By Clark Shanahan
CHICAGO, Illinois - The Knox Prairie Fire football team was defeated on the road this Saturday against the University of Chicago Maroons, falling by a final score of 45-10. The loss is their third on the season, and is also their first defeat away from home this season. The 35-point spread is the closest of the season so far for Chicago in Midwest Conference play. The Prairie Fire also managed 122 rushing yards, the most the Maroons have given up all season and the first time they have given up over 100 yards rushing this year.
Knox fell into an early hole they could not recover from, as they punted on their first two drives, only to let the Maroons march down the field for touchdowns on their own first two drives. Preston Lade finished off the next Prairie Fire drive with a 29-yard field goal, but a quick 68 yard touchdown drive for Chicago put Knox in a significant hole midway through the second quarter. The Prairie Fire’s passing attack had no momentum to speak of, gaining only three yards total on the day. This severely limited the capabilities of the Knox offensive attack, and another Maroon touchdown in the final moments of the second quarter gave Knox a 28-3 deficit as the halftime whistle blew. The Prairie Fire found themselves in a further conundrum when Chicago scored another touchdown on their opening drive of the second half, seemingly putting Knox out of the game for good. After trading punts, the Prairie Fire threw an interception on their own 25-yard line, appearing to set up Chicago for another score. Two plays later, however, Ean Rau picked the ball off, returning it 92 yards and scoring Knox’s only touchdown of the day himself. This would prove to be a bright spot on the day, as the Maroons scored 10 more points while the Prairie Fire were unable to produce much more offensively.
Hunter Anderson led the ground attack for the Prairie Fire with 54 yards on 10 attempts. He also added a reception for three yards.
Ean Rau picked up 10 total tackles to go along with his interception for a touchdown. Kendall Ballman added nine total tackles. Caleb Spinks racked up seven tackles, including 2.5 tackles for a loss.
Knox looks to end their three game losing streak when they host Beloit next Saturday at 1:00 p.m.