CN100 Sports Football Preview: Week 7 - Naperville Central vs. Naperville North

colby beserra
CN100 Game of the Week: Naperville Central vs. Naperville North

IHSA Football Week 7 – Naperville Central vs. Naperville North

NAPERVILLE – The annual battle of Naperville cannot be contained on either campus which means the nearly 6,000 fans who show up for this game every year head to North Central College.

This year’s much-anticipated tilt features a resurgent Naperville North team and a Naperville Central squad trying to get over the .500 mark. Fans can catch the game on CN100, The Comcast Network, at Noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, and 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10. 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.

Naperville North (5-1, 4-1 DuPage Valley) went 2-7 each of the past two years and 5-5 the three years prior to that, but the Huskies are back in the mix this year, winning five straight to start the season before falling to unbeaten Neuqua Valley last week.

"We have played pretty well all season behind an experienced group of young men who are striving to put the Huskies back on the map," Naperville North coach Sean Drendel said. "We are looking to rebound from a tough first loss in the rugged DVC, where every game is difficult, and this game against our rivals is no different."

The Huskies feature a balanced offensive attack this season. Senior quarterback Luke Cegles has gone 86-for-164 for 987 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions. Junior wide receiver Nick Calcagno leads the team with 26 catches for 323 yards and four touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Matt Montgomery is Cegles’ possession receiver, catching 24 passes for 186 yards. Senior tight end Mitch Lewis, who stands 6-foot-6, is a big target in the red zone with six of his going for touchdowns.

Seniors Cross Robinson and Eric Wright split the load in the backfield. Wright leads with 621 yards and six touchdowns in 124 carries. Robinson has rushed for 466 yards and four touchdowns in 68 carries.

Defensively, the Huskies have a stellar secondary, led by senior strong safety Kiser Floyd, the team’s leading tackler. Senior free safety Grand Ericksen has four interceptions. Senior cornerback is the third-leading tackler and has added a kick return touchdown.

Senior defensive tackle Malik Wells leads in sacks and senior linebacker Derek Amend is second on the team in tackles.

Naperville Central (3-3, 3-2) has played a rugged schedule. The Redhawks started 0-2 with losses to Glenbard North and Neuqua Valley. A three-game winning streak ended in Ohio last week against Lakewood St. Edward.

Senior quarterback Patrick Ryan has passed for 1,023 yards and nine touchdowns, but he’s also thrown nine interceptions. His top targets are senior wide receiver Josh Ruiz (16 catches, 240 yards, one touchdown), senior wide receiver Josh Boomgarden (15 catches, 238 yards, three touchdowns) and senior wide receiver Tommy Coyne (13 catches, 259 yards, two touchdowns).

Junior running back AJ Deinhart has rushed for 599 yards and five touchdowns in 138 carries.

Senior safeties Kyle Bennington and Luke Turner each have two interceptions.

"Naperville Central is a very good team who recovered from a tough stretch on the schedule to be 3-3," Drendel said. "They are physical on offense and like to attack you with the run and play-action pass. They have a very strong defense that is starting to get better. They are well-coached on both sides of the ball and I would expect to see some new wrinkles. I think they will play their best game of the season this week."

- Paul Johnson, CN100 Sports Correspondent


Stay up to date on all of CN100’s games this season by visiting our website, or follow CN100 Sports on Facebook and Twitter to see where our crew will be next. When the games are done, tune into to see the best in Chicagoland prep sports each week with CN100 Sports Weekly. Game of the Week video highlights, Battle of the Fans clips and Prep Profile previews can all be found on our YouTube channel.

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