Marmion's bend-but-not-break defense was the difference in the Cadets' 21-7 win over Guerin Prep at Holy Cross Field in River Grove Saturday afternoon.
The Cadets now have their future in their hands when they take on Marian Central next Friday night. Marmion improved to 5-3 and Guerin dropped to 4-4 in the Suburban Christian crossover contest.
Marmion's defense led by Charlie Clohecy, Fred d'Escoto, Jake Ruddy who also starred on offense Mike Eberth, Blake Mickey, and Dan Wedge shut down Guerin's quick strike offense.
"Come October and November, you're going to have games with this type of wind conditions," said Marion coach Dan Thorpe. "I think it hurt Guerin's offensive production. They can put points on the board."
The Cadets defense limited the Gators to just 144 yards of offense. Half of Guerin's offense came on their last drive of the game when the Gators drove 72 yards to score on quarterback Tom Kelly's 1-yard plunge with :22 left in the game.
"It's nice to have a little momentum going into next week's game with Marian Central," said d'Escoto. "We played tough today. They got one on us at the end of the game but our defense was really good."
Leading 7-0 after Ruddy's 14-yard run with 5:43 left in the second quarter, d'Escoto helped the Cadets to a 14-0 lead.
d'Escoto intercepted Kelly's pass at the Gators' 40-yard line and returned it for a touchdown with 5:07 left in the third quarter.
"We were in double coverage and the ball was there," said d'Escoto. "I had some great blocking on the return."
The touchdown really stung Guerin because one play later the Gators had recovered a fumble at their 25-yard line.
"Marmion knows how to take advantage of turnovers," said Guerin coach Tony Pecoraro. "The interception really hurt us. I thought our defense was just as good as theirs today."
Another key plays was that a roughing the punter call on Guerin that gave the Cadets new life with a first down at Guerin's 45. Several plays later Ruddy (15 carries, 126 yards) scored for a 7-0 lead.
Victor Roza would cap the Cadets' final score on an 81-yard drive late in the fourth quarter with an 8-yard run with 1:50 left.
Marmion finished with 248 yards of offense.
"A lot of teams are banged up at this time of the year," said Thorpe. "We're hoping to get people back for next week. We'll enjoy this one today and then get to practice tomorrow at 3 p.m."