Each week, the Rockford Register Star takes a look at the top-performing teams and players from Friday night games across the Rockford area.
Here are our top performers from Week 9:
J’Mar Johnson, Boylan
Johnson caught one pass for a 64-yard touchdown and led Boylan on defense as the Titans (8-1) beat Freeport 41-20 to win the NIC-10 title outright. Johnson had seven, seven solo tackles, five assisted tackles, three tackles for loss and an interception.
Connor Dennis, Boylan
Dennis completed 6 of 9 passes for 194 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in Boylan’s 41-20 win over Freeport.
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Chandler Alderman, North Boone
The North Boone quarterback completed 16 of his 21 passes for 272 yards and six touchdowns during North Boone’s 46-20 win over Oregon. He also rushed for 112 yards and a score on 15 carries.
De’Vion Black, Guilford
Black stripped the ball away, creating a fumble and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown on the game-opening drive to put Guilford ahead to stay in a 14-7 victory over NIC-10 co-leader Belvidere North.
Jordan Woods, Guilford
Woods played a stand-out defensive game all night and had a game-ending sack when Belvidere North was on the 9-yard line after a hook-and-ladder play in Guilford’s 14-7 win over North that helped the Vikings finish the regular -season 7-2, tying their best record of the last 40 years.
Nico Bertolino, Belvidere North
Bertolino ran for 71 yards on 10 carries, including a 42-yard TD for North’s only score. He also raced 44 yards with a hook-and-ladder on fourth-and-14 to give North a first down at the Guilford 9-yard line with nine seconds left in North’s 14-7 loss to Guilford.
Hunter Evans, Lutheran
Evans, an outside linebacker for Lutheran, chalked up 12 tackles including two QB hits as he helped lead the Crusaders’ defense in a big 21-7 win over Winnebago. The victory secured win No. 5 for Lutheran.
Daeshon Verner, Freeport
Verner caught three passes for 94 yards and a touchdown from receiver-turned-backup quarterback Bryce Tessendorf (14-for-28, 132 yards, 2 TDs, 2 interceptions) in Freeport’s 41-20 loss to Boylan.
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Garrett Gensler, Rochelle
Gensler ran for 93 yards and touchdowns of 30, 5 and 1 yards in Rochelle’s 41-20 loss to undefeated Richmond-Burton in a showdown for the Interstate 8 Blue Division title.
Stillman Valley backfield
Three backs rushed for over 100 yards for Stillman Valley, but the Cardinals still suffered their first loss of the season, 32-28 to Genoa-Kingston. Owen Zitkus led the way with 13 carries for 110 yards with 2 TDs; Braden Engel had 105 yards on eight carries, opening the game with a 64-yard touchdown run; and Porter Needs had 105 yards on 11 carries with an early-fourth-quarter touchdown that re-handed Stillman Valley the lead. It didn’t stand.
Oregon tandem backs
Oregon’s Noah Reber (17 carries for 114 yards and 2 TDs) and Gabe Eckerd (27 carries for 107 yards with a TD) each eclipsed the century mark rushing, but Oregon could not slow down the North Boone offense during its 46-20 defeat.
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Lucas Cowman, Winnebago
Cowman plowed forward on 16 carries for 118 yards during Winnebago’s 21-7 loss to Lutheran.
Luke Poppe, Hononegah
Poppe ran for 116 yards and a TD on 21 carries in Hononegah’s 44-12 win over Auburn.
Jasper Jenkins and Elijah Moore, Auburn
Jenkins and Moore both had nine tackles and three tackles for loss (to account for six of the team’s eight) in Auburn’s 44-12 loss to Hononegah.