Carlson's 7 TD passes lead Kaneland to 5th win
With their playoff lives hanging in the balance, sophomore quarterback Troyer Carlson and the Kaneland football team took flight in a 55-13 win over the LaSalle-Peru Cavaliers.
"I'm really proud of the way we played," Knights coach Pat Ryan said. "Our offense was explosive tonight and we put a lot of points on the board. Our defense played exceptionally well tonight."
Carlson had seven touchdown passes in the game with six of them over 30 yards.
"It was crazy," Carlson said. "My offensive line gave me time and the receivers caught the ball. I can't take all the credit. I put the ball in my receivers' hands and they did the rest."
The Knights (5-4, 3-3 Interstate 8) reeled off 41 straight points after going down 7-0 in the first quarter to punch their playoff ticket.
Carlson and senior receiver Sam Gagne broke the game open in the second half. The duo connected on touchdown passes of 48, 17, 65, and 33 yards to put the game out of reach.
"(Gagne's) great," Carlson said. "He's a hard worker and we're always on the field getting that connection. It proves it on the field. He can make any play. I throw him a jump ball and he'll get it. I throw it over the top and he'll get it and score the touchdown."
The Cavaliers (5-4, 3-3) had no answer on defense and shot themselves in the foot on offense, turning the ball over six times in the game.
"We've just got to play better," Cavaliers coach Jose Medina said. "That's the biggest thing, just play better. We haven't done that the last couple of weeks. We just got to move the ball offensively and make plays. The defense is going to play hard."
The Cavaliers fumbled twice and had four interceptions, two of which were snagged by Knights' senior defensive back Johnny Spallasso.
Spallasso also caught a bomb from Carlson for 65 yards down the sideline to put the Knights up 20-7 going into halftime.
The Knights scored all three of their first half touchdowns on 50-plus yard catch and runs.
Carlson found Dom DeBlasio streaking down the middle of the field for a 56-yard touchdown with 3:05 left in the first quarter.
The Knights again hit on a long strike on the first play of the second quarter. This time it was Carlson to Aric Johnson for a 53-yard catch and run again down the middle of the field to give the Knights their first lead of the game, 13-6.
The Knights scored the touchdown two plays after forcing a fumble with the Cavaliers threatening in the red zone.
The Cavaliers opened the scoring on a 23-yard pass from Sean Whitfield to Mason Lynch. Lynch to the short pass, cut across the field and sprinted into the end zone for the score.
Cavaliers senior running back Matt Carrico slammed into the end zone on a 2-yard dive to open the fourth quarter, but by then the game was all but decided.
Knights senior running back Corey Phillips put the finishing touches on the scoring with a 37-yard run across the field for the touchdown.