If you haven’t had a coach tell you that the defense usually is ahead of the offense early in a season, you probably haven’t been around football coaches very long.
It’s a common statement, and it’s a more than understandable conclusion to jump to this spring considering the length of the layoff since the last time games were played.
And there’s no doubt that there’s some truth to the axiom as well. In Friday’s and Saturday’s contests, there were 45 games played that ended with a team delivering a shutout. Five teams in Illinois (Glenbard West, St. Teresa, Hononegah, Benton and Coal City) have not allowed a point through its first two games.
Defense is dominating in many, many games around Illinois at this point. Will the offenses catch up before we’re done in this shortened season?
Here are some other things that stood out in Week 2:
Surprising unbeatens: There were 106 teams in Illinois that got to 2-0 on Friday and Saturday, and while the list is littered with usual suspects, it also has some teams that are a bit surprising to see in that group. Teams like Elgin, Woodstock, Buffalo Grove, Oakwood, Blue Island Eisenhower and Waterloo are off to better-than-typical starts for those programs, which is a good sign moving forward.
Top-notch defenses?: After watching Loyola upend Mount Carmel one day after St. Rita dropped 51 points on Montini, the first question that came to mind was, how good are the defenses for Loyola and St. Rita. The two grinded their way to a 7-3 decision in Week 1 in favor of Loyola, and after watching their two offenses excel against other strong opponents one has to wonder how good those defensive units really are. This is yet another reason I’m going to have a hard time stomaching having no playoffs this season, a lot of these questions are going to go unanswered. In any case, I’m disappointed that the CCL/ESCC elected to go with a standard regular season. Pool play with a conference playoff bracket was doable and would have been amazing.
Football heaven: How good is the football in Wheaton right now? All three of the schools (Wheaton Warrenville South, Wheaton North and St. Francis) are starting out of the box with 2-0 records and have looked impressive doing it. At least one of them will fall from the ranks of the undefeated this weekend, as Wheaton Warrenville South and Wheaton North play each other in Week 3. It will likely be another classic matchup in the DuKane Conference, which is playing pool football and might be creating a situation for rematches to occur. Who wouldn’t want to see another matchup of Batavia and St. Charles North after Friday night’s scrap where the Bulldogs emerged with a hard-fought 21-19 victory?
Reality during the pandemic: It was once again a wild week of reschedules and cancellations. After the dust cleared, 32 teams were unable to play games in Week 2 because of either low participation numbers, COVID-19 concerns within the program or being the opponent of a squad with COVID-19 concerns that were unable to find another opponent to play. Of that group, there are 14 schools that have not played a game in either Week 1 or Week 2 and now are put in a position where the maximum number of games they can play is four. Some schools have gotten around the mileage requirement that is making rescheduling games complicated by becoming guest members of a potential opponent’s conference. I’m usually pretty strict on following the rules, but bending this rigid rule a little bit to afford opportunities to play in this circumstance has been a real blessing.
Source: The Daily Chronicle