Tag Archives: Quinn Buschbacher

Kaneland confident in 34-7 playoff win

by Ryan Wells
Maple Park—“Confidence” was the word on the lips of the Kaneland players as they exited Peterson Field Saturday night following their 34-7 victory over Crystal Lake Central in round 2 of the IHSA football playoffs.

“We’re all just confident with each other,” said Kaneland wide receiver and defensive lineman Blake Serpa. “We know everyone is going to do their job, and not pay attention to what everybody else is supposed to do, and just execute.”

Perhaps most impressive in Saturday night’s win was how each phase of the Knights’ game built confidence in the other phases.

For example, each of the six booming kickoffs by Matt Rodriguez forced the Tigers to start deep in their own territory, including three that went for a touchback after crossing the plane of the endzone. According to Serpa, who caught two passes for 24 yards and a touchdown, as well as rushed eight times for 41 yards and another score, this simply added to the defensive unit’s confidence, as has been the case all season.

“Our kicker has always given us field position,” he said. “With our defense, we think if they have to drive 80 yards it’s going to be harder for them than it is for us driving the 50 yards that we have to drive.”

Another example of the cyclical nature of the Knights’ confidence Saturday night was how their defensive ability to stop the Tigers emboldened the Knights’ offense, particularly on third down. Not only did Kaneland fare well on third down, converting on eight of 11 attempts, but the offense became even more aggressive on third downs, going for the long play just as often as going for first-down yardage.

In fact, four of the Knights touchdowns—and all of KHS quarterback Joe Camiliere’s touchdown tosses—came on third down. Quinn Buschbacher, who led the receiver corps with 104 yards and one touchdown on seven receptions, said their success on third down is a result of their confidence in each other.

“I think we have a lot of confidence in everybody on the offense,” he said. “I mean, we trust our offensive line to hold their block as long as possible. We also trust Joe, and the receivers, to find the opening, to find the open man.”

The game began with both teams showing confidence; each team putting together a long drive that took the game into the second quarter.

Kaneland opened the game with a drive from its own 32 yard line. They pushed the ball to the Tiger 21-yard-line with a mix of runs and passes before facing a third-and-eight at the Tiger 21 yard line.

That’s when Camiliere found Tyler Callaghan over the middle. Callaghan worked his way toward the end zone, falling across the goal line with 6:50 left in the first quarter. Rodriguez’s extra point gave Kaneland a 7-0 lead.

Crystal Lake Central responded with its own long drive, one that started from its own 20 and ate up the rest of the first quarter and the first 14 seconds of the second. Highlighted by a 33-yard pass to the left flat from quarterback Brett Schuld to reciever Connor Baumann, the Tigers worked their way to a second-and-goal at the Kaneland 9-yard-line.

Tiger running back Dyllon McKinney took a pitch around the left end and dove over the corner of the end zone to knot the score at 7 apiece.

Kaneland had the benefit of great field position on its next drive, starting from its own 46-yard-line. A leaping grab for an 18-yard gain by Taylor Andrews put the ball at the Tiger 36-yard-line, and soon Kaneland found itself facing a third-and-seven from the CLC 33-yard-line. That’s when freshman receiver Daniel Helm caught a pass on a 10-yard turnaround on the right side, shook off a couple of would-be tacklers and raced to a 32-yard touchdown and 13-7 lead. Trouble with the snap and hold on the extra-point attempt left the score at 13-7, with 10:19 left to play in the half.

After forcing Crystal Lake Central to punt on its next drive, Kaneland found itself having to punt away as well. However, the Tigers fumbled on the return, giving Kaneland the ball back with great field position at the Tiger 40-yard-line with 5:13 to go in the half.

Just over a minute later, Serpa took a hand-off and broke through the line off the right tackle, finding the end zone on a 27-yard touchdown run. The TD and extra point gave Kaneland a 20-7 lead with 3:56 remaining in the half.

Serpa helped end the Tigers’ next drive, pressuring Tiger QB Brett Schuld on third-and-11 from their own 19 and forcing him to throw the ball away. The defensive stand led to a Tiger punt and great field position for the Knights, who started their next drive at the CLC 30-yard-line.

On third-and-10 from the Tiger 18, Camiliere tossed a pass down the right seam to Serpa, who was double-covered by the Tigers. Serpa’s leaping grab in the end zone gave Kaneland a 27-7 lead with 43 seconds left in the half, effectively putting the game out of reach for Crystal Lake.

The second half saw Kaneland’s defense clamp down, holding CLC scoreless, and its offense to run time off the clock and make sure that when the Tigers would regain the ball, it was deep in its own territory.

Kaneland added the final points of the night with 3:42 left in the game when Camiliere hit Buschbacher in stride over the middle for a 27-yard touchdown pass.

Holding a 20-7 lead with less than three minutes left in the first half, the Kaneland defense needed to keep Crystal Lake from clawing back into the game before half time. Having just scored a touchdown on the previous drive, Kaneland defensive lineman/wide receiver Blake Serpa worked through the CLC offensive line and put pressure on the Tiger quarterback, forcing him to throw a third-down pass out of bounds to set up a fourth down punting situation. A couple of minutes later, Serpa would score again on a leaping catch in the end zone with less than a minute left in the half, giving Kaneland a 27-7 lead and effectively putting the game out of reach for the Crystal Lake Central Tigers.

Up next …

Vernon Hills
#1 Maple Park (Kaneland) (11-0)
at #4 Vernon Hills (10-1),
Saturday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m.

Kaneland will travel to North Suburban Prairie Conference champions Vernon Hills on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 1 p.m.
Vernon Hills enters the contest as the No. 4 seed with a 10-1 record. The team started the season with an amazing seven-consecutive shutout victories, outscoring its opponents 310-0 during the streak.
Fresh off a 37-22 victory over Tinley Park High School last week, Vernon Hills may prove to be the Knights’ toughest test yet this season.

