Knox College at home Saturday to face University of Chicago

Mike Trueblood
Special to The Register-Mail

GALESBURG — After a month away, the Knox College football team returns home for a 1 p.m. Midwest Conference game against the University of Chicago.

For 1-2 Knox, it will be the third straight team the Prairie Fire have faced that has started the season 3-0.

The game starts a stretch where Knox plays three of four games at home.

"Our schedule is kind of front loaded," said Knox coach Aaron Willits. "We've still got to go to work."

Recent history

Knox opened the season in the Knosher Bowl with a 26-0 victory over Westminster, but then lost 33-6 at Ripon and 48-14 at Lake Forest before a bye in the schedule last week.

"We would have liked a better performances no doubt after traveling up to Ripon," said Willits. 

"At Lake Forest we took some shots and took some chances. There's a lot of things on the stat sheet that show we played them better than last year."

About Chicago

The 3-0 Maroons have a new coach in Todd Gilchrist Jr. who was hired last spring. At 2-0 in the MWC, they are in a 4-way tie with Lake Forest, Ripon and Monmouth for first place in the league.

Chicago has beaten Concordia 34-14, Illinois College 40-14 and Beloit 43-10. The Maroons downed Knox 45-10 last season which they finished 8-2.

Players to watch

For Chicago, senior quarterback Wesley Gow went 23-for-32 for 264 yards and 3 touchdowns against Beloit. He connected with 12 different receivers in the game.

For Knox, safety has been Kendall Ballman a standout on defense that Willits describes as "a missile."

Senior quarterback Kaile Williams is coming off a game that Willits says "he threw the ball as well as he has since I've been here."

Prairie Fire expectations

"I'm hoping the kids come out and do their jobs," said Willits.

"I want the fans and the community to come out and be excited by what they see."

Next week

Knox will travel to Beloit College.

Midwest Conference outlook

Team records: Lake Forest (2-0, 3-0), Ripon (2-0, 3-0) Chicago (2-0, 3-0), Monmouth (2-0, 3-0), Grinnell (1-1, 1-2), Cornell (1-1, 1-2), Illinois College (1-1, 1-2), Knox (0-2, 1-3), Beloit (0-2, 0-3), Lawrence (0-2, 0-3).

Happening nearby

Coming off a 51-20 win against Illinois College on Sept. 17, Monmouth College will host Lawrence for its homecoming game at 2 p.m. Saturday in April Zorn Stadium.