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Jeske, Despot Come Up Big As Glenbard South Wins On Senior Night

Matt Jeske led the Raiders with 24 points on senior night.

Glenbard South 67 Marmion Academy 61

Behind the senior duo of Matt Jeske and Dusko Despot, Glenbard South was able to secure victory on its senior night. Twelve seniors were honored before the Raiders’ 67-61 win over Marmion Academy in Glen Ellyn Friday night.

Jeske led the Raiders with 24 points, while Despot had 16 points and five rebounds.

“Winning on senior night was really important,” said Jeske. “After losing a couple of games on the road, we really needed to pick things up, especially with playoffs coming around the corner. It was a good performance, but hopefully we can peak at the right time and play well in the playoffs.”

The 6’5 Jeske made the most of his size advantage, attacking the paint all night.

“I was just thankful that my teammates found me inside, I got a lot of good post feeds,” said Jeske. “I just tried to keep on working, because I thought I had a mismatch inside. Once I started scoring, I just started feeling it. It was just one of those nights.”

The teams went back and forth in the first quarter, swapping leads six times. The scored was tied 17-17 after the first, but the Raiders went on an 8-0 run over the first two minutes of the second quarter to take a 25-17 lead. Glenbard South (12-11) held on to the lead for the rest of the game.

Marmion (13-12) went into halftime down 38-33, but the Cadets got within two points of the Raiders quickly in the third quarter. Jeff Garofalo converted an old-fashioned three-point play on the first possession of the second half, making the score 38-36.

However, the Raiders responded, going on another 8-0 run to extend their lead. Glenbard South led by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter.

While Glenbard South head coach Wade Hardtke was happy to win on senior night, he was more pleased that his team was able to notch a win against a quality opponent.

“Senior night is always a big night for the kids, but right now this is a big win for us because that’s a great ball club we played,” said Hardtke. “Marmion is scrappy and they shoot the ball well, and that’s what makes tonight’s win a good win for us.”

Garofalo led the Cadets with 14 points, while Pete Stefanski added 13 points.

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times and yourseason.com

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Checking In: First Round Wrap-Up

Wheaton North QB John Peltz (4 total TDs this week against Jacobs) tries to escape a Glenbard North defender during the regular season – Photo from the Chicago Tribune

CLASS 5A

#6 Montini 49 #11 Woodstock North 14

Montini scored four touchdowns over a 12 play stretch in the second half to pull ahead from Woodstock North in the Broncos’ 49-14 first round victory.

The Broncos took a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Thunder battled back and cut the score to 21-14 in the second quarter. From there though, it was all Montini, as the defensing 5A state champs scored the final 28 points of the game.

Wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp had another star performance, hauling in 7 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown. The Nebraska-bound senior also had a 52 yard punt return for the game’s first touchdown.

Quarterback John Rhode continued his string of excellent games, completing 17 of his 25 pass attempts for 330 yards and four touchdowns.

Montini advances to the second round where they will play at #3 Sterling 1 pm on Saturday

#8 St. Francis 27 #9 Burlington 10

After losing in the first round of the playoffs the last two seasons to Montini, St. Francis broke through to the second round for the first time since 2008 when the Spartans won the Class 5A championship.

Defensive back Michael Hanson’s interception in the third quarter was the key play of the game. Trailing 14-10, Burlington opted not to punt on 4th and 13 from the St. Francis 36-yard line. Rockets QB Ryan Ritchie overthrew his target, and the ball landed in the hands of Hanson, who returned the pick 70 yards for a touchdown that put the Spartans up 21-10.

Running back Jack Petrando led the Spartans with 18 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Nick Donati added two touchdowns, one through the air and another on the ground.

St. Francis faces a tough test in the second round where they will go on the road to face #1 Kaneland at 7 pm on Saturday.

CLASS 6A

#3 Nazareth 35 #14 Deerfield 6

Nazareth running back Joshua Moore ran for 160 yards and four touchdowns in the Roadrunners dominant 35-6 first round win over Deerfield.

The Roadrunners took a 28-0 lead into halftime after holding the Warriors to just 19 yards of offense in the first two quarters. Deerfield scored its first and only touchdown with just 26 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Nazareth will host Cary-Grove next Saturday at 1 pm in the second round. The Roadrunners will be looking to advance to the quarterfinals for the second time in school history.

#10 Glenbard South 30 #7 Foreman 7

Running back Wesley Sanders scored two touchdowns as Glenbard South defeated Foreman 30-7 in the first round of the class 6A playoffs.

The Raiders played a sloppy game (5 fumbles, just one lost) without their starting quarterback Tyler Padera (concussion) but still dominated Foreman. Glenbard South took a 30-0 lead in the fourth quarter.

