By Matt Nestor
The last two seasons, the high-powered Harlem Huskies hosted first-round playoff games as a high seed, only to watch their championship hopes fall at home.
This year, playing on the road in the first round against Glenbrook North, the Huskies jumped out to an early lead and then held on late for a 31-21 victory.
The Huskies used a safety and then touchdowns from Brandon Rogers and Keith Purifoy to jump out to a 16-0 lead early in the first quarter.
After falling behind 21-16 at the half, Harlem opened the third quarter strong, getting a 22-yard touchdown from Kevin Witcik to take the lead 24-21 after a 2-point conversion.
Witcik, who ran for 94 yards, iced the game with a 29-yard touchdown in the final minutes of the game.
Harlem was led by Rogers, who ran for 196 yards and a touchdown, to go with 49 yards passing. Purifoy ran for 107 yards for Harlem.
Harlem will play host to Chicago St. Rita in the second round. St. Rita won 28-19 in their first-round matchup over Highland Park.
Hononegah tops Chicago Taft
The Hononegah Indians wasted no time bouncing back from a season-ending loss to Boylan, putting up 29 points in the first quarter on their way to a 50-7 victory over Chicago Taft.
Carlos Hendrix, who ran for 92 yards in the game, scored the first touchdown on a 43-yard run to give the Indians the lead.
Quarterback Chase Robinson followed up with three straight touchdown passes to Ryan Masters, one for 43 yards, another for 60 and the last from 5 yards.
Robinson also threw a touchdown in the second half to Hendrix and also ran in another score.
The Indians’ defense also responded well, shutting out the Taft offense. The only touchdown for Taft was on a fumble return.
All in all, it was an impressive performance for the Indians, who won their first-round game for the third straight year. They will try to move on to the next round on the road against Mundelein Carmel, an equally impressive 55-7 winner over Elgin.
Guilford season comes to end
The Guilford Vikings knew they faced an uphill battle on the road against Mount Prospect. But things looked good at the start.
Dontrel Chance returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to give the Vikings an early 6-0 lead.
That was all the celebrating the Vikings could do. Prospect rolled off 48 straight points on their way to a 54-14 victory over the Vikings.
Steve Dazzo and Peter Bonahoom proved to be too much for the Vikings to handle. Dazzo ran for four touchdowns and threw for two more, one of which was to Bonahoom. The lead running back for Prospect ran in one of his own as well.
Andy Nichols did add a touchdown for the Vikings. Quarterback Cody Bell led the Vikings with 58 rushing yards and 18 passing yards.
From the Nov. 3-9, 2010 issue