Week 9: Scouting the West Suburban (2017)

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Downers Grove South (4-4, 4-1) at Willowbrook (7-1, 5-0)

West Suburban Gold

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Last week: Downers North 29, Downers South 10; Willowbrook 57, Proviso East 12.

Last year: Willowbrook 31, Downers South 7.

Outlook: Despite key injuries and an up-and-down first eight weeks, Downers South's in position to become playoff eligible and claim a share of the Gold title. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, they're facing a team that's already clinched a share. Downers South has faced tremendous adversity behind center while leaning on three quarterbacks due to injury. Expect Matt Greenwald, primarily a passer, and sophomore Jayden Lambert, a runner, to split time as they have in past weeks. Willowbrook's defensive strength starts up front with linemen Kevon Dobbins, Christian Washington and Nick Rushing. The Warriors haven't needed to throw much in recent weeks, but they're certainly capable with quarterback John Taylor. The offense churns behind running back Jack Jessen, also the team's leading tackler, who's rushed for 1,437 yards and 16 touchdowns. Downers South's defense, which boasts four shutouts, has a stellar line with Sergio Villalobos and Ali Issa.

Addison Trail (3-5, 1-4) at Proviso East (0-8, 0-5) Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday.

The quick hit: As frustrating as it might sound, the Blazers aim for a third straight 4-5 season. Running back Nick D'Ambrose showed his immense impact last week by rushing for 316 yards and 4 touchdowns. Addison Trail will lean on him again this week.

Hinsdale Central (6-2) at Hinsdale South (5-3) Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: Because of iffy "playoff points" the Hornets may need a win to qualify. The defense thrives with standout linebacker Paris Lewis and lineman Oshikhai Ebikhumi. Backup quarterback Connor Bauer continues to grow in Hinsdale Central's offense.

Proviso West (2-6, 0-5) at Glenbard West (7-1, 5-0) Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday.

The quick hit: Winners of seven straight, the Hilltoppers should be in good shape for No. 8 if they can contain quarterback Deveon Bryant. Still thin on defense due to injury, Glenbard West got some good news last week with the return of safety Pat Howard.

York (1-7, 1-4) at Downers North (4-4, 2-3) Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The quick hit: On the verge of playoff qualification, Downers North is ready for anything against a York team that used all sorts of trick plays last week. Running back Drew Shelly leads the Trojans' offense and lineman Ethan Roesch is a constant on defense.

Leyden (4-4, 3-2) at Morton (1-7, 1-4) When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Last year's result: Leyden 48, Morton 6

Outlook: Leyden came up with a huge defensive effort led by Miguel Cooper, Jason Kemp, Travon Thomas, Ata Hinnawi and Anthony Jones last week to knock off Hinsdale South and remain in the playoff hunt. The Eagles need a win over lowly Morton to become playoff eligible, and then the Eagles will be doing some scoreboard watching. Leyden has 32 playoff points and is guaranteed 2 more points from WSC Gold opponents. They will then need help in the form of Week 9 victories from Fenton, Downers Grove North, Lyon and Hinsdale South to garner as many points as possible, because early indications are that the Eagles are right on the cusp of the points needed to qualify for the playoffs.