High school football: Week 1 in pictures, 10 standout photos

Wheeling’s Simon Micula drags a would-be Round Lake tackler the last yard to score a touchdown.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Wheeling running back Simon Micula set a school record with five touchdowns in the 58-7 win against Round Lake. He also had eight tackles, a sack and a tackle for a loss while playing on defense.

Loyola’s Declan Forde (17) makes a one-handed catch for a long gain against Cincinnati St. Xavier.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Loyola’s passing attack against St. Xavier was tremendous. Quarterback Jake Stearney connected with five different receivers. He was 15-for-19 for 253 yards with four touchdowns and one interception (which coach John Holecek said wasn’t his fault). This grab by Declan Forde (four catches, 95 yards and a touchdown), was one of the most impressive of the weekend.

Kenwood’s Nacari McFarland (10) is evaluated for an injury after being sacked at the start of the second half of the game against Glenbard North.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Kenwood quarterback Nacari McFarland was one of the most promising young players of the weekend. The 6-6 junior was 7-for-11 passing for 120 yards and one touchdown before leaving with an injury.

“He’s probably out for now but his backup is pretty good,” Broncos coach Sinque Turner said. “We’ll be ok. The guys were used to McFarland but [Kevari Thunderbird] has taken a ton of reps.”

St. Rita’s Conor Talty (31) reacts after kicking a field goal in the game against Mount Carmel.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

St. Rita didn’t have many standout moments in the 35-3 loss at Mount Carmel on Friday. But the one highlight was a stunner. Kicker Conor Talty, an Alabama recruit, nailed a 51-yard field goal with a few feet to spare.

Simeon’s Malik Elzy (8) reacts after scoring a touchdown against Wheaton-Warrenville South.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Simeon senior Malik Elzy lived up to all the hype on Saturday against Wheaton-Warrenville South. The numbers aren’t eye-popping. Elzy had three receptions for 124 yards.But every time he touched the ball he was a threat to score.

Glenbard North’s Johnnie Robertson (3) scores a touchdown against Kenwood.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Glenbard North lost Sam Palmer, it’s starting running back, on the first drive of the season. That put even more on the shoulders of receiver Johnnie Robertson and quarterback Justin Bland. The pair of seniors delivered in crunch time.

Wheeling’s Diego Giles (19) enjoys the moment after intercepting a pass.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Wheeling was 1-8 last season. The Warriors beat Round Lake in the opener last year as well but went on to lose the next eight games. This team has higher expectations with 12 starters back.

Loyola’s student section was packed for Saturday’s game against Cincinnati St. Xavier.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Cincinnati St. Xavier brought a band and a student section and sold out its side of the stadium in Wilmette. But Loyola fans were out in force for the game as well, which was on ESPN.

Glenbard North’s Justin Bland (1) celebrates a touchdown during the game against Kenwood.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Glenbard North quarterback Justin Bland engineered a comeback win on the road against Kenwood.

“We have the chemistry from winning in the playoffs before,” Bland said.

Loyola’s Drew MacPherson (34) breaks a long run for a touchdown against Cincinnati St. Xavier.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Sophomore Drew MacPherson was another breakout young star this weekend. Loyola wasn’t expected to have a major threat at running back this season but MacPherson ripped off a 53-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and junior Will Nimesheim opened the second half with a 70-yard touchdown run.

“That was incredible,” Holecek said. “I didn’t think those guys were going to run past too many people, but they certainly looked the part today.”

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