DEERFIELD TWP., Ohio -- Behind video game-type numbers from junior quarterback Luke Knecht and senior running back Avery Koller, Kings rallied in the third quarter, then held on late to knock off Hamilton 42-34 in a big-play affair Friday night.
Trailing 34-28 early in the third quarter, Knecht put the Knights up 35-34 with 7:19 to go in the period with a 10-yard run to the end zone. Koller capped the scoring with a 23-yard run with 2:15 left in the third.
The defenses took over in the fourth as both teams were shut out to end the game.
Knecht finished the night 12-of-18 for 215 yards through the air, and he ran for 154 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns. Knecht found Matt Huhn for a 66-yard touchdown pass late in the first half, and had a 61-yard run to set up another score.
Koller ran 215 yards on 29 carries and three touchdowns. Kings had 625 total yards of offense on the night, 410 of those coming on the ground.
Quarterback Steve Cunningham, as well as receivers Vince Sanford and A’Shon Riggins, had big nights for the Big Blue in the losing effort. Cunningham, a senior, threw for 276 yards and three touchdowns on 12/22 passing. Sanford, a junior, caught five passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, while Riggins, a senior, had four catches for 124 yards on two touchdowns.
Hamilton senior running back Isaiah Murphy added 99 yards on 11 carries, 68 of those yards coming with 10:03 left in the first quarter to put the Big Blue up 7-0. Hamilton also had impressive offensive numbers, totaling 445 yards of offense on the night.
Next Friday, Hamilton will open Greater Miami Conference play at home against Lakota East, while Kings stays at home to open Eastern Cincinnati Conference play against Turpin.