Marmion junior Matt Lally doesn't get the opportunity to catch many passes, but the one he caught Friday night set the tone for the Cadets' 38-6 victory over St. Edward.
Facing a fourth and two from their own 37-yard line with just under eight minutes left in the first quarter, the Cadets lined up to punt the ball, but the ball was hiked to the up-back Dan DiBartolo who tossed an 8-yard pass into the hand of Lally.
When Lally turned around, there were no defenders within 10 yards of the junior, so he darted down the sideline to the 18-yard line. Fellow junior Cody Snodgrass took it into the end zone from the 15-yard line two plays later and the Cadets never looked back.
"On tape we saw that their linebacker was very aggressive and liked to come up," Lally said. "I didn't think I would be that wide open. I looked ahead and it was a great feeling."
Marmion head coach Dan Thorpe indicated that the strategy came from watching film.
"We worked on that fake punt all week and I thought that set the tone," Thorpe said. "We saw on film that we thought we could do that. You can draw it up all you want, but the kids have to execute."
The Cadets (2-2, 1-1) made it 14-0 just before the first quarter ended when Tyler Boyd recovered a Green Wave fumble on the 5-yard line and quarterback Charlie Faunce tossed a 3-yard pass touchdown pass to Kyle Kozak three plays later.
St. Edward (3-1, 1-1) couldn't get anything going offensively, completing only 2 of their first 8 passes for a total of 10 yards, and the Cadets defensive coverage made 3 interceptions. A.J. Friedman intercepted Green Wave quarterback Bob French midway into the second quarter to give the Cadets the ball on the Green Wave 34-yard line. Snodgrass took the handoff up the middle and appeared stopped after a modest gain of six yards, but Snodgrass carried several defenders with him for another 20 yards down to the 8-yard line. Garrett Becker then put the Cadets up 21-0 with an 8-yard touchdown run.
Leading 24-0 to start the third quarter, the Cadets scored again when Faunce's pitch bounced on the ground, but landed right into the hands of Becker who ran 51 yards to the end zone to give Marmion a commanding 31-0 lead. The Cadets made it 38-0 on their next possession when backup quarterback DiBartolo went deep to Jake Ruddy for a 64-yard touchdown with 5:03 left in the third quarter.
St. Edward's lone score came on a 25-yard pass from French to Luke Duffy with just over five minutes left in the game.
"They manhandled us up front, so you're not going to win many games when you get manhandled," St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. "After the fake punt, it kind of snow balled from there with the turnovers. To beat a team like this, you have to pretty much play a perfect ballgame."