By Jim Hagerty
ROCKFORD – The No. 4 Boylan Titans remained unbeaten by holding off the Harlem Huskies 21-13 in NIC-10 Conference football action here Friday.
It was a back-and-forth contest with zeros on the board for most of the first half, hinting at a low-scoring affair. Even after Harlem made it 7-0 at halftime, both teams struggled to solve each other’s defense.
Boylan managed to livened things up for its homecoming crowd halfway through the third quarter. That’s when John Starck connected with Dayvion Foreman on 37-yard touchdown pass. But it was more defense from there.
That changed with 7:21 left in the fourth quarter when Boylan’s Tristen Gile got loose for a 66-yard run deep into Harlem territory. He then plunged in for a 3-yard touchdown to make it 14-7. Eleven seconds later, Starck hit Xavier Bryant with a 48-yard pass that gave the Titans a 21-7 lead and their boisterous student section a glimpse of a possible second-half rout similar to last week’s 55-21 drubbing of Hononegah.
Harlem didn’t fold though. James Cooper Jr.’s 77-yard touchdown toss to Jalon Benson with 5:24 to play made it 21-13, plenty of time for the Huskies to stop Boylan, get the ball back and find the end zone. Harlem accomplished the first task but couldn’t move the ball on its last drive, which ended with quarterback sacks on the final two plays.
Boylan (6-0) hosts winless Guilford next Friday. Harlem (4-2) is home against Belvidere North.
Week 6 Scoreboard
*Boylan 21, Harlem 13
Belvidere North 28, Hononegah 14
Freeport 40, Jefferson 0
East 26, Guilford 24
Auburn 30, Belvidere 6
Stillman Valley 52, North Boone 28
Genoa-Kingston 41, Winnebago 21
Dixon 48, Lutheran 8
Byron 55, Mendota 0
Oregon 14, Rock Falls 8
Forreston 38, West Carroll 36
Aquin 34, Eastland/Pearl City 27
Lena-Winslow 46, Orangeville 7
Milledgeville 8, Ashton-Franklin Center 0 (OT)
Dakota 28, East Dubuque 12
Stockton 28, Durand-Pecatonica 0
Galena 41, Amboy-LaMoille 6
Hiawatha 48, South Beloit 14
Rochelle 42, Sandwich 28
Sycamore 35, Morris 6
DeKalb 34, Waubonsie Valley 7
Marengo 35, Harvard 7
Newman 28, Rock Ridge 7
Sterling 49, Rock Island 26
River Ridge 30, Christian Life/OLSHA 6
Polo 64, Alden Hebron 12