Photo: Knight Jesse Balluff (30) evades a slew of green jerseys during Friday night’s 56-14 victory at LaSalle-Peru. The Knights have now outscored LP 112-21 in two meetings. Photo by Ryan Wells
4-0 Knights see everyone get in on the act in 56-14 win
by Mike Slodki
LASALLE, Ill.—The phrase “It was that kind of night,” could carry good or bad connonations.
For the Knights on Friday in LaSalle County, it held quite the good meaning.
Exceptional and opportune scoring keyed a 56-14 Northern Illinois Big XII crossover win for Kaneland over LaSalle-Peru.
With the win, KHS enjoys its second consecutive 4-0 start, and its third in the last six seasons.
The Knights took advantage of their wide range of gifts and amassed 500 yards of total offense, compared to 132 for LaSalle-Peru (1-3).
Running back Jesse Balluff took care of the ball and the Cavaliers run defense, with 124 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns.
“Jesse is getting better every week,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We like to call those run plays every week, and he’s a kid that runs hard.”
Sophomore Drew David continued to make strides on the gridiron, directing the offense and going 18-for-22 for 351 yards with five touchdown throws.
Senior Quinn Buschbacher continued to make something happen most every time he touched the ball. Beginning the cool September night with a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown just 15 ticks into the game, Buschbacher also caught six passes for a 136-yard night with two touchdowns.
Teammate Sean Carter also had a highlight-worthy night with 92 yards on five catches and two touchdowns.
Buschbacher’s kickoff return for a TD gave Kaneland an early 7-0 lead, with the ensuing kickoff bouncing off of an LP player and into the hands of Tanner Andrews. A pass and and two runs later lead to a fourth-and-one conversion, with Carter catching a 28-yard TD pass.
The successful play gave KHS a 14-0 lead just 1:55 into the contest.
LP used seven plays to power to the endzone, with Keegan Patyk catching a 13-yard strike to close within 14-7 with 7:22 remaining in the quarter.
On the first play of the Knights’ next drive, Balluff took the handoff and went for a 73-yard TD run with 6:59 to go to make it 21-7.
“We have such great guys out there, all the recievers are good,” Balluff said. “We can pretty much do anything with the guys we have and we’ll be fine.”
On Kaneland’s next drive, the Knights took eight plays in the second quarter to make it 28-7, on a 28-yard strike to Kyle Pollastrini with 6:40 to go in the half.
The Knights’ next drive went nine plays and ended on a pass to Carter for a 19-yard touchdown on a third-down try. That made the affair 35-7 with 2:51 to go.
LP answered with a 37-yard bomb to Tyler Jakse with :25 seconds to go to make it 35-14.
Kaneland decided to make that space of time work by dumping it to Buschbacher, who used his speed and evasiveness to follow blocks and score a 72-yard TD as time expired on the half, making it 42-14.
The remaining scores took place in the third quarter, when David found Zack Martinelli on a 17-yard TD with 8:23 to go, and Balluff’s 11-yard scamper with 2:24 to go.
The Balluff score sent the contest to a running clock for the final 14 minutes, the third such occurence for KHS games this year.
“We did what we needed to do. We’re 4-0 and excited to play conference, and we will not look past Rochelle (Friday, Sept. 23),” Fedderly said.