And then there were 8
Third-round 5A contests
#1 Kaneland (11-0)
at #4 Vernon Hills (10-1),
Saturday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m.

#10 Woodstock (Marian) (8-3)
at #6 Lombard (Montini),
Saturday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m.

#2 Joliet (Catholic Academy) (10-1)
at #1 Peoria (Richwoods) (11-0),
Saturday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m.

#4 Chatham (Glenwood) (8-3)
at #3 Springfield (H.S.) (9-2),
Saturday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m.

Photo: Receiver Tyler Callaghan drives to the goal line for the first 6 points of Kaneland’s 34-7 victory over the visiting Crystal Lake Central Tigers in 2nd-round playoff action in Maple Park. The Knights travel to Vernon Hills Saturday at 1 p.m. in quarterfinal action. Photo by Ryan Wells

Perfect 10

Photo: Knight pass-catcher Tyler Callaghan found himself up close and personal with the turf, but not until after the final KHS touchdown in a 42-0 win over Chicago’s King High School. Kaneland now awaits Crystal Lake Central on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. Photo by John DiDonna

Knights get all they need in first half of 42-0 win
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Before the beginning of the fourth quarter on Friday night, Knights Taylor Andrews and Nick Michels ran from the sidelines to the field in a sprint.

The winner of that footrace was pretty much the only question to answer on Friday.

With 21 points each in the first and second quarter, the top-seeded Kaneland squad eliminated No. 16 King High School by a 42-0 tally.

“It’s always fun to play somebody different,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “In the playoffs, you’re going to see a lot of different things, and preparation is just really important.”

The 10-0 Knights now gear up for eighth-seeded Crystal Lake Central, who outlasted Antioch on Saturday evening in overtime, 24-21.

With the running clock implemented for the entire second half, the Knights got productive nights from their key players and also found them rest.

The 42-0 shellacking of the Jaguars saw Joe Camiliere go 13-for-15 for 217 yards with four scoring strikes.

The senior and three-year starter was also the game-high rusher with 48 yards on two carries.

The leading receiver was Quinn Buschbacher, who grabbed four balls for 75 yards.

Kaneland’s scoring escapades began on it’s second play from scrimmage when Camiliere followed blockers en route to a 45-yard touchdown just 45 seconds into the game for a 7-0 lead.

On Kaneland’s third-drive, Buschbacher scored on a six-yard TD run to cap a four-play drive and made it 14-0.

Kaneland made it three successful third-quarter drives with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Blake Serpa with :57 left in the quarter.

The second quarter featured a 20-yard touchdown pass to Andrews with 11:08 left in the second frame, followed by a 12-yard slant pass to Buschbacher for a 35-0 lead with 8:29 remaining, and a nine-yard paydirt strike to Tyler Callaghan with :57 left in the first half.

The Crystal Lake Central Tigers are 8-2 entering Saturday’s tiff. The Tigers have not suffered a loss since a 14-7 setback to Peoria Richwoods on Sept. 11.

“ A lot of teams coming ahead of us are really good teams,” Callaghan said. “We’ve got a ton of potential, especially with Blake and Joe and our offensive line was really young coming into the year, but now they’re one of our strengths.”

The winner of KHS-CLC is slated to face either No. 4 Vernon Hills or No. 12 Tinley Park in a semifinal matchup.

The King Jaguars might have had a good night on the gridiron if it weren’t for the Knights. While it was going to be a tough night defensively for King, Taylor Andrews also made sure it would be trying on the offensive side. Andrews’ sack of Kendal Harris on third-and-14 from the King 10 pinned the visitors deep in their own territory. The punt landed at the King 27, leading to a Quinn Buschbacher TD run and a 14-0 lead.

And then there were 16:
Second Round 5A contests

#8 Crystal Lake (Central) (8-2) at
#1 Maple Park (Kaneland) (10-0),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m.

#4 Vernon Hills (9-1) at
#12 Tinley Park (H.S.) (7-3),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 5 p.m.

#15 Grayslake (Central) (6-4) at
#10 Woodstock (Marian) (7-3),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 6 p.m.

#6 Lombard (Montini) (8-2) at
#3 Sycamore (H.S.) (9-1),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 1 p.m.

#4 New Lenox (Lincoln-Way West) (8-2) at #1 Peoria (Richwoods) (10-0),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 1 p.m.

#2 Joliet (Catholic Academy) (9-1) vs.
#3 Sterling (H.S.) (8-2) at Joliet Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 6, 6 p.m.

#4 Chatham (Glenwood) (7-3) at
#8 Jacksonville (H.S.) (6-4)
Saturday, Nov. 6, 1 p.m.

#3 Springfield (H.S.) (8-2) at
#2 Marion (H.S.) (9-1),
Saturday, Nov. 6, 2 p.m.

Seeing Redskin

Football cinches first unblemished regular season since 1998
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—After Friday’s 47-7 win by Kaneland over Morris, the Redskins were probably glad the two teams met only once this season.

Kaneland had a funny way of repeating itself that way—nine times over.

The regular season-ending win for KHS squares things at 9-0 (5-0 NIB-12).

The victory over Morris gives Kaneland the first undefeated regular season since 1998, under current defensive coordinator Joe Thorgeson, and awards the Knights the first-ever NIB-12 title over Sycamore and Morris.

“I’m so happy for our seniors and all their hard work they put in over the years. It’s something that’s a special thing. Our seniors throughout the whole week talked about not wanting to have any letdown,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.

The win also left the Redskins at 6-3 for the regular season, but they live to fight another day. Morris will be the tenth seed in Class 4A’s upper bracket and travel to Bishop McNamara in Kankakee on Friday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m.

In Friday’s contest, the Knights garnered 402 yards of offense, compared to Morris’ 238.

Kaneland earned 160 yards on the ground on 27 carries and three touchdowns. Kaneland spread the ball through the air to great effectiveness, led by Taylor Andrews’ 66 yards on four catches, and Blake Serpa’s 83 yards on two grabs.

