Tag Archives: Tom Fedderly

KHS football unloads offense on Cavs

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.

It’s said you find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Sean Carter (25) seems to be at the end of a rainbow pass, and often. With LaSalle-Peru reeling from a fumbled kickoff early in the game, Drew David threw a 4th-and-1 pass to Carter for a 28-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead, setting the tone for much of the Friday contest.

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.

Knights start long weekend with win over Huntley

Photo: vof Kaneland brings down the ball carrier in the third quarter of Kaneland’s varsity home win against Huntley on Friday. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It seemed like every time Huntley came up with a big play in Maple Park on a humid Friday night, KHS was there to answer.

After working their offense and making enough plays on the other side of the ball, the Knights’ abundant answers sentenced the visiting Red Raiders to a 34-13 loss.

KHS has now taken the last two of three overall non-conference meetings from Huntley since the series began in 2009.

With the win, Kaneland improves to 2-0, while Huntley falls to 0-2.

In other levels of action, Kaneland’s sophomore squad fell to Huntley 27-6, while the freshmen came away with a 14-13 win.

Drew David took care of the Kaneland offense in his second week as signal-caller, and went 11-for-19 with 224 yards and four touchdown throws as opposed to only one pick.

“The game is just so much faster on varsity level,” David said. “Just getting the game reps, I think it helps, and the wide receivers do a fantastic job.”

Jesse Balluff had 88 yards rushing, 48 of them on one impressive first-quarter touchdown where he powered through would-be tacklers after the play looked stopped.

“When you have younger guys playing, you wonder how things are going to go,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We keep preaching it’s a four-quarter game. We got down and our kids came back.”

Knight asset Quinn Buschbacher was the leading reciever with 100 yards on five grabs, while Sean Carter had 72 yards and two scores.

Huntley actually outgained Kaneland in total offense with 330 yards compared to 312.

On the visitors’ second drive, Ethan Connor took the pigskin and ran for a 32-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead with three minutes, 51 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

On the second play of Kaneland’s ensuing drive, Balluff sent his sideline into a frenzy with his 48-yard gallop. Only one minute had elasped and KHS had tied the game.

After Jake Razo recovered a James Davis fumble on Huntley’s next possession, David’s 31-yard rainbow pass to Sean Carter netted a 14-7 lead with 11 ticks left in the first.

Play of the Knight week 2

The score remained the same at halftime, but KHS put it out of reach in the third quarter thanks to two more Knight touchdown passes. The third two-play drive that resulted in a score ended with a Carter fly pattern for a 40-yard TD. The 40-yard score made it 21-7 with 9:17 remaining in the third.

A fumble by Huntley allowed KHS to put up another touchdown, this a 13-yard TD pass to Buschbacher with 6:58 remaining in the third for a 28-7 lead.

The lone fourth frame score saw Kyle Pollastrini catch his first touchdown pass of the year just seven seconds into the quarter on a 10-yard play.

Huntley’s QB Jake Brock scored on a 17-yard scamper to cap the scoring.

Up next for the Knights is the beginning of the Northern Illinois Big XII crossover games with the West division.

The Knights head west to Dixon High School. Dixon comes into the game 1-1 after dropping a 35-12 result to Rock Island Alleman on Friday.

The Dukes were 1-8 in 2010.

KNIGHT SHIFT

Score by Quarters:
1st Quarter: 35-7, Kaneland
2nd Quarter: 20-0, Kaneland
3rd Quarter: 14-0, Kaneland
4th Quarter: 9-6, Kaneland

Conference Standings >>

Impressive: Knights football begins ‘11 with win

Photo: Knight Matt Kucera (15) goes up to defend an end zone pass during the 44-0 takedown of Brooks Prep of Chicago on Friday night. The victory elevates Kaneland’s opening night win streak to seven. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In a usual school setting, a person described as a handful isn’t an ideal description.

In Kaneland High School football’s case, the Knights couldn’t be happier.

It would be accurate in describing RB/WR Quinn Buschbacher after his performance on Friday night.

The senior acted on being the go-to option on many a play with a four-touchdown performance in a 44-0 win over the Brooks Prep Eagles of Chicago.

The Knights begin 1-0, as they have done every year since 2005.

Both coach and weapon agreed the senior was in his element. It comes in an ideal time, especially with the graduation of targets like Tyler Callaghan, Taylor Andrews and Kyle Davidson, and the transfer of Daniel Helm.

“Quinn is not only one of the biggest playmakers on the team, but in the conference,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “He made a lot of great plays for us last year, and we’re expecting much more of him this year.”

Play of the Knight
Quinn Buschbacher (22) can tell you the condition of the grass at Peterson Field, considering he toured nearly every inch on Friday. On the first play from scrimmage, the swing pass from QB Drew David to the versatile senior went for a 67-yard TD, and the Knights never looked back.

Buschbacher busted through on a swing pass for a 67-yard catch-and-run touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.

It was shades of Brock Dyer’s touchdown catch on the first play from scrimmage two years ago against Burlington Central.

“With our offense, I feel we can put as many points up as we want, any game,” Buschbacher said. “I feel like we have the capability to do that.”

In his first starting quarterback assignment, sophomore Drew David went 14-for-20 for 203 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Buschbacher was the leading rusher in the spread offense, with 47 yards on five carries and three scores. Sean Carter earned the leading receiver mantle with six catches for 80 yards and a touchdown.

