Kaneland downs Geneseo to stay in the playoff hunt
Kaneland's quick strike offense erupted in the final minutes of the opening half.
The Knights, bolstered by Kyle Angelotti's key interception, tallied 21 points in just under three minutes to pave the way for a convincing 28-7 Northern Illinois Big XII crossover victory over Geneseo Friday night in Maple Park.
Senior quarterback Jack Douglas threw for 214 yards and a pair of touchdowns while senior Jonathan Alstott added 117 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground for the Knights (5-3), who won their third straight game to become playoff eligible.
They can secure a playoff berth with a win at Ottawa next week.
"I think we maybe wore them out a little bit," said Kaneland coach Pat Ryan. "We were moving the ball pretty quick and we hit a couple of big plays. We can be pretty explosive."
With the score tied at 7-7 midway through the second quarter, the Knights engineered an impressive 9-play, 70-yard scoring drive to grab the lead for good.
Alex Moses (6 catches, 118 yards) snatched a 21-yard pass and Alstott made a nifty jump cut on a 19-yard scamper that set up his 4-yard touchdown run with 3:16 left in the half.
Angelotti's interception and 35-yard return put Kaneland back in business at the Maple Leafs' 25. After Trevor Jones' 18-yard run up the middle, Douglas hit Josh Marczuk in the left corner for a 7-yard touchdown.
The stingy Knights' defense forced another three -- and-out and Douglas needed just 51 seconds to march the team 75 yards for a backbreaking score, capped by an 11-yard touchdown strike to Moses over the middle.
"Almost all my catches were over the middle," Moses said. "It just felt like I was open every time there."
"That was definitely open. I had to look off the safety a few times," Douglas said. "But once they started figuring that out, that opened up a lot of other things. We were able to run the ball well the second half."
The swarming Knights' defense limited Geneseo (4-4) and its motion rushing offense to just 208 total yards of offense that included a huge 4th-and-1 stop from their own 10 on the Maple Leafs opening drive.
Zach Denning, Demetri Matarangas, Angelotti and Moses anchored the secondary while Jacob Brown, Drew Hahn and Matt Payton controlled the line of scrimmage.
"It's hard to replicate what they do in practice, so it was a matter of just seeing it and making adjustments and playing fast," Ryan said. "We've tackled really well and it's been a whole total team defense and it's been great."
Kaneland grabbed a 7-0 lead on the game's opening drive as Alstott followed Max Gagne's 35-yard reception with a 12-yard touchdown run. After a fumble recovery, Geneseo answered with its only score of the game with 9:06 left in the half.
"We're playoff eligible, but we want to make sure we're guaranteed a spot in the playoffs," Ryan said. "It's a long bus ride to Ottawa and we have to go down there and take care of business."