Joe Camiliere was 9-for-11 for 235 yards on two touchdowns.

The Knights wasted little time, as a Quinn Buschbacher swing pass on the first offensive play netted 51 yards. Camiliere went up the middle for a 13-yard touchdown just 21 seconds into the game for a 7-0 lead.

Morris took five plays on the next possession to go 58 yards and ended its drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Austin Feeney to Kjeld Torkelson.

After running out of downs on their second possession, the Knights got back to work on a five-play drive and scored on a five-yard Camiliere TD run with 3:07 to go in the first frame.

Kaneland went up 21-7 soon after, as Serpa blocked a Redskins punt attempt and went 52 yards for a score with 44 seconds left in the quarter.

The Knights kept the late-October festivities going with three more touchdowns in the second frame.

Camiliere hit Buschbacher on an 11-yard scoring strike to complete a seven-play drive with 6:45 to go in the third for a 27-7 lead.

Serpa caught a bomb and strode for an 81-yard touchdown pass with 3:00 to go for a 34-7 lead, and with Morris trying to make something happen, Andrews snuffed out the Redskin threat with a 70-yard interception touchdown with :59 left to go up 41-7 at the break.

“We just came out strong,” Andrews said. “We knew it was going to be a big game. Like we say, everyone did their ‘one-eleventh’ and we fought through.”

The running clock was tripped with a Curtis Secrest 25-yard TD run with 1:03 to go in the game.
In sophomore action, Morris defeated Kaneland 21-19.

The Knights, as the top-seed team in Class 5A’s upper bracket, host the King Jaguars of Chicago’s Public League (16-seed), on Friday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m.

Kaneland or King will face the winner of (8) Crystal Lake Central and (9) Antioch in the second round.

The first season for Kaneland ended on Friday, and Blake Serpa helped end it in style. The future Chippewa’s blocked punt and touchdown return made life difficult for Morris and continued the renewed output from the Kaneland defense and special teams as of late.

RAISE YOU A KING:
Tidbits about the No. 16 King Jaguars

• The Jaguars are members of the Chicago Public League and play in the Illini Conference, Land of Lincoln division.

• King, at 5-4, is one of only two Class 5A playoff qualifiers to be outscored by their opponents during the season, along with 6-3 Champaign Centennial.

• The Jaguars, coached by Lonnie Williams, put up a season-high 34 points in a 34-26 win over Whitney Young on Aug. 26, but have been shut out twice.

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Champion: Kaneland High School* 5 0 9 0 376 95
Sycamore High School* 4 1 8 1 305 118
Morris Com High School* 3 2 6 3 210 162
DeKalb High School* 2 3 5 4 202 203
Yorkville High School 1 4 3 6 146 220
Rochelle Twp High School 0 5 3 6 207 175

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Champion: Sterling High School* 4 1 7 2 188 111
Champion: Geneseo High School* 4 1 8 1 305 89
Champion: Ottawa Twp High School* 4 1 6 3 264 115
LaSalle-Peru High School 2 3 4 5 173 278
Dixon High School 1 4 1 8 142 392
Streator Twp High School 0 5 0 9 66 405

*denotes playoff qualifier

KHS makes itself at home in 34-13 win at Yorkville

by Mike Slodki
YORKVILLE—Friday night at Campbell Field in Yorkville featured four quarters of Fox hunting.

For Kaneland, the instrument of choice was a scalpel.

Highlighted by a third-quarter drive that went eight minutes, 11 seconds and ended with a Blake Serpa touchdown run, the Knights saw big things from their offense and a steady defense in a 34-13 win over the Foxes.

With the final outcome, Kaneland is now 7-0 (3-0 NIB-12), and heads into a battle of the undefeateds with visiting Sycamore.

Sycamore is now the top-ranked Playoff Points team in Class 5A, while Kaneland is the third-ranked team.

Kaneland gathered 387 yards of offense compared to 225 yards for YHS.

Joe Camiliere had a 13-for-20 for 185 yards evening, with two touchdowns and one interception. The senior has thrown 19 scoring strikes, compared to two picks.

Serpa ran for 91 yards. Sean Carter caught three passes for 77 yards to be the Knights’ leading receiver.

“I have to tip my hat to Yorkville, they played hard,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “They played a good game and that’s what we expected. That (8:11) drive, that’s something we’ve been talking about putting together for awhile.”

After Taylor Andrews recovered a fumble on a pitch on Yorkville’s first play from scrimmage, Kaneland used three plays to score, thanks to Serpa’s one-yard plunge just 1:44 into the game for a 7-0 lead.Yorkville used a 21-yard field goal by Maxwell Brusveen with 6:22 to go to make it 7-3. The kick marked the Foxes’ first points against Kaneland since 2007.

In the second quarter, Kaneland struck again on a 70-yard pass to Carter in stride with 2:59 to go making it 14-3. Yorkville came back with a 10-play drive that ended with a 32-yard field goal by Brusveen with 29 ticks left to make it 14-6.

Kaneland began the second half with that 15-play drive that covered 80-yards. Serpa and Camliere ran the ball for most of the drive, sandwiched around a Carter catch. It gave Kaneland the chance to dominate the game via run, and kept YHS offensive assets off the field.

“We had a lead already. We had a touchdown lead, and the line did a great job. It was a long drive and they just blocked on every play. Blake ran the ball better than I’ve ever seen him run,” Camiliere said.

In the fourth quarter, Tyler Callaghan caught his first touchdown pass of the season from nine yards out with 10:09 to go in the game, making it 28-6. After Callaghan intercepted a Brant Corwin pass, Quinn Buschbacher ran it in from the 14 to make it 34-6 with 9:08 to go.

Yorkville closed the scoring with a Liir Emini TD catch from 23-yards out to make it 34-13 with 2:06 remaining. In sophomore action, KHS won 62-25.

Sycamore tries to knock off the Knights this Friday, Oct. 15. The Spartans won the 2009 Class 5A first-round matchup 40-13 on Oct. 31, 2009.

