

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Last meeting: No meeting in past 16 seasons
Scouting the Knights: Immaculate Conception went 7-4 last season and lost in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs. The Knights have a big hole to fill at quarterback as Demetrius Carr graduated. Coach Bill Krefft told Shaw Media in the preseason they would be running more of a zone scheme rather than the option attack they featured last season. Immaculate Conception defeated Chicago Noble Street Charter, 47-6, in the opener.
What’s at stake: Kaneland had turnover issues in the first week against Brooks, throwing three interceptions. The Knights still managed to score 27 points, but that’s a smaller output for the typically high-powered Kaneland offense. Before a big test against Sterling on the road in Week 3, Kaneland will need to get back on track offensively. Also on the line is Kaneland’s regular-season winning streak, which dates to the 2009 season.
– Ross Jacobson,

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