During baseball season, Brandon McPherson is highly regarded as Marmion's ace starting pitcher.
On the football field, McPherson proved that he is quite the closer Friday night.
The 6-2, 225-pound senior quarterback completed 19 of 33 passes for 317 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead the Cadets (4-0) to a come-from-behind, 34-31 Chicago Catholic League crossover victory in overtime over Bishop McNamara (1-3) at Fichtel Field in Aurora.
Two of McPherson's last three pass attempts found receivers in the end zone -- including a clutch 16-yard TD toss to Jake Molenhouse (7 receptions, 107 yards, 2 TDs) on 4th-and-goal from the 16 with 12.4 seconds remaining in regulation that tied the game at 28-28.
"I didn't see much," said McPherson. "I just had faith in my receiver (Molenhouse). He told me to look at the back side (of the end zone). I saw he had a little bit of an opening. I threw it up and I trusted him to come down with it. It was a great catch."
After the Fightin' Irish took a 31-28 lead on Preston Lade's 21-yard field goal in overtime, the Cadets answered on McPherson's 10-yard TD strike to Zach Urwiler for the game-winning score.
"They had been in man all night so we ran a simple crossing route," said Urwiler. "I flashed open and the ball came to me low. I was on the ground, I had the ball in my hands and all heck broke loose.
"It was an awesome way to win."
On the other side of the field, it was a disappointing loss for Bishop McNamara, which rallied from a 14-0 first-quarter deficit with 3 straight touchdowns to grab a 21-14 advantage,
"We were just a dollar short tonight," said Bishop McNamara coach Rich Zinanni. "Their quarterback (McPherson) is good and they're well-coached. He drilled some balls in there but the touchdown pass at the end -- we absolutely gave it to them."
Marmion struck early, scoring touchdowns on its first two offensive possessions.
Urwiler capped a 7-play, 64-yard drive with a 3-yard TD run for a 7-0 lead before McPherson connected with Molenhouse for an 18-yard TD pass as the Cadets extended their margin to 14-0.
Bishop McNamara got on the board on a 3-yard TD run by Tyshon King (15 carries, 91 yards) with 1:10 remaining before halftime.
King's 1-yard TD run tied it at 14-14 midway through the third quarter before King connected with Payton Gerberding (5 catches, 201 yards) on an 86-yard TD strike to put the Fightin' Irish on top 21-14.
Marmion retaliated with a big play of its own as McPherson fired an 83-yard TD pass to Peter Ferraro to tie the game at 21-21 after 3 quarters, setting the stage for a wild final 12 minutes -- plus overtime.
"In 13 years, it's my first overtime win," said Cadets coach Dan Thorpe. "It's my first overtime game in 13 years. We'll take it."