[Mary Beth Nolan]
Sycamore Spartans at Woodstock Blue Streaks
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday
Last week: The Spartans (2-0) were winners against Westinghouse, 55-0. The Blue Streaks (2-0) were 36-34 winners at Ottawa.
Last meeting: The team haven't met since at least 1995.
Keep an eye on: Michael Purkey is third in McHenry County in passing yards, completing two thirds of his passes for 312 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. ... Logan Egler exploded last week, scoring four times against the Warriors. He is second in the area in rushing yards (182) and leads in touchdowns (five).
Sycamore coach Joe Ryan's comments: "We feel like we're improving. We know we didn't face the stiffest competition on Saturday and the meat of the schedule is a head of us. The kids know they need to get better every day and they're doing that.
The lowdown: The Blue Streaks are 2-0 this year as they were last year. In fact they started 4-0 last year only to lose their last five games and miss the playoffs for an eighth straight year.
Purkey will present a test for the Spartans' secondary, which hasn't been tested much. They've faced just 19 passes in two games, with both of the team's interceptions coming last week.
"They're pretty untested cause we haven't faced teams that have wanted to throw much," Ryan said. "We feel like coming into the season it was a strength of our team. Hopefully we don't find out in a bad way how we are. Hopefully it will continue to be a strength of the team after Friday."
Aidan Jacobs in the leading rusher for Woodstock, scoring five times and average 14.3 yards per carry – 244 total yards on the year.
Sycamore, like the opponents it has faced this year, prefers to ground it out. Grant McConkey has only attempted eight passes this year, but has for 123 yards and two scores. Two other backs have eclipsed the 100-yard mark already for the Spartans – Egler and Manny Dominguez (eight carries for 160 yards).
Ryan said Woodstock likes to run a lot of plays very fast. To get the feel of it, Ryan said they've been running two scout teams at a time against the defense.
"They run plays off in like 13-15 seconds," Ryan said. "Once the refs place the ball on the field they're ready to go. We have to be ready to go out there and play fast on defense. We're OK with that. I think our guys like to play fast. It's hard to simulate in practice but we've got two groups going at them so it gets us close to what we're seeing."