Northwest Herald football game of the week
Marian Central (0-0)
at CL South (0-0)
7:15 p.m. Friday
Marian Central scouting report
Offensive firepower: Hurricanes QB Billy Bahl won’t move around like the departed Chris Streveler, but he has experienced targets to pass to. Bahl will hand off to last season’s second-leading rusher in the area, Ephraim Lee (1,323 rushing, 15 TDs). The offensive line is the biggest unknown right now. How they play will determine the success of the offense.
Defensive pressure: The Hurricanes will miss OLB Chris Daniels and his experience while he sits out with a knee sprain. LB Thomas Lesniewski and company will have to take up the slack against a physical South offense. Perhaps the biggest challenge will be on the line playing against a big Gators front. Stopping the run and creating turnovers will be key.
CL South scouting report
Putting points on the board: The Gators have nine players back who started on offense last year, including a huge, experienced offensive line. They will try to pound the ball against the Hurricanes and will be looking for a running back to emerge. RB Chris Ivers should be first in line. Austin Rogers returns at QB and should give South hope for an effective passing game.
Defending the swamp: The Gators have been know for their defense, but this season there are plenty of questions on that side of the ball. This Gators defense needs to forge its own identity and have some players rise up. Playing a Hurricanes offense is no easy task, and it will be imperative to stop those big plays and contain Lee. Getting pressure on Bahl in his first varsity start is a good idea.
It should be a great atmosphere for the Gators at home. On paper, the Gators should win in the trenches, and they have a senior QB, and those are the keys. It’s always hard to bet against a Marian offense, and they will have some new wrinkles. Marian probably has the edge in team speed.
Les’ pick: CL South 24, Marian Central 21
Les’ other picks
Marengo at Mendota: Marengo by 7
Harvard at Rock Falls: Harvard by 6
Hampshire at Burlington Central: Hampshire by 3
Richmond-Burton at Johnsburg: R-B by 14
Elgin at Dundee-Crown: Dundee-Crown by 16
Larkin at McHenry: McHenry by 19
Barrington at Jacobs: Barrington by 3
Bartlett at Huntley: Huntley by 3
Prairie Ridge at Niles Notre Dame: Notre Dame by 5
Oswego East at Woodstock: Oswego East by 5
Woodstock North at Wauconda: Wauconda by 3
Cary-Grove at Wheaton North: Wheaton North by 2
Grayslake North at Lakes: Lakes by 7
CL Central at Grant: CL Central by 7
Alden-Hebron at Christian Liberty Academy: Alden-Hebron by 7