Quarterback John Kaleo had the starring role in his final home game, throwing for a career-best 515 yards, and several members of Montgomery-Rockville's supporting cast shined in key situations as the bowl-bound Knights routed Chowan (N.C.), 37-21, yesterday at Montgomery Stadium.
The Mid-America Bowl, matching the top two junior college teams for the national championship, now awaits. The official invitation will be extended today, setting up No. 2 Montgomery-Rockville (9-0) against No. 1 Coffeyville (Kan.) in early December in Tulsa.
"We're going to Oklahoma!" the team chanted.
"This was the big one," said Coach Phil Martin, the Knights' all-time leader with 59 victories. "We're peaking at the right time."
The Knights scored 21 points in the first quarter and never looked back.
Kaleo started sluggishly, throwing two incomplete passes, then an interception to Terrence Finney on the first drive. But he finished 29 of 52 with four touchdowns.
Good field position helped the Knights, starting with Collin Younger's fumble recovery on the Chowan 11. Marty Mayes (High Point) forced the loose ball by hitting quarterback Brian Goff. One play later, Kaleo hooked up with Tyrone Fitch on a timing pattern in the right corner of the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
Following a 67-yard kickoff return by Chowan's Terry Williams, the Knights once more stifled a Braves drive. Greg Solarz (High Point High) then blocked Chuck Kornegay's 43-yard field goal attempt.
Kaleo keyed another Knights drive with a 32-yard completion to Dwayne Freeman, who caught the ball between two defenders. Andre Henry's six-yard run up the middle gave the Knights a 14-0 lead.
Later in the quarter Kaleo threw passes of 41 yards to Gary Kinard and 55 yards to Henry, setting up an eight-yard scoring pass to Freeman.