Football Friday 2019 // Week 1

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We are back! Season 3 of Football Friday, let’s get right into an action packed Week 1.

We begin with the return of a long dormant rivalry as Naperville North hosts Benet Academy. Redwings head coach Pat New spent 7 years on these sidelines as an assistant for the Huskies before taking over at Benet.

Benet already up 7-0 in the first quarter, Redwing QB Colin Gillespie with a TD on the ground and now he has one through the air as volleyball star Augie Mazza is used to going up for the ball, and he comes down for the TD and a 14-0 lead.

Into the 2nd quarter, Gillespie having himself a game, he slides through the Huskie defense for his third touchdown of the game. He would add another to put BA up 28-0 at the half.

North finally getting into a groove in the 4th quarter, Matt Maschmeier takes the pass from Anthony Gabrione before bobbing and weaving his way into the end zone.

After a couple turnovers and an onside kick, North trails 28-14 when Gabrione throws up a prayer, that is answered by Matt Maschmeier who rips the ball away from the Redwing defender for the touchdown. It’s a one possession game! But the Redwings recover the ensuing onside kick and hang on for the 28-21 win to start the year 1-0.

Let’s move across town to Waubonsie Valley. The Warriors with a tough test to start the season with Oak Park River Forest in the house. WV won this matchup 21-14 in week 1 a year ago.

Opening drive for Waubonsie, 3rd and 15 but nobody sees junior Elijah Lee as Ethan Nelson hits him for the first down, but Lee has his mind set on high goals, breaking tackles and racing across the field 61 yards for the first touchdown of the game.

Warriors up 17-0 in the third, but OPRF with back to back touchdowns to get right back into the game, the 2nd of which is this incredible run from Huskies quarterback Jaden McGill who breaks the tackle of seemingly every player on the field, going 39 yards for the score.

Next drive for WV and Ethan Nelson responds with his 3rd touchdown pass of the game, this one from 22 yards out to Demari Wilson. Waubonsie Valley picks up the win on senior night, 23-14.

Naperville Central on the road at Hinsdale Central in a battle of two of the state’s perennial powers. Star junior Sam Jackson takes the reigns at QB after putting up big numbers as a wide receiver last year.

Hinsdale Central would strike first in what developed into a defensive battle, Red Devil QB Michael Brescia keeps it himself and shrugs off defenders en route to a 61 yard touchdown. Hinsdale up 7-3 early.

In the 2nd quarter, Naperville Central in the red zone, Sam Jackson finds Trevor Simpson in the flat for the go ahead touchdown, or so they thought. A holding penalty brings it back and forces a Redhawk field goal and a 7-6 deficit.

Late in the 4th , last chance for Naperville Central, Sam Jackson heaves it just beyond the reach of Trevor Simpson and Jadon Thompson. Hinsdale Central hangs on for a 14-6 win.

Neuqua Valley and 2nd year starter Mark Gronowski also on the road, looking for its first ever victory at Glenbard North. The Panthers hope to rebound after a rare down season in 2018.

Wildcats trailing in the 2nd half when Mark Gronowski audibles to himself for a draw up the middle…good call QB1. Neuqua takes a 14-10 lead.

Later in the half, NV catches a break as Gronowski loses the ball, but junior running back Armani Moreno is in the right place at the right time as he scoops and scores. Neuqua scores 20 unanswered points in the 2nd half as the Wildcats start the season 1-0.

Metea Valley and new head coach John Parpet open the season against Wheaton Warrenville South and star kicker Jack Olson. Olson set the state record with 8 field goals against the Mustangs in week one a year ago.

The Tigers would not need Olson’s services in this one, building a big lead at halftime with a balanced offensive attack.

The Mustangs did have the most explosive play of the game as dynamic running back CJ Wilcox breaks off an 80 yard touchdown run down the sidelines to paydirt. Brighter days lie ahead for this Metea Valley squad as Wheaton South cruises in the opener.

Week one is in the books so let’s take a look at the Dupage Valley Conference standings and hey look, there’s Dekalb! The Barbs are full-fledged DVC members this year and picked up a win over Lake Park. Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley sit in a tie for first at 1-0.

The East Suburban Catholic Conference has now merged with the Chicago Catholic League for football only, creating a 24 team, six division conference. Benet is in the Orange division along with De La Salle and St. Laurence, who both won tonight, while Nazareth plays on Saturday.

Moving on to the week 2 schedule and we’ll continue to just focus on the Orange division of the CCL/ESCC. Benet opens the home portion of the schedule with Moline next Friday night.

In the DVC, plenty of tough competition to go around. Big road tests for Neuqua Valley at Stevenson and Waubonsie Valley up to Libertyville while Metea looks for win number one at Lake Park. Not any easier for the home teams as Naperville North gets 7A powerhouse Batavia while Naperville Central looks to bounce back against Lincoln Way East.

It’s great to be back into the high school football season, we’ll see you next week with a full slate of six games to go over. Thanks for watching Football Friday, I’m Justin Cornwell.

You can find previous Football Friday episodes here!

A list of all 24 teams from the CCL/ESCC football conference.