JOHNSONBURG – The visiting Kane Wolves (4-3) rode the momentum of four touchdowns Friday night from junior running back Jonah Smith to drop winless Johnsonburg (0-7), 42-7.
After a tight 7-7 game in the first quarter which saw Smith score his first touchdown of the night, Kane mounted a furious offensive attack to score four times in just under six minutes in the second quarter.
Kane would cough up the ball twice on offense to start the second quarter but recovered on the ground both times; a three-and-out series forced a punt on 4th-and-5 and the Rams started on their own 20-yard line after a touchback.
Complemented by a stingy defense, the Wolves got a big sack from senior defensive lineman Josh Kibbie on a 2nd-and-20 play as Johnsonburg senior starting quarterback Jaryd Servidea was hit with a 5-yard loss. The Rams would punt the ball away as Smith gave the visitors good field position with a 30-yard return to the Johnsonburg 30-yard line.
Three plays later, Smith crossed the goal line from one yard out with 5:59 on the clock. A Hunter Jackovitz boot split the uprights to give Kane the 14-7 advantage.
The Kane defense picked up right where they left off on the Rams' next possession as senior defensive lineman Mike Swartwood planted Servidea for a 12-yard loss; Swartwood followed up the defensive play with a gem on special teams as he got a piece of a Kyle Sheldon punt, giving Kane excellent field position on the Johnsonburg 23-yard line.
Having kept the ball on the ground for most of the first half, Kane head varsity football coach Jason Barner elected to go to an aerial attack and the Wolves struck gold.
Kane junior starting quarterback Sean Jordan found sophomore running back Andrew Pierson down the right side for a 23-yard touchdown pass with 3:40 on the clock in the first half. A Jackovitz kick put the Wolves up 21-7.
After Johnsonburg junior tailback Frank Kocjancic, who shined on special teams throughout the evening, rattled off a 30-yard kickoff return, the Rams were listless on offense and went three-and-out.
Kane took advantage of a face-mask penalty on Johnsonburg during the punt and found themselves just outside the red-zone at the Rams' 21-yard line. After a 16-yard completion from Jordan to senior tight end Gunner Emberg, Smith trotted in from five yards out for his third touchdown of the night. Kocjancic blocked Jackovitz's low extra point try as Kane took a 27-7 lead.
After his block on special teams, Kocjancic continued to shine as he took the kickoff 50 yards from the Johnsonburg 18-yard line all the way to the Kane 32-yard line. The play was for naught, however, as a Servidea offering was intercepted by Pierson.
Kane could do little on this offensive possession as they were immediately backed up thanks to a sack from Johnsonburg senior defensive lineman Michael Kennedy. Facing 2nd-and-20 with 1:04 left in the first half, a 12-yard Jordan run nearly cut the yardage in half before an incomplete pass forced a punt.
Servidea connected with Kocjancic for a 7-yard gain to open the drive but coughed up a second-down play that was scooped up by Johnsonburg senior offensive lineman Steve Zimmerman. Facing a 3rd-and-7 play, Servidea tossed another interception to Pierson, who gave Kane another chance to score before the half.
"Our cornerback apologized at halftime and said he didn't know what was happening, he had a guy open in the flats but they went deep on him-- we just went to the wrong guy," said Johnsonburg head varsity football coach Jesse Schreiber.
See full article by purchasing the Oct. 15 edition of The Kane Republican.