Eagles quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw was 9-for-25 for 159 yards.

Kaneland put forth 289 yards of total offense, compared to 190 with Brooks.

A slot pass on the first offensive play of 2011 Football continued on page saw Buschbacher whizz his way by Eagle defenders just 22 seconds into the contest for a 7-0 lead.

On the next drive, eight plays got Kaneland in position for a five-yard touchdown run by Buschbacher to go up 14-0 with four minutes, 49 seconds left in the first quarter. On the Knights’ third drive, Buschbacher took the ball and ran around left end for a nine-yard score that capped a six-play drive. The tally increased the edge to 21-0 with 52 ticks left in the quarter.

The second quarter proved equally as prolific for KHS, thanks to a Jesse Balluff two-yard touchdown run with 5:43 left, a Buschbacher 23-yard touchdown run with 2:53 to go, and a rainbow pass to Carter with :28 remaining.

The lone score for Kaneland in the second half was in the fourth quarter on a 42-yard kick by Matt Rodriguez.

In sophomore play, Kaneland came away with a 32-6 win.

On Friday, Sept. 2, Kaneland hosts Huntley High School. KHS and the Red Raiders have split the previous two encounters. Huntley lost to visiting Crystal Lake Central by a 28-6 clip on Friday.

KNIGHTS QB SEASON OPENERS:
A Look Back at their first Week 1 efforts
2011: Drew David 14-of-20, 203 yards, 2 TD 1 INT
2008: Joe Camiliere 16-of-24, 213 yards, 2 TD 1 INT
2007: Jody Henningson 16-of-22, 201 yards, 2 TD
2005: Boone Thorgesen 25-of-31, 302 yards, 2 TD
2004: Drew Sterkel 9-of-21, 97 yards, 1 INT

Conference Standings >>

the Knights ahead: Kaneland looks to reach similar heights from a year ago

Photo: Knights football works on getting back to the playoff promised land at the high school. A year ago the Knights had their best season since 1998. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland Knights football achieved such great heights a year ago.

The best season mark since 1998, an undefeated regular season, and an epic third-round playoff win over Vernon Hills—made possible by player Joe Camiliere, Taylor Andrews and Tyler Callaghan—made it a season to remember, until it was stopped on a cold night in November against powerhouse Montini Catholic.

Fifth-year coach Tom Fedderly isn’t interested in preparing for last year.

“It was a special year, but last year is last year. Every year is different. I’m going to try to take the guys that we have, and our system is flexible enough where we can do things differently depending on the pieces that we have,” he said.

The Knights’ spread attack on offense was successful in large part due to new Elmhurst Bluejay Camiliere’s penchant for taking care of the ball.

With the starting derby yet to be completely decided, senior Ryan Fuchs and sophomore Drew David could see time under center, and have been told the formula for field success.

“They both know they need to take care of the ball and manage the offense. As it looks right now, I’m pretty satisfied with what we’ve got there,” Fedderly said.

With Andrews and Callaghan gone to graduation, and former receiving threat Daniel Helm now playing for Glenwood High School in Chatham, Ill., the fourth and fifth option on some days last year now move up as big targets in the form of all Northern Illinois Big XII option Quinn Buschbacher and Sean Carter.

Buschbacher also displayed a knack for the return game in 2010.

“It’ll be good for our quarterback to have weapons like those out there, and they have experience,” Fedderly said.

When the time comes to gain yards via ground attack, the Knights rely on sophomore Jesse Balluff, with Buschbacher and Carter viable options to seek carries, as well.

With Helm not a Knight this season, Kaneland gets a move-in option in the form of Ohio transfer Matt Price.

“He’s six-foot-three, about 195 (pounds), and he’s going to get in the mix, too. He looks like a good player,” Fedderly said.

The offernsive line, carrying infinite importance for protection of the spread offense, looks to curb the loss of tackle Jimmy Boyle to graduation.

Four returnees are suited up for the two-way line in Nick Sharp, Ryan Noel, Ben Kovalick and Alex Snyder.

For the linebacking corps, it looks to be an all new crew with the depth chart still in flux.

In the secondary, Jacob Razo returns and looks to primarily play defense, as will returnee Kory Harner. Joey Cozzi returns for his senior campaign.

Kicker Matt Rodriguez returns to boot the ball through the posts when needed.

Fedderly and staff will continue to work up through the season opener, with new foe Brooks Prep of Chicago on Friday, Aug. 26.

“We just started hitting and we’re still looking to see who our football players are, but we have young kids that I think are going to come along,” Fedderly said.

Letter: A thank you to everyone who helped the Kaneland football team

It has been a tradition to “feed the varsity football team” before each game for many years.

This year was no different. Thank you to all the senior parents who so eagerly signed up for each regular season week. During the postseason, we would like to thank the football coaches and all the varsity parents who helped out with food, drinks and desserts for the dinners.

A special thanks goes out to Elburn and Sugar Grove businesses for their contributions as well—Elburn Lions Club, Fireside Grille, Harner’s Bakery, Restaurant, & Catering, Open Range Grill, Papa G’s, Ream’s Elburn Market, Scarpacci’s Pizza, Schmidt’s and also the Kaneland boys basketball team.

Another special thank you to Mrs. Glad, who delivered “championship cookies” to the team for many weeks as well.

