Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more!

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.

Kaneland football blanks Belvidere, advances to second round

Kaneland's Jesse Balluff runs with the ball as Belvidere's Jacob Fondrk looks to make 
the stop in playoff play on Saturday at Kaneland.
Kaneland's Jesse Balluff runs with the ball as Belvidere's Jacob Fondrk looks to make the stop in playoff play on Saturday at Kaneland.

MAPLE PARK – Dylan Nauert and the Kaneland football team left no doubt the Knights are ready for another eventful ride in the Class 5A playoffs.

Nauert plucked a trio of interceptions, part of a sparkling, all-around performance for top-seeded Kaneland in a 48-0, first-round thrashing of Belvidere on Saturday night.

"I've been studying all week, we've been studying their pass plays, [the coaches] have been preaching to read their breaks, read his feet, you can tell where they're going to go," Nauert said. "I saw the slant, I saw the out, I just broke on the ball, and it happened to be right there."

Kaneland (10-0) advances to a second-round game at Lincoln-Way West, which blanked Rochelle, 35-0, on Friday. Knights coach Tom Fedderly said he expects it to be a Saturday game.

Fedderly said Kaneland coaches had "some sleepless nights" digesting last year's first-round meeting with the Bucs, a wild, 51-45 Kaneland triumph. But while Belvidere (5-5) returned some key offensive pieces from that meeting – including senior quarterback Troy Vandenbroek and standout receiver Kane Steger – the Bucs' offense was overwhelmed this time by a bigger, brawnier Kaneland defensive line and a ball-hawking secondary.

Vandenbroek, the Bucs' starting QB since midway through his freshman year, was 11-for-25 passing for 58 yards and three interceptions before departing during the fourth quarter.

"He's a kid that just tries to make things happen, which he was trying to do tonight," Bucs coach Matt Weckler said. "He was a big part of our program the last four years. He did the best he could tonight I guess, but hat's off to Kaneland's defense."

Offensively, Kaneland featured junior running back Jesse Balluff taking direct snaps out of the Wildcat formation early in the game, including a 41-yard scamper for the Knights' first touchdown less than 90 seconds in. Balluff added another 1-yard plunge on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line a few minutes later as the Knights moved ahead, 14-0.

Balluff (17 carries, 111 rushing yards) thinks the Wildcat, which Kaneland has tinkered with in recent weeks, could remain a component of the Knights' offense as the playoffs move forward.

"I think Fedderly likes it, I really like it of course, and it's a lot of fun for the line, too," Balluff said.

Kaneland's lead ballooned to 27-0 in the second quarter thanks to a Drew David quarterback sneak for a touchdown and a pair of Matt Rodriguez field goals.

After Kaneland's defense forced a Belvidere three-and-out to begin the third quarter, David hooked up with senior receiver Kyle Pollastrini for a 56-yard TD pass to make it 34-0.

The running clock came into play with 3:10 left in the third quarter on fullback Nate Dyer's 1-yard score on another fourth-and-goal from the 1 scenario.

Kaneland's defense notched five takeaways on the night. In addition to Nauert's three picks, senior linebacker Blake Bradford recovered a first quarter fumble and senior defensive back Tanner Andrews reeled in an acrobatic interception in the fourth quarter.


Kaneland 48, Belvidere 0

Belvidere    0    0    0    0    -    0
Kaneland    14    13    14    7    -    48

First Quarter
K - Balluff 41 run (Rodriguez kick), 10:39
K - Balluff 1 run (Rodriguez kick), 8:37

Second Quarter
K - David 1 run (Rodriguez kick), 10:43
K - Rodriguez 35 FG, 3:18
K - Rodriguez 24 FG, 1:30

Third Quarter
K - Pollastrini 56 pass from David (Rodriguez kick), 10:49
K - Dyer 1 run (Rodriguez kick), 3:10

Fourth Quarter
K - Carlson 30 run (Rodriguez kick), 5:12


RUSHING - Belvidere: Vandenbroek 4-10, Jackson 5-6, Munoz 1-3, Fondrk 1-1, Hearn 1-minus 1, Johnson 1-minus 2. Total 13-17. Kaneland: Balluff 17-110, T. Carlson 4-41, Dyer 8-37, Swithers 5-19, David 8-7, Pruett 1-2. Total: 43-216

Belvidere: Vandenbroek 10-25-3-50, Jackson 1-1-0-6, Hyser 0-2-1-0. Total 11-28-4-56. Kaneland: David 8-17-1-128

Belvidere: Jackson 5-5, Frazier 1-40, Steger 1-10, McGady 1-6, I. Carlson 1-5, Hearn 1-0, Munoz 1-minus 10. Kaneland: Martinelli 4-34, Nauert 3-38, Pollastrini 1-56.

Loading more