By Matt Nestor
Prep Sports Reporter
The Belvidere Bucs just couldn’t find a way to stop Dontrel Chance … in the first quarter.
The senior running back for the Rockford Guilford Vikings (3-2) took the second play of the game 56 yards for a touchdown and had 108 yards by the end of the quarter.
Then, after reinjuring an ankle that he hurt in week two, Chance missed most of the middle quarters while his offense stalled and clung to a 30-16 lead Friday, Sept. 23.
But Chance returned in the fourth quarter. He picked up a couple of first downs, then Justin Carroll finished off the Bucs (2-3) with a 48-yard touchdown run to give the Vikings a 36-16 lead.
“He’s a tough little kid,” Guilford Coach Mel Gilfillan said. “He’s been hurt since week two with that stupid little ankle. He does the best he can. He’s tiny, but he’s a tough kid and does a good job. That’s what we needed.”
Chance tried to make several comebacks after tweaking his ankle injury late in the first quarter. He made three separate comebacks, each time leaving after one play.
The last time he left the field in the third quarter, he appeared to be done for the day. Two plays later, Guilford fumbled deep in their own territory. With the game having the potential to get close, Chance spent the rest of the third quarter and the first part of the fourth quarter working his way back.
“My ankle has been hurting for a while,” he said. “I wanted to get back into the game from the get go, but the trainer said I had to be able to run without limping, and luckily I did in the fourth quarter.”
Chance finished with 141 yards in the game, while his backfield mate, Carroll, ran for 126 yards. Both ran for two touchdowns.
Marcus Gooden led Belvidere with 129 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
The Chance saga did overshadow perhaps an even more important story for the Vikings. After the Bucs marched down the field for a touchdown on their first drive, the Vikings’ defense picked things up, causing several turnovers and holding Belvidere to 10 points the rest of the game.
The turning point in the game was with Guilford holding a 22-13 lead with the second quarter winding down. The Bucs were driving to score when quarterback Troy Vandenbroek was under pressure.
The junior quarterback lifted a pass, and Guilford safety Terrance Bell made a break on the ball, intercepting the ball and nearly returning it for a touchdown. The Vikings scored several plays later to go into the half with a 20-13 lead.
“We thought if we play a little better defense, we’d be sitting at 4-1 right now,” Gilfillan said. “We have to keep getting better. And we gotta hope the offense and defense show up on the same week.”
In other NIC-10 action:
• The Freeport Pretzels (2-3), a passing team for several years with one of the best quarterbacks in the conference, Alex Bennett, grinded out an 18-0 win over Belvidere North (2-3). Condre Rucker ran for 204 yards while the Pretzels’ defense held Austin Smaha to only 49 rushing yards.
• Rockford Boylan Catholic (5-0) pushed their streak to 52 conference wins, getting 78 yards and a touchdown from Tyreis Thomas in a 48-8 victory over the Rockford East E-Rabs. The E-Rabs (1-4) did get 150 passing yards from Andrew Lantz, and Wes Short ran for 131 yards.
• Carlos Hendrix continued his impressive run for Rockton Hononegah (4-1), getting 131 total yards and two more touchdowns as the Indians topped Rockford Jefferson by a score of 41-6. Josh Woodford also ran for 125 yards and a touchdown for the J-Hawks (2-3) against the tough Hononegah defense.
• The Rockford Auburn Knights (0-5) outscored Machesney Park Harlem 20-0 in the second half of their game. But the Huskies (4-1) put up 50 points in the first half on their way to a 50-28 victory.
From the Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2011, issue