By Matt Nestor
For the Boylan Titans, the goal was to shut out the distraction of their conference winning steak. For the East E-Rabs, it was a stiff test to see how far they have come early in the season.
The Titans (4-0) were able to maintain their focus and used a big first-half run to top the E-Rabs 57-6. With the win, Boylan also set the conference record for most consecutive wins with 34 straight victories.
“I was really proud of their focus,” Boylan coach Dan Appino said. “We’ve had a lot of people asking us about the streak and things that aren’t relevant to football itself. And our kids played with respect for East, and I think that’s one of the reasons we played so well.”
Boylan kicked things off with a fumble recovery for a touchdown by Steve Thomas. That kicked off a run of 27 first-quarter points for Boylan. Thomas scored three touchdowns total to run the lead to 43-0 at the half.
“There is a reason they haven’t lost a conference game in four years,” East coach Jeff Matzl said. “That is a phenomenal football team.”
East (2-2), who has not won at Boylan since 1988, has played better to start off this season. And because of their improvement, Appino said he had no trouble getting his players’ attention leading up to the game.
“They saw on film that East does some good things,” he said. “I think our kids did well with pad leverage. We got underneath their pads when they got in that real tight formation. If you’re trying to look over them for a ball carrier, (East senior running back Martin Hyatte) will be over you.”
Matzl felt they came in with a good game plan, but he said trying to prepare for Boylan’s speed was almost impossible.
“It looked like there were holes there, but they close so fast,” he said. “The tough thing about them is replicating their speed in practice. Our scout team guys just aren’t at that level of physicality.”
Boylan will look to continue their win streak next week at home against Jefferson (1-3). For East, they will look to bounce back against Belvidere North (1-3).
The E-Rabs still have playoff hopes. Coach Matzl said the team just can’t let this loss demoralize them.
“We’ve had a lot of good the last two weeks. We’ve had a lot of positive energy, and things have been going well,” he said. “We don’t have to see those guys for another year. Every week, we just have to improve a little bit, and we’ve done that every week.”
In other NIC-10 action:
• The Harlem Huskies (3-1) got ready for their showdown with Hononegah by defeating the Auburn Knights (0-4) by a final of 48-0. Senior quarterback Keenan Kellett was 8-13 passing for 179 yards and three touchdowns.
• Hononegah (4-0) stayed hot against Jefferson (1-3). Quarterback Chase Robinson threw two touchdowns for the Indians, who also rushed for 192 yards as a team in their 46-6 victory.
• The Belvidere Bucs (2-2) pulled even in the standings with Guilford (2-2) with a 6-3 victory. Marcus Gooden ran for 53 yards and scored the only touchdown in the game in the second quarter for the Bucs.
• The Blue Thunder of Belvidere North (1-3) picked up their first win by taking care of Freeport (1-3) by a score of 50-32. Belvidere North scored three special teams touchdowns, and Zackery Stinson ran for 155 yards.
From the September 26-29, 2009 issue