By the numbers
KHS increases regular season win streak to 34 with NIB-12 win at DeKalb
DEKALB—Kaneland and DeKalb have had quite the football battles the last two years.
In 2011, Kaneland found itself visiting the new Dresser Road turf for the first time and down 31-14 before staging a monster second-half comeback in a 49-38 win.
Last year, the Knights put up 66 points on the visiting Barbs.
On Friday, the process was a little more elementary: withstand big plays, ball-control-tinged running, and key passes, leading to a 35-12 win at DeKalb High School.
The win marked the 34th consecutive win for Kaneland football in the regular season. Kaneland improved to a playoff-qualified 6-0 and 2-0 in the Northern Illinois Big XII East division, and has never lost a conference game in the group that began in the 2010 season.
DeKalb fell to 3-3, with an 0-2 mark in conference play. Kaneland has never lost to DeKalb in eight straight conference meetings.
“We’ve got a lot a lot of respect for their coach (former Belvidere coach Matt Weckler), and we’ve played him the last two years in the first round,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We have a lot of respect for that offense. They spread themselves out and get into space. If you make one mistake they can make a big play, as we saw. We’re really happy to hold these guys to 12 points.”
For the Knights, Drew David threw three touchdown passes on a night where he was 16-for-26 for 330 yards.
DeKalb running back Dre Brown had 130 yards rushing, a game-high.
After an opening DeKalb drive came up empty, Kaneland used Isaac Swithers (71 yards) and Nate Dyer (62 yards) to move the ball from their own 14-yard line. David mixed in a pass to Brandon Bishop (five catches, 65 yards) before rolling out and throwing a deep ball to tight end Tyler Slamans for a 31-yard touchdown. Slamans’ first-ever varsity TD gave KHS a 7-0 lead with 3:33 to go in the frame. After the Barbs punted another drive away, David found wideout Connor Fedderly for a 27-yard completion, and a bomb in stride to John Pruett (85 yards receiving) for a 58-yard scoring strike and a 14-0 lead with 1:06 left in the first quarter.
DeKalb gathered some momentum back when the second play of the next drive yielded a 77-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jack Sauter up the middle to make it 14-6 with 25 ticks left in the quarter.
The lone scoring drive in the second quarter ended with a six-yard run up the middle by Swithers to make it 21-6 with 6:41 to go in the half. The next two scoring opportunities for Kaneland ended with a blocked field goal and an interception.
Asked to carry more of a load along with Dyer, with an accent on speed for the ground game, Swithers is feeling more comfortable.
“Jesse went down so I just stepped in at running back, and I played last year, but I have to fill his shoes,” Swithers said. “I’m a lot faster on the turf, it’s a nice place to play.”
In the third quarter, the Barbs forced Kaneland to punt and converted on an 89-yard touchdown scamper by Brown to close within 21-12 with 8:50 remaining in the third. After Brown fumbled the ball away to Kaneland two drives later, the Knights used a couple of runs by Swithers, a pass to Dylan Nauert, a run by David and a two-yard touchdown run by Dyer to make it 28-12 with 2:14 to go in the third.
The lone score in the fourth quarter came on a David conversion from the eight-yard line with 9:39 remaining for the final 23-point margin.