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Week 7 Prep Football Preview Capsules

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Game time: 7 p.m. today

Last meeting: North Boone 39, Genoa-Kingston 14, in Week 5 of the 2011 season

Scouting the Vikings: North Boone has put up a ton of points so far this season. The Vikings are averaging 39.6 points a game, with a lot of that offense coming from quarterback Austin Baden. During last week’s 31-14 win against Harvard, Baden threw for 212 yards and ran for another 155. He had three total touchdowns.

However, North Boone’s first six opponents have combined for only 10 wins so far. The Vikings have played only one team with a winning record, Byron in Week 2.

Keys to victory: The Cogs’ defense needs to be able to keep Baden in check, otherwise it’s going to be a long night in Genoa. G-K’s offense struggled in last week’s loss to Winnebago, gaining only 129 total yards and failing to score a touchdown. North Boone let teams score the first four weeks of the season, but has given up only 21 points over its past two games.

– Steve Nitz,


Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

Last meeting: Alden-Hebron 44, Hiawatha 0, in Week 7 of the 2011 season

Scouting the Giants: Lackluster starts have marred the Giants’ season. The penalties and missed opportunities that have plagued Alden-Hebron thwarted a possible four-game winning streak and upset bid last week in a 34-14 loss at Ottawa Marquette. 

Quarterback Bryce Lalor plays with the moxie expected of a coach’s son. He operates in a variety of sets. The Giants line up in the spread, a five-receiver set, the I-Formation and, for good measure, throw in an unbalanced line with two tight ends. Lalor’s favorite target is Logan Yerk, who headlines a talented corps of receivers.

“He’s very well coached,” said Hiawatha coach Sean Donnelly about Lalor. “He is smart and takes what is in front of him. He doesn’t do anything that is dangerous.”

Just like their offense, the Giants’ defense thrives on unpredictability. Alden-Hebron lines up in a five-man front, but constantly mixes up who stays on the line and who drops into coverage.

Keys to victory: Dreams of playoff eligibility rest on a razor’s edge. Hiawatha must notch its first NAC win against Alden-Hebron to keep its chance at the 2012 playoffs alive. The Hawks’ schedule once looked to ease up down the stretch, but a pair of teams that want to avoid must-win situations with 3-3 records await tonight and in Week 9.

“It’s been a year of firsts,” Donnelly said. “It was the first time we beat Hope. This would be our first win against Hebron since we joined the same conference. We’ve always needed one big play to get over the hump.”

Communication will be the key for the Hawks’ offensive line as it assesses which players are blitzing and which are in coverage.

“Hebron will show five guys but only two will have their hands in the dirt,” Donnelly said. “We’ve got to figure out who is coming and keep our heads on a swivel. It all starts with the line picking up their assignments.”

– James Nokes,


Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last meeting: Morris 42, Dekalb 17, in Week 7 of the 2011 season

Directions: Take I-88 East until the exit for Route 47 toward Waubonsie Community College. Turn right onto Route 47 and go 32 miles. Turn right on Bedford Road and drive for half a mile before turning left onto Union Street and drive for half a mile. The school will be on your right.

Scouting the Redskins: Led by a strong rushing attack and a stout offensive line, Morris has been one of the top-ranked teams in the state all season. But the defensive side of the ball is really where the Redskins have been impressive. Last week, the offense turned the ball over five times, but the defense still shut out Sycamore, which put up 49 points on the Barbs.

Keys to victory: Finding running room will be difficult for Dre Brown and Dylan Hottsmith this week. Morris is strong up front, offensively and defensively, so it might be up to quarterback Jack Sauter to open up room by picking up big chunks of yardage with his arm. Sycamore was able to force five turnovers against Morris last week, but couldn’t score. An upset is only a possibility if the Barbs can rack up takeaways and Sauter and the DeKalb offensive line have a standout game.

– Anthony Zilis,

ROCHELLE (5-1, 1-1 NI BIG 12 EAST) AT SYCAMORE (4-2, 1-1 NI BIG 12 EAST)

Game time:
7:30 p.m. Friday

Last meeting: Rochelle 21, Sycamore 16, in Round 2 of 2011 Class 5A playoffs

Scouting the Hubs: Led by junior Marquez Felix, Rochelle will try to pound out yards on the ground out of the Wing-T formation. They racked up 504 rushing yards on 54 carries against Sterling and had seven runs of 25-plus yards.

Tony Walsh provides a great complement to Felix in the backfield and will give Sycamore’s defensive front yet another tough test.

Keys to victory: An early touchdown and first-quarter points on the board would be big for the Spartans offense, which has only scored six points in the past two games. If the Spartans can establish the ground game in the first quarter with Austin Culton, it should open up room on the outside for receivers Ben Niemann and David Compher.

The defense has been superb over the past two games and forced five turnovers against Morris. Once again, the key will be getting Rochelle into third-and-long situations, forcing the Hubs into double-digit pass attempts.

– Ross Jacobson,

NO. 2 KANELAND (6-0, 2-0 NI BIG 12 EAST) AT YORKVILLE (3-3, 0-2 NI BIG 12 EAST)

Game time:
7:30 p.m. Friday

Directions: Merge onto I-88 East and take the IL-47 exit south. Turn right onto IL-47 South and drive 12 miles before turning right on Somonauk Street. Continue on Game Farm Road and the high school will be on your left.

Last meeting: Kaneland 45, Yorkville 7, in Week 7 of 2011 season

Scouting the Foxes: It’s hard to judge Yorkville through the first six weeks of the season. Although the Foxes have looked good in three dominating nonconference wins, they’ve been blown out by Morris and Ottawa, and suffered a close loss to Rochelle in Week 6.

Kaneland should have its way with Yorkville’s defense, which has given up a combined 85 points over the past two weeks.

Keys to victory: Kaneland exhibited exceptional balance offensively against DeKalb in a 66-23 victory last Friday. Quarterback Drew David aired it out on occasion to his play-making receivers, and Jesse Balluff racked up more than 150 rushing yards out of the backfield. Keeping that balanced play-calling most likely will result in another big offensive night for the Knights.

– Ross Jacobson,


(staff votes)

North Boone at Genoa-Kingston
Pick: North Boone, 5-0

Alden-Hebron at Hiawatha
Pick: Alden-Hebron, 4-1

DeKalb at Morris
Pick: Morris, 5-0

Rochelle at Sycamore
Pick: Rochelle, 3-2

Kaneland at Yorkville
Pick: Kaneland, 5-0

Last Week: 4-0
Season: 19-9

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