Belvidere (4-4) @ Belvidere North (2-6)
Last time they met: Belvidere 28 – North 21
At 4-4, Belvidere is the only team in the conference whose postseason fate has not already been determined. Belvidere was crushed by Boylan last week in a 57-0 blowout. But the Bucs pulled out two narrow and important wins in weeks six and seven, defeating Freeport 27-26 and East 46-44. Belvidere quarterback Troy Vandenbroek is the fourth ranked passer in the conference with 1147 yards, nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions. This Friday, Vandenbroek faces Jace Bankord and the Belvidere North Blue Thunder. Bankord, who sits at third among NIC-10 QBs, has thrown for 1184 total yards, nine touchdowns and just two interceptions. North has suffered two consecutive losses, including handing Jefferson their first win of the season.
Harlem (6-2) @ Freeport (3-5)
Last time they met: Harlem 47 – Freeport 18
The Harlem Huskies (6-2) are ranked third in the conference, trailing the two teams that have defeated them this season, Boylan and Hononegah. Harlem’s Kevin Witcik (RB), the leading rusher in the NIC-10, has run for 273 yards and five touchdowns in the last two games. Harlem has scored over 40 points in five of their six wins, the only exception being their 36-28 win over Auburn in week five. Freeport running back Steve McShane is still getting the bulk of the carries for the Pretzels and is among the top rushers in the conference with 1136 yards on 185 carries and 16 touchdowns this season. At 3-5, Freeport will miss the playoffs for the fourth year in a row.
Hononegah (7-1) @ East (1-7)
Last time they met: Hononegah 63 – East 0
Hononegah’s has won seven consecutive games and, with a dominant offense, have scored 307 points since week one. Junior running back Alex Martin has scored 11 touchdowns in the last three weeks, including all eight of the Indians’ scoring plays against Harlem and Guilford. The Indians meet the East E-Rabs in their last regular season game of 2012. East has been plagued by turnovers all season. This was visible in last week’s 49-12 loss to Auburn in which Jacob Benson (QB) threw four interceptions.
Guilford (3-5) @ Jefferson (1-7)
Last time they met: Jefferson 28 – Guilford 21
Lead by running back Garret Perry’s 233 rushing yards and five touchdowns, the Jefferson J-Hawks earner their first win last week, defeating Belvidere North 43-26. They face the Guilford Vikings who are coming off two challenging games against Harlem and Hononegah, in which the Vikings scored a total of 14 points. While Guilford will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive, they’ll hope to have a strong finish against the J-Hawks this week.
Auburn (5-3) @ Boylan (8-0) – Game of the Week
Last time they met: Boylan 56 – Auburn 0
The last game of the week may be the game of the season for the Auburn Knights. Under coach Dan Appino, the Knights have won the five games they needed to make it to the playoffs for the first time in 22 years. In his firsy year as head coach, John Cacciatore has lead the Boylan Titans through eight weeks of another undefeated season.
The Titans haven’t just won their eight games, they have held their opponents to under 30 points combined in the last five weeks.
More details of Auburn’s turn-around season can be found here.
Who has more to prove this week, Coach Appino or Coach Cacciatore?
by Liz Rudolph
ESPN 1380 Prep Reporter
Twitter: @LizESPN1380 E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
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