Play of the Knight
Quinn Buschbacher has had a productive season so far. He showed why on Friday. Faced with a third-and-7 from its own 35, Buschbacher got the carry and broke two tackles on his way to a 39-yard gain. The play went a long way to widening a close game, and eventually led to a Kaneland score with 3:11 left in the third quarter for a 21-6 lead.

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sterling High School* 3 0 6 1 143 94
Geneseo High School* 2 1 6 1 229 70
Ottawa Twp High School 2 1 4 3 213 95
LaSalle-Peru High School 2 1 4 3 141 216
Dixon High School 0 3 0 7 100 328
Streator Twp High School 0 3 0 7 40 315

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Kaneland High School* 3 0 7 0 299 75
Sycamore High School* 3 0 7 0 259 88
Morris Com High School 2 1 5 2 188 107
Yorkville High School 1 2 3 4 122 160
Rochelle Twp High School 0 3 3 4 192 122
DeKalb High School 0 3 3 4 137 172

*Clinched playoff berth

Barb-eque: Knights batter DeKalb, now 6-0

Photo: Knight Quinn Buschbacher (12) hopes to come down with the ball during Kaneland’s 42-7 win against visiting DeKalb. Buschbacher’s output this season has been key to the Knights’ No. 3 placing in the IHSA Class 5A Playoff Points scale. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Dealing with the hysterics of 2010 homecoming? Fine.

Having to host a DeKalb team that just came off of a win at LaSalle-Peru and was at the .500 mark in week six under coach Marty Sanders? OK.

Knowing that every win amassed creates a giant bullseye on the Kaneland jersey? Bring it on.

It seemed like nothing could get the Knights down on Friday, and Kaneland strode to a 42-7 win over the visiting Barbs.

The win, Kaneland’s fifth in a row over DHS, improved the KHS mark to 6-0 (2-0 Northern Illinois Big XII). It marks the best start for Kaneland since 2006, and the Knights have now won seven straight regular season games dating back to last season.

“This is a special group. We’ve got a couple guys that stepped in big time, and we’re just really happy with the outcome,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.

Kaneland outgained DeKalb by a tally of 402-286.

Joe Camiliere was a stellar 18-of-22 for 306 yards and five touchdown tosses.

Blake Serpa carried the ball for 70 yards on 10 tries. On the receiving end, Quinn Buschbacher caught eight passes for 153 yards and three scores, while Sean Carter caught five passes for 93 yards and a score.

After coming up empty on their first drive, a Serpa punt pinned DeKalb back on its own eight. Two plays later, QB Brian Sisler was wrapped up by Tyler Callaghan for a safety four minutes, 29 seconds into the game for a 2-0 KHS lead. Three plays later, Kaneland’s Buschbacher caught a 38-yard touchdown pass for a 9-0 lead with 6:03 to go in the first quarter.

The second-quarter scoring had Camaliere find Carter on a 27-yard pass with 9:44 remaining in the half for a 21-0 lead.

Blake Serpa followed blockers for a 45-yard touchdown run with 3:43 to go to make it 28-0, and before the half was up, Jacob Razo caught his first TD of the year, a five-yard grab.

With the Knights entering the third frame up 28-0, the offense was at it again thanks to a Buschbacher 24-yard touchdown catch, making it 35-0.

The Barbs repelled the running clock by Dan Matya’s 84-yard touchdown catch with 7:45 left in the third.

Buschbacher caught a 15-yard pass from Camilere for his third and final touchdown with 3:18 to go in the third.

Play of the Knight
Facing an improved DeKalb Barbs squad, the undefeated Knights needed contributions from both the defense and the offense. Already up 9-0 due to a safety and a passing TD,. Joe Camiliere found frequent target Sean Carter on a 27-yard touchdown in the second quarter to go up 16-0 and to effectively put the contest out of reach.

“All our linemen are working hard,” Buschbacher said. “It’s really showing out there. Joe had all day to throw the ball. I hope it carries out for the entire season.”

In sophomore action, the Knights took a 10-3 battle with visiting DeKalb to capture their Homecoming game.

Kaneland’s week 7 clash is in Yorkville against the 3-3 Foxes. The Knights travel to Kendall County for the second consecutive year, after handing YHS a season-ending 10-0 loss on Oct. 23, 2009. Yorkville beat Rochelle 24-12 on Friday.

Kaneland rolls over Rochelle, improves to 5-0

by Mike Slodki
ROCHELLE—For a myriad of reasons, Kaneland has had Rochelle’s number lately on the gridiron.

On Friday in the land of the Hubs, that number was 35-8.

Taking advantage of four Rochelle turnovers and spreading the wealth in their running and passing games, the Kaneland Knights matched their 2006 start of 5-0 with a 35-8 win at Rochelle.

“Something we preach all the time, we want to get the ball, and if the other team turns it over, we want to make them pay,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.

Kaneland is now 4-3 over the Hubs in their last seven meetings, and have won four of the last five.

The Knights earned their first-ever Northern Illinois Big XII East win. Rochelle is now 3-2 (0-1 NIB-12).

Successfully thwarting the Hubs’ Wing-T offense, Kaneland outgained Rochelle 304-280.

Knights quarterback Joe Camiliere had a 17-of-28 day for 229 yards and two touchdowns. The senior also rushed for 83 yards on 13 carries. Central Michigan-bound Blake Serpa had 51 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns. No. 2 for the Knights likes the way things are headed.

“We just practiced all week in just coming out and hitting hard,” Serpa said. “We knew, up or down, they were going to come out and hit you as hard as they can.”

For Rochelle, Josh Bernardin had 109 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown, while Will Metzger added 73 yards on 12 carries.

Kaneland used nice days from Quinn Buschbacher (four catches, 59 yards) and Taylor Andrews (four catches, 36 yards).

