In a Northern Illinois Big 12 crossover game played in Yorkville on Friday, the Foxes dominated on the stat sheet and on the scoreboard by defeating an overmatched Dixon squad 42-14.
Yorkville had almost identical drives in the first quarter as Anton Jones and Tyrius Porter each punched in a score from the 1-yard line. Porter finished a seven-play, 47-yard drive, and Jones completed a 46-yard drive, also on seven plays.
The Foxes’ defense had only two lapses in the contest, and one occurred as JD Gieson found Justin White for a short completion that White turned into a 65-yard touchdown play. That play enabled the Dukes to stay close at 14-7 after one quarter.
Jones, who rushed 21 times for 118 yards in the first half (31 carries, 188 yards for the game), finished a 48-yard drive with a 2-yard plunge near the end of the second quarter as Yorkville began to pull away.
“It’s all the linemen’s work,” Jones said. “There were some plays where I only was brought down by one guy. That’s my fault — the line blocked their butts off. We started wearing them down by running it down their throat. It was really hard for them to keep up with us.”
Indeed, Dixon seemed undermanned with only 26 players dressed as coach Dave Smith continues in the effort to rebuild the program.
Brian McCue intercepted a Dixon pass near the end of the second quarter, and the Foxes capitalized.
With 30 seconds remaining, quarterback Jake Anton hit tight end Josh Gengler for a 13-yard score to up the advantage to 28-7 at intermission.
Yorkville struck quickly in the third as Porter finished a short drive with a 2-yard run. Artan Emini added the fifth of his six conversion kicks to extend the lead.
The Foxes’ defense stopped the Dukes on a fourth-down play at the Yorkville 20 to open the fourth, and coach Karl Hoinkes had some praise for his defenders.
“Our coaches really had the kids prepared, and they knew their assignments and executed very well,” said Hoinkes. “We tackled a little bit better tonight and got some turnovers.”
Christopher Humphrey added an 8-yard touchdown run for Yorkville in the fourth quarter, and Dixon wide receiver Matt Coffey managed to run past the coverage and catch a 67-yard bomb from Gieson to finish the night’s scoring.
Yorkville is now 2-1, and Dixon is 0-3 as the teams begin their conference divisional games next week.