Harlem football prepares for historic quarterfinal matchup

This will be the first time Harlem has played in the third round of the playoffs
Harlem football prepares for historic quarterfinal matchup
Harlem football prepares for historic quarterfinal matchup(WIFR)
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 10:46 PM CST
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MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WIFR) - Harlem football has had its fair share of doubters this season as many labeled 2022 as a rebuilding year for the program.

“They were hearing it even in the hallways, they were hearing it from teachers, they were hearing it in the hallways and I think it got under their skin a little bit and it probably gave them a little more of an incentive so they were ready to go,” Harlem Head Coach Robert Moynihan said.

After a fifth-place finish in the NIC-10, the Huskies have flipped that narrative in the postseason. Thanks to a pair of back-to-back upsets, Harlem is now the last NIC-10 standing in the playoffs as they’re set to face Prairie Ridge Saturday in the Quarterfinals. This weekend’s game marks the first-ever third-round postseason appearance in Harlem football history.

Players point to their week 8 win against Belvidere North as a turning point in the season.

“The energy has just been so much more different from the end of the Belvidere North game, there was just a different everything once we won that game,” Harlem Defensive Tackle Keshawn Harrington-Mckinney said.

“Everything started clicking recently, I mean the offense starting driving the ball down, scoring points and the defense did really well against Grayslake (North), just the wins felt amazing,” Harlem Quarterback Austin Redmon said.

Moynihan gives credit to his players’ perseverance after a few early-season injuries.

“The adversity this team has fought through has been incredible they lost three of their top four receivers out of the gate, two of them never played a down, two torn ACLs right out of the gate, but they could have folded their tents then and they didn’t they fought and they kept fighting,” Moynihan said.

Now the team has the confidence to play against anyone.

“It feels amazing, we already had our goal from the start of the season and we all knew we could get it so coming out here I expect us to win and we’ve been practicing hard and I expect nothing less from this team than dominance,” Defensive End Logan Lawson said.