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updated: 10/26/2013 12:28 AM

Kaneland returns to form

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

Dylan Nauert never expected a running clock against a four-time state champion.

But that is exactly what transpired in Morris Friday night as Kaneland regrouped from its first loss during its four-year existence in the Northern Illinois Big XII East last week against Sycamore with 42 unanswered points.

Isaac Swithers' third touchdown of the game for Kaneland 22 seconds into the third quarter triggered the football version of the slaughter rule.

Kaneland ended its regular season with a dominant 49-14 triumph over Morris as it prepares for yet another berth in the Class 5A state playoffs next week.

"I didn't envision (a running-clock game) in Morris," said Nauert, who scored twice -- for the second time this season -- on touchdown receptions from fellow three-year starter Drew David. "They always put up a good fight, especially at home."

Field position was the story of the game for the Knights (8-1, 5-1) against Morris (3-6, 1-5).

Repeatedly starting in plus-territory while Morris was equally likely to start deep in its own land, Kaneland took command late in the first quarter when Nauert scored back-to-back touchdowns on 16- and 41-yard collaborations with David, who finished with 206 yards passing and another 53 on the ground -- all in the first half.

The scores snapped the lone tie of the game, 7-7, and the Knights' cushion only swelled before the break.

"Field position for us is huge," Nauert said.

Nate Dyer scored on an 18-yard dash on his lone carry of the game for Kaneland, and the spread reached 35-7 when Swithers, who opened the Knights' scoring with a 12-yard reception in the first quarter, had the first of two ground scores.

Brandon Bishop hauled the last of 4 TD passes from David right before halftime for a 42-7 lead at the break.

The Kaneland defense was equally imposing, allowing a mere 3 first downs for the night.

Tyler Carlson had a 2-point pass conversion and an interception for the Knights.

"Up front we were plugging the holes (behind tackles Jaumaureo Phillips and Andrew Kray)," Carlson said. "(The conversion) was improvised off of a bad snap. (On the interception) I saw (Morris' player) tip it, and I dove and got it."

Jake Walker had an 84-yard touchdown run for Morris in the opening quarter, and Dean Meucci closed out the scoring with a 34-yard run in the closing minutes.

But Morris had only 28 yards off offense for the game without its pair of long runs.

"They are a really good team," Morris coach Alan Thorson said of Kaneland. "They're an exceptional team. We knew we were going to have our hands full coming in."

"I was really, really happy with the way we came out," Kaneland coach Tom Fedderly said. "I was wondering how the kids were going to respond (after the Sycamore loss)."

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