ESPN Madision

NIC-10 Week 8 Preview

Oct 12, 2012 -- 5:22am

Boylan (7-0) @ Belvidere (4-3)
Last time they met: Boylan 42 – Belvidere 7

Belvidere narrowly escaped East’s potent offense last week in a 46-44 double-overtime win. Running back Maurice Jackson was responsible for a majority of the Bucs’ scoring, finding the end zone for four touchdowns.  Boylan improved their record to 7-0 after defeating Belvidere North 42-14.  Quarterback Brock Stull threw for 116 yards and rushed for two touchdowns, while DeMarcus Vines added 152 rushing yards to his season total of 886.  Belvidere still has a chance at the postseason if they fall to Boylan this week; the Bucs travel across town to meet Belvidere North in the final game of the season.

Freeport (3-4) @ Hononegah (6-1)
Last time they met: Freeport 19 – Hononegah 14

After starting the season 3-0, Freeport capped off a four-game slide with a loss to Auburn last week.  The Pretzels out-passed and outran Auburn, but it was Freeport’s three turnovers that would prove to be the difference makers in the 27-20 loss.  Offensively, sophomore running back Steve McShane was the highpoint for the Pretzels; he broke the 1,000 yard mark for the season, running for 165 yards and two touchdowns and catching a 38-yard touchdown pass.
Hononegah has not lost a game since falling to Boylan in week one.  For the second week in a row, junior running back Alex Martin was responsible for all four of the Indians’ scoring plays in the 29-8 win over Guilford.

Belvidere North (2-5) @ Jefferson (0-7)
Last time they met:  Jefferson 34 – Belvidere North 21

The Jefferson J-Hawks are still without a W this season.  They have faced Hononegah, Boylan and Harlem in the last three weeks and scored just 32 points in the games combined.  They take on the Belvidere North Blue Thunder, who fell to Boylan 42-14 last week.  Belvidere North’s Jace Bankord threw for 295 yards.  Bankord’s one touchdown reception went to Jordan Zickert, who had 114 yards receiving on 11 catches against the Titans.

Guilford (3-4) @ Harlem (5-2)
Last time they met: Harlem 42 – Guilford 27

Like Freeport, Guilford has two games to play and will need both of them to make it into the playoffs.  The Vikings fell to Hononegah 29-8 last week, and things don’t get any easier at Harlem this week.  Harlem is coming off a 42-13 win over Jefferson.  Huskies’ running back Kevin Witcik is currently second in the conference in rushing (under McShane at Freeport) with 1,028 yards.  Witcik had another great performance last week, putting up 126 yards on 11 carries and three touchdowns against the J-Hawks.  Guilford will need to find the passing game they executed in their week five win against Belvidere if they want to move to 4-4 this week.

Auburn (4-3) @ East (1-6) – Game of the Week
Last time they met: East 28 – Auburn 20

Looking back on the previous weeks, the Auburn Knights have gotten the wins that they’ve needed, and have done so often by the skin of their teeth.  Their wins against Belvidere North and Guilford, for example, have come down to crucial goal-line stops by the Knights’ defense in the final minutes of the game.  This week they face the East E-Rabs, who despite their 1-6 record, feature two of the biggest offensive threats in the conference. Junior Jacob Benson is currently ranked sixth amongst quarterbacks in the state of Illinois.  Benson threw for 335 yards and six touchdowns in the double-overtime loss to Belvidere last week, but also threw only one interception, which was crucial for what has appeared to be a mistake-prone E-Rab offense.  A majority of Benson’s passes have gone to Austin Young, the top receiver in the state with 949 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.  The E-Rabs are still looking for a game where they put it all together, and can be a legitimate threat to Auburn’s playoff hopes this week.

by Liz Rudolph
ESPN 1380 Prep Reporter
Twitter: @LizESPN1380

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