The Raiders will host Prairie Ridge next Saturday at 7 pm. The two teams met the first week of the season with Prairie Ridge winning convincingly 55-12.

#2 Prairie Ridge 49 #15 Marmion 0

Things started out well for Marmion, as the Cadets recovered a fumble on Prairie Ridge’s first offensive play of the game. However, the Cadets had a field goal attempt blocked on their ensuing possession, and things quickly went down hill.

Prairie Ridge went on to dominate the first half, taking a 42-0 lead into halftime. Quarterback Nick Nissen (12 carries, 38 yards) ran for four touchdowns. Running back Connor Greenwald added a touchdown and led the Wolves with 144 yards on 11 carries.

Marmion earned just one first down in the game while gaining only 23 yards of total offense.

#8 Lake Forest 55 #9 Fenton 20

Fenton struck first, but the Bison were unable to keep things going, losing to Lake Forest 55-20 in the first round of the class 6A playoffs.

Play-making running back Alan Geneva led the Bison with 10 catches for 97 yards and one touchdown.

Quarterback Sean Havlovic did not play for the Bison due a “school-related incident.”

Lake Forest running back Owen Williams (16 carries, 130 yards) reached the end zone four times for the Scots, who will face #1 Batavia in the second round.

CLASS 7A

#11 Carmel 28 #6 Addison Trail 20

Running backs Jordan Kos and Brian Brennan led the way for Carmel as they upset Addison Trail 28-20 in the first round of the class 7A playoffs.

Kos led the Corsairs with 31 carries for 167 yards and one touchdown while Brennan added 20 carries, 78 yards and two touchdowns. Addison Trail had only given up 48 points in the regular season, and never gave up more than 14 points in a game.

The Blazers drove down to the Carmel 11 yard line late in the fourth quarter in an attempt to send the game to overtime. However, the Corsairs forced two incompletions and time expired.

AT Quarterback Trevor Bermingham completed 19 of his 33 pass attempts for 177 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Carmel will host Crystal Lake South in the second round. The game kicks off at 7 pm Friday night.

#7 Wheaton North 28 #10 Jacobs 0

John Peltz had another strong performance as Wheaton North flew by Jacobs 28-0 in the first round.

Peltz completed 13 of his 19 pass attempts for 277 yards and four touchdowns. The junior added another touchdown on the ground.

Sophomore Matt Biegalski caught 5 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown while senior Johnny Daniels had 3 grabs for 73 yards and two touchdowns.

The Falcons’ defense was able to shut down Jacobs by holding down running back Caz Zyks. The talented back with a sweet name only gained 27 yards on 11 carries.

Wheaton North will face Rockford Boylan, the defending 6A champions, in the second round. That game kicks off at 1 pm Saturday in Rockford.

CLASS 8A

#11 Glenbard North 27 Barrington 21

Glenbard North only completed two passes in their 27-21 fupset win over Barrington, but the second one happened to be the play of the game.

With the scored tied at 21 halfway through the fourth quarter, Panthers quarterback Brian Murphy threw up a prayer into the end zone. The ball somehow fell into the hands of Logan Henshall for a touchdown (also Henshall’s first catch as a varsity player) and the Panthers took a 27-21 lead.

Once again, most of the Glenbard North offensive production came from the Jackson brothers. Junior Justin (17 carries, 95 yards) reached the end zone three times, while senior Phil ran for 122 yards on 21 carries.

The Panthers advanced to the second round where they will host Palatine at 6 pm on Saturday.

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Class 6A Playoff Mini-Previews: How Long Will Nazareth’s Dream Season Continue?

#3 Nazareth (8-1, 7-1) vs #14 Deerfield (6-3, 5-0), Sat. Oct. 29, 1 pm in LaGrange Park

Nazareth RB Joshua Moore eludes a tackler against Notre Dame

Nazareth, co-champions of the tough East Suburban Catholic Conference, enters the playoffs on a seven game winning streak. The Roadrunners, appropriately, are a run-first team. Running back Rudy Romagnano was the team’s workhorse to begin the season, but the senior suffered an ankle injury on the first play of Nazareth’s monumental victory over Joliet Catholic. Joshua Moore has taken over the full share of the load in Romagnano’s absence, and the Roadrunners haven’t missed a beat. Moore rushed for 136 yards and three touchdowns last week in the Roadrunners’ lopsided win over St. Viator.

Defensive back Kalium Ewing returned two interceptions for touchdowns last week. It was the second time this season Ewing has done that, having also returned two picks for scores against Notre Dame. Ewing is an all-around playmaker, he has also reached the end zone on offense and special teams.

Nazareth is definitely a threat to win the 6A title, but they face a challenging route to Champaign. The Roadrunners will likely have to beat 2009 champion Cary-Grove in the second round (fresh off a win over previously unbeaten Prairie Ridge) and 8-1 Prairie Ridge in the quarters before meeting 9-0 Bartlett in the semifinals.

