Tommy Kraemer hobbled into Elder’s regular season finale with a sprained ankle.
He finished the game — a 21-7 win over LaSalle that earned the Panthers a share of the conference title — with a school record 23 pancake blocks. Jake Hilvert had held that record with 21 pancake blocks, set three years ago.
“I sprained my ankle the week before and LaSalle knew that,” Kraemer said. “The first play, one of their linebackers twisted it in a pile and from that point on I was out for blood. I was physically abusing them the whole game.
“Mistake on their part.”
Kraemer heads into the playoffs playing his best football of the season.
Last week he went head to head with two Division I recruits — Nebraska commitment Quayshon Alexander and Penn State commitment Michael Dwumfour — and came out on top.
“I've been playing very well,” he said. “Against DePaul (Catholic), I stopped their two D1 linemen the whole game and last week I did well. I just need to keep playing at that high, physical level.”
Beating two future Big Ten players in a one-on-one showdown did a lot for Kraemer’s confidence heading into the playoffs.
“It was great going against good competition,” he said. “My pass (protection) was good. They didn't get near the QB and I dumped them a few times on run blocks. It feels great even on a bad wheel. I would have liked to see what I could have done at 100-percent.”
Vaughn gets his Pick-Six
Whitehaven’s defense turned a close game against Cordova into a 41-14 blowout on Friday night. The Tigers returned four interceptions for touchdowns in the regular season finale.
Donte Vaughn got one of those defensive scores.
“They ran a slant and out combo,” Vaughn said. “I read the 3-step (drop) and jumped on the slant and caught the pick and returned it 20 yards.”
The interception return for a touchdown was the second of the season for Vaughn.
“I never got a chance to catch any pick-sixes in the past because all my picks were on deep balls.”
Whitehaven earned the top seed in the 6A playoffs and will host Antioch on Friday.
Another blowout for Boudreaux
Parker Boudreaux and Bishop Moore (9-0) will likely get their toughest test of the season next week at undefeated Lake Bradley (11-0).
Bishop Moore has cruised almost all fall, including Friday’s 56-0 rout of rival Eutis.
Boudreaux had seven “pancake” blocks in the victory that clinched the Class 5A-District 13 championship.
“Next week is going to be a tough game,” Boudreaux said. “We just need to execute well like we always do, stay focused, and have a great week of practice.”
Bishop Moore is ranked No. 2 in Class 5A behind only American Heritage.
Boudreaux took his official visit to Notre Dame for the Texas game and visited for the Navy game as well. He may return for Notre Dame’s last home game of the season against Wake Forest.