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Knox College QB Matt McCaffrey
GALESBURG, Illinois—The Prairie Fire Football team decided to skip the fourth quarter drama and get right down to business in their home opener against the Beloit College Buccaneers. Knox (2-0) earned a convincing 35-17 win with consistently quality play on both sides of the ball.
The Fire got the party started about midway through the first quarter when Jordan Anderson forced a fumble in Beloit territory. Four plays later, after a 31-yard completion to Malik Hamilton, Matt McCaffrey ran the ball in for the first touchdown of the day to give Knox an early 7-0 lead.
Knox did not wait long to score again, a 10-play drive that spanned the final minutes of the first quarter and the first minute of the second was capped off by a 17-yard touchdown pass to Malik Hamilton. The Knox defense held strong throughout the rest of the half and the Fire entered halftime leading 14-0.
Beloit attempted to get back into the game at the beginning of the third quarter when their opening drive was held to merely a field goal. But Knox answered back immediately, countering with an eight-play, 61-yard drive finished off with another touchdown connection between Matt McCaffrey and Malik Hamilton. A solid defensive effort and a sack by Jacob Paul forced a three-and-out on the ensuing drive for the Bucs.
Knox kept pouring on the scoring with a powerful four-yard rushing touchdown by Braeden Westfall. Knox was in good position heading into the fourth quarter up 28-3.
Beloit attempted a comeback effort with a long drive in the beginning of the 4th but Knox would not let the Bucs back in the game. On the ensuing drive, Joey Auger popped off a monster 42-yard run to put the Fire deep in Beloit territory. Six plays later, McCaffrey added yet another touchdown to make the score 35-10 Prairie Fire. Beloit would add another touchdown late but their efforts would fall well short as Knox would pick up their second win of the season, 35-17.
The defense was on display for the Fire on this day, led by Jacob Paul. He recorded eight total tackles including five for a loss and three sacks. Logan Hollis, Isaiah Smith, Cody Hipp and Jordan Anderson would also add five total tackles each and the Knox defensive backs held Beloit’s receivers in check all day.
The Prairie Fire offense was also on fire in this one. Matt McCaffrey was 16-for-25 for 226 yards and 2 touchdowns. His number one target was Malik Hamilton who had four receptions for 76 yards and two touchdowns. Martwain Holmes and Patrick Marzolino both had three receptions for 55 and 50 yards, respectively.
Knox is now 2-0 on the season, the best start since 2003, and will take advantage of their bye week before welcoming Ripon College to the Knosher Bowl on September 23.GALESBURG, Illinois—The Prairie Fire Football team decided to skip the fourth quarter drama and get right down to business in their home opener against the Beloit College Buccaneers. Knox (2-0) earned a convincing 35-17 win with consistently quality play on both sides of the ball.
Knox is now 2-0 on the season, the best start since 2003, and will take advantage of their bye week before welcoming Ripon College to the Knosher Bowl on September 23.