We would also like to thank Joe Kovalick of Ben’s Giant Pumpkins for carving a huge pumpkin with the Northern Big 12 East Conference Champions logo on it and bringing the pumpkin to all the postseason games.

A thank you also goes out to the cheerleaders for their support during the season and for decorating many store windows in support of the team. Thank you to the businesses for allowing them the opportunity to decorate.

A thank you to the Sports Boosters for the wonderful atmosphere at Bruce Peterson Field, and for their support of the team by providing buses for the players, cheerleaders and students to attend the Vernon Hills game.

Lastly, we would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to the entire Kaneland School District, high school band, “rowdies” and community for their support, awesome game attendance and well wishes during this great season. Go Knights!

Tom Fedderly
Head Football Coach
2010 Kaneland Varsity Football Team

No State Trip for Knights

Remarkable season for KHS ends in 27-14 loss to Montini
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Too many big plays, not enough time to come back from a large deficit, or facing a daunting program looking for a repeat State championship.

Whatever the main reason, it resulted in Kaneland’s season-ending loss at the hands of Lombard’s Montini Catholic High School in a 27-14 affair on Saturday evening.

The loss marked the Knights’ first loss since Oc. 31, 2009, and ended their 2010 campaign at 12-1.

Montini (11-2) now goes to Memorial Stadium in Champaign to face Chatham’s Glenwood High School in the 5A title game at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27.

“I told these kids they have nothing to be mad about,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said on Saturday. “They played hard. It was a good team that we lost to, but we had a tremendous season.”

The Broncos amassed 405 total yards, compared to the Knights’ 356.

Montini’s Matt Westerkamp, a premier area quarterback, went 21-for-29 for 276 yards with a touchdown pass and no interceptions. Westerkamp also was the game-high rusher in an otherwise pass-happy game with 43 yards and two scoring rushes. Westerkamp’s cousin, Jordan, had a state semifinal-worthy night, catching 10 passes for 186 yards and a score.

Knight Quinn Buschbacher (22) echoes many a feeling in Maple Park after Saturday’s Class 5A State semifinal loss at the hands of Montini Catholic High School, 27-14.

For Kaneland’s final effort of the season, senior Joe Camiliere was 26-for-43 for 293 yards and a touchdown, but was knocked out of the game on a third-down hit with 5:28 remaining. Teammate Blake Serpa served as quarterback for the remainder of the contest out of the “wildcat” formation.

Camiliere also rushed 10 times for 38 yards.

Out of five targets in the spread offense, Kaneland’s Tyler Callaghan was the leading receiver with nine catches for 66 yards, while Quinn Buschbacher was close behind with seven catches for 65 yards.

Kaneland’s first drive ended on downs at the Montini 37-yard line. Two drives later, Montini was forced to start at its’ own nine-yard line on a down punt. On a 15-play, 91-yard drive that went into the second quarter, the Broncos’ Anthony Taylor knifed through the secondary for a 15-yard touchdown with 7:28 remaining in the half.

On Kaneland’s next drive, a fourth-and-three from the Montini 43 had a bad snap on a punt, with Serpa’s desperation pass to Kyle Davidson going incomplete. The Broncos turned that into a seven-play drive that ended on a four-yard TD run by Matt Westerkamp. KHS went into the break down 14-0 after a 37-yard field goal try with 1:22 to go was no good.

After a Knights drive to open the second half turned up empty, Montini started at its own 43 and scored three plays later on a 26-yard catch by Jordan Westerkamp. The jump ball snag with 8:35 left in the third gave the Broncos a 21-0 edge.

Using a balanced drive, however, KHS finally got on the board at the 5:56 mark with a 33-yard touchdown catch by Sean Carter, closing the deficit to 21-7.

On the ensuing drive, Montini used a one-yard sneak by Matt Westerkamp with 3:35 to go to go up 27-7.

Kaneland came up short on downs twice in the fourth quarter, the second time saw a bubble screen to Buschbacher from the 10 end a 15-play drive.

Soon after, Kaneland would convert a three-play drive that ended on Serpa’s one-yard run with 2:25 to go to cut the margin to 13.

Unfortunately, Kaneland’s onside kick try fell into the visitors’ hands, effectively ending the season.

The loss didn’t make the 2010 season any less memorable for fourth-year coach Fedderly, or his group of departing seniors.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how much those kids mean to me. They’re almost like little brothers. We’ve been around each other for so long, I just think the world of them. No matter what the outcome of this game, these are great kids,” Fedderly said.

Play of the Knight

Kaneland’s program was so good in 2010 that it wasn’t used to coming back from large deficits.
Jordan Westerkamp of Montini cared little about that fact. His jump ball catch in the third quarter, despite the best efforts of Kyle Davidson and Quinn Buschbacher, gave Montini a 21-0 lead.

