ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–Whenever the Boylan Titans take the field, you know you’re in for some entertaining football. The Titans have some major tools in their toolbox this year.

The first key to this season for the Titans is to stay healthy.

“If we’re not healthy, and I think all teams would say the same thing, if we’re not healthy we’re in trouble,” said head coach John Cacciatore.

The Titans were hit by some major injuries last year. Top running backs Mekhi Glover and Donovan Hanserd both went down. Glover was hobbled for half the season, Hanserd was out for almost the entire season after he suffered a torn labrum in the opener.

Quarterback Connor Dennis went down in week nine with a shoulder injury, and he missed the playoffs. Those guys are all ready to go now and they’ll give Boylan perhaps the most balanced offense in the NIC-10.

“We always want to be balanced to make it difficult to defend us this season,” said Cacciatore.

Glover was first team all-conference last year despite his injuries. Hanserd rushed for 112 yards, and he scored two touchdowns in the opener before getting injured. When they were out, the Titans turned to slot receiver Rasheed Johnson in the backfield, and he delivered big plays.

The Titans also return first team all-conference receiver Mark Harris. He averaged almost 21 yards per catch.

“I feel like I’m ready,” said Harris. “I feel like the team is ready. I feel like we’re going to have a big year.”

The Titans also bring back another big offensive talent in J’Mar Johnson. Dennis at quarterback benefits from all these weapons, and he makes the most of them. He was second in the conference in passing yards last year as a sophomore.

“He did a great job of not throwing interceptions,” said Cacciatore. “There were I think four interceptions, six interceptions on the whole season for him, so he was really good about not turning the ball over.”

“I think everybody buys into the fact that if we’re balanced, there’s touches for everyone. We’re not trying to create a 2,000-yard rusher, or a 2,000-yard receiver. We would rather sacrifice some of that ‘me’ stuff for the ‘we’ stuff. That’s how we get our kids to buy in.”

Despite all that talent at the skilled positions, Cacciatore says it all starts up front. The Titans graduated big Mat Logan, but they have another big body in there returning in Alberto Chavez whom Cacciatore is high on.

“He’s 280 pounds of mass moving, so it’s nice to get behind that. I think a lot of our game is going to start with him.”

Cacciatore says Boylan football begins with defense first. Chaves, Glover, Hanserd, Bryant, both Johnsons, Nick Davenport, linebackers Jack Kerno and Dominic Spera and defensive lineman Max Montoya are ready to roll on that side of the ball.

“We lost some crucial players last year on the line,” said Montoya, “But I think we have what it takes to definitely be a good defender on the line. We have strong motivated players there.”

“We’re going to be solid on that side,” said Cacciatore. “We’re going to be physical and sound.”

NOTE: The Titans were (7-4, 6-3) last year. They finished fourth in the NIC-10. They lost in the second round of the 5A playoffs to eventual state champion Oak Park Fenwick 24-14.