MAPLE PARK – Unlike Kaneland’s first two games, there was little doubt about the outcome of Friday’s contest against Sterling.
The Knights scored early and often as they blanked the Golden Warriors, 42-0, in a Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference crossover game.
“Sterling has won their side of the conference for the last two years and we have won our side, so this was a big game for us to see how good we are,” Kaneland coach Tom Fedderly said. “The kids made some mistakes (in the first two games) and took that to heart.”
Kaneland (3-0) scored on five on its six possessions in the first half.
The Knights’ defense shut down Sterling’s offense. The Golden Warriors tallied only eight first downs in the game, five were on their opening drive of the game.
Sterling’s quarterback Tanner Morse only completed four of 12 passes for 33 yards. The team gained 51 yards on the ground.
Kaneland’s offense wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. The Knights took control of the ball on their own 30-yard line after Sterling (2-1) was unable to convert on a fourth down in its opening drive. On the second play of the series, Knights quarterback Drew David connected with Brandon Bishop for a 63-yard touchdown pass at the 5:49 mark.
“Everybody was prepared and we started out the game really well,” Fedderly said of team’s first half play.
Exactly two minutes later, on its next possession, Kaneland scored its second TD in four plays, capped by a 3-yard run by Jesse Balluff.
David made the score 20-0 two minutes into the second frame on a 3-yard run.
Their next two scores of the first half were aided by Sterling miscues. A pass interference call on the Warriors kept a Knight’s drive alive. Four plays later, Nate Dyer crossed the goal line a 4-yard run.
A bad snap on a Sterling punt on their next possession was recovered by Kaneland’s Cole Carlson on the Golden Warriors' 13-yard line. Four plays later, Bishop hauled in a 4-yard David pass for the touchdown.
The Knights scored on their first possession of the second half. The 15 play drive, all on the ground, was capped by Nate Dyer’s 21-year touchdown run. The drive also ate up seven and half minutes of the third quarter and started the running clock.
Matt Rodriguez completed all six of his PATs.
David, who completed six of 11 passes for 130 yards, watched the game from the bench in the fourth quarter as Tyler Carlson took over the team’s offense.
Next Friday, Kaneland travels to Streator for a Northern Illinois Big 12 crossover game.