Kaneland’s history in State Semifinal matchups:
(5A)Montini Catholic 27, Kaneland 14—November 20, 2010
(5A)Marian Central Catholic 22, Kaneland 7—November 19, 2006
(3A)Kaneland 40, Hall 21—November 21, 1998
(3A)Kaneland 41, Marengo 7—November 22, 1997 

2010 NIB-12 All Conference:
NIB-12 East Offensive MVP: Joe Camiliere
NIB-12 East Defensive MVP: Blake Serpa
OL: Sam Komel, Ben Kovalick, Ryan Noel; WR: Quinn Buschbacher, Sean Carter; QB: Joe Camiliere; DL: Jimmy Boyle, Blake Serpa; DB: Kyle Davidson, Jacob
Razo; LB: Tyler Callaghan, Taylor Andrews

Better late than never

Photo: Knight Quinn Buschbacher (22) (right) follows upfield blocking in the form of teammate Blake Serpa in Kaneland’s win. Photo by Ryan Wells

Camiliere-to-Callaghan with :10 left sends Knights to semi
by Mike Slodki
VERNON HILLS—What is it about Kaneland football and Class 5A State quarterfinals?

After Saturday afternoon, we know the Knights like playing games with a flair for the dramatic. But most importantly, they like winning them. Much like the quarterfinal win over Sterling four years ago, Kaneland pulled out a late win. Joe Camiliere hit an outstretched Tyler Callaghan in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left to stun the host Vernon Hills Cougars and fans, 27-21.

“It’s just something we’ve preached all year long about. Just keep playing. Forget about the last play, see what you can do the next play,” Fedderly said.

With the win, Kaneland now has its most wins in a season since 1998, improves to 12-0 and now hosts Lombard’s Montini Catholic this coming weekend for the right to face either Peoria Richwoods or Glenwood High School of Chatham, Ill. in the Class 5A State final at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.

Vernon Hills, which boasts two Division I recruits in DaVaris Daniels (Notre Dame) and Evan Spencer (Ohio State), finished the year at 10-2.

KHS amassed 412 total yards, compared to 383 for the Cougars.

Camiliere was 25-for-41 for 317 yards and four touchdown throws, along with a season-high three interceptions.

“All we want to do is get it to our receivers and just move the chains. When we get in rhythm, we’re hard to stop,” Fedderly said.

Camiliere was also the leading rusher for KHS with 63 yards on 10 carries. Vernon Hills’ Brian Palmer ran 22 times for 91 yards and a TD. Balance was the key for the spread offense as six different receivers were hit throughout the game, led by Blake Serpa’s six catches for 88 yards and a score.

After trading scores in the second and third quarters, the lone fourth-quarter score came from the Knights on the final drive of the game.

After Vernon Hills missed a 38-yard field goal with 2:29 remaining, Kaneland set up shop at its own 20-yard line. A pass to Serpa and Callaghan got the ball to the Kaneland 31 before Camiliere was sacked. Camiliere rattled off two runs to get to the 46 before an incomplete pass. Quinn Buschbacher caught a second-down pass for a first-down at the VH 40, and Sean Carter caught a 17-yard pass over the middle to get to the 23. Carter then caught a seven-yard pass after two incompletions.

Setting up on a fourth-and-three from the 16-yard line, Daniel Helm caught a pass near the KHS sideline after falling on the wet grass—his most important catch of 2010.

A clock-stopping spike set up second-and-goal from the 10, leading to the deciding touchdown.

“I did everything I could to get that ball and came down with it,” Callaghan said. “We came up clutch and Helm, the freshman came up big, too.”

Vernon Hills got the scoring started with a 49-yard touchdown from Chris Argianas to Daniels on a bobbled ball with 6:38 to go in the half. Camiliere found Buschbacher on a 34-yard TD with 10 seconds remaining in the half.

In the third quarter, Palmer broke free for a 21-yard TD run with 10:06 left before Camiliere hooked up with Carter for an 11-yard score with 8:08 to go. Spencer gave VH a 21-14 lead with 1:19 left in the quarter on a one-yard run, but Serpa caught a 33-yard touchdown pass with :22 left to tie matters and set the stage for the fourth.

The Kaneland-Montini Catholic showdown is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 20, at 5 p.m.

Knight Sean Carter (25) (above) tries to avoid a Cougar defender during Kaneland’s thrilling 27-21 win at Vernon Hills in the 5A quarterfinals. Photo by Ryan Wells

PLAY OF THE KNIGHT

Daniel Helm will have something to remember 2010 by. On fourth-and-three from the 16 of Vernon Hills, Helm slipped on the grass, but caught a first down throw before standing all the way up.

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

Knights win clash with Spartans

Kaneland improves to 8-0 with 30-13 win over rival

Photo: Knight Joe Camiliere (12) tries to avoid the Sycamore defense in Kaneland’s 30-13 win over the Spartans on Friday in Maple Park. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was the biggest regular season game in quite some time for Kaneland.

The Knights played like it.

Facing a fellow undefeated squad in the visiting Sycamore Spartans, the Knights used offensive drives to the best of their ability and came up with timely defensive plays in a 30-13 win over the Spartans.

With the win, Kaneland gets a modicum of satisfaction for last year’s first-round ousting at the hands of SHS, and has the inside track at the Northern Illinois Big XII East championship at 8-0 (4-0 NIB-12). Sycamore drops to 7-1 (3-1 NIB-12), and faces Yorkville (3-5, 1-4 NIB-12) in the regular season finale.

The latest IHSA Class 5A Playoff Points standings has Kaneland fourth and Sycamore seventh.

Joe Camiliere was the field general coach Tom Fedderly’s offense requires and went 13-for-19 for 140 yards with a touchdown throw and no interceptions.

“I thought he had good time to throw,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “That’s what we were concerned about. He had enough time to get the ball out of his hands and did a good job tonight.”