#14 Deerfield will also pose a threat to the Roadrunners. Deerfield wrapped up a Central Suburban North championship last week with a 45-21 victory over Highland Park. The Warriors started out the season with three straight non-conference losses, but were able to finish the season with a perfect conference run of five straight wins.

Deerfield also features a run-first offense. The Warriors rushed for 478 yards in their victory over Highland Park. Fullback Tyler Vajdic led the way with 185 yards and two touchdowns while wingbacks Mark Pagano and Ryan Adkins ran for a combined 206 yards and three touchdowns. Deerfield’s win over Highland Park (5-4) was the Warriors’ only victory over a team with a winning record.

PREDICTION:

Nazareth 38 Deerfield 21

#10 Glenbard South (6-3, 4-0) vs #7 Foreman (7-2, 6-1), Fri. Oct. 28, 7:30 pm at Lane Stadium in Chicago

Glenbard South RB Wesley Sanders has made big plays for the Raiders all season long.

Glenbard South, champions of the Metro Suburban Conference, are led by big play machine Wesley Sanders. The senior running back, who has reached the end zone over 20 times this year, leads an offense that has been running on all cylinders during the Raiders five game winning streak. Sanders had 159 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the Raiders’ conference-championship clinching victory over Ridgewood in week eight. Sanders has also had big plays as a receiver and returner this year.

The Raiders’ three losses all came at the hands of playoff teams, including 9-0 Crete-Monee and 8-1 Prairie Ridge. The Raiders knock off Foreman this week, they will likely have a second-round rematch against Prairie Ridge.

The Raiders will travel to Chicago to face Foreman, the champions of the Chicago Public School’s Big Shoulders Conference. Foreman also comes into the playoffs red-hot, winning their last six games of the regular season.

PREDICTION:

Glenbard South 29 Foreman 23

#15 Marmion (5-4, 2-3) vs #2 Prairie Ridge (8-1, 5-1), Sat. Oct. 29, 1 pm in Crystal Lake

Marmion made the 6A championship game last season but the Cadets just squeaked into the playoffs this year with a 5-4 record, albeit against a challenging schedule. The Cadets’ four losses came to playoff teams that combined to lose just four games all season (Marian, Montini, Batavia and St. Francis). The Cadets have a bruising defense and like to control the game with their bruising running attack led by Kyle Kozak, Garret Becker and Cody Snodgrass.

Prairie Ridge cruised through the first eight games of the season, winning every game by at least three touchdowns, before dropping their regular season finale against Cary-Grove, 22-21 in OT. The Wolves outscored opponents 381 to 87 this season. The Wolves, angry and motivated after losing their first game, will likely be too much for the Cadets.

PREDICTION:

Prairie Ridge 31 Marmion 6

#9 Fenton (7-2, 2-2) vs #8 Lake Forest (7-2, 5-1), Fri. Oct. 28, 7:30 pm in Lake Forest

Fenton RB Alan Geneva celebrates with teammates after a touchdown.

First off, I’m really not sure how Fenton received a higher seed than Glenbard South. Yes, I know the Bison have a better record, but the two conference foes played just three weeks ago, and the Raiders won in convincing fashion 40-8. Fenton complied a pretty empty 7-2 record, winning zero games against playoff teams. In fact, the Raiders were the only playoff team they faced, and as I just said, they lost by 32.

Anyway, the Bison are led by running back Alan Geneva, who does most of his damage catching screen passes. Fenton runs an interesting offense that features a lot of screen passes out of a shotgun formation.

Lake Forest won a share of the North Suburban Lake division this season. The Scouts are led by running back Owen Williams who ran for 233 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s victory over Libertyville.

PREDICTION:

Lake Forest 35 Fenton 14

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Sanders, Glenbard South Roll By Fenton In Dominating Fashion

Glenbard South 40 Fenton 8

Play-making running back Wesley Sanders had another stellar performance as Glenbard South defeated Fenton 40-8 Friday night in Glen Ellyn.

Sanders had 131 yards of total offense and scored three touchdowns as the Raiders won their third consecutive game. The 5-9 senior has now reached the end zone 15 times this season.

“He’s a play-maker for us. People know that but he continues to make plays and its just a testament to him,” said Glenbard South (4-3, 3-0) coach Jeremy Cordell. “He’s a gifted athlete but not only that, he competes. He’s a big competitor.”

The Raiders were able to get off to a strong start offensively, scoring on their first three possessions of the game.

Sanders gave the Raiders an early 7-0 lead after scoring a touchdown on a four yard run just two minutes into the first quarter.