Kaneland used its first drive during Rochelle’s homecoming to go 53 yards in eight plays, ending with a misdirection run by Buschbacher for a seven-yard touchdown with 9:32 left in the first frame for a 7-0 lead. After Hub CJ Navarro coughed up the ball to KHS, the Knights constructed a nine-play, 58-yard drive that ended with Serpa plowing through the middle for a two-yard score. Kaneland then led 14-0 with 4:08 remaining in the first quarter.

After Rochelle used an ill-advised pass on a fourth down, Kaneland took over and had Serpa score on an 18-yard touchdown run with 6:49 remaining in the half for a 21-0 lead.

For the final score of the half, Buschbacher shook a defender loose and went in from the 17 for a touchdown pass to go up 28-0 with 30 ticks left in the half.

Kaneland’s secondary puts the the Knights in a position to make things happen. Take Kory Harner, for example. The defensive back stopped Rochelle’s second drive cold with an interception, driving home the nightmore for the host Hubs.

Rochelle finally got on the board in the third quarter, thanks to a 36-yard scoring scamper from Bernardin with 7:54 to go, the ensuing two-point try cut the lead to 20. Kaneland’s fourth quarter score was a Camiliere-to-Sean Carter five-yard pass with 5:45 remaining.

Sophomore action had KHS beat Rochelle 47-8.

Kaneland’s next NIB-12 test comes on Homecoming Night, Friday, Oct. 1, against the DeKalb Barbs (3-2, 0-1 NIB-12). DeKalb handed host LaSalle-Peru a 41-20 loss on Friday. Kaneland has won the previous four meetings between the schools by a combined score of 168-34.

Top photo: Knight John Kintz (20) gives Rochelle ball-carrier Will Metzger nowhere to run during Friday’s 35-8 dismantling of the host Rochelle Hubs. The win elevated Kaneland to 5-0 (1-0 NIB-12) and to the fourth spot in Class 5A’s IHSA Playoff Points list. Photo by Ben Draper

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Kaneland High School 1 0 5 0 223 55
Sycamore High School 1 0 5 0 190 46
Morris Com High School 1 0 4 1 132 59
Rochelle Twp High School 0 1 3 2 156 70
DeKalb High School 0 1 3 2 116 92
Yorkville High School 0 1 2 3 85 114

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Geneseo High School 1 0 5 0 201 49
Sterling High School 1 0 4 1 76 73
Ottawa Twp High School 1 0 3 2 149 60
LaSalle-Peru High School 0 1 2 3 55 172
Dixon High School 0 1 0 5 56 231
Streator Twp High School 0 1 0 5 12 209

Dark Knight for LP: Kaneland takes 56-7 win

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Much like the summer hours that tick away into fall, the chances for the visiting LaSalle-Peru Cavaliers ticked away with every scoring drive put together by the Kaneland Knights.

When it was all said and done, the Knights saw another running clock go to their advantage on the gridiron in a 56-7 handling of LP.

With the win, Kaneland improved to 4-0, the first time it has done so since 2006 and the third time in the last six campaigns.

“We were talking all week about how we need to fine-tune everything as we get into conference play,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We’ve got a tough game at Rochelle, and I’m feeling pretty good about our team.”

Putting up 574 total yards, including 327 yards on the ground, the Knights finished their Northern Illinois Big XII crossover slate on a good note.

Knights signal-caller Joe Camiliere was 9-for-14 for 235 yards and a touchdown.

The leading rusher for Kaneland was Central Michigan University-bound Blake Serpa, who rumbled for 118 yards and two scores on nine carries.

Camiliere also rushed for 74 yards on nine carries and a touchdown.

Quinn Buschbacher caught two balls for 101 yards and a touchdown, and incidentally, had his third touchdown of the season called back on a penalty.

KHS came up empty on its first drive, but after forcing a punt, Taylor Andrews used the second play of the next drive for a 42-yard touchdown run. Andrews weaved his way through blocks and avoided the Cavalier defenders.

“I’ve just got to give credit to the O-line,” Andrews said. “It was Serpa on the lead block and I just followed.”

Andrews followed that up on the next drive with a 13-yard touchdown around left end for a 14-0 lead with one minute remaining in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, LP used a one-yard quarterback sneak by Zack Cinotto to close within 14-7 with 11:14 to go in the second quarter, but KHS scored 21 points in the space of 6:31 to go up 35-7 at halftime.

With 7:31 to go, Serpa plowed in from the three-yard line.

Play of the Knight
When Kaneland puts a massive amount of points on the scoreboard early and often, opponents often feel compelled to air it out. When they do, secondary personnel like (8) Jacob Razo will be waiting. Razo made a great interception after bobbling a rainbow of a pass from LaSalle-Peru near the end zone and gave Kaneland the ball already up 21-7 with under 4 minutes to go in the first half.

After a Jacob Razo interception, Serpa avoided tacklers and drove toward the left corner on an exceptional 60-yard TD run, where he dove for the corner from the three-yard line. Just before the half, Buschbacher scored on a 55-yard touchdown pass by following his blockers.

The three second-half touchdowns were scored on a Camiliere sneak with 2:46 left in the third quarter, a 7-yard Curtis Secrest touchdown run with 10:33 remaining in the contest, and a Nick Fornero 13-yard touchdown run with 3:34 to go.

The East part of the NIB-12 schedule begins on Friday, Sept. 24, with a trip to Rochelle. Of the previous four meetings, the Knights have dropped only one, in 2007. The Knights have split the last six meetings overall with Rochelle.

The Knights sophomore squad won over LP, 38-0.

Top photo: Tyler Callaghan puts pressure on L-P quarterback Zack Cinotto. Photo by Ben Draper

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sycamore High School 1 0 4 0 160 41
Kaneland High School 0 0 4 0 188 47
Rochelle Twp High School 0 0 3 1 148 35
Morris Com High School 0 0 3 1 113 59
Yorkville High School 0 0 2 2 85 95
DeKalb High School 0 1 2 2 75 72

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sterling High School 1 0 4 0 71 43
Geneseo High School 0 0 4 0 160 41
Ottawa Twp High School 0 0 2 2 116 54
LaSalle-Peru High School 0 1 1 3 35 131
Dixon High School 0 0 0 4 48 190
Streator Twp High School 0 0 0 4 6 176

Three-and-OH!

