Harlem (4-1) @ Hononegah (4-1) – Game of the Week
Last time they met: Harlem 41 – Hononegah 31
From the beginning of the season, we have talked at length about the three power teams in the NIC-10; Boylan, Harlem and Hononegah. With Boylan at 5-0 on the season, and topping 60 straight conference wins, it’s the Harlem Huskies (4-1) and the Hononegah Indians (4-1) who have been jockeying for the second sport in the conference. This week, only one of those teams will sit at 5-1.
Hononegah has scored 200 points in the last four games since their week one loss to Boylan. The Indians have favored their running game, including junior running backs Marrick Protz and Alex Martin and Jake Wilson. The Harlem Huskies are even with Hononegah in the standings, but have not played as well in recent weeks. Their last two games gave been battles; the Auburn Knights put up a strong showing against them last week, but the Huskies walked away with a 36-28 win. Harlem leads the all-time record against Hononegah, 7-2.
Belvidere (2-3) @ Freeport (3-2)
Last time they met: Belvidere 55 – Freeport 0
After starting the season 3-0, the Freeport Pretzels are 0-2 in the last two weeks. They dropped an important game to Belvidere North last week, who picked up their first win of the season. As we get farther into the second half of the schedule, there are more make-or-break games coming up around the conference, and this is a big one for Belvidere and Freeport. The winner of this game has gone to the playoffs in 11 of the last 12 years.
Freeport’s offense has not looked the same since Steve McShane (RB) put up 252 rushing yards and five touchdowns in the week three win against East. But Belvidere’s Kane Steger, who is second the conference in receptions, did not bank a single catch in last week’s loss to Guilford. Freeport will have to find their own running game while maintaining the Bucs’ QB Troy Vandenbroek if they want to keep their postseason hopes alive.
East (1-4) @ Belvidere North (1-4)
Last time they met: Belvidere North 59 – East 58
The Belvidere North Blue Thunder left Freeport with their first win of the season last week, defeating the Pretzels 14-12, and will look for a repeat against East in week six. It may not have been an outstanding night for the North offense, but they controlled the ball for much of the fourth quarter, and their defense was able to hold on for the narrow victory. The East E-Rabs are coming off a 41-9 loss to Boylan, who kept East’s offensive leaders Jacob Benson (QB) and Austin Young (WR) relatively quiet. In the week prior, Benson threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns, with Young on the receiving end of 247 yards and two touchdowns.
Boylan (5-0) @ Jefferson (0-5)
Last time they met: Boylan 38 – Jefferson 8
Sometimes, you can’t put too much stock in a teams’ record. At times, however, if tells you precisely what you need to know. Jefferson (0-5) has yet to come up with a win this season, most recently falling to Hononegah 55-13. Garret Perry (RB), one of the conference’s leading rushers, returns for Jefferson this week. But in addition to a potent offense, the Boylan Titan’s defense has only allowed nine points in their last three games. Matt Johhson has eight interceptions through five games. There isn’t anything about this matchup that suggests Boylan won’t move to 6-0.
Auburn (2-3) @ Guilford (3-2)
Last time they met: Guilford 34 – Auburn 0
In another middle of the standings matchup, the 3-2 Guilford Vikings take on the 2-3 Auburn Knights. Guilford is coming off of a big win at Belvidere last week, showing off a solid passing game. Nick Hyatte (QB) threw for 95 yards and found receiver D.J. Mack for three touchdowns. The Vikings also rushed for 236 yards, lead by Justin Carroll (RB) with 118 yard, in a final score of 42-14.
Auburn (2-3) is entering the most crucial part of their schedule as they look to pick up three wins and their ticket into the playoffs. They have played against two very good teams in recent weeks, including leading Harlem through the first half of last week’s matchup. Jay Dowthard, who has taken over in the quarterback position for Auburn, passed for 167 yards last week, but also threw two interceptions. Devonne Manns ran for 130 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown.
by Liz Rudolph
ESPN 1380 Prep Reporter
Twitter: @LizESPN1380 E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
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