Knox was outplayed in nearly every facet of the game today. With the exception of one touchdown drive in the second quarter, the Knox offense failed to get into a rhythm against the Pioneer defense. Though the Prairie Fire rushed for over 130 yards, 112 of which came from senior Derek Mortensen, the passing game was nonexistent. Freshman Luke Oosterban earned his first career start at quarterback for Knox but managed just 60 yards passing after completing six of 19 throws. After starting the first two games, junior Drew Diaz consistently swapped series with Oosterban from off the bench and was only able to notch 27 yards of his own through the air while throwing an interception. On defense, Knox held Carroll to punts on each of their first two possessions, but as the game progressed,the Pioneers were able to wear down the Knox defenders, pulling away for 48 points by the end of the game. The game was plagued by penalties (the teams combined for 21 infractions), the worst of which were committed by the Prairie Fire. On four different occasions, Knox players were called for personal foul penalties, contributing to the poor field position Knox had throughout the game.
Mortensen ran for some extremely tough yards. The bruising back very rarely is taken down by one player, and his performance was one of the few bright spots for the Prairie Fire offense. Senior defensive lineman Lloyd Scott also had a big game for the Prairie Fire, contributing five tackles (three of which went for a loss) and a sack.
Knox struggled mightily against what many consider to be one of the best defenses in the Midwest Conference. The lack of a solid passing game forced the offense to become one dimensional, and the Prairie Fire were playing from behind for the entire game. Knox hits the road each of the next two weeks, so they are going to have to resolve the issues in some hostile environments.