AURORA – If the Marmion football team was going to defeat four-time defending IHSA Class 5A state champion Montini on Friday night at Fichtel Field, the Cadets were going to have to avoid costly turnovers.
They weren’t able to do that.
A pair of Marmion fumbles less than a minute apart late in the second quarter handed the Broncos 10 points, allowing them to take a 20-3 halftime lead en route to a 27-3 victory in a battle between two unbeaten teams.
Marmion coach Dan Thorpe obviously wasn’t pleased with the turnovers, but he was more concerned about his team’s inability to come back from adversity.
“We’ve got to be able to suck it up and respond to that,” he said. “The second half, yeah, I think we did defensively, but offensively we weren’t physical at all. We didn’t respond to their physicality.”
The Cadets actually outgained Montini, 144-134, in the first half, but came away with only three points.
“At first, no matter how deep we were in our own territory, we would push up until about our 45 to their 45-yard line, and then we would just stall,” Marmion junior running back Jordan Glasgow said. “That’s on the whole team as an offense.”
Glasgow gained 74 yards on 16 carries, but blamed himself for not making the right reads on some running plays.
A 17-yard burst up the middle by Glasgow and a 13-yard scamper by quarterback Brock Krueger set up Marmion’s only score, a 24-yard field goal by Riley DeMoss that tied the game late in the first quarter.
The Cadets (4-1, 2-1 Suburban Christian Conference Blue) trailed just 10-3 and had driven from their own 14 to near midfield when Krueger was sacked and coughed up the football.
Edgar Ruano scooped up the loose ball and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown.
On the second play of Marmion’s ensuing possession, Glasgow lost a fumble, which led to another field goal by Montini’s Mason Weissenhoffer.
“I feel that [my fumble], which was very late in the second quarter, that did flatten us,” said Glasgow, who has played through ankle woes in recent weeks. “It’s frankly unacceptable for that to happen.”
Montini (5-0, 3-0 SCC Blue) took the second-half kickoff and drove 65 yards in eight plays, capped by a 1-yard touchdown pass from Alex Wills to Leon Thornton III.
Wills completed 22 of 31 passes for 196 yards without an interception.
Montini’s high-powered spread offense always receives a lot of attention, but Thorpe was more impressed with the Broncos’ defense.
“We knew their defense was good and it’s everything we thought it was,” he said. “What a credit to those kids. They fly around, and they’re very physical.”
After a pair of three-and-outs, Marmion did mount a drive into Montini territory late in the third quarter, but a deflected pass was intercepted by Tyler Quick, ending the threat.
The Cadets were unable to find the end zone in the fourth quarter, even after Nick Ferraro gave them good field position by blocking a punt.
MONTINI 27, MARMION 3
Montini 3 17 7 0 - 27
Marmion 3 0 0 0 - 3
HOW THEY SCORED
Montini - Weissenhoffer 34 FG, 5:14
Marmion - DeMoss 24 FG, :16
Montini - Italia 14 pass from Wills (Weissenhoffer kick), 6:11
Montini - Ruano 40 fumble return (Weissenhoffer kick), 2:37
Montini - Weissenhoffer 37 FG, :38
Montini - Thornton 1 pass from Wills (Weissenhoffer kick), 9:50
RUSHING - Montini: Italia 6-12, Wills 7-20, Maher 4-3, Thornton 1-3, Pestel 2-3, Savain 5-7. Totals: 25-48. Marmion: Warren 4-11, Glasgow 16-74, Krueger 10-18, Olabi 2-minus 9, Meyers 2-1. Totals: 34-95.
PASSING - Montini: Wills 23-32-0-205. Marmion: Krueger 12-24-1-136.
RECEIVING - Montini: Costello 3-27, Thornton 4-60, Brachmann 5-48, Tumpane 8-63, Italia 2-11, Savain 1-minus 4. Marmion: Glasgow 4-44, Bacorn 1-7, Olabi 2-15, Bicknell 2-18, Montalbano 1-7, Eberth 2-46.
TOTAL OFFENSE -- Montini 253, Marmion 231
SOPHOMORE GAME -- Montini 32, Marmion 21