Illinois High School football season resumed Friday, and here are some key takeaways from week seven of the game:
You / Pec controls its own destiny
After Durand / Pecatonica fended off a last attempt by Lena-Winslow, the four-time national champion who entered the game unbeaten on Friday and is in 1st place in the class 1A polls, Durand / Pecatonica only have to defeat Galena (4- 3.). , 3-3 NUIC) and hosts Stockton (2-4, 2-4) to claim his first NUIC championship.
Du / Pec (6-1, 6-0) stormed 22-0 ahead of Le-Win in the first half and held on to a 30:24 win over Le-Win (6-1, 5-1) prepare.
Game story:“Greatness of this Victory”: Durand / Pecatonica football holds the Lena Winslow rally
“We wanted that conference title, badly, and defeating Le-Win is the way to go,” said Du / Pec QB Hunter Hoffman after throwing 191 yards and three touchdowns for the win. “We have to keep the momentum though, otherwise none of it matters.”
Stillman Valley keeps momentum
Although it wasn’t easy, Stillman Valley continued to win (6-1). The Cardinals fought their way to a playoff spot by finishing sixth in a row after a setback to the season opener against Byron. Stillman won 14-13 that week and avoided overtime when Winnebago missed the extra point after scoring a touchdown to draw within 34 seconds.
All grades:Here are the Rockford Area high school football results for Week 7
The win put the five-time national champions Cardinals on track for their third playoff bid in the past eight years – and kept them right behind Byron in the Big Northern Conference standings. Byron (7-0) kept up his breakneck pace by pounding Oregon 49-7 on Friday, but Stillman Valley (6-1) kept up with Genoa-Kingston (6-1), the Dixon (5-2 ) at 34. 19th this week.
Stillman Valley welcomes Lutherans (3-4) this week before the regular season finale to GK.
Invasion of Harlem’s basketball stars
Belvidere North statistician kept asking where DeAndre Young was from on Friday night. Young, who also plays cornerback, didn’t have a full season carry until last week, but ran 39 yards for a TD on Harlem’s inaugural drive and ended the 27:14 win over North with 114 yards. In last week’s win against Boylan, he also gave back two kicks for touchdowns.
“We stopped him; We knew we had other good running backs and wanted to make sure he was healthy for the playoffs, ”said Harlem coach Bob Moynihan.
Young gives Harlem a whole other dimension, paired with Adrian Palos, the league’s runner-up rusher.
“The teams are only now finding out about him,” said Palos. “We tried to keep it under lock and key. In games like this, they expect me more than he does and he gets very frank. He’s a clutch player. “
Game story:“Showtime” brings a new face to Harlem’s offensive in defeating Belvidere North
Young is one of three players on Harlem’s runner-up basketball team who, along with recipients Alex Wilson and Lathan Lewis, were set to play increasingly bigger football roles. Lewis intercepted a 22-yard TD pass fourth behind, 15 seconds from time in the first half.
“You’ve seen some of the basketball kids catch passes now,” Moynihan said. “That will continue to happen.”
Lewis plays football for the first time in four years.
“I’ve always wanted to play soccer, but I’m really good at basketball, so my mom always says she doesn’t want me to get hurt,” said Lewis. “But everyone talked to me and told me to come out to soccer, we could really use you. It’s my senior year where I decided to do it and just have fun with it. “
Linebacker Erik Serrano said Wilson “blocks like hell” and all three add explosiveness to Harlem’s offensive.
“If you throw a jump ball, Alex or I will get it,” said Lewis. “Or if you need a big run just pass it on to DeAndre; he will go all the way across the field. “
Bob Moynihan always has something up his sleeve
Harlem coach Bob Moynihan not only kept rising star running back DeAndre Young on offense half of the season, but also kept a defensive twist in the Huskies’ 27-14 win over Belvidere North.
“Your defense is good,” said North quarterback Mason Wecker. “And they left with a formation I didn’t think would go in. They had their nose (tackle) back almost like a linebacker.”
Harlem held North up to 153 yards of attack.
“We pulled our guy back so they couldn’t cut his legs off,” said Moynihan. “They couldn’t cut him and he would fill in as a full-back.”
North cannot afford mistakes
Belvidere North can be the most frustrating team on the NIC-10; It plays with a steady, punishing running game of keepaway and wins with great defense and special teams. But North probably also has the lowest error rate of any top team in the league.
The Blue Thunder rarely throw (0-for-5 with an Interception Friday) and are also not good at chunk plays. Only two of their 42 games on Friday won at least 10 yards. So their six fumbles would have been a disaster even if they hadn’t lost three, including one that was returned for a touchdown.
“In our offense, if you put the ball on the ground, you don’t get a positive distance on a down and it puts you behind the sticks,” said North coach Jeff Beck. “It’s hard to overcome.”
Boylan could get tough in the playoffs
The Titans are only 4-3 but could be a dangerous bottom seed in Class 5A. They led Hononegah, 8th in 7A, until the last second. Number 3 of the conference’s leading rushers, Mekhi Glover missed their Harlem loss. They are very tough on defense and their offense shows signs of more life over and over again.
Best of the best:Check out the top performances in week 7 high school football in the Rockford area
Mark Harris had the best boylan player reception game in 40 years at 160 yards last week. On Friday, Connor Dennis was 13-for-21 for 196 yards and two TDs that passed in a 42-14 win over Guilford, and two-way star Joey Appino had a combined 132 yards of rushing and receiving with two touchdowns at only eight touchdowns.
Could Rochelle too
The hubs have made a push lately and appear to be on track for a playoff bid. They could be tough endeavor even in the postseason, either in class 4A or 5A.
Led by three junior running backs, the Hubs have fought their way to four straight wins, including their first win over Kaneland, 43-21 on Friday night. Trey Taft led the trio with a career high 196 yards rushing and a TD; Garrett Gensler rushed to the five best touchdowns of his career; and Cody Stover-Cullum had his second straight 100-yard rushing game at 106.
Rochelle (5-2), who has not made it into the playoffs since 2018, will fight Plano (5-2) next week in the battle for second place in the Blue Division of Kishwaukee River / Interstate Eight and finish the regular Season with a winless sandwich.