In following the weekly previews and game recaps, you may have noticed the highlights have featured some familiar names. That’s because there are players across the conference who have had standout performances and record-breaking games on a weekly basis. These are just some of the players you should be watching in the final weeks of the season.
The running game has been dominant force for many teams in the NIC-10 this season. Leading the conference in rushing is Steve McShane, sophomore running back of the Freeport Pretzels. McShane has totaled 915 yards on 133 carries and 14 touchdowns so far. His standout performance came in week three, in Freeport’s 47-21 win over East. McShane ran for 252 yards and five touchdowns, including two touchdown runs at over 40 yards a piece.
Slowing down Harlem’s offense this season has depended largely on trying to contain senior Kevin Witcik, who has averaged over 11 points per game. Witcik has totaled 902 yards on 132 carries and seven touchdowns. Three of those touchdowns came in the week two loss to Boylan, Harlem’s best-played game came so far. Witcik ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns, including an 80 yard trip to the endzone. He also had 131 receiving yards on just two catches and an 81 yard touchdown reception in the same game. Witcik has topped 2,000 rushing yards in his career.
Despite Jefferson’s struggles this season, senior running back Garett Perry has put together a record-breaking season. Perry lead the conference in rushing earlier in the season, and currently has 766 yards on just 84 carries, and four touchdowns. In Jefferson’s week two loss to Freeport, Perry ran for 292 yards, banking one receiving and two rushing touchdowns. He also broke the school single-game rushing record in that game.
Running back DeMarcus Vines is the leading rusher on the 6-0 Boylan Titans. He may have fewer total yards than Perry at 734, but the number that stands out for Vines is his 15 touchdowns. Not only has the 5’8’’ senior scored in every game he’s played this season, he has scored at least twice. Vines score four touchdowns against Jefferson in week six, running for 139 yards on 22 carries.
This has also been a big year for a couple of quarterbacks in the conference. East’s Jacob Benson (QB) threw for 353 yards, the second most in NIC-10 history, in their game against Jefferson, and broke the school’s passing record. Benson’s go-to receiver, Austin Young (WR) set the conference’s all-time single-game receiving record, with 247 yards in that same game.
Harlem’s Justin VanWambeke is the second leading passer in the conference, with 1027 total yards. He has averaged 168 yards passing per game and is the fourth consecutive Huskies quarterback to top 1,000 yards. Belvidere quarterback Troy Vandenbroek broke the school’s single-game passing record with 300 yards against Harlem in week four of this season. The other half of Vandenbroek’s big season has been wide receiver Kane Steger, who has 461 yards and one touchdown on the season.
by Liz Rudolph
ESPN 1380 Prep Reporter
Twitter: @LizESPN1380 E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
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