Geneva's early-season spate of injuries only worsened Friday, as starting sophomore quarterback Daniel Santacaterina left the Vikings' loss at Batavia in the third quarter with an apparent broken clavicle.
Vikings coach Rob Wicinski confirmed in an email that Santacaterina would be out 4 to 8 weeks, and indicated the team was "working on the next QB."
Junior T.J. Miller entered in relief after Bulldogs defensive lineman Marquise Jenkins knocked Santacaterina down with a hit.
"I do feel terrible their quarterback got knocked out of the game," Bulldogs coach Dennis Piron said. "That was a really good play by Marquise, and he's a tough guy to get away from. That was not anything you want to see. [Santacaterina is] a kid that they need and he's a very good, talented, young man. That's disappointing for them going into the next few weeks."
A top defensive back and return specialist, Miller threw a late interception but otherwise handed the ball to Bobby Hess and the team's other backs.
Offensive tackle Jacob Bastin also left the game with an injury, while defensive line stalwarts Nathan Balettie and Jake Boser have been sidelined for most or all of the season. Wicinski acknowledged after the game this is one of the worst seasons he's experienced from an injury standpoint but didn't want to focus on the misfortune.
"We're getting better," Wicinski said. "I'd like to see it happen a little faster. It's tough just with what has showed up at our doorstep. The players, though they are getting better, I think they're getting tired of us telling them that. They want to see the data. I think they've definitely got to get a win to feel like they've accomplished it."
BC's Ritchie in limbo
Burlington Central turned to third-string quarterback Tyler Majewski on Friday. After a 36-3 rout at Rockford Christian, there's a reason coach Rich Crabel still is looking his way.
With third-year starter Ryan Ritchie working through a possible high-ankle sprain suffered during Week 2 and backup Parth Patel battling a thumb injury, Majewski shined by staying calm.
He might not bring the same dual-threat option as Ritchie, a fellow senior, but the wide receiver/defensive back is adept at taking snaps under center.
"He did everything we needed him to do," Crabel said. "He was a quarterback in junior high and a guy we've been repping at the position since he's been here. It's not like he was thrown into it cold."
Central, 2-1, might be hoping for more Majewski heroics in Friday's Big Northern East game at Harvard. Crabel said Ritchie is being evaluated further, but would not start if he is unable to practice today.
"[Doctors are] being very extensive in making sure there's nothing seriously wrong," Crabel said.
'Always about assignments' in SCC Blue
Marmion and St. Francis both will face Suburban Christian Conference Blue powers Aurora Christian, Marian Central and Montini over the next three weeks before meeting at College of DuPage in Week 7.
Cadets coach Dan Thorpe is aware that each of those first three foes fancy the pass, but hasn't changed anything about what the team is preaching defensively.
"I think it's easier to prepare for a running game than a passing game like Marian or Aurora Christian," Thorpe said, "but it's always about assignments, being fundamentally sound, and especially for the teams that are more than content to just pound it."
IN THE GROOVE
St. Charles East, Sr., FB/LB
What he did: Plenty. Hoscheit rushed for two scores and added a touchdown reception in Friday's 23-13 victory at St. Charles North, all while playing heady 'D' that helped limit North to six first downs. The victory put the Saints above .500 for the first time since the end of the 2009 season.
Marmion, So., RB
What he did: Rushing nine times for 153 yards overall, Glasgow had three touchdowns to help Marmion to its first victory of the season Friday, 49-16, at St. Edward. He also excelled as a returner, nearly taking a kickoff for a touchdown before being stopped at the 1-yard line.
WHAT WE LEARNED LAST WEEK
The Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference, like the sun, rises in the East. Reigning NI Big 12 East champion Kaneland throttled defending West winner Sterling, 42-0, on Friday, outgaining the Golden Warriors, 363-78. The Knights, who haven't lost a league game since the conference's 2010 inception, will close their conference crossover slate when they travel to 0-3 Streator at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
WHAT WE'LL LEARN IN THE WEEK AHEAD
Whether St. Francis can exorcise its Montini demons and stay unbeaten. The Broncos have played recent postseason foil for the Suburban Christian Conference Blue rival Spartans, whose wing-T, ball-control offense has helped keep Montini's spread attack off the field. St. Francis hosts Friday's meeting at College of DuPage, the beginning of a tough three-week stretch that finishes with games against Aurora Christian and Marian Central.
COACH SLY SAYS
Sly's sweater might be a pretty blue, but this garb's got nothing to do with the following assertion: Geneva still can make the playoffs despite being 0-3 and pretty banged up.
Friday's home game with 2-1 Larkin would be the starting point. After that, the Vikes would have to at least split their two-game trip through St. Charles before finishing with struggling Elgin (home), Metea Valley (home) and Streamwood (road). Among that crowd, only Larkin and STC East have winning records.
Sounds like a fighting shot at postseason paydirt in Geneva's first season on turf.