Taylor Andrews was the leader in the rushing category for the Knights with 70 yards on six tries, while KHS had 190 yards on the ground total.

Sycamore’s Tommy Nice was the game’s leading rusher with 94 yards.

Quinn Buschbacher was the leading receiver for KHS with six catches totaling 34 yards.

Kaneland outgained Sycamore 330-304.

The game between two playoff-caliber squads in a playoff atmosphere had its first big play when Blake Serpa fumbled on the Knights’ first drive at their own 30.

Two plays later, running back Eric Ray scored from the 10 with 8:24 to go in the first for a 7-0 Spartan lead.

Using a balanced attack, KHS calmly drove 48 yards in 11 plays highlighted by a third-and-nine catch by Tyler Callaghan. Camiliere plunged in from the one-yard line with 2:24 to go to deadlock matters at 7-7.

The next time Kaneland got the ball they drove down for another score, as Callaghan caught a lofted ball in the corner of the end zone on the first play of the second frame for a 14-7 lead.

Sycamore looked to be on its way to knotting things up, until a backward pass that landed on the grass was scooped up by Andrews for an 84-yard touchdown to the shock of Sycamore’s faithful.

“It was a backward pass and I was about to give the ball to the ref,” Andrews said. “I looked over and heard everyone say ‘go, go go’, so I just took off running.”

“We were all just screaming ‘pick it up and run!’,” Fedderly said. “We knew it was a fumble, it went backwards, what can you say? What a play.”

Sycamore did come back on a QB Ryan Bartels TD run from 12 yards out with 1:25 to go, making it 20-13.

Kaneland wasn’t done, as they drove 40-yards to the 10, where freshman kicker Matt Rodriguez hit a 27-yard field goal to make it 23-13 at halftime.

With Blake Serpa’s four-yard touchdown run coming with 7:44 left in the third, the scoring was closed at 30-13.

Now Kaneland hosts Morris on Friday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. The Redskins are playoff-bound, having lost only two games, and are coming off a dramatic 15-8 win in Rochelle on Friday.

Play of the Knight
Having already climbed back from an early deficit and nursing a 14-7 lead in the second quarter, Kaneland was trying to hold Sycamore from coming into their end zone again on Friday. They not only did that on a wild play, they took it to the other end zone with a heads-up play from Taylor Andrews. Sycamore was at the Kaneland 12-yard line and attempted a backward pass that fell to the ground. Andrews picked it up, and after some hesitation, was joined by several Knights on the way to an 84-yard score.

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Kaneland High School* 4 0 8 0 329 88
Sycamore High School* 3 1 7 1 272 118
Morris Com High School* 3 1 6 2 203 115
DeKalb High School 1 3 4 4 164 196
Yorkville High School 1 3 3 5 146 187
Rochelle Twp High School 0 4 3 5 200 137

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sterling High School* 4 0 7 1 188 94
Geneseo High School* 3 1 7 1 277 77
Ottawa Twp High School 3 1 5 3 247 115
LaSalle-Peru High School 2 2 4 4 161 250
Dixon High School 0 4 0 8 100 373
Streator Twp High School 0 4 0 8 47 363

*Clinched playoff berth

IHSA.org Playoff Outlook

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



Knights’ high gear offense shines at Huntley, 40-12

by Mike Slodki
HUNTLEY—That wasn’t powerful wind gusts fans felt on Friday at Huntley High School.

That was a Kaneland football squad successfully exacting gridiron revenge on the Red Raiders for last year’s week two loss.

The residual effects of the Knights’ offense and defense working on all cylinders was a 40-12 handling of the Huntley Red Raiders.

For the first time since 2006, the Knights have begun the season 2-0.

Successfully negating the 17-14 week two loss from Sept. 4, 2009, in Maple Park, Kaneland coach Tom Fedderly won’t need to worry about this non-conference clash being one that got away.

“The main thing we concentrated on was trying to improve our mistakes from last week,” Fedderly said. “The guys really took it to heart. We practiced really hard this week, and we had a lot of pride in wanting to have a good first half.”

Kaneland outpaced Huntley in total yards, 347-239, and put up 15 first downs compared to Huntley’s eight.

For KHS, Joe Camiliere was 8-for-12 for 144 yards through the air and two scoring strikes. The senior also rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns.

After a two-yard Blake Serpa touchdown run with 3:28 remaining in the first quarter to go up 7-0, Camiliere felt the Knights were on the right track.

“We wanted to get going early,” Camaliere said. “We only made one mistake and had a lot of things open. We did a great job of executing.”

In the second quarter, KHS completed a five-play, 52-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Davidson from Camiliere, who rolled out of pocket. The score with 10:51 to go in the half made it 14-0.

With Huntley still struggling to get things going, Kaneland took over, and on the third play of the drive, got a seven-yard run up the middle for a Camiliere touchdown and a 20-0 lead with 8:04 to go in the second quarter.

After another three-and-out for Huntley, Camiliere went down the Knight sideline for a 42-yard TD run with 5:41 to go for a 27-0 lead that went into halftime.

Taylor Andrews
Knights LB Taylor Andrews did his part on both sides of the ball, but it was an instance on defense that sunk the hopes of the Red Raiders on Friday. Down by four scores, Huntley QB Tim Lycos tried to take the team’s fortunes into his own hands, but late in the second quarter, fumbled. Andrews pounced on the ball at his own 13, which sent the Knights into the half on a high note.

