ICCP enjoys successful road trip
BLOOMINGTON -- The march toward a third straight state title got off to a roaring start Friday night for the IC Catholic Prep football team.
Sophomore running back Kyle Franklin took the second snap of the game 84 yards for a touchdown on his way to a 207-yard, 4-touchdown first half, and the Knights romped 50-14 over Belleville Althoff at Illinois Wesleyan's Tucci Stadium.
The two-time defending Class 3A champs opened a 50-0 lead at halftime against one of downstate Illinois' traditional stronghold programs.
"We started with a simple game plan, and we started fast," said Knights coach Bill Krefft. "That's all on our kids in how they prepared on both sides of the ball."
Franklin's other three scores came on runs of 43, 33 and 15 yards.
"We are keeping our focus on today," Franklin said. "Tomorrow we'll focus on tomorrow. We're a brotherhood that's trying to get better every day."
Senior running back Steven Crady rushed for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 30-yard scoring run to end the first half. Crady also caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Khalil Saunders that gave the Knights a 12-0 lead.
"We wanted to come into this game as prepared as possible for our opponent," said Saunders, a Purdue recruit. "We wanted to have a good jump and explosive plays right away. That puts the other team on their heels right from the jump."
Althoff's offensive line is greener than the Tucci Stadium turf; all five starters up front started for the first time. The Crusaders endured five bad snaps, junior quarterback Will Ache was sacked three times and the Knights forced two safeties. In all the Crusaders graduated 19 seniors from last year's 9-2 team.
"Our offensive and defensive lines have been there before," Krefft said. "A lot of them are second- and third-year kids, and we took advantage of that."
Ache, a junior, managed to compete 12 of 22 passes for 156 yards, most coming in the second half against mostly IC defensive reserves.
IC Catholic finished with 409 yards rushing and limited Althoff to 21.