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St. Francis coach Greg Purnell's anger was evident.
"No pass rush, no pass coverage," the St. Francis coach said. "You can't give a team as good as Marian Central a 12-0 lead and three plays over 50 yards. We didn't play well enough to win."
Purnell watched helplessly as Marian Central junior quarterback Bill Bahl carved up the Spartans secondary for 287 yards and 3 touchdowns as the host Hurricanes edged the visiting Spartans 34-28 in Suburban Christian Blue play in Woodstock Friday night.
Scoring on its first drive of the game, Marian Central scored on a 21-yard pass from Bahl to Tom Klinger with 5:08 left in the first quarter.
The Hurricanes grabbed a 12-0 advantage on their first play of the second quarter when Ephraim Lee reached paydirt from 7 yards out with 11:55 to play before the half.
The Spartans (3-3, 0-3) finally got on track when James Butler scored from 2 yards out with 7:14 remaining. Ian Hart's extra-point kick made the score 12-7.
The Hurricanes took an 8-point lead into halftime when Charles Shin connected on a 25-yard field goal. Battling from behind all night, the Spartans tied the score at 28 when quarterback Zach Prociuk connected with Joseph Connelly for a 4-yard touchdown pass with 8:38 left in the game.
But the St. Francis defense, which allowed 416 yards of total offense, couldn't hold down the Hurricanes' vaunted offense.
Led by a 47-yard pass from Bahl to Brett Olson, the Hurricanes needed only 1:16 to march 78 yards on 4 plays capped by a 2-yard run by Chris Daniels to give Marian Central a 34-28 lead with 7:22 left. The Spartans' blocked Shin's extra-point attempt for a third time to keep the deficit at 6.
St. Francis didn't quit as it marched to the Marian Central 34-yard line. On fourth-and-15 Prociuk completed a 14-yard pass to Butler, coming up 1 yard short of the first down on the 20-yard line with 1:52 left.
"We showed a lot of character scoring that touchdown after St. Francis tied the score," said Marian Central coach Ed Brucker. "The offense came up with some big plays."
Butler rushed for 115 yards on 22 carries with 2 TDs. He caught 5 passes for 60 yards and threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Hanson.