By Bob Balgemann, REPORTER

CHRIS ANDERSON – PHOTO, The Journal Harlem's Brenton Shaw (21) carries the ball in for a touchdown during the Huskies' win over Belvidere on Sept. 30. With the run, Shaw became the Huskies all-time leading rusher.

Harlem’s Brenton Shaw (21) carries the ball in for a touchdown during the Huskies’ win over Belvidere on Sept. 30. With the run, Shaw became the Huskies all-time leading rusher.

The big games keep on coming at Harlem. Next up will be a battle for sole possession of second place Friday night when the Huskies (5-1) travel to Auburn (5-1) for a 7:15 p.m. encounter. The host, Auburn Knights rattled Hononegah (4-2) by a 41-17 count last week to keep up their winning ways, following a 14-7 loss to league-leading Boylan (6-0) earlier in the season. Auburn was in the middle of a long losing streak when Dan Appino became Head Coach for the 2012 season. He came over from Boylan, where his team had just won its second consecutive State Championship. Since then the Knights have qualified for the playoffs three times while posting a 23-15 record coming into this season. They are the defending Conference Champions, having gone 8-1 in 2015 and then winning twice in the post season. They were eliminated in the quarter final round by eventual State Champion Glenbard West, 45-14. Harlem tuned up for Friday’s important game by edging Belvidere, 48-41. The high scoring affair was reminiscent of past years when the Huskies won, 56-48 in 2013, 40-21 in 2014, 35-28 in 2010 and 49-15 in 2009. They were 7-2 against the Bucs during that nine year span, having lost for the second time in 2015 by 21-14. But that was not to be Sept. 30 thanks to a monster game from Senior running back, Brenton Shaw. Belvidere’s defense knew he was going to be running the ball, but it simply couldn’t stop Mr. Shaw. His abilities and the holes created by his offensive line resulted in him amassing 450 yards on 33 carries and six touchdowns. He also had a 52 yard punt return, giving him 502 all purpose yards in the game. His first TD came in the first quarter on Harlem’s first offensive series. The run covered 71 yards to set the tone for the evening and with Kyle Pea’s extra point kick, it made it a 7-0 game. Shaw now has 17 touchdowns for the fall, 16 running and one receiving. But Belvidere was far from through. The Bucs scored the first time they got the ball to tie it up.  Harlem’s second touchdown came on its second possession. Senior quarterback Trent Willey teamed with Senior wide receiver Anthony Byrne on a 49 yard scoring strike. Byrne had one step on the Belvidere defender in the middle of the field, and was hit in stride by Willey for his third TD reception of the season. It was the 10th scoring pass for Willey, who was 4-for-11 passing for 67 yards and the one score. He now has 66 completions in 128 attempts for 801 yards. Byrne ranks third on Harlem’s receiving corps with 15 catches for 182 yards. It was a topsy-turvy game with the Huskies leading 20-19 at half-time. Then came the decisive third quarter when Harlem put 21 points on the board while limiting Belvidere to 14. That made it 41-33 and the one touchdown difference held up as both teams scored once in the fourth period.  Junior Octavio Galvez sparked the defense with 10 tackles, three of them solos, and he now has 40 for the season. Senior Trevor Kramp had three solo tackles and two assists, which put him at a total of 46 for the fall. Another Senior, Jordan Jacobsen, had seven tackles to go with his first fumble recovery of the season. He had eight tackles the previous week in the win over Belvidere North. Freshman Jalon Benson notched six total tackles while Sophomore Nick Blades, Juniors Nikolas Gracia, Kamrone McAllister and Arthur Daniels contributed five apiece. On special teams, Pea now has converted 25-of-27 extra point kicks and is 3-for-6 in field goals.

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