Football: Freeport wraps up fourth straight title share

Freeport Rolls On: Freeport wrapped up at least a share of an unprecedented fourth straight NIC-9 Conference football title—and gave Cal Cummins his 100th victory as head coach—with a 42-7 win at Rockton Oct. 8, ruining Hononegah’s homecoming.

The Pretzels’ Eli Brouhard ran for five TDs, giving him a total of 15 for the season. In all, Freeport running backs rushed for 380 yards on 46 carries, averaging an 8.3 yards per carry. Brouhard had 110 yards on 14 carries, Myron Collins 81 yards on 14 rushes and Ryan Ramos carried the ball 11 times for 102 yards.

The Pretzels (7-0, 7-0) need a win vs. Rockford Boylan Oct. 22 or a Rockford Guilford loss to earn the NIC-9 title outright. Freeport, with a 31-game NIC-9 winning streak, steps outside the conference Friday, Oct. 15, to play at Elgin Larkin.

In other games, Machesney Park Harlem rallied behind senior QB Rob Wiest to beat Belvidere 17-14; Guilford won its fifth straight game, crushing Rockford Auburn 42-0 as Viking QB Phil Adams rushed for 127 yards and three TDs and threw for another score; and Boylan rolled over Rockford East 42-6. Rockford Jefferson downed Aurora East 28-7 in a non-conference game.

Games Oct. 15 have Guilford (6-1, 6-1) at Belvidere (3-3, 4-3), Harlem (3-3, 4-3) at Auburn (0-6, 0-7), Jefferson (1-5, 2-5) at Boylan (3-3, 3-4), Hononegah (3-3, 4-3) at East (2-4, 2-5) and Freeport at Elgin Larkin.

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Rochelle Wins Big: Rochelle (7-0, 4-0) clinched the NCIC Southwest Division title for the seventh straight year, with a 48-7 win over previously unbeaten Mendota (6-1, 3-1). It was the Hubs 34th straight conference win, said WTVO-TV-17.

Mendota wasn’t the only team to suffer its first loss Oct. 8. Forreston, which trailed 14-0 and 22-8, upset Eastland/Pearl City 26-22, stopping Wildcats QB Kyle Kniss at the 2 on a play that started with seven seconds left. The Cardinals are 5-2, 3-0 in the Upstate Illini South, EPC is 6-1, 3-1.

North Boone Poplar Grove, Johnsburg and Manlius Bureau Valley joined Rochelle and Freeport as unbeatens at 7-0. North Boone beat Ashton/Franklin Center 54-28 to go 3-0 in the Four Rivers Conference, 7-0 overall.

Johnsburg beat Marengo 34-6, and Manlius ran over Ottawa Marquette 47-0.

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Regents Win: Rockford College’s John Feehan (Machesney Park Harlem) rushed for a career-high 183 yards on 29 carries and QB Travis Stocker (Forreston) threw for all three of his team’s TDs as the Regents (4-2, 2-1) out-dueled Maranatha Baptist Bible College 20-9.

The Oct. 9 win over the Crusaders (2-3, 1-2) kept RC in a second-place tie in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference South Division. Rockford next faces Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, N.D., at noon Saturday, Oct. 16.

For Feehan, it marked the fifth consecutive week the sophomore has eclipsed the century mark on the ground.

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Homecoming Ruined: North Iowa Area Community College capitalized on six Rock Valley College turnovers in a 31-14 win in Rockford that spoiled RVC’s homecoming Oct. 9. NIACC intercepted RVC quarterback Nick George twice and recovered four fumbles, including a 28-yard fumble return for a TD by Edward Gipson on the first play from scrimmage in the second half.

RVC (2-5, 4-1) got TD runs of 20 yards by Ralston Garvey and one yard by George. RVC quarterbacks threw for 292 yards, including 168 by starter Craig Moore and 124 by George. RVC’s final home game is Saturday, Oct. 16, at 1 p.m. vs. Harper College.

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Beloit Beaten: Carroll College scored four TDs on the ground, including three in the second half, to ruin Beloit College’s homecoming 35-27 Oct. 9. Carroll improved to 3-3 while Beloit fell to 2-4.

Beloit’s Nate Skelton was 12 of 25 passing for 183 yards and two TDs and also led the Bucs in rushing with 10 carries for 76 yards and one TD. Beloit has an open date this weekend.

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NIU Survives: Northern Illinois led by 21 points at halftime and by 13 with 10 minutes remaining, but needed a Chris Nendick 39-yard field goal as time ran out to save a 30-28 victory over Central Florida Oct. 9.

The Huskies are 4-2, 3-0 in the MAC. UCF, coached by George O’Leary, is 0-5 and 0-2, and has lost nine straight games, its longest losing streak since 1982 when it competed as a Division II program.

NIU will face Central Michigan at 3:05 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, in its 98th homecoming game.

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Illini Fall Again: Illinois fell to Michigan State 38-25 at East Lansing, Mich., Oct. 9, and now has lost 11 consecutive Big Ten games. The Spartans (3-3, 2-1 Big Ten) have beaten the Illini (2-4, 0-3) eight straight times. Illinois hasn’t won in the series since 1992, and hasn’t won at Spartan Stadium since 1989. Nice.

Remaining on the Illinois schedule, in order, are Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana and Northwestern.

Noah Herron ran for a career-high 197 yards and three TDs, including a 16-yard scoring run in the second overtime to lead Northwestern to a 31-24 victory over Indiana. The Wildcats, Illinois’ so-called “other” Big Ten team, improved to 3-3 and 2-1 while the Hoosiers are 2-4, 0-3. It was the second straight overtime win for Northwestern, which upset Ohio State last time out.

Wisconsin continues to impress, beating Ohio State 24-13 in Columbus, Ohio, as Anthony Davis ran for 168 yards and a TD and the Badger defense again dominated. The Buckeyes mustered just two first downs in the second half against a Wisconsin defense that came into the game leading the nation in scoring defense (5.2 points per game) and yards allowed (193.2).

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Bears Return: The 1-3 Bears, idle last week, return to NFL action with a home game Sunday, Oct. 17, vs. Joe Gibbs’ Washington Redskins. The Packers, 1-3 going into the Monday night game Oct. 11 vs. Tennessee, will be at Detroit Sunday, Oct. 17.

Packer fans: Canterbury Tours of Rockford is planning a bus tour to new Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Saturday, Oct. 16. Included will be a tour of the field, private suites and locker rooms, a gourmet lunch at Curley’s Pub, followed by a tour of the Packers Hall of Fame. Cost is $78 per person. Call Canterbury at (815) 398-1454 to make reservations.

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