Marmion coach Dan Thorpe expects lots of fireworks this season – no matter who has the ball.
"I think we're going to score a lot of points," Thorpe said. "I think we're going to give up a lot of points."
At least initially, Marmion will have to do its share of the damage minus running backs/defensive backs Jordan Glasgow and Sean Campbell, projected starters who will miss the early stages of the season with injuries.
Fullback Lucas Warren should keep the chains moving for Marmion after a promising sophomore season in 2013.
"The beauty of the athletes that we have is we have an [interior] game with Lucas pounding the middle and we have a very nice offensive line with size and toughness, so we can be content to give the ball to Lucas 25 times and that's going to be a lot of positive plays out of those 25 plays, but then people have to defend the flank," said Thorpe, noting that Noel Abraham, Cole Bonebrake, Matt Ferraro, Nate Traxler and Kyle Jordan are part of a crowded mix at halfback.
Thorpe has shown a willingness to play two quarterbacks in the same game, and he has a pair of QBs tempting him to go that route in savvy senior Rusty Joyce and junior John Tate, a relative newcomer to the position.
Eric Bacorn projects as a go-to target in the passing game.
"Eric Bacorn is catching everything," Thorpe said. "I can't think of him dropping a ball this summer."
A relatively inexperienced defense concerns Thorpe, although Warren should be a strong contributor at linebacker, where he will be joined by Jordan, Ferraro and Wade Gunderson.
Senior tackle Neil Peterson is one of the team's most improved players, Thorpe said, and should excel on a defensive line that will also include Tim Clohecy and Division I prospect Luke Juriga, both of whom project to be two-way linemen.
In addition to bolstering Marmion's running game, Glasgow figures to improve the Cadets' turnover ratio when he returns.
"Every 7-on-7, he was getting two, three interceptions," Thorpe said.
Coach: Dan Thorpe (55-37, 10th season)
2013 record: 8-3 overall, 5-2 Suburban Christian Conference Blue. Lost, 21-20, to Prairie Ridge in second round of 6A playoffs.
Fast fact: Hulking senior offensive tackle John Gauthier (6-6, 270) returns after missing his entire junior season with an ACL tear.
Special teams spotlight: Thorpe envisions a pair of sophomores – Connor Hoeft and Zach Fincher – competing as part of a kicking competition, while adding that Tate "has been just outstanding" handling punting duties.
Bottom line: If the Cadets can get and stay relatively healthy – a tall order for Marmion in recent seasons – the Cadets have the needed blend of brawn and skill to make the playoffs, though a difficult Chicago Catholic League schedule leaves little margin for error.
Memory banked: "Probably my first game freshman year against Batavia. I just remember coming out and dominating. I remember Jordan Glasgow with a huge run, a touchdown pass to Eric Bacorn in the back of the end zone and I just remember everybody being so hyped off of that game and it being a great win for us to start off the season." – Rusty Joyce, senior quarterback
Aug. 29 at Plainfield Central 7 p.m.
Sept. 5 Ottawa 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 12 at St. Francis 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 19 at Providence 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 26 vs. St. Francis de Sales 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 3 vs. Fenwick 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 10 vs. De La Salle 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 17 at Aurora Christian 7 p.m.
Oct. 24 at Montini 7:30 p.m.
Marquee matchup: at Providence, Sept. 19. On a schedule with a handful of high-end challenges, nothing will say "Welcome to the Chicago Catholic League" better than a trip to New Lenox to contend with the tradition-rich Celtics.
Aug. 30 Plainfield Central W, 25-7
Sept. 6 Ottawa W, 45-0
Sept. 13 St. Edward W, 27-10
Sept. 20 Marian Central W, 28-10
Sept. 27 Montini L, 27-3
Oct. 4 Aurora Christian W, 35-14
Oct. 11 St. Francis W, 26-20
Oct. 18 Aurora Central Catholic L, 13-12
Oct. 26 Walther Christian W, 43-0
Nov. 1 Fenton W, 39-0
Nov. 9 Prairie Ridge L, 21-20