FNL Kickoff: Lincoln-Way East @ Bolingbrook

This Southwest Suburban (Blue) Conference matchup is always a slugfest, and this year should be no different. Here's a look ahead at Friday's matchup.

This will be the third year in a row we'll be checking out a Bolingbrook vs. Lincoln-Way East matchup because there always seems to be an Illinois target or commit involved.

In 2013, former Illinois quarterback Aaron Bailey, now at Northern Iowa, was under center for the Raiders of Bolingbrook.  In 2014, U.S. Army All-American Nick Allegretti was the center of the offensive line for the Griffins of Lincoln-Way East.  Across from Allegretti was now Notre Dame defensive lineman Micah Dew-Treadway and a pair of future Minnesota Golden Gophers in Josh and Jaden Huff.  

Now, in 2015, the contest features two B1G-bound seniors in Lincoln-Way East offensive tackle Kurt Gavin, who is pledged to Illinois.  Gavin and the Griffins will take on the Bolingbrook Raiders, led on defense by Ohio State linebacker pledge Tuf Borland.

The moral of the story? These teams are always talented, and this year is absolutely no different.

Let's have a closer look at these two teams, starting with the home team, the Bolingbrook Raiders.

Bolingbrook At A Glance...

The Raiders (2-2) graduated a lot of talent on defense in their 2015 class, but their centerpiece, Ohio State pledge Tuf Borland, remains, and he leads a smashmouth defense that flies around the field.

Borland excels in run defense and rarely misses a gap in interior run defense.  He does a good job in diagnosing plays out of the backfield and getting to the ball.  What he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for with his IQ for the game and nose for the football.  He is built rock solid and has played varsity most of his high school career, so his understanding of the defense is thorough.

Lincoln-Way East At A Glance...

The Griffins' (3-1) only loss so far was a 14-13 nail-biter against a still-undefeated Oak Park-River Forest team in week 1.  Since then, the south-suburban power has defeated their opponents by an average margin of just over 40 points per game.  Friday's matchup against Bolingbrook is a different beast, and the games between these two teams usually ends in a low-scoring slugfest in the trenches.

One player in particular who will be key in this game is senior offensive tackle and Illinois commit Kurt Gavin.

Gavin, a rangy-yet-solid offensive tackle, pledged to the Illini mid-summer, and his play tonight will be crucial in providing the Griffins enough time for plays to develop in the backfield.  Gavin has the athleticism to play both tackle positions, so he may switch sides from time to time for the Griffins depending on where he is needed.

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