Marmion figured it would need a high-scoring game if it was going to upset the powerful offense of Marian during Friday's Suburban Christian Conference clash in Aurora.
The Cadets were able to move the chains at times on Friday, but only found the end zone early in the first quarter, while the Hurricanes, led by standout quarterback Chris Streveler, tore through the Cadets defense for a 34-7 victory.
"For us to win we knew it would have to be a shootout," Marmion coach Dan Thorpe said. "(Streveler's) special. My hat's off to him. He's worked hard and his receivers catch the ball, their line blocked and they're fun to watch. They're going to do some damage."
Streveler (307 passing yards, 101 rushing yards) rushed for two touchdowns and connected with Greg Walczak (5 catches, 156 yards) for a pair of scores.
"Our offensive line did a great job of blocking. That makes it easier with open lanes and a lot of time," Streveler said. "I thought our guys caught the ball well too and when I have all that time to throw the ball good things should happen."
Marmion (1-3, 0-2) answered a 3-and-out opening drive with a 12-play scoring drive. The Cadets jumped ahead 7-0 with 5:58 in the first quarter when quarterback Brock Krueger connected with Tyler Eberth (8 catches, 44 yards) for a 6-yard touchdown.
It was a good start for the Cadets, but they wouldn't score again, despite converting 18 first downs and rushing for more than 200 yards.
"Brock played well but we didn't give him much time which is unfortunate," Thorpe said. "We tried to pop Jordan Glasgow (20 carries, 91 yards) a couple times, and we had some wrinkles but they adjusted to our wrinkles."
Some credit certainly has to be given to the Marian Central defense, which gave Krueger very little time and had 12 tackles overall for losses.
"We knew they liked to run the ball and I started picking up some of their tendencies on running plays," Marian defensive lineman Liam Kirwin said. "I had a pretty good idea of when I could get a good pass rush and such."
Marian (4-0, 2-0) scored on three consecutive possessions in the opening quarter to take a 21-7 lead and extended it to 27-7 before halftime on Streveler's 5-yard run.
The Cadets have now lost 3 of their first 4 games for the first time since 2003 and their schedule doesn't get any easier with a road game at Montini next Friday.
"From November until now we've been preaching that it's a tough league," Thorpe said. "That's why in the weight room we always say 'One more rep for Marian' and 'One more rep for Montini' and for St. Francis and Aurora Christian and so on.
"What I know is these kids are going to fight every time they get on the field and they'll be back here on Monday for practice ready to go."