FOOTBALL: Week seven capsules

Kankakee's Mattias Clark carries the ball on a run while avoiding a Thornridge defender during last week's game in Kankakee. Clark once again will lead the Kays' backfield as they host Bloom this week.

Bloom at Kankakee

Gametime: 6:30 p.m.

Players to watch: LB Charles Weathersby, RB Mattias Clark

Preview: The Kays had their fun against Thornridge last week and based on results against common opponents, should have plenty of confidence heading into Friday. Last year’s game turned into a shootout the Kays won 44-37. The offense is just as capable of dropping another 40, but the defensive improvements this season suggest the Blazing Trojans don’t have a great chance of keeping up with that scoring. Mattias Clark will look to shoulder the offensive load, with ample support from quarterback Tyjuane Stewart and company.

Pick: Kankakee 42, Bloom 20

Aurora Christian at Bishop McNamara

Gametime: 7 p.m.

Players to watch: WR/DB Colton Provost, OL/DL Nick Viglia

Preview: Provost burst onto the scene in his first varsity start last week against Wheaton Academy and will look to provide Tyler Hiller with another weapon on an already-skilled Irish offense. Most of the Irish’s upperclassmen are seeing significant time on both sides of the ball, including Viglia, one of a handful of men in the trenches who won’t watch many snaps from the sidelines. The Eagles and coach Dave Beebe have given the Irish fits during the years, but the Irish seemed to turn a corner last week as they gear up for an October push.

Pick: Bishop McNamara 35, Aurora Christian 14

Bradley-Bourbonnais at Stagg

Gametime: 7 p.m.

Players to watch: RB/LB Daniel Schultz, WR/DB Iverson Anderson

Preview: The quest to win out starts Friday for the Boilers, and a trip to visit the Chargers couldn’t come at a better time. Although road victories in the SouthWest Suburban Conference never are easy to come by, the Chargers have been outscored 150-13 in conference play. The road only will get tougher for the Boilers, but with increased urgency and more significant players seeing more snaps on both sides of the ball, Friday’s road trip just might be what they need to get right.

Pick: Bradley-Bourbonnais 31, Stagg 7

Coal City at Lisle

Gametime: 7 p.m.

Players to watch: TE/DE Brady Crawford, WR/LB Kyle Burch

Preview: One of the tougher tasks on the Coalers’ schedule comes with a road trip to Lisle, but in big games during the season, difficulty of opponent hasn’t been much of an issue for a Coal City team that leads the area in points allowed (10 points per game). Daniel Jezik and the running game will control the clock, and Crawford and Burch are just two players on the deepest and most fearsome defense in the area. As long as the Coalers don’t look ahead to next week’s game against Wilmington too much, this one should be a relative breeze.

Pick: Coal City 21, Lisle 0

Streator at Herscher

Gametime: 7 p.m.

Players to watch: WR/DB Landon Schultz, WR/DB Camden Berns

Preview: The Tigers might be out of the playoff picture, but the youth on this team will continue to develop and a team led by Dan Wetzel always will put its best foot forward. The Bulldogs are better than their 2-4 record suggests, a mark that could have been flipped if they could have held on late in a few games. Blake Holm is learning how to properly utilize his weapons more and more as the year goes on, but defensive lapses have plagued the Tigers more often than they’ve hoped for the past month.

Pick: Streator 28, Herscher 17

Reed-Custer at Wilmington

Gametime: 7 p.m.

Players to watch: Reed-Custer — WR/DB Blake Foster, QB/DB Dylan Garrelts; Wilmington — RB/LB Jake Rodawold, QB/DB Keaton Hopwood

Preview: The Wildcats have been rolling all season long to a perfect 6-0 tune, thanks to two-way stardom from a handful of players. Rodawold is a touchdown machine on offense and the Wildcats’ leading tackler, and Hopwood is the team’s leading defensive back and can use his rocket arm whenever the need to sling it might arise offensively. The Comets will fight for a second victory this season; it just won’t be this week.

Pick: Wilmington 49, Reed-Custer 13

Paxton-Buckley-Loda at Central

Gametime: 7 p.m.

Players to watch: WR/DB Chandler Burrow, RB/LB Garrett Graham

Preview: The Comets had their lowest offensive output of the season last week, netting just 271 yards of total offense, but a pair of defensive touchdowns and Chandler Burrow’s kick return touchdown still allowed them to drop 33 points. The offense will have to have a better showing this week against a Panthers squad that’s 5-0 in their past five games, with more than 200 points scored in that span. This one quickly could become a shootout, something quarterback Jay Lemenager and his talented receiving corps wouldn’t mind seeing.

Pick: Central 35, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 27

Seneca at Watseka

Gametime: 7 p.m.

Players to watch: QB Drew Wittenborn, WR/DB Ethan LaBelle

Preview: How will the Warriors respond after their first loss of the season? They’ll have to respond positively, especially off the bat, as the Irish are 3-3 and battling for a playoff spot. Wittenborn and the offense were stifled by Central’s defense last week, and Seneca can defend as well, but coming back home should help aid that offense, as should Jameson Cluver out of the backfield.

Pick: Watseka 24, Seneca 14

Georgetown-Ridge Farm at Momence

Gametime: 7 p.m.

Players to watch: TB/DB Dawson Petkunas, LB Jorge Barrea

Preview: The offensive output Momence had last week easily could be matched again against a Buffaloes team that has allowed 40 or more points in half of their games this season. Petkunas has emerged as a legitimate threat as a sophomore in an ever-evolving offense. Look for coach Wayne Walker to continue the creativity as Momence looks to get back in the win column.

Pick: Momence 28, Georgetown-Ridge Farm 21

Dwight at Iroquois West

Gametime: 7 p.m.

Players to watch: Dwight: QB/DB Carson Crouch, RB/LB William Bergstrom; Iroquois West: WR/RB/S Dane Thorne, QB/LB Tibaldo Alvarez

Preview: The Trojans found some offense last week, so much so Crouch and Bergstrom were able to throw each other touchdown passes. Dwight largely has been better than its 1-5 mark indicates, and the Raiders also see Friday as a chance to get a second win. Unless they can figure out how to stop one of the area’s best offensive threats, Crouch, from running wild, they still might be searching for that second win a week from now.

Pick: Dwight 42, Iroquois West 24

Milford-Cissna Park at Pawnee-Lincolnwood

Gametime: 7 p.m.

Players to watch: QB/LB Penn Stoller, WR/DB Nick Allen

Preview: Stoller and Allen graced the endzone four times apiece on the ground, and Stoller added a passing score in last week’s beatdown of Flanagan-Woodland-Cornell. As long as the Bearcats maintain their health, scoring should continue to be plentiful, although not always as plentiful as last week’s 78 points. The offense is great, the defense is one of the best in the state, and those two things likely will pair up for another whopping win this week.

Pick: Milford-Cissna Park 63, Pawnee-Lincolnwood 29

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