NEW LENOX – A stingy defense and the leg of Brock Krohe keyed Lincoln-Way Central’s 17-7 SouthWest Suburban Red victory Friday night over Andrew.
The Knights (4-3, 3-2), winners of three straight, held the Thunderbolts (2-5, 1-4) scoreless until 2 minutes 34 seconds remained, when a 20-yard screen pass for a touchdown sliced Central’s lead to 14-7.
Krohe, who kicked field goals of 34 and 28 yards in the first half to provide the Knights with a 6-0 halftime lead, added a 25-yarder as time wound down to account for the final score.
“I will take a 6-0 or 3-0 win,” Central coach Jeremy Cordell said. “Give credit to Brock Krohe. He was on target tonight. But our main objective is to score touchdowns. What this team needs to work on is finishing drives with the ball crossing into the end zone.
“We as a team are getting better. This is still something that we need to keep working on and improving.”
Both offenses were hurt by turnovers. Central defensive back Trey Lyons intercepted a pass deep in Knights’ territory and returned it to the 35-yard line to thwart a first-quarter threat. Andrew also turned the ball over in the third and fourth quarters. The fourth quarter began with Central still nursing the 6-0 lead.
“Our defense never gave up or gave in,” Cordell said. “I was pleased that when their backs were against the wall on their drives, they would respond with an interception or a big sack.”
The Knights’ offense came up big in the fourth quarter when Nico Muto broke a 75-yard run to the Andrew 7. Muto scored a couple of plays later, with 4:39 left, to make it 14-0 after a successful two-point conversion. Muto finished with 117 yards on eight carries, all in the second half, after concentrating his efforts on defense in the first half.
“He responded well,” Cordell said. “He runs hard and is difficult to tackle. He will play where the team needs him.”
The Knights still must face two of the top teams in SouthWest Suburban Red, Lincoln-Way North and Thornton, and must beat one to quality for the playoffs.
“We dug ourselves a hole at the beginning of the season,” Cordell said. “The team has responded, and we need as a team to work hard and improve.”