In the third quarter, the Knights got a 52-yard touchdown pass from Camiliere to Taylor Andrews (two catches, 65 yards) in stride for a 34-0 lead with 9:10 to go.

After a Tim Lycos to James Davis 43-yard scoring pass with 7:22 to go in the frame, Huntley closed to within 34-6, but Camaliere scored on a 28-yard run after a fake exchange with 5:12 to go in the third to make it 40-6. Huntley’s last score came on a Lycos run from the two-yard line with 8:22 remaining in the game.

The sophomores lost to Huntley, 30-29.

Kaneland battles visiting Dixon on Friday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m.

For the Knights, this will mark the first game in Northern Illinois Big XII history with a crossover opponent.

The Dukes come into the contest at KHS with an 0-2 mark. Dixon lost to host Rock Island Alleman by a 49-14 clip on Friday. The Dukes finished 2-7 a year ago as a member of the NCIC, and last made it to the postseason in 2006.

Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Sycamore High School 0 0 2 0 99 28
Rochelle Twp High School 0 0 2 0 90 6
Kaneland High School 0 0 2 0 77 34
Yorkville High School 0 0 2 0 64 6
DeKalb High School 0 0 2 0 48 35
Morris Com High School 0 0 1 1 41 41

Northern Illinois Big 12 West Division

Team name Conf Wins Conf Losses Wins Losses PF PA
Geneseo High School 0 0 2 0 91 21
Sterling High School 0 0 2 0 41 29
Ottawa Twp High School 0 0 1 1 64 28
LaSalle-Peru High School 0 0 1 1 28 62
Dixon High School 0 0 0 2 27 83
Streator Twp High School 0 0 0 2 6 82

Top photo: Knight Joe Camiliere (12) lets nothing get in his way en route to a long touchdown run during Friday’s 40-12 win at Huntley. Photo by John Di Donna

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.

Kaneland Knights football recognized for talent, smarts

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Kaneland High School learned of five football players that were not just exceptional on the field, but in the classroom as well.

Linemen Brett Ketza and Eric Dratnol, cornerback Taylor Andrews, linebacker Tyler Callaghan and quarterback Joe Camaliere were named to the Class 5A All-Academic All-State team last week.

“That’s what we really strive for,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “To achieve in the classroom and to be leaders on the field is great.”

Not only did those five get recognized for classwork and ability, they also joined lineman Jimmy Boyle, linebacker Blake Serpa and wideout Ryley Bailey for the final version of the All-Western Sun Conference team.

The offensive co-MVP’s of the conference were Glenbard South QB Trace Wanless and Sycamore RB Marckie Hayes.

The defensive co-MVP’s of the conference were Glenbard South DL Austin Teitsma and Geneva DL Frank Boenzi.

KHS allows minimal stats in Yorkville for 10-0 win

by Mike Slodki
YORKVILLE-—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.

“All summer and all this year, we came out and made sure we had a good defense,” linebacker Brett Ketza said. “We dedicated ourselves during the summer. We kind of hoped that what we did would show itself out on the field.”

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.

“On a night like this, you just have to grind it out, and we did,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “Look 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.”

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 Friday’s 10-0 win at Yorkville that marked the end of the 2009 regular season. The Knights’ 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 Sycamore’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.

Low-Raided

Knights struggle all game long in 21-7 loss to Glenbard S.
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—In less than desirable conditions, Kaneland football neither reigned nor poured it on Friday.

Glenbard South came into enemy territory for the Knights’ homecoming and came out with a 21-7 win.

Kaneland drops to 4-2 (3-1 Western Sun Conference), while Glenbard South improved to 4-2 (3-1 Western Sun Conference).

This marked the third straight victory for the Raiders over Kaneland. The Knights had not beaten the Raiders sincer 2006. The game marked the last outing between the two football programs for the foreseeable future, due to the dismantling of the WSC, effective at the end of the school year.

The Knights amassed just 125 yards of total offense and succumbed to Glenbard South’s 353 total yards. GS quarterback Trace Wanless passed for just 83 yards, but had a touchdown pass and rushed for 148 himself with a touchdown.

“He’s a special player and a great athlete,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said about the Raiders signal-caller.

Joe Camaliere was 9-for-18 for 92 yards and a touchdown. Ryley Bailey had two catches for 48 yards.

The scoring started on Glenbard South’s third drive, when on the fourth play, Wanless completed a 34-yard touchdown pass to Nick Slezak in the flat for a touchdown. Glenbard South’s score gave them a 7-0 lead with :28 left in the frame.

Kaneland fought back with its first drive of the second quarter, with a 7-play, 64-yard drive. Bailey caught a screen and followed his blockers for a 42-yard touchdown that came with 8:13 remaining in the half to tie the score.

Kaneland’s offense struggled thereafter, coming up empty on five second-half drives.

Meanwhile, Glenbard South took the lead (14-7) for good on a 10-yard TD run by fullback John Hentges, capping an eight-play, 60-yard drive with 7:33 left in the third.

After the Knights punted away, Wanless called his own number on the second-play of the next drive and scored on a 52-yard run with 4:46 to go in the third for a 21-7 lead.

The Knights players and coaching staff look to rebound against DeKalb on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 10.

