ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — For the second straight week there will be a battle for first place in NIC-10 football Friday night. Last week it was Boylan at Hononegah. This week it’s 5-0 Boylan hosting 4-1 Harlem.
This is a great matchup every which way. Boylan will bring the NIC-10’s stingist defense onto the field. The Titans are allowing only nine points per game. Harlem will bring the conference’s high scoring offense onto the field. The Huskies average 49.5 points per game. This might be the best NIC-10 offense Boylan coach John Cacciatore has ever seen.
“We’ve seen good quarterbacks. We’ve seen good groups of wide receivers. but man, this group seems to have it all.”
That offense starts with junior quarterback James Cooper Jr.
“The quarterback over there is as good of arm as you’re going to see out there,’ said Cacciaore.
“He’s a good quarterback,” said Boylan senior seafety Dayvion Foreman. “We don’t know if he’s going to throw it short, throw it deep. He’s just an effortless thrower.”
And Cooper’s receivers Dominic McCarron, Jalon Benson and Brandt Hixon are as good of a trio as you’ll find at this level.
“They’re very talented receivers,” said Foreman. “When they’re in open space they can really do some damage.”
The Huskies are equally impressed with Boylan’s defense.
“They’re very phsyical and they’re large,” says Harlem head coach Bob Moynihan. “They’re a big group of kids. They’re talented. They have a great motor.”
“They’re fast,” said Harlem receiver Brandt Hixson. “They fly around. They’ve got big-hitters that want to get to the ball.”
The Huskies have bounced back well from a season-opening loss to Hononegah by reeling off four straight wins. Moynihan is most pleased with the improvement of his defense.
“Defensively I think since Hononegah we’ve given up two defensive touchdowns.”
Moynihan also likes the fact that Harlem’s explosive passing game is complemented by a good run game.
“I said from the begining we have to run the football. I think right now we have 1200 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing on the season.”
The Titans are coming off an emotional victory at Hononegah last week that at the moment has them alone in first place in the NIC-10 at 5-0. The Titans were almost perfect in the second half last week when they outscored the Indians 34-0. But Cacciatore stills sees room for improvement.
“They’ve (his players) got to find a way to get better and not just sit back on their heels and assume they’re just going to go out there and win.”
“That was a good win for our program,” said Foreman of the victory at Hononegah. “It was a good win for us…we’ve got to put it behind us. On to Harlem. On to the next week.”
Catch highlights of the Harlem-Boylan game Friday nght at ten on WTVO 17 and this weekend on the half-hour Sports Connection (Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on MyNetwork TV and Sunday at 9:00 a.m. on Fox 39.)