Photo gallery below story
Knights run over crossover foe Dixon, 55-6
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Looks like Kaneland Knights football is putting the rest of its schedule on notice.
The visiting Dixon Dukes certainly noticed.

In the first crossover Northern Illinois Big XII contest for Kaneland, the Knights saw both the offense and defense contribute in a 55-6 win over the visitors.

For KHS, it’s their first 3-0 start since the prolific season of 2006, and for coach Tom Fedderly, that falls largely on one aspect of the game.

“It’s all senior leadership,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “These kids want to be a good team. They’ve been through it. They know what it takes, and they’ve got a lot of pride.”

The game featured a running clock due to a 40-point margin, which was achieved on a 19-yard touchdown pass to Sean Carter.

For KHS, it’s the first time a running clock has been accomplished in regular season play since 2006, when KHS beat DeKalb.

“Our offensive line did a great job. Joe had a lot of time, and I thought the receivers executed their routes well,” Fedderly said.

Kaneland cruised on the strength of Joe Camaliere’s five touchdown passes and 10-for-15, 279-yard day through the air.

The leading rusher was backup QB Ryan Fuchs with 32 yards.

Carter had 77 yards receiving on three catches and two scores, while Blake Serpa had 110 yards recieving.

Play of the Knight
While the Kaneland ‘D’ might have been tired of being on the field in the first half, the O wasn’t tired of scoring. Taking the field for the first time with under 7 minutes to play in the first quarter after Dixon ran 15 offensive plays, QB Joe Camiliere threw a bullet pass to a striding Blake Serpa for a 63-yard touchdown on the Knights’ first play from scrimmage. The scoring play gave KHS a 14-0 lead in the first.

For Dixon, Preston Lumzy had 114 yards on the ground and a touchdown.

The party started early, before the KHS offense even got the ball. Three holding penalties plagued things at first, but then a failed pitch attempt by Dixon resulted in linebacker Nick Michels scooping up the ball at the 12 and running in for the touchdown and a 7-0 lead just 1:06 into the game.

“When the fumble happened, (Taylor) Andrews came up and made a hit. I saw the ball pop out, hesitated a little bit, and picked it up,” Michels said.

Dixon had another sustained drive but had to punt, leading to Camaliere hitting Blake Serpa for a 63-yard score and a 14-0 lead with 6:31 to go in the first.

The first quarter scoring ended on a 38-yard slot pass to Quinn Buschbacher with 2:59 to go to make it 21-0.

In the second quarter, Serpa scored on an 11-yard TD run for a 28-0 lead with 8:38 to go in the half. Dixon’s Lumzy broke into the scoring column with a two-yard scamper with 4:58 to go to make it 28-6 with 4:58 to go, and Camaliere’s 45-yard scoring pass to Carter 32 seconds later made it 35-6. The first half scoring concluded with a 47-yard strike to Serpa with 1:21 to go to make it 41-6 at the half.

After the clock-busting Carter touchdown, Fuchs closed the scoring out with a 10-yard touchdown run with 3:28 to go in the third.

In the earlier sophomore contest, Kaneland won 42-6.

Kaneland goes for a fourth straight win against the NIB-12 West school LaSalle-Peru on Friday, Sept. 17.

Top photo: Knight Tyler Callaghan (6) stifles Dixon Dukes RB Preston Lumzy during Friday’s 55-6 win in Maple Park. Photo by Ryan Wells

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sycamore High School 1 0 3 0 119 41
Kaneland High School 0 0 3 0 132 40
Rochelle Twp High School 0 0 2 1 96 20
Morris Com High School 0 0 2 1 94 41
Yorkville High School 0 0 2 1 71 40
DeKalb High School 0 1 2 1 61 55

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sterling High School 1 0 3 0 54 29
Geneseo High School 0 0 3 0 105 27
Ottawa Twp High School 0 0 2 1 98 35
LaSalle-Peru High School 0 1 1 2 41 62
Dixon High School 0 0 0 3 33 138
Streator Twp High School 0 0 0 3 6 135



Advantage—Kaneland

Kaneland holds off host Rockets in opener, 37-22
by Mike Slodki
BURLINGTON—When it comes to season openers, Kaneland can’t think of a better way to begin the football season.

In fact, the Knights haven’t been able to think of a better way to start things for six straight years.

The team offered a glimpse of what might be down the line, but was played evenly for much of the contest. While giving up the occasional big play, the Knights took advantage of opportunities presented on both sides of the ball.

“We put the challenge to the guys in the second half that we have to answer the call and can’t be a team that hurts ourselves,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We played better in the second half.”

Third-year signal caller Joe Camaliere had more incompletions than caught passes, going 15-for-32 for 114 yards, but threw for three touchdowns along with one pick.

The senior was also the leading rusher for the squad, rushing seven times for 69 yards and a score.

WR Quinn Buschbacher caught four passes for 24 yards.

“I had a couple drops, but I just tried to get back in there and help the team as best I could,” Buschbacher said.

The junior also had a kickoff return for a touchdown called back in the third quarter.

“That’s just football. Hopefully, I can get another one next week,” Buschbacher said.

Rocket standout Tre Llanes rushed for 92 yards on 16 carries for a touchdown.

Senior Tim Maroder, who switched to running back after two years at QB, suffered a knee injury on a screen pass in the first quarter and is projected to be lost for the season.

The first real scoring opportunity came for the Knights after a punt snap went over Chandler Crary’s head and was pounced on at the Rocket 4-yard line. Three plays later, Taylor Andrews caught a pass in the left corner of the end zone six seconds into the second quarter.

