Genoa-Kingston and Byron ready for their Big Northern showdown

High School Football

BYRON, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) –There are three undefeated football teams in the Big Northern Conference. At least one of them will absorb a loss Friday night. That’s because 3-0 Genoa-Kingston will take on 3-0 Byron in our “Overtime” Game of the Week.”

If not for the different uniforms it would be difficult to tell these two teams apart. The Cogs and the Tigers line up and pretty much play the same brand of football.

“We run a lot of similar looks on offense, and defensively we like to get after it like our 4-4 base and a six-front,” said Genoa-Kingston head coach Cameron Davekos.

Both teams want to establish the run. Neither team has been stopped from doing that so far this season. The Tigers have multiple backs who can hurt teams, but Chandler Binkley leads the way. He’s rushed for seven touchdowns through three games.

The Cogs also have multiple, productive backs, but big Colin Nesler presents problems with his size.

“We both run pretty similar offenses, so we know what they’re going to do,” said Nesler. “It’s all about sticking to our assignments.”

If you want great defense, these teams can supply that too. Byron’s top unit hasn’t been scored on yet this season.

“The defense has played really, really well,” said Byron head coach Jeff Boyer. “We kind of hang our hat on that at Byron. We want to run the ball and play great defense and these kids have been certainly doing that.”

“I feel like we have a real physical defense, and we’re all focusing in on what we’re supposed to be keying,” said Byron linebacker Andrew Claunch.

Davekos is impressed with the Tigers’ defense. “They get after it each and every play. They have a motor that doesn’t quit.”

“They just have good defensive linemen that can swallow you up if you don’t block them right,” aid G-K tight end Chase Engle. “That’s what we’re doing this week just assignment roles and stuff like that.”

The Cogs also take a lot of pride in their own defense.

“Defensively we just fly around, and we try to have fun, and we try and just create havoc for the offense,” said Davekos.

The Cogs know how to win at Byron. They did it just a few months back in the shortened spring season.  The winner of this game will take a huge step toward achieving its goal of a Big Northern Conference Championship. Both teams will come away from this game having a better feel for what they’re made of.

“I think it’ll be a good test for us,” said Binkley, “Especially because we’re trying to get into the playoffs, but Genoa and especially next week too North Boone, they’re going to be good games for us and see what we need to work on and see what we’re good at.”

“Genoa is a great team, and we’re going to find out what we’re made of,” said Boyer. “You hope your kids rise to the challenge.”

“We have nothing but respect for them,” said Davekos. “So we’ve got to be on our game this week.”

Note: Catch highlights of this game Friday night on “Overtime” live at 11 p.m. on Fox 39. (Rebroadcast Sunday morning at 9 a.m. on Fox 39.)

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