by Mike Slodki
YORKVILLE-â€”It wasn’t pretty to look at, or sit through.
Rain and mist made life difficult at points for the Kaneland and Yorkville football squads on Saturday during the 2009 regular season football finale.
But the most important things coming out of the game were the numbers 6 and 0.
Kaneland stifled Yorkville by a final of 10-0, setting its final regular season mark at 6-3 by pitching its second shutout of the season.
With that win and Glenbard South’s 32-20 win over Sycamore, the Knights rocketed ahead of the Spartans in the 5A standings and will host Sycamore (6-3) for the second meeting between the two schools in the first round.
At 6-3 overall, and 5-2 in the Western Sun Conference, Kaneland finishes third in conference play behind Geneva and Glenbard South.
The Raiders will host Rochelle on Friday, the second WSC playoff matchup.
Yorkville finished at 3-6 on the season.
The Knights managed to put on a clinic when it came to ball control and defense, plowing ahead with 46 clock-grinding rushing attempts, and allowing just two first downs to the Foxes. KHS gathered 244 total yards, compared to 67 for the host Foxes.
â€œAll summer and all this year, we came out and made sure we had a good defense,â€ linebacker Brett Ketza said. â€œWe dedicated ourselves during the summer. We kind of hoped that what we did would show itself out on the field.â€
Junior quarterback Joe Camaliere went 11-for-15 for 102 yards with no picks thrown, that being the case since week two against Huntley.
Blake Serpa had 15 carries for 78 yards on the evening.
After a combined five punts ended drives for both teams, Kaneland finally got on the board with a five-play, 37-yard drive that featured Taylor Andrews’ catch getting the Knights to the three. Serpa pounded it in the end zone on the first play of the second quarter for a 7-0 lead.
In the third quarter, a fourth-and-five run by Joe Camaliere for a 57-yard touchdown was called back for holding.
Kaneland put the lid on the scoring with a seven-play drive that ended on a 20-yard field goal by Chad Swieca with 5:28 to go in the game.
â€œOn a night like this, you just have to grind it out, and we did,â€ KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. â€œLook at this field, but we knew it was going to be that way. We just had to grind it out and play defense. We wanted to take control of the ball and move the markers.â€
The Knights now look to get their third straight win over the Spartans, with the brightest spotlight of all.
The game, set for 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, sees Kaneland try to remedy last year’s opening round loss in 5A, a 23-21 setback at Sterling on Nov. 1, 2008.
Meanwhile, Sycamore enters the playoffs for the fourth time this decade, and the first since 2007, which ended with a 14-3 loss at Montini Catholic.
Other football action involving Kaneland featured a Friday win for the sophomores, 22-14 over Yorkville.
Photo: Knight Blake Serpa (2) makes the most of wet conditions during Fridayâ€™s 10-0 win at Yorkville that marked the end of the 2009 regular season. The Knightsâ€™ next challenge is of the playoff variety, against Sycamore on Halloween. Photo by Ben Draper
They meet again
Kaneland Knights vs. Sycamore SpartansSaturday, Oct. 31, 2009 at Peterson Field, 6 p.m. kickoff.
KHS went into Sycamoreâ€™s den and won 21-14 on Sept. 18.
Spartans RB Markie Hayes (right) ran for 81 yards on 10 carries in the game.
The game marks the second meeting between the two stingiest defenses in the WSC.