Larson, Kaneland power past Ottawa
Troyer Carlson threw four touchdown passes, Aric Johnson caught three of them, Josh Mauthe ran for two more and even 6-foot-3, 260-pound lineman Brett Larson scored for Kaneland on Friday night at Peterson Field.
Mauthe's 7-yard touchdown run with just under nine minutes remaining in the third quarter led to a running clock being turned on as the Knights rolled to a 49-14 victory over Ottawa.
"They're a lot better than their record," Ottawa coach Chad Gross said. "They're explosive. I don't think people understood how good this team is, and they showed tonight how explosive they can be on offense and it's not just one kid. They have multiple weapons. They attack you running the ball and throwing the ball. They are very diverse in what they do and they're really good at it."
Carlson (15 of 23, 335 yards, four TDs) only played one possession in the second half but didn't throw any passes as the Knights (3-2 overall, 1-1 Kishwaukee River/Interstate 8 White) led 42-7 at halftime.
"As soon as we got here and started seeing the coverage they were playing, I knew it was going to be a free-for-all with as many pass plays as we've got," Johnson said. "We knew we were capable of this since like the beginning of summer."
Carlson's 13-yarder was followed by 54-yard and 20-yard touchdown passes to Johnson were impressive. A couple of other touchdowns featured especially cool moments.
After Ryan Wilson and Luke Boaz sacked Carlson, the senior quarterback tossed a screen to sophomore Evan Frieders who nearly took it in for a 31-yard touchdown but lost the ball as his outstretched hand reached toward the end zone.
One man's loss is another man's gain and Larson now has a moment ingrained in his head for the rest of his life.
"Awesome for him," Carlson said. "I was like 'Oh shoot,' and then he (Larson) got it, which is good for him, especially as a senior."
The combination of being in the right place at the right time and doing what he was assigned to do on the play created the unforgettable moment, which gave the Knights a 21-0 lead.
"It was a screen to the right and as I was running down field I was trying to block the defense and he (Frieders) goes down," Larson said. "The ball is right there so I just land on top of it. I was not expecting that at all."
Perhaps scoring touchdowns is a thing to come for Larson?
"I've always been a true big guy and never had a touchdown so it was a goal for me," he said. "Coaches were going to write something up for me but it never happened This was so awesome."
Michael Layne's interception had setup the drive that culminated in Larson's big play.
Ottawa (2-3, 0-2) then answered on its ensuing drive.
The Pirates were able to move the ball, getting solid runs from Mortenson, Keevon Peterson, Tristan Finley and Archer Cechowicz who scored from 3 yards to make it 21-7.
"I was happy with how we responded there," Gross said. "We had an unfortunate interception. It got tipped and they made a good play on it. It happens. The kids responded. I was happy with the effort. The kids played hard the whole night. I have nothing to be discouraged about. These kids are going to score a lot points."
Equally as awesome to Larson's moment was the DeBlasio brothers' sequence early in the second quarter.
First, Anthony DeBlasio intercepted a Colby Mortenson pass.
"It was a credit to our defense," he said. "It was special coverage and I read it and I made a play as a defense."
Then, just after he returned to the sideline, Anthony DeBlasio watched as Dominic DeBlasio hauled in a screen across the middle before heading toward the left corner of the end zone for a 35-7 lead.
"I was hyped for him," Anthony DeBlasio said. "That was special. He's a baller and he does his thing every single week."
"I think that was one of the best feelings I've ever had out there," Dominic DeBlasio added. "Just playing out here with my brother means the world."
Mauthe scored Kaneland's first touchdown on an 11-yard run.
Peterson scored on a 10-yard run early in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.