Harlem football beats East for first conference championship since 1997

Published: Apr. 24, 2021 at 12:19 AM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Harlem capped off its unforgettable season by beating East 48-8 to capture its first conference championship since 1997 and first perfect season in program history Friday at Swanson Stadium.

Huskies senior quarterback James Cooper Jr. finished off his high school career by throwing for five more touchdowns, four of them coming in the first half. Dominic McCarren and Dezzion Jordan each caught two touchdowns, while Adrian Palos ran for two more.

“We haven’t won conference in over 23 years, it feels amazing,” said Cooper. “We’ve been working (towards) this since we were freshman. It means everything to us.”

Harlem did it on all sides of the ball. The defense kept the NIC-10 leading rusher CJ Berry quiet for most of the night, before the senior broke off a long touchdown run with the game out of reach.

Cooper broke the NIC-10 career passing record earlier this season in Harlem’s first win against Hononegah since 2016.

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