There are not many matchups in McHenry County that are non-conference that will get the public’s attention. This week as the 2012 season gets underway, one of those matchups occurs in the McHenry County Game of the Week as the Marian Central Hurricanes host the Crystal Lake South Gators. The Hurricanes went 11-1 last season and have the best quarterback in the county in Chris Streveler, who has committed to play at Minnesota next season. Streveler threw for over 2,600 yards and 26 TDs in 2011 as Marian Central got to the state quarterfinals before losing to Suburban Christian Conference rival Montini, who Marian had beat earlier in the season. There are many weapons that have graduated from the Hurricanes’ roster from 2011 but the talented Streveler will likely have another great season and may pick apart a young Gators defense.
Crystal Lake South was 10-2 last season in also going to the state quarterfinals. The Gators’ strength is their offensive line led by Boston Matthews, who has committed to play at Toledo next year. Matthews along with Mike Franke and Pat Walsh are going to need to protect whoever South puts under center for the season opener. This will be a game where Matthews and the offensive line has to move the Marian defenders off the line and keep possession with a quarterback as talented as Streveler on the other sideline. If South wants to get the win, they will likely need to have the ball twice as long as Marian Central. This is the first step for the Gators in replacing all the players who graduated from last season’s team. Keep an eye on Brendan Chrystal on offense and defense for the Gators, he could be a huge part of this game.
As I look at this game, it looks almost like a mismatch on paper with Streveler and the Hurricanes’ offense that put up over 40 points on seven different occasions last season against a Gators team that has a lot of losses on both sides of the ball. I think Marian Central will win this game but not as big as some may think, give me the Hurricanes for a 28-14 win to open the 2012 season.