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Knox College QB Matt McCaffrey
GALESBURG, Illinois – In the final career game for seniors Donnye Sommerville, Matt McCaffrey, Martwain Holmes, Beau Gable, Brady Raab, Cody Hipp, Trent Wooten, Griffin Gibson, Jacob Paul, Trevor Follis, and manager Kristen Koviekis the Fire ushered them out in outstanding fashion. The Fire were relentless on both sides of the ball in their shutout and domination of Lawrence University.
Knox (5-5) opened up the scoring after a few back and forth drives to no avail, but with just under 8 minutes left in the first quarter, the Fire marched down the field on an eight-play, 80-yard drive. The drive was capped off by a 19-yard rushing touchdown from McCaffrey. On the ensuing drive for Lawrence, Donnye Sommerville came up with an interception on third down to give the Fire great field position heading into the second quarter. Just 15 seconds into the 2nd quarter, McCaffrey found Kobe Shutter for a 15-yard touchdown to put the Prairie Fire up 14-0. The Knox defense would hold strong the rest of the quarter including forcing a missed field goal, and the Fire would enter halftime with the same lead.
On their first drive of the second half, Knox put together an 11-play, 76-yard drive resulting in another rushing touchdown from Matt McCaffrey. Late in the third, McCaffrey would find Malik Hamilton one more time for a 66-yard touchdown to put the Fire up 28-0.
The offense was not the only one throwing a scoring party, however. The final points of the game came from a safety in the 4th quarter by Beau Gabel. Speaking of defense, Knox picked off the quarterback twice on the day, both courtesy of Sommerville. The second pick came in the endzone to preserve the shutout. Sommerville also led the team in tackles with nine, Jordan Anderson added seven of his own, and Garrett Rau, Hunter Baquet and Jacob Paul all recorded six tackles. Trevor Follis, Jacob Paul, Logan Hollis, and Gabel all recorded sacks on the day as well.
The Fire defense also held Lawrence to just 263 yards of offense while the Fire put up 510 of their own. Matt McCaffrey finished with 402 yards of total offense with 300 coming through the air and 102 on the ground. Malik Hamilton finished with 127 yards receiving and Hunter Lee added 89.
The Fire finished the season at an even 5-5, their best finish since 2002. Knox broke 15 team records this season. The team will graduate 11 seniors and look to continue their success heading into next season.