We are down to the final two games of the regular season and the stakes could not be much higher in Week 8. Three of our teams are one win away from playoff eligibility while another will be on the outside looking in with a loss. Let’s get to the highlights.
Metea Valley vs Naperville Central
We kick off Week 8 with Metea Valley traveling to Naperville Central. The Redhawks enter the night at 4-3, so a win over the Mustangs will get them that all important 5th victory. Metea at 3-4 needs to win the next two games to make the playoffs for just the second time ever.
Metea Valley punting from their own end zone as Logan Frederick tries to just get the kick off. Reggie Fleurima snags the line drive kick and sprints upfield and takes it 31 yards for the opening touchdown. One of the shortest punt return touchdowns you’ll ever see as it’s 7-0 Redhawks.
Later in the half, Tyler Dodd gets the handoff from Owen Prucha and breaks tackles en route to the end zone. Naperville Central rolling up 28-0!
In the second quarter, Logan Frederick drops back and finds Jalen Johnson streaking down field. No catching him as the Mustangs get on the board and trail 28-7 at halftime.
But too much Redhawk offense. In the third quarter, Prucha with a strike to Fleurima on the slant. Naperville Central is now playoff eligible with win number five after a 43-14 win.
Waubonsie Valley vs Naperville North
Waubonsie Valley looking to play spoiler on the road at Naperville North. The Huskies are also just a game away from clinching a playoff spot after three straight wins over Dekalb, Naperville Central and Metea Valley.
Five minutes into the game and Ethan Robert takes a handoff and breaks through the right hand side. The Huskie back shakes a tackle along the 45 yard scamper. He would score a one yard touchdown to open the scoring later in the drive.
In the second quarter, Aidan Gray rolls to his left and hits Zeke Williams who taps his toes in bounds for a 31 yard touchdown. Naperville North up 21-0!
Midway through the third quarter, Waubonsie gets the offense going. Luke Elsea finds his top receiver Tyler Helbing for a leaping touchdown catch from nine yards out. Warriors back in the game down 21-7.
Warriors down 28-13 late in the 4th after a Luke Williams touchdown catch. Elsea tosses a screen pass to Jacob Razo who follows some great blocking right up the middle for a 69 yard yard touchdown. But the Huskies would recover the ensuing onside kick and run out the clock. Naperville North is playoff eligible for the first time since 2017 after a 28-19 win over Waubonsie Valley.
Joliet Catholic vs Benet Academy
A long time rivalry renewed with Joliet Catholic visiting Benet Academy. The 4-3 Redwings coming off a bye week, picking up a COVID forfeit victory in the process. JCA and hulking running back Jordan Anderson enter with a 7-0 record after Anderson ran for 320 yards and 6 touchdowns in last week’s win over Brother Rice.
The Redwings already leading 6-0 late in the first quarter, when Benet quarterback Anthony Picciolini with a great play design to find a wide open Ryan Snell for a four yard touchdown. BA fired up and leading 13-0 after the first quarter.
But the Hilltoppers find their footing in the second quarter. After a pair of short TD runs from Vinny Iannantone, Jordan Anderson makes a catch from TJ Schlageter and takes it all the way to the goal line. The 6’3 230 pound back puts his team up 21-13 one play later.
Opening drive of the second half for Benet. Picciolini drops a beautiful pass into the arms of Ryan Snell for the long touchdown. Redwings down 21-20.
But in the third quarter, Jake Fieldman takes over with a 23 yard touchdown catch and a 65 yard put return for a touchdown. That puts the Hilltoppers up 35-20 and they do not look back. JCA moves to 8-0 while Benet falls to 4-4 with one game to play.
Dekalb vs Neuqua Valley
Our final game is a bit of a David vs Goliath as the undefeated Neuqua Valley Wildcats host the Dekalb Barbs. The Barbs come into this one as the lone winless team in the DVC as they try to put an end to NV’s perfect season.
First drive of the game for Neuqua Valley and quarterback Mark Mennecke hits Miles Miskel with a 41 yard touchdown pass. The Wildcats jump out to a 13-0 advantage.
Following a Dekalb touchdown run, Grant Larkin takes the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for the touchdown. Another big time play for Larkin as the Cats go up 20-6 at halftime.
Third quarter now and Palmer Domschke takes the handoff and score from eight yards out. Wildcats go up 27-6 and go on to win 34-13 to stay a perfect 8-0.
Standings and Schedules
That keeps Neuqua Valley on top of the Week 8 DVC standings with Naperville North one game back. The Huskies and Naperville Central both pick up that all important 5th win. Metea Valley is now all but eliminated with its 5th loss of the year.
Benet Academy drops down into third place in the CCL/ESCC Green Division with St. Rita still rolling at the top. Nazareth moves into second place thanks to a better conference record at the moment.
The Week 9 schedule is a little different this season in the DVC with the final week’s matchups being decided by conference standings after Week 8. So the number 1 seed it Neuqua Valley and with Naperville North’s win, the Huskies secure 2nd place. So that means the Wildcats will host Naperville North next week. Naperville Central in third place will host 4th place, which is…Metea Valley. So the exact same matchup we just saw. 5th place Waubonsie Valley will host 6th place Dekalb, a team they defeated 17-10 back in Week 6. With Neuqua, North and Central already at 5 wins or more and Waubonsie, Metea and Dekalb eliminated, the final week is more for pride and playoff seeding this year.
In the CCL/ESCC Green Division the regular season wraps up with the final inter-division matchups of the year. St. Rita hosts Notre Dame. But the marquee contest is Benet traveling to Nazareth. Both teams hold identical 4-4 records, so the winner will earn playoff eligibility while the loser will see their season come to a close.
Next Week’s Football Friday will actually be released on Sunday morning so that we can included the first round playoff matchups that will be announced next Saturday night. But while you wait the full highlights of all four games can still be found on NCTV17.com and the NCTV17 Sports YouTube page. We’ll see you then! For Football Friday, I’m Justin Cornwell.
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