MARENGO - The Marengo football team gave Burlington Central a surprise to start the game.
Fortunately for the Rockets, it quickly wore off as Burlington cruised to a 28-6 Big Northern Conference East Division win.
The Indians moved tailback John Lesiak to quarterback in spread formations to open the game, catching the Rockets (5-1, 4-0) defense off-guard. The Indians (1-5, 0-4) went 78 yards in five plays to score on their first possesion, including a 45-yard gain on a double reverse on the first play of the game, but only gained 16 total yards the rest of the half. Burlington held Marengo to 28 yards in the second half.
“They came out in some different stuff, and we’re very preparation oriented. We freaked out a little bit and they took advantage of it and shoved it down the field on us,” Burlington coach Rich Crabel said. “We made a couple of very, very minor adjustments and just started playing a little bit better.”
The Rockets opened up the game in the second quarter, scoring on back-to-back possessions. An interception by Ibrahim Sanson set up the Rockets on Marengo’s 20-yard line, and five plays later Reilly Marino scored from four yards out. On their second score, quarterback Tyler Majewski found Joe Breeden open deep for a 58-yard touchdown.
Starting his third game for injured Ryan Ritchie, Majewski went 5 for 15 for 154 yards and added a nine-yard rushing touchdown, with his shortest completion being a 12-yard gain.
Marino lead the way on the ground for Burlington, with 21 carries for 73 yards and added another score in the fourth quarter on a five-yard run.
Benet 2, Batavia 0 (25-16, 25-20): At Lisle, Batavia had a 13-10 lead in Game 2 but couldn’t hang on against the defending 4A state champions. Shea Stanley (seven kills), Heather Meyer (six kills, 12 digs) and Audrey Faulhaber (17 assists) paced Batavia.
Gagliano named Wheaton Academy coach: At West Chicago, Paul Gagliano was named Wheaton Academy’s coach, replacing 2011 interim coach Laura Frost.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to coach at Wheaton Academy and thank [athletic director] Andrew Tink for his confidence in me,” Gagliano said in a statement. “I look forward to building upon the foundation that is here and creating a positive, successful and respected program.”
Gagliano has been a top coach with the Wasco Diamonds travel program for several seasons. This past summer, he guided the 12U Diamonds to a 54-21-1 record and a 12U USSSA Central Illinois state championship.
Wheaton Academy finished 10-19 in 2012 while advancing to a regional championship game for the third time in four seasons. The Warriors featured Gagliano’s daughter, Marissa, now a junior, as a top offensive threat. Wheaton Academy is set to move from Class 2A to Class 3A this season.
• Andrew Hansen contributed to this report.