MAPLE PARK – The Kaneland football team overcame a slow start on senior night at Peterson Field to defeat Yorkville, 41-0.
Kaneland (7-0, 3-0 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) did not open the game with the efficiency that has characterized its offense this season. Quarterback Drew David threw an interception on the Knights’ first drive and struggled to establish the typically fast-paced, no-huddle offense for much of the first half.
The Knights’ defense, led by linebackers Gary Koehring and Cole Carlson and defensive back Isaac Swithers, erased any memory of the team’s slow start, picking off Yorkville quarterback Cameron Van Boekel three times and not allowing the Foxes (4-3, 1-2 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) to sustain any long drives.
The stout defensive play gave Kaneland’s offense time to work back into form and improve on its first half. David threw touchdown passes to receivers Connor Fedderly and Brandon Bishop in the second half on similar long passes to the end zone. Running back/receiver Dylan Nauert added his second touchdown of the game late in the third quarter on a 6-yard run.
However, it was the Kaneland defense that sealed the game and preserved its undefeated run.
Carlson picked off a Van Boekel pass and returned it 37 yards to the end zone behind a wall of Kaneland blockers in the fourth quarter to round out the night’s scoring.
“He threw it and it was behind the guy,” Carlson said of the interception. “Gary Koehring laid a fantastic block block to get me in the end zone, and I owe him one for that one.”
Carlson was impressed with the defense’s effort as a whole and praised its ability to play two solid halves of football.
“They were a good team and they beat Morris and whatever, but everybody, everybody played hard tonight,” Carlson said. “When the offense was down, the defense picked them up, and vice versa.”
Kaneland coach Tom Fedderly admitted that the win was not completely cohesive, but he was very happy with the defensive effort.
“The defense played great the whole game, I thought,” Fedderly said. “We obviously had some miscues and didn’t execute the way we wanted to. We weren’t really happy with how we played overall in the first half. They played a good first half. We went in and just said we gotta shore up things on our side.”
Kaneland will travel to fellow 7-0 team Sycamore next week.
KANELAND 41, YORKVILLE 0
Yorkville 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Kaneland 6 7 21 7 --41
HOW THEY SCORED
Kan -- Nauert 42 run (kick failed), 4:02
Kan -- Bishop 34 pass from David (Rodriguez kick), 9:32
Kan -- Fedderly 20 pass from David (Rodriguez kick), 8:53
Kan -- Bishop 37 pass from David (Rodriguez kick), 5:10
Kan -- Nauert 6 run (Rodriguez kick), 0:54
Kan -- Carlson 37 interception return (Rodriguez) 9:46
RUSHING --Yorkville: Abney 2-4, Cajina 3-0, Imburgia 24-9, Levy 4-11, Van Boekel 5-minus 13. Totals: 38-11. Kaneland: Drew 6-3, Nauert 4-52, Swithers 3-6. Totals: 13-61.
PASSING --Yorkville: Van Boekel 3-10-43-0-3. Kaneland: David 10-18-195-2-2, Korpela 3-3-8-0-0
RECEIVING -- Yorkville: Leachman 2-35, Schmidt 1-8. Kaneland: Bishop 5-79, Evers 3-8, Fedderly 1-20, Nauert 1-4 Pruett 1-24, Swithers 2-54. Totals: 13-189
TOTAL OFFENSE --Yorkville 54, Kaneland 269
SOPHOMORE GAME Kaneland 22, Yorkville 10