By Matt Nestor
The Guilford Vikings were pumped on a cool first Friday night in September hosting the Boylan Titans Sept. 3. The crowd was excited, and the Vikings would be receiving the opening kickoff.
Then, the opening kickoff bounced off one of the up linemen, and the Titans recovered and started off the game with the ball.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” Boylan quarterback Frank Cimino said of the onside kick. “I was talking to my quarterback’s coach and they said, ‘Hurry up, we’re on offense.’”
It seemed as if it were a stroke of genius in what many expected to be a big test for Boylan’s NIC-10 record winning streak. Boylan coach Dan Appino said he could take no such credit.
“It was not intentional,” Appino said. “They have some great return guys, so I told him to kick it low and not hit a lineman. It worked out in our favor.”
The Titans capitalized on the extra possession when senior Chris Miller ran in for a 17-yard touchdown to take the early lead on their way to a 49-7 victory over the Vikings.
The Vikings responded after the opening score, driving down to the Boylan 10-yard line, going on it for fourth-and-one. But the stout Boylan defense tackled the runner behind the line to thwart the drive.
The Titans had a lot of concern over their defense coming into the season. They held an experienced Vikings offense to 151 total yards, 75 of which came on a touchdown run by Dontrell Chance.
“We’re getting better every game,” Appino said of his defense, which also caused three turnovers. “We still have some things we obviously need to correct, but I feel like we’re getting better. Our leverage is good for a bunch of smaller guys. I think our guys do a great job of getting under pads.”
The Boylan offense was led by junior Tyreis Thomas, who ran for 154 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown. But more than anything, the Titans kept Guilford off balance with a no-huddle, hurry-up offense featuring their two quarterbacks.
“It’s working really good,” Cimino said. “Lamont is more of the runner, and I am more of the passer. But we proved this week and last week that we can both run and pass the ball. I think we’re both two great quarterbacks.”
In other NIC-10 action:
→ Hononegah (2-0) jumped out to a 24-7 lead behind two touchdowns by Tyler McBride. But the Belvidere Bucs (1-1) stormed back, getting 178 yards and three touchdowns from Marcus Gooden. But a Carlos Hendrix touchdown in the fourth quarter helped the Indians hang on and win for the second straight week.
→ Freeport (2-0) stayed undefeated as well, getting a long touchdown reception from Brandon McShane, as well as a long touchdown run by Caleb Wilkenson in defeating East (0-2) by a score of 28-0.
→ Austin Smaha ran four 214 yards and scored four touchdowns for Belvidere North (0-2) against Harlem. But Brandon Rogers outplayed him for the Huskies (1-1), passing for 210 yards and running for another 144 yards to lead the way for Harlem in a 45-26 win.
→ Joe Ward threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Xaiver Butler, and Gerrion Jones returned a fumble for a touchdown to lead Jefferson (1-1) to a 30-0 win over Auburn (0-2).
From the Sept. 8-14, 2010 issue