High School Football Week 9: Unbeaten Hononegah outlasts Harlem, grabs NIC-10 crown
By Jim Hagerty
ROCKTON – The unbeaten Hononegah Indians outlasted the Harlem Huskies 24-17 Friday for their second-straight NIC-10 Conference championship.
Hononegah’s offense was sparked by quarterback Ryan VanSchelven, who ran for 107 yards. He finished 5-for-14 for 89 yards through the air.
Harlem took an early 3-0 lead after recovering a muffed punt. The Huskies held onto the narrow margin ntil the Indians made it 7-3 in the second quarter.
A Hononegah fumble put the Huskies in another favorable position and a 7-yard touchdown run by Johny Shemshedini made it 10-10 at halftime.
The Indians quickly grabbed a 17-10 lead in the third, hinting at a second-half rout. But another fumble led to a 9-yard touchdown run by Huskies quarterback James Cooper Jr.
The Huskies began moving the ball early in the fourth quarter, something the overpowering Hononegah defensive line made difficult all night. They went to the air with 9:42 left when Cooper, who finished the night 16 of 30 for 184 yards, launched a pass to the Indians’ 18-yard-line. The ball, however, ended up in the hands of Hononegah’s Gage Christensen and the drive was snuffed.
A big VanSchelven pass on the ensuing possession moved the Indians into Harlem territory. The series set up a 1-yard touchdown run by 6-foot-2, 295-pound defensive lineman Sean Davidson.
The Huskies had a chance to tie the game again with 1:55 remaining and moved the ball from their own 4-yard-line to the Hononegah 38. But Hononegah sacked Cooper twice, took over on downs and ran out the clock.
Harlem (7-2) finished the regular season third in the conference. The 8-1 Boylan Titans finished second with a 48-0 win over Jefferson. Hononegah, Boylan and Harlem each qualified for the IHSA playoffs.
In other NIC-10 games, Belvidere North (6-3) earned a playoff berth by bowling over East 31-6. R.
Hononegah 24, Harlem 17
Freeport 47, Belvidere 21
Belvidere North 31, East 6
Auburn 35, Guilford 20
Boylan 48, Jefferson 0
Byron 55, Dixon 21
Genoa-Kingston 34, Stillman Valley 6
Oregon 32, Mendota 0
North Boone 43, Winnebago 42
Rock Falls at Lutheran 36, Rock Falls 20
Forreston 62, Amboy 34
Lena-Winslow 44, Dakota 13
Pecatonica-Durand 14, Galena 0
Eastland/Pearl City 42, Polo 14
Warren 32, A-FC 0
Milledgeville 36, Aquin 28
Stockton 40, Orangeville 21
Northern Illinois Big 12
DeKalb 40, Geneseo 11
Rochelle 31, Kaneland 13
Sycamore 35, Sterling 7
Rockford Christian 28, Hiawatha 21
Ottawa Marquette 48, South Beloit 0