DeKalb comes into the contest at 1-5 (0-4) on a five-game losing streak, and got trounced 55-0 on Friday at Geneva.

“We told them next week’s the biggest game of the season, and we want to see how they respond and prove themselves every week and get better,” Fedderly said.

Photo: Knight Joe Camaliere (12) tries to evade Glenbard South tacklers for a positive gain during Friday’s 21-7 loss. The Homecoming night contest marks the last conference outing between the two programs. Photo by Ben Draper

Kaneland uses two late scores in 21-17 win

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—What a note to go out on for the Kaneland-Batavia rivalry.

As Kaneland and Batavia football go out to greener pastures, namely the Northern Illinois Big 12 and the Upstate Eight, the Knights put on one to remember, coming back to beat the Bulldogs on Friday in Maple Park, 21-17.

With the win, the Knights improve to 4-1 and keep pace with Western Sun Conference-leader Geneva at 3-0.

Batavia, in danger of being skipped over for the postseason, fell to 1-4 with an 0-3 mark in WSC play.

Kaneland won the first down battle, 16-10, and outgained the Bulldogs 229-204.

“We didn’t really make any adjustments, we just executed,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We just kept our heads and didn’t panic. They really showed their maturity.”

In a game played under wet conditions, Joe Camaliere, who had difficulty with many snaps in the first half, went 14-of-21 for 183 yards and a touchdown. The junior found the end zone on two rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter to key the win.

Senior Ryley Bailey, who caught the first touchdown pass, snared six balls for 105 yards.

Batavia’s Danny Seiton rushed for 94 yards on 17 carries.

Kaneland struck first on a seven-play, 77-yard drive that ended in a 46-yard touchdown pass to Bailey with 8:46 to go in the first. Bailey reversed his field and avoided tacklers on his way to the end zone. The extra point attempted was botched and kept the score at 6-0.

With five errant snaps having to be recovered, the Knights offense spun its wheels, allowing the Bulldogs to crawl back into the game.

A 12-play, 93-yard drive ended in a 24-yard touchdown run by Seiton and gave Batavia a 7-6 lead with 2:27 remaining in the half.

Batavia pounced again, thanks to a Braden Hartmann score from the 1 with 2:10 to go in the third quarter. That sent Kaneland to a 14-6 deficit.

A 13-play drive that continued into the fourth quarter for the Knights was keyed by Blake Serpa, who got nine touches. On first-and-10 from the Bulldogs’ 11, Camaliere ran to the right side of the end zone and went in for the score with 9:23 to go. The QB then found Taylor Andrews in the middle of the end zone for a two-point conversion to tie matters at 14.

Batavia came right back with an 11-play, 45-yard drive that ended with a 32-yard field goal by Mike Clopton to give BHS a 17-14 lead with 3:41 remaining.

Starting from its own 35, Kaneland got an Andrews catch on second down. Bailey caught a 15-yard pass play at the 30 and had the ball stripped, but the officials ruled his forward progress stopped.

Four plays later, Camaliere recovered from a broken play at the line to score from the three with 2:07 left, putting the Knights up to stay.

Batavia failed to convert on fourth down, and QB Noel Gaspari was stopped by Serpa.

“We could just keep going,” Blake Serpa said. “Offensively, we knew it was going to come. Defensively, we knew we had to stop them.”

In sophomore action, Kaneland lost to Batavia 14-7. Batavia beat KHS in the freshman contest on Monday, 17-14.

Kaneland hooks up with 3-2 Glenbard South at Peterson Field on Friday, Oct. 2.

Glenbard South defeated Kaneland on Oct. 3, 2008, 47-31.

Photo: Kaneland’s win was made possible on both sides of the ball, but things really got going in the fourth quarter. No. 32 Brock Dyer stopped Bulldogs RB Edmund Kabba on a third-and-2 from the Knights 26. Dyer set up shop in a hole made by blocking and won the duel. Batavia settled for a field goal, but KHS came back with a winning TD. Photo by Ben Draper

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.

Knights fall short to Huntley

Costly turnovers harm KHS chances in 17-14 loss
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—It almost had the makings of a classic final-drive victory for Kaneland football on Friday night at Peterson Field.

But like many other chances during Friday’s 17-14 loss at the hands of the Huntley Red Raiders, the potential game-winning drive ended in an interception.

“I’m really proud of our team and how we hung in there,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “Some things didn’t go our way. But we were a good enough team to hang in until the last play.”

For their first meeting with Huntley since the 1960s, Kaneland was led by quarterback Joe Camaliere, who went 23-for-36 with 306 yards. The junior threw two touchdowns and three picks.

The Knights also lost two fumbles, making a total of five turnovers on the night.

Camaliere also led the ground crew with 68 yards, including a 34-yard scamper.

Ryley Bailey toughed out a seven-catch evening for 129 yards.

Kaneland was edged in the first down category, 18-17, while the Knights won the total yards contest, 412-349.

The scoring started by the visiting Red Raiders thanks to an option keeper by QB Timothy Lycos. The 12-yard touchdown with 7:34 left in the first quarter made it 7-0.

Camaliere lost a fumble at the Red Raiders’ 17-yard line, but on the next drive found Bailey on a diving catch for an 18-yard touchdown. The score, with one second left in the quarter, tied the game at 7-7.

Tor Larkin of Huntley caught a 26-yard touchdown pass with 38 seconds to go in the first half to give KHS a 14-7 deficit.

