by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARKâ€”It seemed like old times on Friday night at Peterson Field.
For the visiting Burlington Central Rockets, it got old in a hurry.
For the host Kaneland Knights, they hope it never gets old.
For the fifth straight season, the Kaneland Knights took it to the Rockets in the opening contest of the football season by a 35-0 final.
Offense was highlighted by quarterback Joe Camaliereâ€™s 13-for-27, 321 yard night with three touchdown passes. The junior also ran for two scores and passed for a two-point conversion.
Receiving stars included running back Brock Dyer, who caught three passes for 122 yards, including the opening score of the 2009 season on a 54-yard touchdown pass.
Kaneland receiver Ryley Bailey takes to the air during the second quarter of Fridayâ€™s 35-0 win over Burlington Central. The Knightsâ€™ next challenge is Huntley at Peterson Field on Friday. Photo by Ben Draper
Ryley Bailey caught five balls for 106 yards.
On defense, Derek Bus picked off a pass and recovered a fumble.
The Knights had 16 first downs throughout the evening, and won the total yards battle by a total of 411-106.
â€œIt sure makes a big difference when we get a lot of kids back with experience,â€ KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.
The party started early on the fourth play from scrimmage, when Camaliere found Dyer on a swing pass. With exceptional blocking by the BC sideline, Dyer hit the endzone on the touchdown pass 65 seconds into the game for a 7-0 lead.
Knights DB Derek Bus saw his share of action on Friday night. While Burlington Central had a frustrating night defensively, the feeling spread to the offensive end as Bus recovered a Tre Llenas fumble at the Rocketsâ€™ 33-yard line in the third frame. The play eventually led to a Ryley Bailey TD catch to close the scoring.
The scoring resumed in the second quarter when a seven-play drive ended on a one-yard run up the middle by Camaliere. Tyler Callaghan caught the two-point try to go up 15-0 with 9:57 to go in the first half.
After the Rockets fell on downs, Kaneland got back to work on a seven-play scoring drive, ending with Taylor Andrews dashing up the middle for a 23-yard touchdown pass after a short throw.
The score made it 21-0 with 2:32 left, and seemed to break the game open for good.
â€œI got open down the middle and Joe found me; it felt good to win tonight,â€ Andrews said.
With 22 ticks left in the second quarter, Camaliere failed to find an open target and took it in himself after a scramble. The six-yard score made it 28-0 going into the half.
The lone score of the second half came on a 21-yard touchdown pass to Ryley Bailey with 8:32 remaining in the third for a 35-0 edge.
Fedderly credited the offensive line, which came through in the trenches.
â€œWe got everything tonight, and you canâ€™t say enough about the offensive line. We told them that they determine how the game goes,â€ Fedderly said.
Lower-class action had the freshmen shutting BC down by a final of 16-0 on Monday, while the sophomores also got a win over the Rockets in a 27-21 affair.
The Knights gear up for the Huntley Red Raiders on Friday, Sept. 4, in Maple Park. Kaneland and Huntley were conference mates as recently as the 1960s, as part of the Little Eight Conference.
Huntley, currently residing in the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division, is coming off of a 28-23 win over Wauconda on Friday.