Football: Rochelle runs past KanelandBy CHRIS WALKER - email@example.comOct. 20, 2018 Knights drop regular-season finale 31-13 MAPLE PARK – Kaneland didn’t need to win Friday’s regular season finale. But Rochelle did. The Hubs played like it too, using a relentless running attack to dominate time of possession in a 31-13 win in Maple Park. [Mary Beth Nolan]In the process, Rochelle (5-4) also snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Knights. “I’ve got to give them a lot of credit,” Kaneland coach Pat Ryan said. “They came out and looked like a team that needed to win to get in the playoffs and they kicked our butts.” [Mary Beth Nolan]On a festive night where seniors in all sports and the band were recognized and former Kaneland coach Joe Thorgesen, who was at the helm when the team won back-to-back state titles in 1997 and 1998, was on the field for the pre-game coin toss, the Knights could not find a way to stop the Hubs from running absolutely wild. Rochelle only attempted one pass, but ran it 52 times for 393 yards behind the three-headed monster of Noah Knight (20 carries, 106 yards), Brandon Johnson (17 carries, 121 yards) and Eddie Villalobos (15 carries, 166 yards). [Mary Beth Nolan]“The line got off the ball hitting low and getting movement and we just ran behind them,” Johnson said. “We knew we had to come out ready to play. We knew the stakes. We had to get the win so we were going to give everything we had because this could’ve been our last game.” It won’t be his last nor will it be Kaneland’s last, but it definitely wasn’t the way the Knights wanted to end the regular season – especially after bouncing back from a tough loss to Yorkville two weeks ago with a huge win against Morris last Friday. “I think it might impact our seed and whether or not we play at home next week or go on the road,” Ryan said. “I think we’ll still be the highest-seeded 6-3 team because of points, but I would still rather be 7-2.” [Mary Beth Nolan]Kaneland looked like it was ready to rally in the second half, but the Hubs quickly put an end to that. The Knights opened the second half with a 13-play drive,s howing the Hubs that they too can piece together a lengthy drive before finding the end zone on quarterback Joe Smith’s 6-yard run. That pulled them to within 17-13 and then they forced Rochelle to punt on its next drive. But instead of turning that into the go-ahead score, their offense stalled. [Mary Beth Nolan]Rochelle then increased its lead to 24-13 on Johnson’s 46-yard run with 7:22. After getting pinned at their own 1-yard line, the Knights appeared in deep trouble, but were able to quickly drive downfield before their drive ended on a crucial fourth down play while inside the Rochelle 20-yardline. The Hubs then broke the game open minutes later on Villalobos’ 75-yard touchdown run. [Mary Beth Nolan]Rochelle had the ball for approximately 33 of the 48 minutes and held Kaneland to just 216 yards. “I think it was a combination tonight of their kids playing really hard and I don’t know if we played all that well tonight,” Ryan said. “It was a perfect storm. One of the assistants said at halftime that they play a pretty good game of keep away and they did. “ The Knights scored their touchdown in the first half on Jonathan Alstott’s 1-yard run that was set up by Smith’s 29-yard completion to Max Gagne on the play before. [Mary Beth Nolan]Kaneland quarterback Joe Smith carries after a fake to back Jonathan Alstott late in the fourth quarter of the Knights' 31-13 loss to Rochelle Friday October 19, 2018 in Maple Park. [Mary Beth Nolan]Kaneland receiver Luke Brost can't hang on to a ball after a hit from Rochelle linebacker Brandon Johnson in the fourth quarter of the Hubs' 31-13 win Friday October 19, 2018 in Maple Park. [Mary Beth Nolan]Kaneland defensive back Zach Denning while waiting for a kickoff late in the Knights’ 31-13 loss to Rochelle Friday October 19, 2018 in Maple Park. [Mary Beth Nolan]Kaneland receiver Colton Doll takes the ball out of bounds to stop the clock in the fourth quarter of the Knights' 31-13 loss to Rochelle Friday October 19, 2018 in Maple Park.