Two District 300 schools are close to ending lengthy streaks of not making the playoffs, although one is quite longer than the other.
Dundee-Crown (5-1) has not been to the postseason since 1994, which also was the Chargers’ last winning season. They assured a non-losing season with Friday’s 30-14 victory over Grayslake Central but likely will need another win to make the playoffs.
Neither of D-C’s first two opponents – Elgin and Streamwood – has a victory at this point, so the Chargers will need another win to make it. They finish with Prairie Ridge, McHenry and Jacobs.
Hampshire (4-2) has not been in the playoffs since 2008 and is in good shape to change that after its 42-14 victory over Woodstock North on Friday.
The Whip-Purs have adopted the motto “Win one every week” to maintain focus.
“We're just going to keep going,” junior running back-defensive back Mason Fleury said. “Like our coaches were telling us, we're on a high now, but we've got to get back to the right mentality and win one every week.”
Hampshire coach Dan Cavanaugh believes his team is buying into the concept of focusing solely on that week's opponent and not just saying the right things. The Whip-Purs finish the regular season at Woodstock (1-5), hosting Johnsburg (1-5) and at Cary-Grove (4-2).
“We've got to get there first,” Cavanaugh said of ending the playoff drought.
Rolling along: Cary-Grove and Jacobs (4-2) have won four consecutive games after 0-2 starts against tough opponents.
C-G, with only five seniors starting, has improved each week on offense and defense and received another boost Saturday when it defeated McHenry, 48-14, with the return of junior running back Zach McQuade.
McQuade and senior Joe Scott were supposed to be the Trojans’ running backs to start the season, but McQuade suffered a broken collarbone before the season and Scott suffered a broken leg in the opener.
McQuade carried five times for 32 yards and a 2-yard touchdown in his first game.
“It felt really good. We played well and my shoulder feels excellent,” McQuade said. “I feel like we have a lot more depth with me. We can put Matt [Sutherland] on defense a lot, and I can rotate at running back.”
Hurtin’ Warriors: McHenry coach Dave D’Angelo felt a little undermanned taking on powerful C-G on Saturday. Running back Jordan Johnson and safety Cody Patchett missed for disciplinary reasons, but there were five other Warriors out because of concussions.
“It was a hard week because of lots of concussions,” D’Angelo said. “The whole protocol they have to go through to get back on the field is not like what it used to be. It’s good, though, for the sake of the kids.”
D’Angelo was frustrated Saturday but is encouraged about McHenry’s future.
“[C-G] runs a good program. We aspire to be like them,” D’Angelo said. “Our underlevels stuck with them, and our freshmen are 6-0. So there’s some bright spots in the future.”
Rankings: Harvard (6-0) was close to being ranked in The Associated Press Class 4A poll last week, just four points behind No. 10 Quincy Notre Dame, but the Hornets may not get ranked in Tuesday’s poll either. The only top 10 team that lost was No. 2 Rock Island Alleman, 13-7, to Rock Island, the No. 2 team in Class 6A.
Crystal Lake Central (5-1) should get some Class 6A votes after an impressive 35-6 victory over Grayslake North, which was ranked No. 5 in 6A. The Tigers did not receive any votes last week.
• Meghan Montemurro contributed to this report.