Week 1 state football roundup

H. Rick Bamman - 
Huntley head coach Matt Zimolzak talks with players during pregame drills.
H. Rick Bamman - Huntley head coach Matt Zimolzak talks with players during pregame drills.

Bad news for Bishop McNamara

As if getting shut out by IC Catholic in the season opener wasn't bad enough, the defending Class 3A state champions were dealt some major blows on the injury front.

None were bigger than the thumb injury suffered by wide receiver Chris Bell. The Western Michigan commit was set to undergo an MRI Monday with a timetable for his return not yet set.

Bell compiled 11 touchdowns and 684 yards last fall and was expected to be a key piece in McNamara's title defense.

The Fightin' Irish, who were ranked No. 1 in the Class 3A preseason poll, also had quarterback Giavion Mason and running back Ariez Andrew exit during the 34-0 loss at IC Catholic. Bishop McNamara will host Class 8A stalwart Bolingbrook on Friday.

- Kyle Nabors, Daily Journal

Bradley-Bourbonnais using new technology

Bradley-Bourbonnais is using advanced technology to monitor its player performance.

Using small GPS trackers, the Boilermaker coaching and training staff, has access to mountains of information on player performance that they are using to adjust training schedules and formulate practice plans as well as provide better for their player's well-being.

Similar technology, provided by Catapult Sports, is now being used by professional sports organizations such as the Golden State Warriors and elite college programs such as Notre Dame. Bradley-Bourbonnais was the first high school football program in the United States to be outfitted with the equipment.

And while the data provided is so overwhelming it takes even a trained eye some time to get a handle of, there's one column that seems to stand out when the data drops after a game.

Who is the fastest?

Although the smart money probably would have been on Iowa recruit Camron Harrell, who also excels in track in the spring, his 19.4 clocking did not take honors in Friday night's 34-0 victory over Champaign Centennial.

The top speed honor of 20.2 was shared by two players, defensive lineman Tyrone Leftridge and quarterback Morion Burtis Jr., who ran for 179 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

- Steve Soucie, Daily Journal

Genoa-Kingston picks up statement win

Rockford Lutheran might not have had the weapons it had last year, but the Crusaders still were riding a 24-game home winning streak into its season opener against Genoa-Kingston.

But the Cogs, under second-year coach Bill McCarty, came away with a statement win, 32-30.

The Crusaders missed a field goal in the closing seconds that would have given them the win, but the Cogs were in position to win thanks to a 78-yard touchdown pass form second-year starting quarterback Zach Butler to senior Zach Miller with two minutes left.

Butler was 11 for 18 with 209 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions – plus he returned a kick 92 yards for a touchdown and had 77 rushing yards and two scores no the ground. He even played at safety for Genoa-Kingston in the win.

The Cogs' next two games are against teams that finished last year with losing records – North Boone, who was 4-5 last year and is 0-1 this year, and Rock Falls, which was 0-9 last year but beat Rockford Christian in its opener.

- Eddie Carifio, Daily Chronicle

No player shortage at Lincoln-Way East

Lincoln-Way East coach Rob Zvonar and his staff worked hard in the offseason to blend his returning players and the 40 or so transfers the Griffins picked up from Lincoln-Way North, which closed after last school year. Uniform numbers may be a problem – East has more than 100 players on its roster – but the family atmosphere was evident in the 49-12 season-opening win over South Bend Adams.

- Dick Goss, Herald-News

Joliet Catholic faces an uphill battle

Joliet Catholic lost 20 starters to graduation, and its inexperienced group fell at Franklin, Wisconsin, 24-14. The Hilltoppers visit Wheaton North on Friday night, then tackle the East Suburban Catholic schedule. The key will be to get to five victories and into the playoffs. If the Hilltoppers get there, they will be a tough out in 5A.

- Dick Goss, Herald-News

Prairie Ridge looks good

Prairie Ridge turned in a solid all-around performance in its 26-14 victory at Cary-Grove, a matchup of teams tied at the No. 3 spot in The Associated Press Class 6A poll.

The Wolves were good on defense, holding C-G fullback Tyler Pennington to 48 yards, and controlled field position with punter Derek Greiner, who put two second-quarter punts on C-Gís 3. The Wolves scored after both of those kicks.

Wolves quarterback Samson Evans was limited to 62 yards rushing, but hit tight end Austen Ferbet for a pair of touchdowns, and also hit Ferbet with a hook-and-lateral play for another touchdown.

- Joe Stevenson, Northwest Herald

Huntley still stout on D

Huntley sported the most dominant defensive unit in the Fox Valley Conference last season, including several players who went on at NCAA scholarship schools. Although there are mostly new starters, the Red Raiders proved formidable in the opener as they shut out Jacobs, 35-0.

Defensive ends Olalere Oladipo had a pair of sacks early, celebrating his commitment to Illinois the day before. And the other end, Caleb Jones, also sacked Golden Eagles quarterback Chris Katrenick once.

The Raiders opened the season at No. 1 in Class 8A and face a tough Prairie Ridge team in a key FVC game this week.

- Joe Stevenson, Northwest Herald

High-flying Hawks

Johnsburg defeated No. 10 Plano, 32-20, in their opener Friday, a meeting between a pair of ranked teams in Class 4A. Johnsburg was No. 8, Plano No. 10.

Johnsburg has six third-year varsity starters and looks like the favorite in the new Kishwaukee River Conference. Running back Alex Peete had 22 carries for 128 yards and a pair of touchdown runs. Wide receiver Nico LoDolce caught seven passes for 112 yards.

- Joe Stevenson, Northwest Herald

Final 11.3 seconds last 40 minutes in Seneca

The Seneca Fighting Irish rallied from a 14-0 deficit to stun visiting Dwight in Week 1, but they had to wait a while to close out the comeback.

A 40-minute lightning delay came with 11.3 seconds remaining, the Irish leading 20-14 and the Trojans facing fourth-and-goal from the Seneca four-yard line. After all that waiting, Seneca's defense stuffed Dwight on the first play back to seal the upset.

- J.T. Pedelty, Ottawa Times

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