NEWTON — His walk to the postgame huddle was slow and leisurely, hindered by an ice pack strapped to his right shin.
Just about the polar opposite of how Kapaun Mount Carmel's Dyllon Knox plays football, but speed wasn't his most important trait Friday night.
Knox rumbled 31 times for 308 rushing yards and three scores in Kapaun's 52-27 victory, and his limp was evidence of what he has become.
"A workhorse," senior Chris Hayes said. "He came out and said, 'I'm going to take it on my back now.' He did this last year against Winfield in the fourth quarter. Tonight he didn't start in the fourth, he did it the whole game."
With the victory, Kapaun clinched the Class 5A-District 7 title and will play host to Salina South in the first round of the playoffs.
Kapaun scored on six of its seven first-half possessions for a 38-14 lead, enough to stifle a Newton rally in the third quarter. By halftime, Knox had tallied 175 yards.
"It's a game I wanted to step up in," he said. "Everybody stepped up and played well. Offensive line got out to a good start, that's what boosted me."
When Newton cut the lead to 31-14 with 1:29 left in the first half, Kapaun turned to Knox. In a matter of 23 seconds, he returned the kickoff to the Newton 44 and then took a toss right for a 30-yard touchdown.
"He's just a thriller," said quarterback Keaton Lewis, who passed for 142 yards — all but five to Hayes — and two scores. "It's amazing some of the stuff he did and how fast he is."
Newton tried stacking the box; Knox beat them outside. Newton tried keying on Knox; Lewis (89 yards) and Schuyler Stump (103) made them pay. The end result was impressive — 510 rushing yards, almost 10 yards per carry.
"We didn't play as fast as they did," Newton coach Brent Glann said. "They came out and played better than we did. We got way behind and our guys tried to fight back as well as they could, but they're just too good."
Knox made sure of that, but it didn't come easy.
"Pretty sore," Knox said. "Shin is a little banged up, but I'll be all right."
Kapaun Mount Carmel (6-3, 3-0) 10 28 0 14 — 52 Newton (7-2, 2-1) 0 14 7 6 — 27
K—Knox 5 run (Cantele kick)
K—Cantele 37 field goal
K—Hayes 38 pass from Lewis (Cantele kick)
K—Stump 54 run (kick failed)
K—Hayes 5 pass from Lewis (Knox run)
N—Opland 55 pass from Thomas (Ronen kick)
N—Johns 5 pass from Thomas (Ronen kick)
K—Knox 30 run (Cantele kick)
N—Thomas 1 run (Ronen kick)
K—Knox 17 run (Cantele kick)
N—Johns 69 pass from Thomas (run failed)
K—Schulte 3 run (Cantele kick)
Rushing—Kapaun, Knox 31-308, Stump 7-103, Lewis 8-89, Krehbiel 2-10, Schulte 1-3, Degenhardt 1-0, Hayes 2-(-1), Rasmussen 1-(-2); Newton, Thomas 14-80, Johns 6-50, Kelly 12-39, Ronen 1-0.
Passing—Kapaun, Lewis 8-16-0-142; Newton, Thomas 6-17-0-201.
Receiving—Kapaun, Hayes 7-137, Nulik 1-5; Newton, Johns 4-133, Opland 2-68.