WEEK THREE MATCH-UPS
GAME OF THE WEEK (on NTA.fm and 100.5 fm)
HARLEM (2-0) AT BOYLAN (2-0)
Last Year: Boylan beat Harlem 45-34 in what was their closest NIC-10 battle. Harlem succeeded in rushing the ball for over 140 yards but lost out in a slugfest to the Titans who would go on to win the conference with a 9-0 NIC-10 record.
This Year Here we go again with both rivals entering the game 2-0 in different fashion. Harlem has dominated undermatched Freeport and East. The Titans went against two much tougher opponents in Auburn and Hononegah but gutted out big victories. The difference for Boylan last week was Demery Croft and Brock Stull both taking the field as Croft moved to QB while Stull took over in the slot and they were the backbone in a 35-34 victory at Hononegah. The question is: have these emotional victories cost a toll on the Titans and cause letdown or will the Titans keep chugging on to another NIC10 title.
HONONEGAH (1-1) at BELVIDERE NORTH (1-1)
LAST YEAR The Indians ran all over the Blue Thunder in Rockton as Hononegah ran to a 47-0 victory.
THIS YEAR The teams come in having much different moods as the Indians suffered a heartbreaking 1-point loss at the hands of the Boylan Titans while North avenged last year's "streak-breaking loss to Auburn" in comeback fashion. The Indians must have a short memory and get back to what they do best...run...run...run.
GUILFORD (2-0) VS. EAST (0-2)
LAST YEAR Guilford shut out East in blowout fashion in one of the few wins in a some-what disappointing season. Guilford kept the potent East passing offense away out of the end zone, a feat even teams with better records could not do.
THIS YEAR The Vikings look to continue building momentum and remain undefeated en-route to a game against Boylan next week in a game many are calling the VIking's first big test. All wins count the same so Guilford needs to get to 3-0 first and QB Nino Musso is doing his part to get them there.
JEFFERSON (0-2) at FREEPORT (0-2)
LAST YEAR Freeport squeaked out a 35-34 victory at Jefferson in an battle that gave us two teams that ended up struggling last year.
THIS YEAR A must-win building block game for both teams in a game that promises a team will be 0-3. Getting a win will be important for either team as an 0-3 start is quite an uphill battle and hole to dig from. The two teams schedules did not help them out a bit as they have both played Guilford, and the other games were against Harlem and Belvidere.
BELVIDERE (2-0) at AUBURN (0-2)
LAST YEAR The Bucs beat the Knights 34-24 to prevent Auburn starting a win streak after ending their several season long losing streak against North the week before.
THIS YEAR The Knights must brush off two early heartbreaking losses to Boylan and Belvidere North and continue to build on the turnaround from last year. Belvidere must keep getting performances from Maurice Jackson and Garrett Hartly and continue on with their impressive start, which gets more challenging with this game and next week against Harlem.
ROCK FALLS (1-1) AT LUTHERAN (2-0)
LAST YEAR The mighty Crusader offense made its debut in the Big Northern West as they beat the Rockets in Rock Falls 42-24.
THIS YEAR Lutheran struggled but eventually came away with a 29-27 win against G-K. They remarked "No Win Is Ugly" which may be true but a steady performance in the first Big Northern West game of 2013 is imperative. Focusing on Rock Falls is a must. Next week's super-showdown with Winnebago is coming but Rock Falls is standing in the way first.