Rise of the Xander-ia Doria
St. Charles East coach Mike Fields serves on the school’s wellness faculty, but he still sounded something like science teacher and Geneva counterpart Rob Wicinski late Saturday afternoon.
“Getting data” from the second- and third-teamers down the stretch of a 58-14 Upstate Eight Conference River Divison romp at Elgin was just as important as staying healthy for this week’s visit from the Vikings.
Reserve defensive back Xander Doria’s late efforts helped Fields form a strong hypothesis about the Saints.
Shortly after he was part of a breakdown in coverage against the Maroons, Doria forced one of six Elgin fumbles. The second-half play kept a lively bench screaming and Fields grinning all the while.
“[Doria] learned from it, and that’s the whole process of what we want these kids to do, is to learn,” Fields said. “And those are life lessons. ‘Well, I didn’t do it this time, so next time I’m going to get better,’ and hopefully we can take some of that. By getting those guys some game experience, they’ll learn and they’ll get better for the stretch run here in these last four games.”
East (3-2) plays three of its final four games at home.
Beebe’s injury ‘very tough’ on dad, Aurora Christian
In the interest of keeping St. Francis honest, Aurora Christian coach Don Beebe admittedly was evasive about the broken left arm his son, Chad, suffered in a road rout of Wheaton Academy in Week 4.
Moments after the Eagles rolled past St. Francis, 41-14, on Friday, fatherhood precluded him from keeping much else close to the vest.
Don Beebe reached tears while talking about Chad Beebe, a Northern Illinois-bound senior wide receiver who will not be able to add to his totals of 39 catches, 597 yards and 10 touchdowns unless the Eagles still are part of the postseason in 6-8 weeks.
Chad Beebe has had a history with injuries, and was limited during the Eagles’ Class 3A state championship season last fall.
Don Beebe said he had forgotten to remove Chad Beebe and running back Joel Bouagnon after Aurora Christian triggered the running clock in the third quarter against Wheaton Academy. On the very play he vowed would be their last of the night, a rushing Bouagnon ran into Beebe from behind. The players were tangled, and Beebe emerged with what would be diagnosed as a broken arm.
“I’ll be honest with you guys. I’ve had a lot of things happen to me personally,” Don Beebe said. “I missed my first Super Bowl as a player because I had a broken leg. I’ve had a lot of things happen to me finances-wise and all that, and that was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to handle, as a father. To see him go through that again. It’s very tough.”
Burlington Central’s Ritchie out, return questionable
Burlington Central senior quarterback Ryan Ritchie tore a ligament in the thumb of his right, throwing, hand late in Friday’s victory against Genoa-Kingston and likely will undergo surgery by week’s end, Rockets coach Rich Crabel said.
While Crabel ruled out Ritchie’s return to quarterback, where he has started the past two-plus seasons, it’s not out of the question Ritchie could shuttle in at other positions later in the fall.
Crabel said several determinations still need to be made, namely recovery timetables with both a hard and soft cast. Ritchie also is a point guard in the BC basketball program, but he’d have to wear a hard cast if he wanted to get back on the gridiron, Crabel said.
BC operated with third-stringer Tyler Majewski when Ritchie navigated a lower-leg injury earlier this season. Backup Parth Patel had a thumb injury at that time, but Crabel said both Patel and Majewski would be considered to start Friday’s Big Northern East game at Marengo.
– Kevin Druley, email@example.com
IN THE GROOVE
What the Knights did: Kaneland limited run-happy Rochelle to 2.6 yards a carry in Friday's Northern Illinois Big 12 East opener, a 34-6 road win for the Knights. Kaneland allowed a late third-quarter touchdown run but scored 21 points in the next 8:14 to pull away. The Knights are 11-0 in the NI Big 12 East since league play began in 2010.
Wheaton Academy, Jr., RB
What he did: Gemmel rushed for 291 yards and six touchdowns Saturday afternoon, helping Wheaton Academy erase a 30-point, third-quarter deficit to defeat Suburban Christian Conference Gold foe Walther Lutheran for the Warriors' first win of the season.
WHAT WE LEARNED LAST WEEK
All 11 Kane County Chronicle-area football teams now populate the win column. Wheaton Academy became the final entry to the club with Saturday's 56-52 victory at Walther Lutheran. The Warriors – who trailed, 52-26, in the third quarter – gained 616 yards of offense. "We went back and forth and it was a long game," Warriors coach T.J. Ragan said. "A lot of emotional changes. But our guys kept level-headed and just finished a quality win. It was good to get it under our belts."
WHAT WE'LL LEARN IN THE WEEK AHEAD
Whether Geneva can keep its slim playoff hopes alive. The 1-4 Vikings are set to conclude their two-week tour of St. Charles with Friday's visit to St. Charles East and will look to bolster an offense that struggled in a 25-6 loss at St. Charles North. “We’ve got multiple pieces that are out of sync right now," Vikings coach Rob Wicinski said. Senior Bobby Hess rushed for 121 yards against the North Stars, but the Vikings completed just one pass – a long fourth-quarter touchdown from Nick Derr to Kyle Brown – in the game.
COACH SLY SAYS
Sly really liked what he saw from St. Charles North on Friday.
The running attack worked in tandem, Ryan Fischbach looked strong in the passing game and linebacker Reece Conroyd was just about everywhere on a night the North Stars conceded was basically an early postseason game.
At 2-3, North still is in the hunt to end a two-season playoff drought, and wouldn't it be something if veteran coach Mark Gould's final game is for the right to play past Week 9?
Struggling U-46ers Streamwood and Larkin sandwich a Week 7 visit to UEC-leading and unbeaten Batavia. That could potentially put North at 4-4 when South Elgin comes to town to end the regular season.