Christian Liberty battles against one of state's best
Christian Liberty Academy senior Alex Glynn has participated in some big victories in addition to some challenging losses in his 4 years on varsity.
The first half of Saturday's game against visiting Ottawa Marquette won't go down as one of the high points, but Glynn was able to put the loss to one of the state's better teams in perspective.
Marquette, which won 11 consecutive games without a defeat in 2012 until a tough 35-34 loss to Forreston in the second round of the IHSA Class 1A playoffs, scored all 7 of their touchdowns in the first two quarters in a 48-0 win over the Chargers.
Glynn, who was all over the field for Christian Liberty in the loss, preferred to focus on the second half when the Chargers held Marquette (2-0, 2-0) scoreless and allowed the Crusaders only 23 yards on offense.
"They're definitely the best team in the (Northeastern Athletic) conference," said Glynn, "Now we've got a benchmark, and we know what we have to do to improve the rest of the season."
"We had some goals we wanted to accomplish in this game, and we achieved a couple of them, such as picking up our defense and shutting them out in the second half. We got some needed experience and hopefully next time out we can give our opponent a better game."
Glynn rushed 13 times for 36 difficult yards against the staunch Crusaders defense in addition to catching 2 passes for 25 yards.
Coach Jim Calkins of the Chargers (0-2, 0-2) knows how important the senior leadership of Glynn and 6-foot-3, 265-pound two-way lineman Aaron Cunningham is on both sides of the ball.
"Alex is a great team player, he's fast, and once he finds a hole he really takes off," said Calkins. "And Aaron has the big body and he's very athletic.
"He (Cunningham) is our only real two-gap player. He faces double teams in almost every game and he's usually able to fight through them. Aaron's had some back problems but if he can stay healthy he's going to have a fantastic season."
Marquette senior halfback Tyler Verona led the Crusaders on offense with a 55-yard touchdown catch and a 25-yard TD run, while classmate Dalton Morris led the defensive effort with 2 of their 4 interceptions.
Chargers quarterback Gabe Grob completed 5 passes for 61 yards and junior Jack McMahon made 2 receptions for 20 yards. Glynn from his linebacker position, combined with Cunningham, Caleb Graham, Jaime Olds and Jimmy Calkins to help lead the second-half defensive resurgence.
"We got some good reps in today, and that'll help us for the rest of the season," coach Calkins said. "We knew it was going to be a difficult task today but we did reach some team goals and it was great to see the enthusiasm on defense in the second half."
"We came out in the second half with the mindset that it was a 0-0 game," Cunningham said. "Now that we've seen one of the best teams in the area, we have a better idea of what we have to do to win."
"We're looking now to get at least 4 or 5 wins on the season, and we want to be the team that's on the winning side of a shutout."