Running back Trevon Johnson’s two yard touchdown run capped off an 11-play drive on the Raiders’ next possession, and gave them a 14-0 lead.

Quaterback Tyler Padera then connected with Sanders on a 33 yard touchdown on the Raiders’ ensuing drive. Glenbard South was ahead 20-0 early in the second quarter.

Fenton (5-2, 0-2) quarterback Sean Havlovic threw a 16 yard touchdown pass to Gervonta Walls late in the second quarter to get the Bison on the scoreboard. Fenton then successfully converted a two-point conversion and the Bison went into halftime trailing 20-8.

The Bison were unable to reach the end zone again against a strong Glenbard South defense. The Raiders forced Havlovic into throwing five interceptions.

“I think we just did a good job of flying around. Our kids were pretty well prepared on what they were going to see,” Cordell said of his defense. “There were a couple times we kind of got on our heels, but we responded the right way and had some nice stops. I think we just kept applying pressure and it was a good night for our defense.

Glenbard South added touchdown runs by Sanders, Zach Smith and Matt Loos in the second half.

The Raiders moved to 3-0 in Metro Suburban Conference play and sit in great position to win the five team conference.

“We plan on winning the conference championship,” said Sanders. “We’ve just got to bring it next week against Ridgewood.”

Fenton lost their second consecutive game after starting the season 5-0. They remain without a win in conference play.

SCORING PLAYS

FIRST QUARTER

[10:12] GS Wesley Sanders 4 yard run (PAT good) – 7-0 GS

[2:48] GS Trevon Johnson 2 yard run (PAT good) – 14-0 GS

SECOND QUARTER

[9:35] GS Tyler Padera 33 yard pass to Wesley Sanders (PAT blocked) – 20-0 GS

[3:38] FEN Sean Havlovic 16 yard pass to Gervonta Walls (2-point good, Havlovic to Castellena) – 20-8 GS

THIRD QUARTER

[7:01] GS Wesley Sanders 11 yard run (2-point fails) – 26-8 GS

[2:41] GS Zach Smith 12 yard run (PAT good) – 33-8 GS

FOURTH QUARTER

[10:51] GS Matt Loos 8 yard run (PAT good) – 40-8 GS

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times. It also appears on yourseason.com

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Week Seven Preview: Fenton at Glenbard South

Fenton (5-1, 0-1) at Glenbard South (3-3, 2-0), 7:00 Friday in Glen Ellyn

Fenton and Glenbard South will meet Friday night in a Metro Suburban Conference battle. Fenton is coming off  a 32-20 defeat against conference foe Ridgewood. It was the Bisons’ first loss of the season. Glenbard South has bounced back from a 1-3 start by winning the first two conference games on their schedule. It will be showdown between two of the best playmakers in the MSC, Fenton’s Alan Geneva and Glenbard South’s Wesley Sanders.

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

Fenton –

Week One: 30-29 win at Leyden

Week Two: 28-7 win vs Maine South

Week Three: 20-7 win vs Rich South

Week Four: 20-16 win at Southeast

Week Five: 56-6 win vs St. Francis de Sales

Week Six: 20-32 loss vs Ridgewood

Glenbard South-

Week One: 12-55 loss vs Prairie Ridge

Week Two: 30-28 win at Bloom Township

Week Three: 19-23 loss vs Rich East

Week Four: 19-64 loss at Crete Monee

Week Five: 35-21 win vs Elmwood Park

Week Six: 39-21 win at Riverside-Brookfield

PLAYERS TO WATCH

RB Alan Geneva, Fenton: The versatile running back has been a touchdown scoring machine for the Bison this season. Geneva has registered 15 touchdowns, the majority which have come off of the Bison’s bread and butter play, the screen pass. Geneva came out of the gate strong with a eye-popping performance in the Bison’s opening week 30-29 win over Leyden. The senior had 12 receptions for 271 yards and 3 TDs. Geneva failed to reach the end zone in a game for the first time this season last week in Fenton’s first lost of the season (32-20 vs Ridgewood). It is no surprise that the Bisons struggled without a strong performance from Geneva. Fenton will need a strong bounce-back game from Geneva if they hope to get their first Metro Suburban Conference win of the season this week at Glenbard South.

RB Wesley Sanders, Glenbard South: Sanders is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. The 5’9 senior running back has reach the end zone in every game this season. He has 10 total touchdowns (5 rushing, 3 kick return, 2 receiving), seven of which have come from 50 yards or more out. The Raiders have won two straight games to kick off their conference schedule, and Sanders has been a big part of their success. He has scored four touchdowns and rushed for 302 yards the last two weeks in victories over Elmwood Park and Riverside-Brookfield. Get the ball in Sanders’ hands, and good things will happen for the Raiders.

PREDICTION: Glenbard South 35 Fenton 28

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