Loyola tops Brother Rice in CCL/ESCC Blue opener
After the first four games of the high school football season, the Loyola Ramblers are averaging 49 points and allowing 15.5.
That spells a 4-0 record, and the No. 1 ranking in The Associated Press Class 8A poll.
Coach John Holecek's squad boosted that offensive average last week with a 57-21 win over Brother Rice at Hoerster Field in Wilmette.
That gave the Ramblers their first win in the CCL/ESCC Blue conference, which will resume for Loyola Sept. 30 at Marist.
Loyola's final conference game comes Oct. 22, the last day of the regular season, hosting Mt. Carmel, considered the top team in the state.
Coming off his 5-touchdown pass performance against St. Rita, Loyola senior quarterback Jake Stearney threw 4 more touchdown passes against Brother Rice.
A pair of 48-yard touchdown strikes to receiver Declan Forde and another to tight end Jack Parker helped Loyola build a 28-7 lead late in the second quarter. Brother Rice made it 21-14 with a minute left before halftime on Ryan Hartz's 29-yard touchdown pass to Owen Gorman.
That scoring combination worked again for the Crusaders in the third quarter, but by then Loyola led 42-21 on Will Nimesheim's 16-yard touchdown run and Forde's third touchdown catch of the day, a 33-yarder from Stearney, who completed 16 of 28 passes for 286 yards.
Loyola ended its scoring in the fourth quarter on Luke Collins' 15-yard touchdown pass to Danny Herbert, with Athan Chiampas adding the kick.
Forde caught 5 passes for 155 yards and his 3 touchdowns, while Nimesheim ran the football 14 times for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns. Drew MacPherson ran for 70 yards with an 8-yard touchdown run.
Loyola gained 30 first downs and 553 yards of offense.
Loyola hosts CCL/ESCC crossover foe Fenwick at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Hoerster Field. The Friars (2-2) got surprised by Oak Park in their opener, but come off a 33-15 win at De La Salle.