After winning on the road last week, and clinching a playoff spot, the Downers Grove North Trojans are looking stronger than ever before. However, being in a conference with Glenbard West, the #2 team in the state, puts a lot of pressure on the Trojans to continue to win games, and not give up now that they are in the playoffs.
This week, the Trojans will have a lot of momentum and a lot of fan support as they return to Carsten’s Field, and play against Proviso West on homecoming night. The Panthers are coming off of a loss last week against Glenbard West, in which the Hilltoppers picked up the 41-14 victory. The Trojans, on the other hand, defeated York, 38-21 last week, and have all of the momentum as they go into play this week.
Last season, the Trojans went into the game against Proviso West with a 1-5 record, while the Panthers held a 3-3 record. The Panthers were unable to fight off the Trojans, who had a strong offense in the form of quarterback Riley McGinnis and running back Kyle Gammonley. The Trojans came away with a victory in that game, winning 20-7.
This season is a little bit different for both teams. The Trojans are having one of their best seasons in recent memory, holding a 5-1 record, while the Panthers come into action holding a 4-2 record. The Trojans want to win this game to extend their record to 6-1, but the Panthers view this game as an opportunity to turn their season and try to pull off a win in their final games of the season.
Keys to the Game:
The Trojans come into this game after winning last week against York and clinching a spot in the playoffs. The Trojans have so much momentum right now, and they feel as though no team can stop them. This energy is definitely a positive, but it could also be a problem. When a team that is winning looks at a team like Proviso West, they feel like they can easily take the win, which is not the case. While Proviso West may not be having their best season ever, it is important for the Trojans to focus on the basics, and play the game well. Against York, the Trojans had numerous fumbles, which needs to stop. Fumbles can kill a team, and the Trojans need to find ways to stop these mistakes from happening.
Now that the Trojans are in the playoffs, they still need to win. As was mentioned in the beginning of this article, the Trojans are in a very tough conference. The West Suburban Silver Conference consists of Glenbard West, which is ranked #2 in the state, and Hinsdale Central, which is ranked #24 in the state. These two teams could give the Trojans many troubles, so it is very important to get a victory against Proviso West this week, considering the next two teams are ranked very highly in the state.
Lastly, the Trojans offense has been built around quarterback David Edwards. This has been mentioned a lot since the beginning of the year, but it continues to be true. David Edwards is a major force on the Trojans team, and he needs to be protected. The Trojans have given Edwards time in the pocket, which helps him out. The Trojans need to continue the strong offense this week.
Time for Predictions:
Looking at this game on paper, the Trojans should have the win. The Trojans come in ranked as #130 in the state, while the Panthers are ranked #108. The Panther are ranked higher than the Trojans, but the Trojans have a better record and will have more momentum on homecoming night at DGN.
This game will take place on Friday, Oct. 5. This game will take place in Downers Grove, Ill. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm, and the game will be broadcasted live on WDGC 88.3 FM.