by Mike Slodki
DEKALBâ€”At the start of Saturday afternoon’s chilly Homecoming affair between DeKalb and Kaneland, the host Barbs sent the Knights reeling off the field.
But the Knights kept their composure and soon left DeKalb wishing that the game ended after the first 10 seconds.
After the Barbs recovered the opening kickoff on an onside attempt, quarterback Dylan Donnelly found Devin Hill on a 46-yard touchdown pass to give DeKalb a 6-0 lead just 10 seconds into the game.
However, the Knights rattled off 35 unanswered points thanks to solid defense and a balanced offense for a 35-6 win.
Kaneland improved to 5-2 (4-1 Western Sun Conference). With Geneva’s 21-14 loss to Rochelle on Friday, the Knights and Vikings have a date for conference supremacy with Geneva having an identical WSC record. The battle is set for Friday, Oct. 17.
DeKalb lost its fourth straight matchup with KHS and dropped to 1-6, 0-5.
â€œIt was a big win for us,â€ KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. â€œGetting our fifth win, we took care of business, and we have a big opportunity next week to play Geneva, and weâ€™re all even in the conference.â€
Kaneland produced 391 total yards, compared to 131 for the Barbs. Eric Tattoni carried the pigskin nine times for 80 yards, while Taylor Andrews was the big reciever with 161 yards on seven catches. Joe Camaliere was 14-for-21 for 267 yards and two touchdowns.
After Kaneland found itself down 6-0, Kaneland produced a 70-yard, five-play drive that ended on a three-yard TD run by Blake Serpa with 10:12 to go in the first. Chad Swieca’s extra point was good for a 7-6 lead. The scoring play was set up by a screen pass to Ryley Bailey that netted 38 yards.
Ater the Barbs punted, Kaneland put together a 10-play drive for 81 yards that ended on a seven-yard TD run by Serpa. The score with three minutes left in the first frame gave Kaneland a 14-6 lead.
KHS dodged two bullets with two DeKalb touchdowns called back due to penalties. Hill caught a 54-yard touchdown pass in the first that was negated due to an ineligible receiver downfield, and Dalton Watie’s 69-yard run in the second was called back for a hold.
The next actual score came on a 12-yard throw to Tyler Callaghan with 4:51 left in the second quarter. The play gave the Knights a 21-6 lead.
Kaneland increased the lead with a six-yard TD pass to Tattoni for a 28-6 lead with 32 ticks left in the third.
In the fourth, Callaghan almost took an interception back for a score. KHS set up shop at the four-yard line where Camaliere took it in for a touchdown with 2:55 remaining in the game for a 35-6 lead.
In sophomore action, DeKalb took one from the Knights 24-12.
Photo: Knight Eric Tattoni (39) evades Barb defenders during Saturdayâ€™s 35-6 handling of host DeKalb. It was the first instance of Kaneland traveling to DeKalb High School and not playing at Northern Illinois University. Photo by Ryan Wells