Balanced Kaneland blows by Geneva
Kaneland and Geneva resumed their series two years ago, and both meetings were one-score games that came down to the wire.
That changed in a big way Friday.
Kaneland junior quarterback Joe Smith threw for three touchdowns, four-year starter Jonathan Alstott ran for two more, and the Knights ran away with a 35-14 victory on Peterson field.
Kaneland (2-0) avenged a 28-21 loss to Geneva last year in a dominating performance that saw them outgain the Vikings 410-203.
Those numbers were even more lopsided in the first half. Kaneland led 35-7 at halftime, had 20 first downs to Geneva's 3 and 342 yards of offense to 64 for the Vikings (0-2).
"We came out with revenge, this is our home, we have to defend it always," Alstott said. "I know our linemen were up for the challenge. The sky is the limit."
The Knights used a balanced attack with 204 yards on the ground and 206 through the air a week after struggling with just 6 points against Hinsdale South. All 206 of those passing yards came in the first half as Smith completed 10 of 14 passes.
Kaneland only attempted 1 pass in the second half, and Smith didn't play after taking a hit on his hip bone. Coach Pat Ryan said Smith will be fine.
"Week one didn't go so well and this week we bounced back," Smith said. "We just ripped it on these guys."
Kaneland caught a break on the opening possession when Alstott's punt deflected off a Viking player and the Knights recovered at Geneva's 9-yard line. On the next play Alstott carried up the middle for a touchdown.
The Knights made it 14-0 on their next possession on Smith's 5-yard touchdown pass to Max Gagne after Chaz Shaw converted a 4th-and-1.
Geneva's only first-half points came on Reilly Waldoch's 28-yard fumble return that briefly trimmed it to a 14-7 game. But on the Knights' next play from scrimmage, Smith went long to Colton Doll for an 80-yard touchdown and 21-7 lead after one quarter.
"I hope that's not our lot in life that we have one good thing happen and two bad," Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said. "The good teams don't do that."
Kaneland marched the ball down the field two more times in the second quarter, capping the first drive on Alstott's 5-yard run and the second on Smith's 10-yard pass to Doll who caught 5 passes for 136 yards.
Alstott carried 29 times for 134 yards, and Smith added 40 yards on the ground.
"All three phases we played really well," Kaneland coach Pat Ryan said. "We knew we had to be better on offense this week and I think we made huge improvements from week one to week two. Our defense is playing lights out right now and our offensive line is doing a great job and Jonathan runs the ball really well. Joe did a great job and our receivers caught the ball. It all came together. Great win for us."
Through two games Kaneland's defense didn't allow a point until the Vikings' final drive of the night.
Junior quarterback Alex Williams hit Owen Pawelko for a 3-yard score with 2:31 remaining.
Williams completed 4 of 13 passes for 40 yards and was intercepted twice by Chris Angelotti. Brendan Krohe led Geneva with 109 yards rushing on 21 carries.
"They played hard for two games," Wicinski said. "We're frustrated. We're not hitting on all cylinders and executing like we can be. We show signs but are not consistent enough. We're raw in a lot of positions."