Game of the Week: Breaking down Huntley-Prairie Ridge

Sarah Nader-
Prairie Ridge's Danny Meikel runs a play during the fourth quarter of Friday's game against Cary-Grove September 27, 2013. Cary-Grove defeated Prairie Ridge, 6-0.
Sarah Nader- Prairie Ridge's Danny Meikel runs a play during the fourth quarter of Friday's game against Cary-Grove September 27, 2013. Cary-Grove defeated Prairie Ridge, 6-0.

Prairie Ridge (2-3, 1-2)

at Huntley (2-3, 0-2)

7:15 p.m. Friday’s Lester Johnson breaks down the game:

Prairie Ridge scouting report

When the Wolves have the ball: Prairie Ridge managed only 54 total yards last week and turned the ball over five times, as Cary-Grove shut it out in a 6-0 game. The option offense was not producing for the Wolves and they had trouble stringing together successful plays, and creating momentum. Prairie Ridge used some three-WR sets but had their troubles, throwing three interceptions. Sophomore QB Luke Annen started the game and junior QB Brett Covalt finished it. Covalt had missed the week before, because of a concussion, and Annen started that game and won. RB’s Danny Meikel, Colin Rempert and Brent Anderson need a big game, and the offensive line must control the line of scrimmage. They face a tough Huntley defense that won’t be as fast as C-G, but is hungry for a win.

Wolves “D” improving: Prairie Ridge allowed only two field goals last week against Cary-Grove and forced three turnovers. The Wolves defense bent but did not break, as they kept the Trojans out of the end zone. Shane Evans, Austin Nirva, Brian Siggeman and Erick Scott played a great game on the defensive line against C-G, in PR’s 3-3-5 defense. The Wolves will face a balanced Red Raiders offense with decent speed and big-play ability. PR has allowed an average of 19 points a game, but only 7.5 in the last two. Take away the run and limit the big passing plays by Huntley and PR should be in a position to win.

Huntley scouting report

Red Raiders need offense: Like Prairie Ridge, Huntley’s offense has struggled at times this season. They’re averaging 25 points a game, but only scored 14 last week against a tough Dundee-Crown defense. Huntley had three touchdowns negated due to holding calls and needs to be more disciplined. They also missed 22- and 28-yard field goal attempts down the stretch that could have tied the game. They moved the ball, but just need to finish. The good news for Huntley is that Prairie Ridge seems to have some trouble with passing teams. That could equal a big game from QB Blake Jacobs and his two favorite targets, WRs Josh Esikiel and Brandon Altergott. Jake Scalise and Mitch Kawell will get most of the carries, but running against PR might not be easy. They have to handle the tough defensive line of PR to win.

Defending against option: Huntley did a good job defending the C-G option in Week 3, so they know what they are up against with PR. The Raiders have had their trouble against the pass, especially late in games, but that is not a strength of this Wolves team. Against the option, they have to stick to their assignments and stop the fullback running between the tackles because that usually opens up the outside later. Getting pressure in the offensive backfield paid off for C-G and would do the same for Huntley. The Wolves have had problems with turnovers and the Raiders need to take advantage of that.

Final word

The Wolves, who average 14 points a game, have been shut out in two of their past three games. The Raiders have lost three straight games and are in real danger of missing the playoffs after a 2-0 start. This could be a low scoring game with two struggling offenses.

Lester Johnson’s pick: Huntley 14, Prairie Ridge 7

Lester’s other picks

Marengo at Burlington Central: Burlington by 7

Richmond-Burton at Rockford Christian: R-B by 14

North Boone at Harvard: Harvard by 7

St. Francis at Marian Central: Marian Central by 10

Grayslake North at CL Central: CL Central by 3

Jacobs at CL South: Jacobs by 14

Grayslake Central at Dundee-Crown: D-C by 14

Woodstock North at Hampshire: Hampshire by 7

Woodstock at Johnsburg: Johnsburg by 3

McHenry at Cary-Grove: C-G by 21

Alden-Hebron at Mooseheart: Mooseheart by 14

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