Better late than never
Photo: Knight Quinn Buschbacher (22) (right) follows upfield blocking in the form of teammate Blake Serpa in Kanelandâ€™s win. Photo by Ryan Wells
Camiliere-to-Callaghan with :10 left sends Knights to semi
by Mike Slodki
VERNON HILLSâ€”What is it about Kaneland football and Class 5A State quarterfinals?
After Saturday afternoon, we know the Knights like playing games with a flair for the dramatic. But most importantly, they like winning them. Much like the quarterfinal win over Sterling four years ago, Kaneland pulled out a late win. Joe Camiliere hit an outstretched Tyler Callaghan in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left to stun the host Vernon Hills Cougars and fans, 27-21.
â€œItâ€™s just something weâ€™ve preached all year long about. Just keep playing. Forget about the last play, see what you can do the next play,â€ Fedderly said.
With the win, Kaneland now has its most wins in a season since 1998, improves to 12-0 and now hosts Lombard’s Montini Catholic this coming weekend for the right to face either Peoria Richwoods or Glenwood High School of Chatham, Ill. in the Class 5A State final at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Vernon Hills, which boasts two Division I recruits in DaVaris Daniels (Notre Dame) and Evan Spencer (Ohio State), finished the year at 10-2.
KHS amassed 412 total yards, compared to 383 for the Cougars.
Camiliere was 25-for-41 for 317 yards and four touchdown throws, along with a season-high three interceptions.
â€œAll we want to do is get it to our receivers and just move the chains. When we get in rhythm, weâ€™re hard to stop,â€ Fedderly said.
Camiliere was also the leading rusher for KHS with 63 yards on 10 carries. Vernon Hills’ Brian Palmer ran 22 times for 91 yards and a TD. Balance was the key for the spread offense as six different receivers were hit throughout the game, led by Blake Serpa’s six catches for 88 yards and a score.
After trading scores in the second and third quarters, the lone fourth-quarter score came from the Knights on the final drive of the game.
After Vernon Hills missed a 38-yard field goal with 2:29 remaining, Kaneland set up shop at its own 20-yard line. A pass to Serpa and Callaghan got the ball to the Kaneland 31 before Camiliere was sacked. Camiliere rattled off two runs to get to the 46 before an incomplete pass. Quinn Buschbacher caught a second-down pass for a first-down at the VH 40, and Sean Carter caught a 17-yard pass over the middle to get to the 23. Carter then caught a seven-yard pass after two incompletions.
Setting up on a fourth-and-three from the 16-yard line, Daniel Helm caught a pass near the KHS sideline after falling on the wet grassâ€”his most important catch of 2010.
A clock-stopping spike set up second-and-goal from the 10, leading to the deciding touchdown.
â€œI did everything I could to get that ball and came down with it,â€ Callaghan said. â€œWe came up clutch and Helm, the freshman came up big, too.â€
Vernon Hills got the scoring started with a 49-yard touchdown from Chris Argianas to Daniels on a bobbled ball with 6:38 to go in the half. Camiliere found Buschbacher on a 34-yard TD with 10 seconds remaining in the half.
In the third quarter, Palmer broke free for a 21-yard TD run with 10:06 left before Camiliere hooked up with Carter for an 11-yard score with 8:08 to go. Spencer gave VH a 21-14 lead with 1:19 left in the quarter on a one-yard run, but Serpa caught a 33-yard touchdown pass with :22 left to tie matters and set the stage for the fourth.
The Kaneland-Montini Catholic showdown is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 20, at 5 p.m.
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