McHenry (2-1) at Jacobs (1-2) 7:15 p.m. Friday
McHenryCountySports.com's Lester Johnson breaks down the game:
McHenry scouting report
McHenry gets offensive: The Warriors showed balance last week against Woodstock North, running for 331 yards and three TDs, and passing for 148 and two TDs. They would prefer to run the ball out of their Wing-T offense and need the run game to win, but proved they can be effective throwing as well. Junior QB Mike Briscoe is sixth in the area in passing yards with 446 and has five TDs. RBs Jordan Johnson, Thomas Hellios and Payton Lykins will get most of the carries. WRs Mike Borst and Kyle Postal are the team's leading receivers. They will face a confident Jacobs defense coming off a shutout of Prairie Ridge. McHenry has to take care of the ball and get a big game from the offensive line.
The Warriors D: McHenry's defense can't be satisfied after blowing a big lead to the Knights in the second half of last week's game. They gave up 21 second-half points but also had key sacks late to help maintain the lead and get the win. They will see a good passing team in Jacobs and will need to get pressure on their elusive QB, Bret Mooney. The Warriors also need a big game from the secondary. They have plenty of weapons on Jacobs, so preventing those big plays will also be key.
Jacobs scouting report
When Jacobs has the rock: Golden Eagles QB Bret Mooney threw for 273 yards and three TDs against the Wolves last week. All of the TDs were caught by WR Hunter Williams. Mooney is second in the area in passing yards with 571 and has five TDs. RBs Matt Barnes and Josh Walker were held in check as the Eagles managed only 31 rushing yards in that game. That total is not good enough, and lack of a running game makes them too one-dimensional. The offensive line needs to open some holes for them to run the ball. The Knights ran for 298 yards on the Warriors last week, so this is something the Eagles should try to exploit.
Keeping defensive momentum: Jacobs' shutout of Prairie Ridge was the first against the Wolves since 2006. The Golden Eagles forced eight fumbles and recovered four of those, and had an interception. The Eagles held the Wolves to 163 total yards. Now that the defense has confidence and momentum, they need to keep it going. Jacobs needs to stop the run first and stick to its assignments, but cannot forget about the Warriors' passing game. If they can continue to force turnovers, they will be in a good position to win.
Jacobs is trying to back up last week's play with a win this week against McHenry and has to feel like it has a shot at the Valley Division title with all the parity in the FVC. The Warriors want to make the playoffs so bad they can taste it. A win would certainly put them in a good position to do just that.
Les' pick: Jacobs 30, McHenry 21
Les' other picks
Alden-Hebron at Christian Life, Christian Life by 3
Marmion at Marian Central, Marian by 14
Marengo at Richmond-Burton, R-B by 9
Harvard at Burlington Central, Harvard by 7
Dundee-Crown at Cary-Grove, C-G by 6
CL Central at Huntley, CL Central by 4
Prairie Ridge at CL South, CL South by 7
Grayslake Central at Hampshire, Hampshire by 7
Grayslake North at Johnsburg, Grayslake North by 27
Jacobs at McHenry, Jacobs by 9
Woodstock North at Woodstock, Woodstock North by 3