Now this feels a little more familiar. It may be spring but we have three high school football games on a Friday night, with fans in attendance. Let’s do this as Spring Football Saturday enters Week Five!
St. Rita vs Benet Academy
We begin with Benet Academy finally back in action after being on COVID pause for three weeks. The good news is the Redwings are still undefeated! The 1-0 Wings host St. Rita for both the home opener and senior night.
St. Rita running back Kaleb Brown is one of the top junior recruits in the country and here you can see why. A burst through the hole, a cut back and blazing speed leads to an 81 yard touchdown. The Mustangs roar to a 28-0 halftime lead.
But the Redwings knock the rust off in the second half. Quarterback Nick Bafia keeps it himself and rumbles 35 yards for a touchdown. Benet cuts into the St. Rita lead down 28-13.
But the Mustangs have a response, Tommy Ulatowski with a pass to a diving Isaiah Bragg to push the lead back up to 34-13.
Benet does not roll over, putting up 20 points in the second half. Bafia finds Augie Mazza here in the 4th quarter. But it’s not enough. St. Rita drops the Redwings to 1-1 by the score of 34-20.
Naperville Central vs Metea Valley
Our first DVC matchup of the evening is Naperville Central heading to Aurora to face Metea Valley. The 0-3 Mustangs have a tall task ahead of them if they want to pull the upset over the 4-0 Redhawks.
Opening quarter and stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Owen Prucha with a long touchdown pass to Reggie Fleurima. The junior is putting up full season stats in just a six game slate this year. 7-0 Redhawks.
Jaden McGill continues to see more time at running back and you can see why. The OPRF transfer breaks several tackles on the way to this 20-yard touchdown.
Prucha continues to impress later in the first half. He finds a wide open Luke Roy off the play action from 38 yards out. Naperville Central rolling up 28-0.
Metea Valley is always good for some aerial highlights especially with an arm talent like Logan Fredrick. The junior hits Alex Cleveland for the 42-yard touchdown. Cleveland hangs on long enough before the ball pops loose. But Naperville Central remains unbeaten at 5-0 after a 35 point road win.
Neuqua Valley vs Dekalb
Neuqua Valley hopes to keep pace with Naperville Central as the Wildcats travel north the Dekalb. The Barbs are eager to get back on the gridiron to erase the memory of last week’s loss to the Redhawks. The winner of this one will have sole possession of second place in the DVC.
Opening quarter, Dekalb facing 4th and 3 from the Neuqua 19. Quarterback Trenton Kyler and receiver Toriano Tate not on the same page and Nick Lendino picks off the pass. Some helpful blocking as Lendino goes 95 yards the other way to put Neuqua up 7-0.
Near the end of the first half, tied up at 7, Mark Mennecke scrambles and hits Justin Nonnenmann for the touchdown. The 14-7 lead is short lived as Toriano Tate returns the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown.
Third quarter now and Mennecke finds Carter Sessa for the touchdown. Wildcats back on top 21-14.
But Dekalb with an answer all game long and it’s usually in the form of Toriano Tate. Kyler with his second TD pass to his go to receiver to tie the game at 21.
Neuqua up 28-21 after a Christian Allen pick six. Barbs facing 4th down at the 28 yard line. Kyler heaves up a prayer that is intercepted once again by the Wildcats. Payton Matthews seals the deal as Neuqua Valley moves to 3-0.
Standings and Schedules
And that is it for our Week Five Spring Football matchups. The Naperville North-Waubonsie Valley game was canceled just a couple hours before kickoff due to a positive COVID test in the Waubonsie program. As of this recording, Naperville North is still in search of a Week Five opponent for Sunday or Monday.
Naperville Central is undefeated atop the standings at 5-0 while Neuqua Valley is also unbeaten at 3-0.
The Week 6 DVC schedule is still up in the air at this point, the plan appears to be have the first and place teams play each other, then the third and fourth place teams and the fifth and sixth place teams. But with Waubonsie Valley potentially missing next week due to COVID protocols, that could throw things off. So take what you see on your screen with a grain of salt.
In the ESCC/CCL Orange Division, Nazareth stays on top with Benet’s loss. The Roadrunners face Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon. De La Salle lost a 28-27 heartbreaker to Montini while St. Laurence fell to Providence Catholic.
Next week the Orange Division finally matches up to end the season as the Redwings travel to Nazareth to end the season. St. Laurence hosts De La Salle.
And just like that there is only one week remaining in the high school football season. Hopefully we can finish things off healthy with some great football out on the field. We’ll see you following Week 6. For Spring Football Saturday, I’m Justin Cornwell.
For more prep sports content, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!
LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
If you're a high school sports fan, please consider a donation to Naperville's nonprofit TV station!Donate Today!