A few impressions from Week 4 of the local football season in McHenry County.
• The Fox Valley Conference just got a lot less predictable with McHenry’s 20-10 upset win at Jacobs on Friday.
The Warriors, who were rolled by Huntley, 56-0, in Week 1, went on the road and beat Jacobs – that’s right – the only team to beat Huntley this season (14-7 in Week 2).
That win, combined with Huntley’s 21-14 triumph at Cary-Grove, threw the FVC into a five-way tie at 3-1 between C-G, Huntley, Jacobs, McHenry and Prairie Ridge.
After three games, it looked like there were four teams (C-G, Huntley, Jacobs and Prairie Ridge) above the rest of the FVC. With a locked-in conference schedule, any fifth team in the group reaching 5-4 would be guaranteed enough playoff points to qualify.
Crystal Lake Central, 2-2 after an 0-2 start, is a strong candidate to join the FVC playoff group. After Friday’s upset, McHenry is as well.
“That’s not surprising in our conference,” C-G coach Brad Seaburg said. “There’s a lot of good teams.”
Which leads to some unpredictability, which always makes things a little more interesting.
• The one constant between the five teams tied in the FVC has been strong defenses. Aside from McHenry’s season-opening loss at Huntley, all five teams have been tough on opposing offenses.
C-G and Prairie Ridge have each allowed 28 points (Prairie Ridge has three shutouts, C-G has two). Huntley has given up yards and points grudgingly. One of the most telling statistics of the week was C-G rushing 32 times for 55 yards against the Red Raiders.
Jacobs has allowed 53 points, but two touchdowns came after a fumble inside its 10 and on an interception return on Friday.
McHenry has given up 39 points in three games since its opener and defensive back Dom Lorenzo has scored off a fumble recovery and an interception.
• Defending Kishwaukee River Conference champion Marengo (3-1, 1-0) and Richmond-Burton (4-0, 1-0) look decisively like that league’s best two teams. So this Friday’s game with R-B visiting the Indians at Rod Poppe Fields likely will determine the conference champion.
R-B is ranked No. 4 in The Associated Press Class 4A poll; Marengo was ranked before the opener, but dropped out after a big loss to Sterling, now the No. 2 team in 5A.
Marengo notched its second shutout in Friday’s 33-0 win against Johnsburg. R-B beat Harvard, 44-0, for its third consecutive shutout.
Marengo vs. R-B decided the KRC title last season when Marengo edged the Rockets, 14-13. It’s a safe bet that Friday’s winner eventually will bring home the KRC trophy.
• Joe Stevenson is a senior sports writer for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @nwh_JoePrepZone.