Knox Football Drops Tough One at Lake Forest


LAKE FOREST, Illinois – The Prairie Fire (2-2) dropped a tough one on the road at Lake Forest (3-1).  The game was tightly contested for most of the afternoon, with the Foresters then controlling the last quarter.

The defense was the story in the first quarter. Junior Outside Linebacker, Jeremiah Matthews recovered a fumble on a screen thrown by LFC Quarterback, Billy Degnan on the opening drive of the afternoon. After a Grant Graham (Junior QB) interception in the red zone was returned to the Knox 15, the defense held firm again. A 3-and-Out with the bad field position led to a missed 31 Yard Field Goal by the Foresters.

After some more back and forth, the Fire offense had their best drive of the day go 18 Plays for 67 Yards and finish with a Keyn Humes 38-Yard Field Goal. Unfortunately, this would prove to be their only score of the game. Lake Forest answered quickly with a 6 Play, 70 Yard Drive, capped by a 28 Yard TD run by Stone Matthews to take the 7-3 lead. Following a quick Knox possession, Degnan connected with A.J. Jackson to cap a 12 Play, 58 Yard drive. This took the game to half very much up in the air at 14-3 LFC.

The offense just couldn’t get back in the same rhythm in the second half. Lake Forest took advantage with Alex Adams II scoring a rushing TD early in the 3rd Quarter to make it 21-3. Both defenses would hold tough for the rest of the 3rd quarter.

Knox had one more real strong opportunity after a big completion from Graham to Junior Wide Receiver, Hunter Lee for 41 yards. The drive stalled on the 20-yard line when a 4th and 1 pass fell incomplete. This proved to douse the Fire’s flame. The Foresters sealed the victory with a powerful 14 Play, 80 Yard drive with Matthews’ 2nd TD of the game being the finisher.

With the usually strong rushing attack stalled out for the first time this season, Lee was the lone offensive standout with 3 Receptions for 88 Yards. The defense fought valiantly for much of the afternoon but just couldn’t get the key 3rd down stops when they needed them. The unit was led by Junior Safety, Hunter Baquet who was involved in 10 tackles, the aforementioned Matthews, who added 7 tackles, including a sack to his fumble recovery and Freshman Defensive Back, Kendall Ballman, who chalked up 7 tackles and a pass break up.

“We had our opportunities in the first half against a talented Lake Forest team,” said Head Coach Damon Tomeo. “We fought hard in the second half, yet struggled to find the end zone on offense. Giving up the late 4th Quarter Touchdown was just too much for the team to overcome”

The Prairie Fire return to the Chicagoland Area next week on a different interstate this time, as they head to the University of Chicago for a 2PM Kickoff on Saturday, October 12th. This will be the first Midwest Conference South Division matchup of the season for the Fire.

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