Kaneland cruises despite Carlson injury

After replacing injured starting quarterback Troyer Carlson, senior backup Dominic DeBlasio ran for two touchdowns and threw for another to lead Kaneland to a 45-0 victory over Marengo on Friday in Maple Park.

"You know, Troy goes down and coach told me I had to step up," DeBlasio said. "I went out there and played as hard as I could to get a win for the guys."

Marengo (3-4) limited the Knights to a Sam Bruno 33-yard field goal on their opening drive.

"I told our kids it's not about outcomes here," Marengo coach Paul Forsythe said. "We just want to compete and I believe we did that. We held them to a field goal on the first drive. That's a win for us. It was uphill sledding coming into this. Our playoffs kind of start now."

Josh Mauthe scored on a 47-yard run on Kaneland's next possession, which marked a sign of things to come for the senior and the Knights. He'd also find the end zone on runs of 14 and 11 yards later in the second quarter.

"I just saw the hole and had a great lead block from Brett Larson and Nick Alstott," Mauthe said. "I hit the outside and it just happened to be there."

Carlson left the game after injuring his ankle while scrambling on Kaneland's second possession, but that didn't leave the Knights without someone who could chuck it.

DeBlasio could certainly do it. He dropped back and tossed a screen pass to Aric Johnson who raced into the end zone for a 79-yard touchdown to make it 24-0 with 9:52 left in the second quarter.

"My coach didn't want me throwing any passes at first, but I told him I could do it," DeBlasio said. "I told him I could get it to Aric. And I played quarterback freshman year. It's not the same as varsity but I've had some experience. I was ready."

The Knights took advantage of a short field and only needed 36 seconds to score their fourth touchdown of the half, a 14-yard run by Mauthe with 3:44 remaining in the half.

Mauthe scored on an 11-yard run in the final minute of the half to treat the Homecoming crowd that tolerated the mid 40s weather to a 38-0 score at the break.

DeBlasio made it an early night for the Knights with his 5-yard touchdown run with the 5:41 to go in the third quarter which enforced the running clock rule.

"Obviously, this team is super resilient," DeBlasio said. "We took three super tough losses while leading in the fourth quarter in all of those games, and every week we just bounce back and come together as a team and win the next week."

Kaneland (4-3) Is fighting for the playoffs, despite having lost three games by just 17 points. The Knights have Woodstock North and LaSalle-Peru remaining. Marengo is really fighting for them as well and Sandwich and Plano remain on its schedule.

"We just try to keep fighting," Mauthe said. "We're not going to give up no matter what happens. We're going to give it our all in all games. We're just going to keep fighting."

Obviously ready to roll from the start, players had the advantage of knowing they were starting on time, which doesn't always happen. There was a good reason on Friday, which wasn't good for Marengo.

"I think we had 17 kids out," Forsythe said. "Which is why there wasn't any preliminary (game)."

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