The Knights had a chance to get on the board before the half ended, but a pass intended for Tyler Callaghan in the end zone was tipped out of reach as the half ended.

Huntley missed a 31-yard field goal attempt on its first drive of the second half. After another Knights fumble stalled a drive at its own 46, Huntley later converted on a 25-yard field goal with 1:29 to go in the third for a 17-7 lead.

Huntley managed an interception off of a tipped pass on the next drive, stalling the Knights yet again.

Kaneland’s defense came through in the fourth quarter, stopping Huntley on a fourth-and-13 from the Knights’ 16. Starting with the ball at its’ own four, Kaneland used a 77-yard completion to Taylor Andrews to set up a goal to go situation. Three plays later, Bailey caught another touchdown pass from the nine on third and goal to make it 17-14 with 7:16 remaining.

	Knights WR Taylor Andrews almost propelled his side to an amazing victory. 	While Kaneland ended up on the wrong side of a 17-14 loss to Huntley on Friday, the Kaneland wideout’s 77-yard catch and run in the fourth quarter set up Ryley Bailey’s touchdown catch that brought the Knights within three points.
Knights WR Taylor Andrews almost propelled his side to an amazing victory. While Kaneland ended up on the wrong side of a 17-14 loss to Huntley on Friday, the Kaneland wideout’s 77-yard catch and run in the fourth quarter set up Ryley Bailey’s touchdown catch that brought the Knights within three points.

Kaneland found another drive end in an interception, but stopped Huntley’s offense on its own one-yard line with 1:38 to go in regulation.

Camaliere found a hole on fourth-and-one that took Kaneland to its own 45, before a pass to Andrews was picked off with seconds remaining.

“We had a couple fumbles and a couple interceptions. A couple of them were on tipped balls. The bounces didn’t go our way tonight,” Fedderly said.

Kaneland sophomores went over Huntley in the night’s first game, 28-24.

Kaneland’s next project is going to Rochelle on Friday, Sept. 11. The Knights have taken two of the last three meetings.

Photo: Knight Brock Dyer (32) finds himself in the middle of a Red Raider jam during Friday night’s 17-14 losing effort against visiting Huntley.
Photo by Ryan Wells

Year 3 of Fedderly era begins with 35-0 win over BC

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—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 Camaliere’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 Friday’s  35-0 win over Burlington Central. The Knights’ next challenge is Huntley at Peterson Field on Friday. Photo by Ben Draper
Kaneland receiver Ryley Bailey takes to the air during the second quarter of Friday’s 35-0 win over Burlington Central. The Knights’ 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.

“It sure makes a big difference when we get a lot of kids back with experience,” 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 Rockets’ 33-yard line in the third frame.  	The play eventually led to a Ryley Bailey TD catch to close the scoring.
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 Rockets’ 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.

“I got open down the middle and Joe found me; it felt good to win tonight,” 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.

“We got everything tonight, and you can’t say enough about the offensive line. We told them that they determine how the game goes,” 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.

Fall sports preview: Loaded with talent, ready to unload on opponents

Kaneland football looks to return to playoffs in ‘09
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Watch out, Knights football fans.

The Kaneland Knights football roster got a taste of playoff action a year ago after being absent in 2007, and liked what they had.

Even losing a close battle to Sterling in the Class 5A first round last November in a 23-21 affair, there is still much to build on.

“It was huge, the intensity of the playoffs is something you have to experience to see what its like,” said third-year coach Tom Fedderly.

Despite losing offensive weapons like Hayden Johnson and Tyler Suerth and defensive assets Steve Tosaw and Will King, the Knights return players that have impressed with dedication to the craft.

It begins with returning quarterback Joe Camaliere.

“You can definitely tell we have experience coming back at the position, if you look at last year to this year. We just picked up right where we left off,” Fedderly said.

Brock Dyer and Eric Tattoni will get carries in the backfield.

Catching passes at wide receiver will be the returning Ryley Bailey, Taylor Andrews and Tyler Callaghan, all who spent time in the end zone a year ago.

The offensive line features Eric Dratnol and Brett Ketza, with competition still going strong eight days from the opener for the other slots.

On the defensive side, Jimmy Boyle tows the line and Bailey features prominently in the secondary. Dratnol brings experience to the line, with competition still hammering itself out on the linebacking corps.

Fedderly eyed Boyle as someone who’s putting himself in a noteworthy spot through hard work.

“He’s just a gym rat, working out all the time, and doing the extra stuff to make himself better,” Fedderly said.

Taylor Andrews also looks to hit the secondary, as well.

Following the much-talked about kicking of graduate Chris Ott, Fedderly hopes it can happen again.

“It’s big, every time you get a point on the board that way, it’s huge. We have a number of kids looking to try it after they saw Ott,” Fedderly said.

With all the talent coming back, Kaneland looks to get further in determining what a successful season brings.

“Always making the playoffs means you had a good season, especially in this conference, but you want to contend for a conference championship. We’d like to get a home playoff game. Those are some goals we’ve set,” Fedderly said.

The festivities begin on Friday, Aug. 28, vs. Burlington Central, and the Knights host Huntley for the first time ever on Friday, Sept. 4.

The WSC slate begins on Friday, Sept. 11, at Rochelle, and the regular season ends on Friday, Oct. 23, at Yorkville.