Boylan 19-16 Sycamore: Last second blocked-kick wins the game!
We knew this would be a defensive battle heading into this match-up. Both teams finished the regular season on top of their respective conferences. Sycamore had outscored their opponents 389 to just 46 total points given up so far this season. While the Titans have allowed an average of just under 8 points per game which is on pace to be the best defense the NIC-10 has had in over 10 years. The Titans also led their conference in interceptions with 15 takeaways through the air. On paper these two teams looked to be the best two teams in the entire 5A bracket. Now in the game Sycamore took control early and kept the ball out of QB John Starck and the rest of the Boylan offense. It was sloppy field conditions out there which really helped slow down both offenses. At one point during the game Sycamore had 12 first downs compared to Boylan’s 2. Sycamore led 16-7 heading into the final quarter. Game MVP Xavier Bryant had himself a day after scoring not one but two defensive touchdowns on back-to-back drives! With help from Boylan’s defense the Titans took the lead late in the 4th quarter 19-16. With just a few minutes left on the clock Sycamore had one final chance to drive down the field and force this game into overtime. That’s exactly what they did as Sycamore was able to take the ball all the way down to Boylan’s 6 yard line with just 2 seconds remaining in the game. Sycamore quickly called their final timeout to set up a game-tying 23 yard field goal. What do you know the Boylan defense stepped up once again to block the game-tying field goal! The Titans survive another week as the team is now just one win away from getting back to the State Championship Game. You can catch the next week’s game right here on SportsFan Radio 1330 with Bill and Dean on the call.
Byron 32-0 Wilmington: Byron’s defense had no problem with Wilmington this week!
From kickoff to the final buzzer in the 4th quarter it seemed like the Byron Tigers had no problem taking care of Wilmington over the weekend as they get one step closer to State! Byron has been led by their great rushing attack and their stout defense this season but there’s one guy in particular that fly’s under the radar. After being heavily recruited from at least 4 Big Ten schools the current Iowa commit Tyler Elsbury has been dominant this season. The 6″5 270 pound offensive tackle projects to be a guard at the next level has been a force in the run blocking game for Byron this season as the Tigers finished the regular season number one in a very run heavy Big Northern Conference. Keep an eye on OT Tyler Elsbury going forward!
Lena-Winslow 52-20 Aquin: The battle of the two NUIC Titans!
Both teams headed into Saturday as the final remaining undefeated NUIC teams but only one team could move on. This was supposed to be the match-up of the year for 1A teams but unfortunately the game didn’t live up to the hype. Credit to Aquin, the Bulldogs had a great season finishing the regular season undefeated and made it all the way to the state quarterfinals. Lena-Winslow has been absolutely dominant so far this season. The Panthers have been so good that in 12 games so far this season no opponent has come within 30 points! Some people around the area have speculated that this 2019 Lena-Winslow Panthers team could be one of the best 1A teams ever! We’ll see what happens next week when the Panthers have to face the top seeded Annawan-Wethersfield Titans who are also 12-0 and ranked #1 in the bracket.