ELGIN - The football team at Metro-East Lutheran made history at the start of the season when the Knights, along with Bunker Hill, became the first teams in Metro-East to go to eight-man football.
On Saturday afternoon, the Knights made more history.
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With their win over 50-12 win over Westminster Christian of Elgin, the Knight clinched their first winning season since 2008 at 5-4, and also qualified for their first-ever berth in the Illinois Eight-Man Football Association playoffs. And for the proverbial cherry on top, the Knights will host their first-ever postseason game on Friday night against Lowpoint-Washburn, earning the number eight seed overall.
As far as Saturday's game went, the Knights used their ground attack very effectively, with Tyler Williams running for 125 yards and quarterback Zach Keplar adding 110 yards, and defensively, held Westminster to 46 yards total offense, minus 85 yards rushing.
Keplar ran for five touchdowns on the afternoon, scoring from 21 yards out in the first quarter, running in from six yards in the second, then scoring twice in the third on runs of seven and six yards each, then topping off with a two-yard run for another touchdown in the fourth.
Williams ran in for a score from one yard out in the opening quarter, and Cam Gusewelle had the other Metro-East touchdown, scoring on an eight-yard run with 6:24 left in the final period. The Knights built a 30-6 lead at halftime, and led the Warriors 42-6 after three.
Westminster quarterback Tyler Oman threw for two touchdowns, a 37-yard toss to Peter DeFalco in the second quarter, and 74 yards to Mitch McGrath late in the fourth, for the only scores of the game for the Warriors.
Ben Ide also ran for 69 yards for the Knights, while Keplar was one-for-three passing, a 34-yard toss to Gusewelle for his only completion on the day.
The I8FA is the sanctioning body for eight-man football in Illinois, as the Illinois High School Association has yet to recognize the sport, and will conduct its own playoffs starting this weekend. The Knights and Wildcats will square off in the first round, with the winner going to number two seed Polo the weekend of Nov. 8-9 in the quarterfinals. Bunker Hill is also in the postseason tournament, seeded 14th, and travels to number 13 Alden-Hebron this weekend, with the winner to meet top-seed Milford-Cissna Park.
The semifinals will be played Nov. 15-16, and the final will be played at Monmouth College Nov. 22 at 7 p.m.
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