Records can be deceiving.
Scoring on all 5 of its first-half possessions, Marmion built a commanding 35-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 41-7 Suburban Christian Conference crossover victory over visiting Aurora Central Catholic Friday night at Fichtel Field in Aurora.
With the win, the playing-for-pride Class 6A Cadets improved to 3-5 overall and 3-3 in the SCC Blue, while the Class 4A playoff-bound Chargers slipped to 6-2, 4-2 in the SCC Gold.
"I'm just really proud of our seniors in regard to not tanking it," said Marmion coach Dan Thorpe. "Knowing their season was over two weeks ago and then coming out with pride against St. Francis (a 14-6 win) and doing it again tonight. We wanted to be more efficient offensively because we thought we should've scored more against St. Francis."
The Cadets followed the wishes of their head coach, putting together first-half scoring drives of 73, 67, 44, 50, and 67 yards, respectively.
Marmion took the opening kickoff and needed just 7 plays and a little more than 2 minutes to grab the lead for good. Jake Ruddy (5 carries, 53 yards) capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run.
After the defense forced a 3-and-out series, the Cadets made it 14-0 when junior quarterback Brock Krueger (6-of-8, 118 yards) lofted a 40-yard TD pass over a pair of ACC defenders and into the arms of Seth Sevenich (4 catches, 79 yards) in the back of the end zone.
"Seth made a great catch," said Thorpe. "Brock stayed with the play and avoided the rush, and Seth did the scramble drill -- that's just backyard football."
Marmion extended its first-quarter lead to 21-0 in unconventional fashion, as 6-3, 230-pound offensive lineman Matt Smith recovered a Ruddy fumble in the end zone.
Midway through the second quarter, Krueger scrambled to his right before taking off on a 6-yard TD run to make it 28-0.
Jordan Glasgow's 1-yard TD run with 52.3 seconds left in the second quarter capped the first-half scoring. Marmion outgained ACC by a staggering 329-50 margin throughout the first 24 minutes.
"Defending the edge was a question mark for us coming into the game," said Chargers coach Brian Casey. "You can make the claim that we haven't seen a team like this (Marmion). They were able to get to the edge and that caused problems."
The Cadets also scored on their first possession of the second half, as Krueger teamed up with Sevenich for a 3-yard TD pass and a 41-0 lead -- and by rule, forcing a running clock the rest of the way.
"The offensive line did a great job of giving us time and the receivers did a great job," said Krueger, who shared playing time with senior Charlie Faunce (3-of-4, 56 yards). "We didn't have any drops."
"I've said all along that we're a nice team," said Thorpe. "We did a lot of things well tonight. We ran the ball, we threw the ball, and I was very happy with our defense. We had a great week of practice."
ACC, which clinched its first playoff berth since 1997 by beating Guerin last week, snapped the Cadets' shutout bid when Drake Riedy scored on a 2-yard keeper with 5:45 remaining.
"Their speed defensively was a huge plus," said Casey. "That's a fast defense. And when you get behind like we did, it's difficult to come back from, especially when you haven't been in that situation a lot."
Marmion has now won 8 of its last 9 games over the Chargers dating back to 2002.