Marmion comes back to win in OT
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."