Football Friday 2022 // Week Nine

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The final week of the regular season is here as we kick off Week Nine of Football Friday! Some big time matchups and one key battle for a playoff spot spread over two nights. The DVC teams playing on Thursday and the CCL/ESCC playing on Friday. Let’s get started with the highlights. This segment is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

Nazareth Academy vs. Benet Academy

You may be wondering how we aren’t starting with the Crosstown Classic round two? But stakes don’t get much higher than this one between Nazareth Academy and Benet Academy. Both teams enter at 4-4, meaning one team will advance to the playoffs with a win, while the loser will be seeing their season come to an end. The Redwings return home to Benedictine University for the first time in nearly a month after a long stretch of road contests.

Nazareth takes the opening drive down the field inside the ten. Sophomore quarterback Logan Malchak throws to Wisconsin recruit Justin Taylor for the touchdown to give the roadrunners a 7-0 lead.

In the second quarter more of the same as Benet struggles to get stops. Malchak with a 14-yard touchdown strike to Zach Hayes. Nazareth up 28-0 at halftime.

Benet is unable to get anything going until late in the 4th quarter when freshman quarterback Ryan Kubacki comes into the game. The snap catches him off guard but he makes the right read and heads into the end zone to break the shutout. Nazareth all but assures a playoff spot with the win while Benet will have to hope for something miraculous to sneak into the playoffs with their four wins.

Naperville North vs. Naperville Central

With only a six team conference, there are going to be some repeat opponents. And that means that for the second time in the last four weeks Naperville North and Naperville Central met up for the Crosstown Classic in Week Nine. This time, Naperville Central is the host instead of North Central College. Naperville North in search of revenge after falling to the RedHawks 10-7 in overtime last month. Meanwhile, Naperville Central can win the DVC Championship with a win and a Neuqua Valley loss.

The Redhawks get the ball first, Chris McCormack drops back and has time to deliver a great pass to running back Tyler Dodd on the wheel route down the sidelines. That leads to a Logan Ellison field goal to put Central up 3-0.

But the Huskies have a response, Aidan Gray hands off to Danny Eloe who pushes his way three yards into the end zone. Naperville North takes a 7-3 lead.

Redhawks back on offense as McCormack looks to make the pitch on the option, but Jackson Bower makes a fantastic play to read it and knock the ball free. He then makes the recovery to set up another Huskie touchdown.

Naperville North is able to pull away in the second half, Cole Arl goes up the middle for a 16-yard touchdown run. The Huskies enter the playoffs at 7-2 and avenge the loss to their rivals by a dominant score of 31-3.

Neuqua Valley vs. Metea Valley

Neuqua Valley traveled to Metea Valley in Week Nine for a rematch of the Week Six contest, which was won by Neuqua Valley. The Wildcats are looking to shake off the loss to DeKalb and claim the outright DVC championship with a win. The Mustangs would love to pull off the shocking upset to wrap up their 2022 season.

In the opening quarter, Ryan Mohler hands off to Matt Chevalier who cuts right and gets a nice downfield block before finding the end zone. Wildcats up 7-0 after the first quarter.

Midway through the second, Mohler drops back to pass and throws a dime to Grant Larkin in the end zone. Coverage was not bad, just a better throw and catch as Neuqua goes up 14-0.

Just before halftime, Metea deep in its own territory. Nicolas Lendino makes one of his many interceptions on the season and starts working his way back up field. Eventually he finds space to his right and takes it in as the Wildcats take a 28-0 halftime lead.

Final minutes of the game, Neuqua up 35-0, but Mustang defensive back Lucas Van Vlerah steps in front of the Mohler pass and takes it all the way back for the touchdown. A nice way for the senior to end his career. But the Wildcats celebrate as they pick up the win and the 2022 outright DVC Championship after a 5-1 conference season.

Waubonsie Valley vs. DeKalb

Waubonsie Valley travels out west to DeKalb with the last opportunity to avoid a winless season coming against the Barbs. DeKalb riding high after earning playoff eligibility in a 14-0 upset win over Neuqua Valley last week.

DeKalb moving the ball well early. Jamari Brown knifes his way through the defense and puts the Barbs on top 7-0 in the early going.

Near the end of the first quarter, Waubonsie quarterback Luke Elsea throws a deep pass to Sean Bizon for 25 yards.

The drive stalls but Warriors kicker John Dardis steps in and drills a 39 yard field goal. Waubonsie only trailing 7-3 at halftime.

But in the second half, DeKalb is able to run away with the game. Talen Tate gets the handoff and sprints down the sidelines for a 55-yard score. The Barbs clinch a playoff berth with their sixth win of the season while the Waubonsie Valley seniors say goodbye to their teammates as the year comes to an end.

Standings and Schedules

So the final DVC standings after Week Nine see Neuqua Valley win the conference crown after a 5-1 season. It’s a three way tie for second between the other three playoff teams, Naperville North, Naperville Central and DeKalb. If Neuqua had lost tonight, that would have been quite the knot to untangle.

St. Rita finishes in first in the CCL/ESCC Green Division after a dominant win over Notre Dame on Friday night. Both teams will be heading to the playoffs as will Nazareth. Benet will have to wait for the playoff announcements Saturday night to see if they can somehow make the cut in class 6A as a four win team.

If you are watching this on Saturday, October 22nd the IHSA playoff brackets will be announced later this evening. You can follow our social media accounts including @NCTV17 on Twitter to see who Neuqua Valley, Naperville North and Naperville Central will be playing and when their games will be next weekend. Despite the end of the road for several of our teams, fear not! Football Friday will live on to see at least one more week with the local round one playoff highlights. The post season journey is about to get underway, see you next week. For Football Friday, I’m Justin Cornwell.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!