Football Friday 2022 // Week Three

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Can you believe it? We are already to week three of the high school football season! The non-conference portion of the schedule wraps up this week as every one of our local teams are playing at home this week. Let’s dig into the highlights. Football Friday is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

Brother Rice vs. Benet Academy

We kick off our coverage with Benet Academy continuing their string of four straight home games to start the season, this one being played at College of DuPage. The Redwings coming off a win over Moline and hosting CCL rival Brother Rice.

The Crusaders leading 7-0 early but Benet ready to respond. Quarterback Jacob Hoeppel throws one up for the big fella, Pierce Walsh who makes the leaping grab in the corner of the end zone in double coverage. All tied up at 7’s.

Brother Rice looking to answer back, but the Benet defense stands tall and forces a turnover on downs as Owen Takahashi knocks the pass away.

Redwings leading 10-7 with under two minutes left in the game after a Daniel Flores field goal. 4th and 9 from the Benet 30 and Randall Nauden takes the swing pass before breaking a pair of tackles and finding his way into the end zone. Brother Rice takes a 13-10 lead with 1:30 to play.

Under a minute left, Benet looking to move the ball down field. Hoeppel rolls left and makes a great throw across his body to Andrew Tyson who has a step on the Crusaders defender. But he can’t hang on to the catch. Brother Rice makes an interception a few plays later to seal the game. Benet drops a 13-10 heartbreaker and falls to 1-2 on the season.

St. Mary’s vs. Neuqua Valley

Neuqua Valley back at home against a very strong out of state opponent, St. Mary’s from Missouri. The Wildcats won this matchup down in St. Louis a season ago.

Neuqua turning to junior quarterback Ryan Mohler to run the offense as Mark Mennecke recovers from his ankle injury. Under five minutes remaining in the first quarter, Mohler finds sophomore tight end Ryan Mascari for a 42 yard touchdown. The first TD pass of Mohler’s career puts NV up 7-0.

The Wildcats have shot themselves in the foot at various points this season and we see another example here as a long Neuqua drive ends with a fumble that is recovered by St. Mary’s and returned 80 yards for the touchdown. The Cats block the extra point and still lead 7-6.

Just before the end of the half, Neuqua now trailing 12-7. Coach Ellinghaus utilizing multiple players throughout the game to run the Wildcat formation at quarterback. On this play Grant Larkin makes a great snag and runs it in from six yards out to give the blue and gold a 14-12 lead at halftime.

The Neuqua Valley defense continues its strong play, holding the high powered Dragons offense to eight second half points. Nick Lendino makes the interception in the end zone to seal the 21-20 victory for the Wildcats, who improve to 2-1 on the year.

Riverside University/Meir vs. Naperville Central

Just like Neuqua Valley, Naperville Central also hoping to bounce back from a tough late game loss a week ago. The Redhawks also facing an out of state opponent in the Riverside University/Meir co-op from Milwaukee.

The Hawks hit the ground running, literally on the legs of running back Tyler Dodd and quarterback Chris McCormack. Dodd scored three first half touchdowns and racked up 96 rushing yards, while McCormack added a TD run of his own.

Speaking of running, a pair of second half touchdowns from Caleb Brown put NC on top 44-0 and started the running clock. Eventually Naperville Central impoved their record to 2-1 after a dominating 44-8 victory over the visitors from Wisconsin.

O’Fallon vs. Waubonsie Valley

Waubonsie Valley fell just short of its first win of the season last week. The Warriors host a very tough downstate team in O’Fallon over at Dick Kerner stadium.

Not really much to say about this game besides, it was not Waubonsie Valley’s night. O’Fallon quarterback Colt Michael threw for six touchdowns in the first half alone! The Warriors did shutout the Panthers in the second half, but that could not prevent the 40-0 loss. Waubonsie falls to 0-3 while O’Fallon stays perfect at 3-0 after week three.

Belleville East vs. Metea Valley

Metea Valley comes home for the first time this season in search of their first win of 2022. The Mustangs also hosting a team making a long distance drive in week three, the Belleville East Lancers.

Standings and Schedules

You may have noticed that Naperville North is absent from the highlights this week. The Huskies are playing a Saturday matchup at home against another St. Mary’s, this one from Michigan as they look to move to 3-0 on the young season. Neuqua Valley, Naperville Central and DeKalb are all tied for second place at 2-1.

It was not exactly a banner week for the CCL/ESCC green division as all four teams lost in Week three. St. Rita fell to Loyola, Nazareth was defeated by Marist and Notre Dame was rolled by Mt. Carmel.

Next week conference play begins. Benet will host a scuffling St. Rita squad at Benedictine while Nazareth hosts Notre Dame.

In the DVC we have one of the most anticipated matchups in the state as Neuqua Valley hosts Naperville North in a rematch of last seasons Week 9 thriller. Naperville Central welcomes Waubonsie Valley while Metea Valley heads west to visit a suddenly red hot DeKalb team.

Still time for teams to right the ship as we approach the mid point of the season. Be sure to stick with us as the weather cools down and the action on the gridiron heats up! Thanks for watching, see you next time. For Football Friday, I’m Justin Cornwell.

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