With 2:41 remaining in the half, BC’s punt snap went airborne and out the end zone for a safety and a 9-0 KHS lead. Kaneland added to that on a six-play, 40-yard drive after the free kick, thanks to Sean Carter’s 11-yard TD catch on the left side of the endzone with 2:05 to go making it 16-0.

KHS WR Sean Carter
PLAY OF THE KNIGHT: Knights WR Sean Carter didn’t wait for a welcome to varsity action. He broke the door down. On a third-and-10 from the BC 26-yard line in the second quarter, and KHS muddling through three of four incompletions, Carter caught a pass and raced to the sidelines for a 15-yard gain. The next play had Carter catch an 11-yard TD pass to give KHS a 16-0 lead with 2:05 left in the first half.

Kaneland’s three fourth-quarter touchdowns came on a six-yard strike to Kyle Davidson with 11:51 to go making it 23-8, a Camaliere sneak with 7:00 to go making it 30-16, and a Blake Serpa touchdown run with 1:49 to go to cement the 15-point margin.

The sophomores emerged victorious over the Rockets with a 37-21 win over BC.

Kaneland battles host Huntley on Friday, Sept. 3, at 7:15 p.m.

A year ago, Kaneland lost to the Red Raiders 17-14.

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 44-34 loss to Wauconda on Friday.

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Geneseo High School 0 0 1 0 42 7
Sterling High School 0 0 1 0 20 10
Ottawa Twp High School 0 0 0 1 21 28
Dixon High School 0 0 0 1 13 34
LaSalle-Peru High School 0 0 0 1 7 42
Streator Twp High School 0 0 0 1 6 41

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sycamore High School 0 0 1 0 57 12
Rochelle Twp High School 0 0 1 0 49 6
Yorkville High School 0 0 1 0 41 6
Kaneland High School 0 0 1 0 37 22
DeKalb High School 0 0 1 0 28 21
Morris Com High School 0 0 1 0 21 14

Top photo: Knight Curtis Secrest (16) separates Rocket QB Ryan Ritchie from the ball in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s 37-22 season-opening win for Kaneland. Photo by Ben Draper

Photo gallery:

Grid-Iron Men, too: KHS begins life as NIB-12 school

Photo: Leading up to the first ever Northern Illinois Big XII campaign, the Knights partake in drills in Maple Park. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—With a core of three-year starters and the beginning of a new conference, Kaneland High School football looks to be poised for big things in 2010.

It begins with a select group of players that put the “skill” in skill positions.

“We’re excited about having so many guys back with experience,” fourth-year head coach Tom Fedderly said on Monday. “They paid their dues and we want to see what they can do this year.”

Joe Camaliere returns at quarterback, now in his third-year of playing within the spread offense with a flourish.

The senior comes into the Friday, Aug. 27, opener at Burlington Central having tossed just three interceptions in 2009.

“That all comes down to preparation,” Fedderly said. “Making decisions in the game, and Joe takes a lot of pride in taking care of the ball.”

Camaliere will have a void this year, with two-way player Ryley Bailey off to Wisconsin-Platteville.

“Obviously, Ryley was a huge part of what we did last year. But we have guys working hard this year. We look at all of our skills kids back,” Fedderly said.

Running back Blake Serpa, soon to be a Mid-American Conference weapon at Central Michigan University, returns and figures to shoulder a load of the carries.

At the wideout positions are seniors Taylor Andrews and Tyler Callaghan, providing production, height and talent.

“Cally’s about six-foot-five, Taylor’s about six-foot-three and so is Serpa. It’s nice to see those guys out there. They can block, too. They can do it all,” Fedderly said.

The Knights like their height advantage, and plan to use it to their, well, advantage.

“It really helps,” Fedderly said. “It helps when you have a big target to throw to in a space. It helps Joe a lot.”

Junior Quinn Buschbacher also found productive playing time last year, as well as the end zone, and will be counted on in 2010.

“Curtis Secrest is another kid that’s been working hard. We have a number of guys that can catch the ball,” Fedderly said.

Serpa and Secrest figure to be carrying the ball, but Fedderly and staff are looking at more options on that end.

Fedderly also mentioned the offensive and defensive lines could have a younger slant and will be open to competition.

Callaghan and Andrews will get time in at linebacker, and Secrest will get a look at secondary.

Serpa will handle punting, while Chad Swieca will handle extra points.

The Knights’ roster looks to make a big splash in the new Northern Illinois Big XII conference, and will add East Division-mate Morris, and West Division cousins Dixon and LaSalle-Peru to its slate.

“What we’re really excited about is that all these are all similar programs,” Fedderly said. “So our younger kids are going to be playing against similar situations with programs that play sophomores, whereas other schools we played had upperclassmen. I think it’s going to really even out.”

The last time Kaneland invaded a new conference, in 2006, the Knights won the Western Sun Conference title in a one-loss regular season.

Now, coming back onto the field after a three-loss regular season and an 40-13 opening round playoff loss to Sycamore, the Knights look to improve their end result.

“If we want to be a good team, we need to watch turnovers and cut down on the mental errors. When we won, it was when we took care of the ball,” Fedderly said.

After the opener, the first East Division matchup is at Rochelle on Friday, Sept. 24. The regular season ends on Friday, Oct. 22 against visiting Morris.

Knights grab key victory at Sycamore, 21-14

by Mike Slodki
SYCAMORE—Breaking hearts are commonplace in high school, most notably at school dances or over text messages.

But on the football field?

Such was the case this past Friday night in Sycamore, where the Knights ripped a 21-14 win away from a hard-charging Spartans squad.

With the win, the Knights improved to 3-1, with a 2-0 record in Western Sun Conference play, and keeping pace with undefeated Geneva. Sycamore suffered its first loss after a blazing start and fell to 3-1 (1-1 WSC).

“It’s our oldest rivalry, and it was a very good team. We have a lot of respect for Sycamore and what they do,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said after the victory.

Head-to-head action saw KHS win the first down battle with 17 compared to 13 for Sycamore. Kaneland had 374 total yards on the night, compared to 241 for the Spartans.

