The Auburn Knights and Boylan Titans both got their seasons off to impressive starts last Friday night. This Friday they’ll try to keep it going when they square off at Boylan in our Sports Connection ‘Game Of The Week.’
The Titans opened their season with a 36-12 win at Belvidere. The Knights dominated East 48-8.
They expect this game to be far more challenging.
“They’re very big, they’re very fast, and I think they use their athletes well,” says Boylan defensive back Jack Foley of the Knights.
“They’re not the same team from last year,” says Auburn nose tackle Ernest Austin of the Titans. (Boylan won only three games last season). “So I don’t try to be like we’re just going to go out there and win. I try to treat like it’s week one again. So I don’t doubt them at all.”
Both teams are loaded at the skill positions, and both having playmaking quarterbacks in Auburn’s Nathan Jarrett and Boylan’s Zach Couper, but both teams believe the game will be decided in the trenches.
“I feel like it’s going to determine the game,”says Austin. “Whoever is going to win on the line is probably going to win the game.”
“That’s where it all starts in the trenches, and if we can hold our ground there, win the battles up front, it’s going to be a good game for us,” says Boylan All-Conference defensive end Noah Hickcox.
Coming off a 3-6 season in 2015, the Titans hope make a statement with an early win against the reigning NIC-10 champs.
“We’re going to do our best to make some noise in the NIC-10,” says Hickcox. “If we win on Friday I think a lot of people are going to open their eyes to us be like, ‘Wow they’re serious!”
The Knights are well aware of the position they’re in this season with everyone gunning for them. They know they have a target on their back, but they also want to prove that last year was not a fluke. They’re ready to send their own message on Friday night.
“Yes, I do feel like we have to prove it,” says Austin. “We do have to live up to the name that we have, try to stay up with the hype.”
Catch highlights of the game Friday at 10 p.m. on WTVO 17 and Saturday on the Sports Connection (10:30am on Rockford’s MyNetwork TV and 5:30pm on Fox 39).