CN100 Sports Football Preview: IHSA Playoff Second Round - St. Charles East vs. New Trier

fred esmond
CN100 Game of the Week: St. Charles East vs. New Trier

WINNETKA – With a talented young core, many expected 2017 to be the year that St. Charles East re-emerged as a state power.

This group had other ideas.

The young Saints roll into the Class 8A second round at New Trier a perfect 10-0 and look to advance to the quarterfinals after back-to-back 4-5 seasons. Fans can see the game on CN100, The Comcast Network, at Noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, and 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7. You can also watch it anytime in HD with Xfinity On Demand by clicking Get Local and CN100. X1 users, look for Get Local under the Xfinity Services tab.

Offensively, the Saints (10-0, 6-0 Upstate Eight River) have scored the most points in program history (419) while navigating a triple-option offense for the second year. Senior quarterback Zach Mitchell has been the perfect orchestrator of the offense, throwing for 860 yards, 11 touchdowns and three interceptions. He’s also rushed for 584 yards and 16 touchdowns on 96 carries to earn him the UEC River conference player of the year.

Complementing Mitchell in the run game is a big example of the talented youth at East, sophomore running back Justin Jett. He leads the team with 947 yards and 18 touchdowns on 143 carries. Junior running back Nicholas Garlisch adds 465 yards and five touchdowns on 66 carries.

Seniors Justin Galante (14 catches, 274 yards, five touchdowns) and Dante Macaluso (10 catches, 217 yards, one touchdown) pace the passing game.

Defensively, the Saints model their 3-4 defense after that of Wisconsin. The lessons learned meeting with the Badgers’ staff have paid immediate dividends, particularly in the linebacker corps. Junior Nicholas Piaskowy leads the team with 51 tackles. Junior Patrick Griffin (43 tackles, eight tackles for loss, six sacks) and senior DeAndre Allen (42 tackles) have also been productive in the middle.

Junior defensive back Yalon Rogers has 44 tackles and two interceptions, while junior defensive back Clayton Isbell has four interceptions. Up front, senior Jack Zylke has 41 tackles.

New Trier (8-2, 5-0 Central Suburban North) is on a roll in Coach Brian Doll’s three years at the helm, as he brings a 17-4 career mark into this game.

The Trevians also feature an explosive quarterback in senior Clay Czyzynski. He is 112-for-173 passing for 1,834 yards, 21 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also leads the team in rushing with 1,114 yards and 12 touchdowns on 151 carries.

Senior running back/defensive back Francis Fay makes an impact all over the field. He’s rushed for 832 yards and seven touchdowns on 121 carries, caught 25 passes for 286 yards and a touchdown and racked up 37 tackles. A trio of other receivers assist Czyzynski: Senior Eric Nicholas (16 catches, 223 yards, six total touchdowns) and juniors Brian Kaiser (17 catches, 362 yards, six touchdowns) and Anthony Nicholas (16 catches, 324 yards, three touchdowns) keep things diverse.

"New Trier is a big, physical team," Farquhar said. "They control the ball with a strong running game and complement it with an effective passing game. There is no glaring weakness on this team. They are well-coached and have disciplined players."

The Trevians are also strong at the linebacker position, led by their senior leading tackler Chris Notari and his 84 tackles, 56 of them solo. Fellow senior linebackers Max Bryla (57 tackles), Grant Higgins (50 tackles) and Max Rosenthal (58 tackles) flank him. Senior defensive back Daniel Anderson has 79 tackles.

- Paul Johnson, CN100 Sports Correspondent


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