The two squads have had their share of the spectrum, with 2007 seeing Sycamore trouncing Kaneland 37-7, and Knight Chris Ott kicking a field goal at the end of regulation for a 38-35 win in 2008.

Kaneland quarterback Joe Camaliere had a productive night, going 18-for-22 for 294 yards and three touchdown throws. Sophomore Quinn Buschbacher caught three passes for 114 yards in the contest.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Knights capitalized on a missed Sycamore field goal and went 80 yards in 11 plays for a touchdown. The 33-yard scoring catch by Buschbacher came on a leaping effort into the end zone 16 seconds into the second quarter.

Sycamore QB Ryan Bartels evened things up in the third quarter on an 11-yard touchdown run with 10:05 to go in the frame. After a Spartan drive went nowhere, the Knights set up shop at their own 32, where Camaliere found Buschbacher again on a 68-yard touchdown bomb with 6:08 remaining in the third for a 14-7 lead.

The score remained the same until the fourth quarter, when Bartels capped a drive with a two-yard touchdown run with 9:22 to go, deadlocking the score at 14.

Wasting no time, the Knights balanced Camaliere runs with a pass to Blake Serpa, and Kaneland was on the board again after a 23-yard touchdown pass to Serpa with 6:33 to go for a 21-14 lead.

With Sycamore finding no luck, Kaneland looked to drive the ball in order to wind the clock down, and succeeded in cinching the game on an acrobatic catch by Bailey with just over a minute to go in Spartan territory.

“We just trust our offense and trust our quarterback making decisions out there,” said Bailey. “Everyone made plays tonight. We knew we could do it.”

The Knights now host Batavia on Friday, Sept. 25, and hope to catch the 1-3 Bulldogs reeling.

Lower level activity had the Knight sophomores lose a 21-0 game, while the freshmen took home a 26-6 win.

	While Kaneland was looking for breathing room with the clock winding down on Friday, everyone in Sycamore held their breath. 	Ryley Bailey kept his composure near the sideline late in the fourth quarter with the Knights needing another first down to put the game away. 	A pass by Camaliere was tipped by a Spartan defender, but caught by Bailey with one minute to go, preserving the win with a 26-yard gain. Photos by Ryan Wells
While Kaneland was looking for breathing room with the clock winding down on Friday, everyone in Sycamore held their breath. Ryley Bailey kept his composure near the sideline late in the fourth quarter with the Knights needing another first down to put the game away. A pass by Camaliere was tipped by a Spartan defender, but caught by Bailey with one minute to go, preserving the win with a 26-yard gain. Photos by Ryan Wells

Knights unleash offense in 33-12 win at Rochelle

by Mike Slodki
ROCHELLE—On Friday in Rochelle, it wasn’t the Knights who were left in a purple haze.

Despite spotting the host Hubs the first touchdown, Kaneland High School football kept its composure in a 33-12 victory to improve to 2-1 (1-0 Western Sun Conference).

The Knights slipped past the Hubs in Maple Park a year ago, 16-12, and have now split the last six meetings with the school.

“Our kids were real mature over the week,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “They worked hard. If you play steady, good things can happen.”

On Friday, Kaneland won the first down battle 21-16.

Despite losing the rushing battle by a 169-127 count, the Knights outgained the Hubs throughout the night, 389-210.

The offensive road to success went through quarterback Joe Camaliere. No. 12 went 21-for-31 for 262 yards with three touchdown throws and no interceptions. The signal-caller also carried the ball 11 times for 87 yards. Rochelle’s Josh Bernardin ran for 101 yards on 25 carries.

Knight Ryley Bailey caught nine passes for 89 yards, while Blake Serpa caught five balls for 95 yards.

Rochelle began the contest with its run-based offense working like clockwork. An 11-play, 71-yard drive ended with an eight-yard touchdown run off tackle by Evan Tracy. The score with 5:57 remaining in the first made it 6-0.

Kaneland stormed back with some key runs by Camaliere and a pass to Serpa. The Knights made Rochelle jump offsides on two consecutive plays before Camaliere evaded Hubs defenders on the way to a 12-yard scoring run. The extra point by Kevin Szatkowski made it 7-6 for the Knights with 3:41 left.

The Knights defense stifled Rochelle in the second quarter and even got sacks from Alex Barron and Tyler Callaghan on consecutive plays.

With the first half about to close, Kaneland got to work at the Rochelle 39. Passes to Quinn Buschbacher and Taylor Andrews set up shop at the 27, where a Camaliere pass to Bailey resulted in Bailey lateralling the ball to running back Eric Tattoni for a 27-yard touchdown. The “hook-and-ladder” play came on a pivotal third-and-15 and gave the Knights a 14-6 lead with 12 seconds left in the half.

“That was a big momentum shifter,” Fedderly said. “We’d tried it last week and it got batted down, but Ryley made an unbelievable toss.”

“We just wanted to see if something would work,” Camaliere said. “Ryley just executed it great.”

In the third, Rochelle fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Bailey. Thus began a nine-play, 99-yard drive that ended with a 39-yard scamper by Camaliere for a 20-6 lead with :40 left in the third quarter.

Rochelle scored on a Gabe Montes five-yard touchdown run with five seconds left in the game, but not before Kaneland got a 15-yard scoring pass to Bailey with 8:00 left to go up 27-6, and a 42-yard touchdown pass to Serpa with 4:49 to go made it 33-6.

In sophomore action, Rochelle handled Kaneland 28-13. The freshmen won over the Hubs 44-6 on Monday.

Kaneland travels to Sycamore on Friday, Sept. 18. The Spartans are coming off a win vs. DeKalb at Huskie Stadium.

Play of the Knight
While it was the offense that gave Rochelle headaches for most of Friday night, it was the defense that might make Hubs QB Brett Metzger feel after-effects.
Two consecutive sacks by the Knights in the second quarter had the Hubs’ struggling offense come up empty once again. The first one by Alex Barron (93) resulted in a six-yard loss.