On a night that was filled with emotion in the stadium the Kane Wolves and Elk County Catholic Crusaders put on a classic high school football game as the Wolves fell short, 13-6.
Prior to the start of Friday's football game the Kane Quarterback Club retired the jersey of Staff Sergeant Ken VanGiesen. The Kane native was killed in action earlier in the year. Past president Tom Merry and current president Bill Kleinberger of the Big 30 Committee and Ken's high school coach Craig Wensel presented the jersey to his parents, Tom and Sue VanGiesen. Also present for the ceremony were VanGiesen's sister Amy Gullifer and her husband Joe and children Isaac and Hannah, longtime girlfriend Erin Sirianni and her parents Frank and Sherry Sirianni, Quarterback Club President Tony Cecchetti and All Sports Boosters President Jayne Peterson.Â
After a moment of silence was observed for the family and all the past and present members of the armed services the game got under way.
Kane won the toss but chose to defer until the second half. ECC started the game in good field position around midfield. The Wolves would only give up one first down before they forced a punt. The Crusader punter pinned the Wolves back to their 10-yard line. After a couple runs gained short yardage Sean Jordan hit Sean Rolick with a big pass and a first down. The pass got the Wolves out of the shadows of their goal line. Then on the next play another pass attempt with the quarterback scrambling was intercepted by ECC.
It only took two plays as the visiting Crusaders got a big pass completion of 26 yards and a touchdown. The extra point was good and with 7:23 left in the first quarter the young Wolves found their backs against the wall again.
Kane was unable to mount any offense and again were forced to punt the ball back to the Crusaders. The defense was up to the task as they stiffened and took over on downs. The offensive line started opening up some nice holes and the offense started moving. Then the big play of the first half was running back Jonah Smith getting some big blocks and scampering 22 yards for a score. The extra point was no good but the Wolves were now back in the game.
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