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Football preview: Dundee-Crown

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 9:47 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 9:49 p.m. CDT
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(Michael Smart)
Michael Smart / For Shaw Media Players practice their plays during a no-pad practice Tuesday at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville August 12, 2014.

Dundee Crown Chargers

Schedule

Date Game Time

Aug. 29 @ Elgin 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 5 Streamwood 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 12 @ Morris 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 19 Prairie Ridge 7:15 p.m.

Sept. 26 @ Jacobs 7:15 p.m.

Oct. 3 Crystal Lake South 7:15 p.m.

Oct. 10 McHenry 7:15 p.m.

Oct. 17 @ Cary-Grove 7:15 p.m.

Oct. 24 @ Huntley 7:15 p.m.

Quick Hits

Coach: Mike Steinhaus

(first season)

2013 Record: 6-4 overall, 3-3 FVC Valley (fifth place)

Fast Fact: Last fall, the Chargers made their first playoff appearance in 19 years, losing in the Class 8A first round to Oak Park-River Forest, 35-13.

Scouting Report

*The Chargers were a run-heavy team in 2013, throwing only 50 passes. Steinhaus plans on utilizing senior QB Jeff Atherton’s abilities according to what is working during a game. “We’re going to do what wins us games, so if it means running the ball 45 times in a game, that’s what we’re going to do,” Steinhaus said.

*Senior RB Caleb Parson returns to a Chargers backfield that collected more than 2,100 yards on the ground in 2013. Parson finished with 176 carries for 926 yards and 13 touchdowns.

*Only six starters return from the 2013 playoff team, three from each side of the ball. “There’s a lot of turnover and we got a lot of juniors stepping up and that’s a good thing,” Steinhaus said.

*Losing most of his starting core, Steinhaus feels the biggest improvement his team needs to make is picking up its intensity. “The speed and tempo are slower this year compared to last year’s [team],” Steinhaus said.

*Senior defensive backs Malik Dunner and Kiwaun Seals lead a defense that, in six wins, allowed an average of only 14 ppg.

*The Chargers' road schedule will be difficult again, as they travel to FVC Valley foes Jacobs, Cary-Grove and Huntley. Dundee-Crown went 5-0 at home last year, but lost four of five on the road.

Drill that stands out

Running backs need to be strong and aggressive, so Steinhaus has all running backs gather for a fast-paced rushing drill. The running backs line up and wait for their turn, while four teammates hold blocking pads. Each player holding a blocking pad receives a number. When a particular number is called out, the rusher launches himself into the pads and explodes forward. Then, the rusher retreats back to the middle before reacting to another called number, testing his reaction time and strength.

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