Big-time players make a difference late in games, either by being on the bench or making plays on the field.
Kapaun Mount Carmel's Dyllon Knox prefers the latter.
After struggling to stay on the field earlier in the season because of cramping, Knox has turned things around.
Friday, he had his best game of the season, largely because of his fourth-quarter performance. Knox rushed for 221 yards on 27 carries in a 28-21 win over Winfield, with 134 yards in the fourth quarter. He also had a touchdown that broke a 14-14 tie in the fourth.
It was the second game that Kapaun has won by a touchdown or less. Kapaun's three losses are by a total of 12 points.
"It feels like I'm getting stronger as I get more carries," Knox said. "Friday, my team needed me and I was happy that I could make a difference."
Knox has been major factor in Kapaun's offense all season. Yet he has taken a back seat to Northwest's Demarcus Robinson and Southeast's Joseph Randle. Knox is averaging 114 yards on 18 carries, and will join Randle and Robinson in the 1,000-yard club if he can gain 86 rushing yards Friday against Newton in a battle of unbeatens in Class 5A-District 7. Kapaun is 5-3 overall and both teams have already qualified for the playoffs.
"I get a little bit overlooked," Knox said. "I didn't have the opportunity to play as early as they did, but I'm making the most of my chances. I just take care of business and doing what I can for my team to win."
Getting more than 1,000 yards would be an achievement for Knox, but doing so would be just as much of a good thing for the Crusaders. Kapaun is 5-0 when Knox rushes for more than 100 yards.
"Dyllon is a big part of what we do on offense, and we will need him as well as everyone else to play well," Kapaun coach Dan Adelhardt said. "When you run the football well, that opens up a lot of things."