Kaneland dominates LaSalle-Peru

With its back against the wall needing a win Friday night to become playoff eligible, La Salle-Peru could not have dreamed up a better start.

The Cavaliers recovered a fumble on Kaneland's first offensive snap. Then two plays later quarterback Brendan Boudreau scored on a 2-yard run to give L-P the early lead, firing up the Cavalier sidelines and the home crowd at Howard Fellows Stadium.

"It was great," L-P coach Jose Medina said. "It's good motivation for the kids. It's momentum on our side. But that's a good football program. They have some talented kids over there."

The momentum was short-lived for the Cavs.

On Kaneland's first play of its ensuing possession, QB Troyer Carlson connected with Aric Johnson for a 74-yard touchdown, swinging the momentum back to the Knights.

It definitely helped us get back in the swing of it and feel like we had the momentum again," Kaneland running back Josh Mauthe said. "Aric with that 74-yard score definitely turned us up and got us back going.

It was all Kaneland from there as the Knights scored on six straight possessions on their way to a 49-21 victory in a Kishwaukee River/Interstate 8 White Division game.

"Sometimes, we need that to wake us up," Kaneland coach Michael Thorgesen said. "It happened to us last week (in a 28-7 win over Woodstock North). We went down. We've been down before and come ripping back in four of our games this year. We kept our composure and just kept playing."

With the win, the Knights improved to 6-3 to secure their sixth consecutive playoff berth and their first under Thorgesen in his first year as head coach.

"It's really important for us," Mauthe said about getting the sixth win. "We needed it to get where we want to be in the playoffs. Obviously, it was a big game for us. It was a big game for them. We did our jobs and executed. We knew what we had to do and we came in and did it.

"We're excited. We're fired up. We're waiting to see who we play. Anybody we play, we're going to play them as hard as we can and go as far as we can."

After L-P's initial 18-yard scoring drive, the Cavs' next six drives of the first half went punt, punt, punt, punt, interception, interception.

"We just couldn't establish the run," Medina said. "We moved the ball a little bit in the passing game. We just didn't sustain drives and didn't do anything productive to help the defense out."

After Kaneland's fumble, the Knights' next six drives ended with touchdowns.

It started with the 74-yard pass to Johnson before Mauthe scored the next three on runs of 4, 4 and 2 yards. Carlson tossed a 27-yard touchdown pass to Dylan Sanagustin.

Mauthe added his fourth touchdown of the first half with an 11-yard run with 4:16 left in the second quarter to help Kaneland to a 42-7 halftime lead.

The Knights' offense was firing on all cylinders with Carlson's return. He missed last week with an ankle injury.

Carlson completed 11-of-13 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Mauthe ran for 127 yards and five touchdowns on 18 carries and Johnson caught five passes for 150 yards and a touchdown and added a 4-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

"It was fantastic (to have Carlson back)," Thorgesen said. "The kid's a warrior. That kid wants to win. He'll play hurt. He's legit.

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