By Jim Hagerty
ROCKTON – The clash between the Hononegah Indians and visiting Boylan Titans was a stalemate of gladiators in the first two quarters of their NIC-Conference football game here Friday.
No so much in the second half.
Boylan’s offense exploded for 34 unanswered points while its defense shut down quarterback Payton Mather to cruise to a 55-21 rout.
The Titans found the end zone first after Hononegah fumbled on its own 29-yard line. The turnover set up an Erikton Goodloe touchdown run and successful extra point. Mather responded though, connecting with Isiah Zawlocki for the tying score with a minute left in the running-clock first quarter.
On the first play of the second, Boylan’s Dayvion Foreman took a John Starck screen pass 72 yards to the house to move the Titans ahead 14-7. But Hononegah responded again. This time with a two-yard touchdown run by Christian Gomez that capped a quick 50-yard drive.
The Indians keep the momentum from the Gomez touchdown going, taking their first lead of the night when Mather hit Bryce Goodwin with 2:26 left in the first half. It was a short lived lead though. Starck quickly answered on a 38-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Bryant that tied the contest at halftime and closed the book on Hononegah.
Goodloe started the Boylan onslaught in the third quarter, capping a 76-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown run. The Titans missed the PAT, but it wouldn’t be a factor as Boylan seemed to score at will after that. Four more touchdowns put the game out of reach.
Mather finished 14-for-31 for 192 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Starck was 7-for-13 for 150 yards. Boylan’s defense held Hononegah to 47 yards rushing on 27 carries.
Ranked No. 4 in Class 5A ahead of Friday’s game, Boylan hosts 4-1 Harlem next week. Hononegah (4-1) visits Belvidere North. The Indians were No. 6 in Class 7A Friday afternoon.
Week 5 Scoreboard
*Boylan 55, Hononegah 21
Harlem 59, East 0
Belvidere North 28, Auburn 8
Freeport 42, Guilford 0
Jefferson 26, Belvidere 7
Byron 54, North Boone 7
Genoa-Kingston 21, Lutheran 0
Stillman Valley 35, Oregon 7
Dixon 51, Mendota 0
Forreston 54, Milledgeville 8
Dakota 7, Eastland-Pearl City 0
Du-Pec 27, Galena 20