ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — One of the most exciting football games of the season in the NIC-10 last fall was the Boylan-Belvidere North Game. We could see something similar this Friday night when these two teams get together again at Titan Stadium in our Game of the Week.

Last year’s game went to North 31-28. The winning points came on a 48-yard field goal by backup kicker Alan Perez with just over a minute to play. Guilford quarterback Max Gyllenswan was the holder for that kick.

“I remember that kick holding that kick was crazy, but that’s something I definitely remember.”

Boylan head coach John Cacciatore will never forget that kick. “When I go back and I think about that game last year, the backup kicker is coming in to kick the game-winning field goal, you and I would have lost our homes, we would have lost our shirts betting on that. The kid just kicks the ball because that’s what he does for a living.”

The Blue Thunder have won the last two meetings with the Titans. Two years ago, they won 20-6 at Boylan.

“We’re really just thinking about this year’s team, not the past,” said Boylan captain/receiver/linebacker Ryan Starck. “The past is the past. We can’t change it now. We’re just focusing on what we’ve got to do this year.”

What the Titans have to do this year is contend with North’s triple option offense, one of the trickiest offenses in the NIC-10 to defend.

“It’s a pretty confusing offense,” said Boylan defensive back Mason Caltagerone. “It looks simple, but it’s also pretty confusing, so we’re just trying to stay fundamentally sound.”

Cacciatore knows the triple option well, and how tricky it can be for teenagers who don’t often face it. “That’s the beauty of the triple option. It’s going to numb you into seeing certain things, and then slight variations pop for big plays, and then you add a kid like (Nico) Bertolino in there, that kind of personnel that can break your back at any given time.”

Belvidere North has opened the season with blowout wins over Freeport and East. 

“You saw us dominate this past week (against East),” said Gyllenswan. “In week one (against Freeport) we started slow, but we picked it up. I’m very proud of the guys. I think we’ve got a good season ahead of us.”

Boylan has blown out East and Jefferson through two weeks of the season.

“The read on Boylan is going to be pretty much the same as always,” said Belvidere North head coach Jeff Beck. “They have good athletes. They’re physical up front. They’re well coached. I think that’s the read on them always.”

“They always come ready to play,” said North fullback and defensive lineman Trent Dinsmore. “I mean they’re nothing to be taken lightly, so I definitely think it’s going to be a great football game to watch.”

Starck has similar respect for the Blue Thunder. “Obviously North is a very, very strong team every year-in and year-out. We’re just attacking with everything we have every day, giving it all we’ve got in practice because we know the opponent is so strong.”

NOTE: For highlights and analysis of this big battle, watch “Overtime” with Scott Leber, Regan Holgate and Tim Bailey Friday night live at 11 p.m. on Fox 39.