All cylinders firing
Photo: Knights Kory Harner, Gary Koehring and Jacob Razo nullify any future gains by Rochelle QB Nick Moore during Friday’s 35-14 victory. Kaneland has started 5-0 for the second consecutive year. Photo by John DiDonna
Regular season win streak at 15 with 35-14 win over Hubs
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Knights football was the recipient of heavy contributions from sophomore quarterback Drew David, saw steady ground gains from Jesse Balluff, and was helped out through the air from the likes of Sean Carter and Quinn Buschbacher.
Or as Kaneland football might as well call it, “Friday.”
Kaneland’s overall game was strong enough to ward off an early interception and a strong Rochelle running game that netted 209 yards to leapfrog the Hubs in a 35-14 win.
The Friday win marks the fifth in six tries for Kaneland against Rochelle since the two became regular conference mates in 2006.
But KHS would have done itself a disservice by discounting the tussle, according to KHS coach Tom Fedderly.
“It’s a big conference game, and it’s a big rivalry. I really respect what these guys do over there,” Fedderly said. “We knew it was going to be a physical challenge.”
Kaneland also rockets to the top of the Northern Illinois Big XII conference standings along with Morris, with both schools at 5-0 and 1-0 in NIB-12 play.
The IHSA Playoff Points scale has the Redskins and Knights as spots 1 and 2 in Class 5A through five weeks.
On Friday, the Knights amassed 449 yards of offense, compared to 218 for the Hubs, but were outgained on the ground, 209-166.
David impressed again in his fifth start for Kaneland, going 14-for-23 for 283 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Balluff had 100 yards rushing with a touchdown.
Carter had 100 yards receiving with five catches and two scores, while Buschbacher had 89 yards through the air and a touchdown.
Will Metzger had a productive night for Rochelle, gaining 136 yards on the ground.
KHS got on the board early with a 27-yard TD run by Buschbacher just a minute and 40 seconds into the game for a 7-0 lead.
On the next drive, Rochelle’s Derek White picked off a pass, but Hub QB Nick Moore threw an INT into the hands of Jacob Razo of Kaneland, negating the turnover.
The Knights then used the run to power 88 yards and found paydirt on a 12-yard TD pass to Carter with :57 left in the frame for a 14-0 edge.
“We take it one game at a time,” Carter said. “We have our goals and we’re working at it, and I think we’re on track to do what we want to do.”
Rochelle then scored on a fourth-and-four pass from the eight-yard line, thanks to a Nick Moore-to-White touchdown pass. That made it 14-7 with 7:17 left in the first half.
The Knights’ next drive ended on a 22-yard pass to Carter with 6:20 to go, making it 21-7.
Kaneland’s first-half scoring concluded on a 23-yard scoring strike to Buschbacher with 1:40 to go, making it 28-7.
That marked the end of the scoring until the fourth, when Balluff powered in from the six-yard line on the first play of the frame for a 35-7 lead.
Rochelle scored on a Metzger plunge with 5:34 to go for the final margin.
The sophomores also beat the Hubs, 21-8.
Kaneland’s next quest is the host DeKalb Barbs on Friday, Sept. 30.
For the next home game, Kaneland will have a Pink-Out night against Yorkville in two weeks.