Football Friday has become Spring Football Saturday! We are back for another season, certainly one out of the ordinary for the six-week spring high school football season.
Most games will be played this season Saturday afternoons, thus the name change, but Benet Academy had to be different and play the first several weeks of its season on Friday nights. So let’s dig in to the highlights for Spring Football Saturday, with a game from Friday night.
Benet Academy vs. St. Ignatius
The Redwings traveling to Chicago to take on St. Ignatius to start the condensed season. BA took down the Wolfpack 35-6 last year.
A quiet first half for both teams so we jump to the third quarter. New Redwing quarterback Nick Bafia keeps it himself and follows a big hole opened by his offensive line. 60 yards untouched to pay dirt as Benet goes up 7-0.
Into the 4th quarter, St. Ignatius ties the game at 7-7 after a four-yard touchdown run from QB Leo Rugai.
Under a minute to go in the game. Benet driving for the go ahead score, Bafia drops the screen pass off to Nick Jonhson who breaks a tackle and glides into the end zone. That’s the game winner as the Redwings start the season with a tough 14-7 victory.
Naperville North vs. Neuqua Valley
Now on to the Saturday matchups. Let’s begin with the defending DVC champions from Neuqua Valley, hosting the Naperville North Huskies to start the conference season.
Neuqua Valley leading 9-0 in the second half. The Wildcats turn to a sophomore to run the offense this season and Mark Mennecke is more than up to the task as he takes it in on a nine yard scramble. 16-0 NV.
Later in the half, the young Wildcat signal caller showing off his speed and toughness, breaking through the defense en route to a 30 yard touchdown run.
Naperville North will not go away despite trailing by as many as 21. Aidan Gray with the deep ball to Stephan Williams from 30 yards out.
Last chance for the Huskies who trail by seven with 30 seconds to play. But the onside kick is too strong and Neuqua Valley recovers and hangs on for the 29-22 victory.
Waubonsie Valley vs. Naperville Central
Another District 203 vs 204 matchup as Naperville Central hosts Waubonsie Valley. Some new faces on both sidelines as Redhawk QB Sam Jackson graduated in December to enroll at TCU, handing the reins to Owen Prucha. Waubonsie Valley has a new head coach as Tom Baumgartner takes over after the retirement of Paul Murphy.
A player who switched sidelines over the offseason is running back Antonio Torres. The Warrior turned Redhawk takes it to his former team right off the bat as takes the pass from Prucha and dances through the defense nearly un touched for a 55 yard touchdown.
In the second quarter, Torres takes the handoff to the left side and bursts through the hole, this time from 60 yards out. Three touchdowns in the game for Torres.
This game is all Naperville Central. In the third quarter, Prucha throws a receiver screen to junior Reggie Fluerima, who announced his verbal commitment to Northwestern earlier in the week. Another 60-yard TD. Redhawks roll as head coach Mike Stine earns career win number 100!
Metea Valley vs. Dekalb
Metea Valley traveling west down I-88 to Dekalb to begin the season behind junior quarterback Logan Fredrick. These two teams squared off for a thrilling 31-30 matchup a season ago.
The Barbs looking sharp offensively to start the game. Trenton Kyler keeps the ball himself and scampers in for six. Dekalb up 14-0 early.
Metea Valley battles back as junior quarterback Logan Fredrick fires to a John Flynn who makes a fantastic contested catch in the corner of the end zone. Mustangs down 14-7.
Dekalb still rolling on offense late in the first half. Kyler and receiver Toriano Tate connect for their second touchdown of the game. Barbs up 37-7 at halftime.
In the second half, Metea Valley not ready to roll over. Fredrick finds Jalen Johnson open for the touchdown. Great play but too little too late as Dekalb gets the big win to wrap up week one.
Standings and Schedules
To the DVC Standings after the first week of play. Neuqua Valley, Naperville Central, and Dekalb all stand atop the standings at a perfect 1-0, but obviously it’s still very early.
Looking ahead to the Week Two schedule and there will be some guaranteed shakeups as the Wildcats go head to head with the Redhawks. Waubonsie Valley visits Metea Valley with both teams in search of a win while Naperville North hosts Dekalb.
The CCL/ESCC Orange Division has Benet Academy on top at 1-0 alongside De La Salle who defeated Depaul College Prep. Nazareth Academy had its first game postponed this weekend.
The Redwings open up their home schedule next week as De La Salle comes to town while Nazareth kicks off for the first time against St. Laurence.
It may be a different time of year and a different time of day than we are used to, but we’re playing football and there are a lot of good looking teams out on the gridiron. Thanks again for joining along for the innagural edition of Spring Football Saturday. We’ll see you next time for Week 2.
For more football highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!
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