Friday Preview: Kaneland (7-0) @ Sycamore (7-0)
7:30 p.m. at Engh Field, Sycamore
The NIB-12 East title is on the line, as the two top teams clash at Sycamore’s Engh Field Friday at 7:30 p.m.
While Sycamore returned a number of key starters from their deep playoff run in 2012, where they lost to eventual State Champion Montini in the semifinals, not having star running Dion Hooker (leg) available the last few weeks is a huge blow to the Spartans. However, backup Riley Hurley rushed for 145 yards and three touchdowns last week, and Sycamore QB Deven Mottet is a threat through the air and with his feet.
Sycamore’s route to being undefeated had them defeating Lincoln-Way West 34-21 in week one, and includes a 42-33 win at Rochelle last Friday without Hooker. Lincoln-Way West was the team that defeated the Knights in the first round of the playoffs last year, and the Knights defeated Rochelle earlier this season 49-20.
Sycamore has scored 274 points this season, and given up just 121. The Knights have scored more (287) and given up less than half the points (60) through seven games.
The last time the Spartans defeated the Knights was in the 2009 playoffs. After a 21-14 regular season win that year, Sycamore turned it around on the Knights, defeating them in the first round of the IHSA playoffs 40-13. Kaneland’s last regular-season loss to the Spartans dates back to head coach Tom Fedderly’s first year, when Sycamore won 37-7. The Knights were 4-5 that year.