Sports / The Prairie Fire / September 8, 2012

Instant analysis: Knox football falls to St. Norbert

[Jessica Couvillier/TKS] Members of the Prairie Fire football team look on during a play during the Lincoln Bowl on Saturday, Sept. 1 at the Knosher Bowl.

The Knox College football team dropped their conference opener to St. Norbert 31-20. Here’s a breakdown of the game.

How it happened

After surrendering an NCAA record 736 pass yards to Eureka in the season opener, Knox came out strong in an attempt to erase those memories. The Prairie Fire took the opening drive for a touchdown to take an early 7-0 lead, but the offense never got into a solid rhythm for rest of the game. Knox’s defense performed much better against the Green Knights, forcing five turnovers, but the turning point came on a Knox offensive mistake. Down 17-14 early in the fourth quarter junior quarterback Drew Diaz made a questionable decision to put up a deep pass and was ultimately picked off. St. Norbert used the momentum to add another touchdown, and when Knox was unable to respond it was essentially over. Each team tacked on a score in the final minutes, but the game was decided by then.

And the player of the game is…

…senior linebacker Mike Hendrick. Hendrick was named to multiple preseason All-American teams, and showed why in today’s game. He had 15 tackles, forced a fumble, intercepted a pass and created the pressure that led to another pick. It was like a totally new defense compared to the one that played Eureka, and Hendrick is a key reason why. Other key contributors were senior cornerback Quentin Gittemeier who picked off two passes, as well as senior wide receiver Dustin Armstrong who finished the game with seven catches for 77 yards and one touchdown.

What it means

The defense looked to be back on track, but the offense was not able to dominate the line of scrimmage like they did in the opener. Still, Knox played well against a very tough St. Norbert team, and if they can duplicate this kind of performance against other conference opponents there is certainly hope for a victory.

Jackson White
Jackson White is a senior double majoring in political science and secondary education. This is his third year as a sports editor for TKS. Over the course of the 2010-2011 academic year, Jackson worked for, writing feature stories and columns about high school and college baseball in central Illinois. Outside of the Publications Office, he is an information assistant for the Knox College Sports Information Department and a two-time all-Midwest Conference baseball player. Jackson is the recipient of five awards from the Illinois College Press Association, including two first place awards for sports game coverage and sports page design.

Tags:  football mike hendrick

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