Even with one of its two Division-I running backs sidelined, Springfield Sacred-Heart Griffin was too tough.
The Cyclones' other college-bound tailback, Brian Adams, rushed for more than 200 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Cyclones downed Marmion Academy, 45-14, in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs Saturday.
Marmion couldn't get anything going in the first half on muddy Fichtel Field in Aurora. The Cadets totaled just 62 yards in the first half. Their offense finally got untracked after intermission with tailback Zach Urwiler accounting for a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.
SHG raced to a 24-0 lead after 1 quarter. The Cyclones scored long touchdowns on back-to-back offensive plays, and only a shoestring tackle saved a third. The Cyclones scored 2 plays later.
"We came out and moved the ball in a lot of our games, and we weren't able to move the ball," said Marmion coach Dan Thorpe. "In this slop, it's so important to get up early."
But it was the Cyclones (9-2) who struck quickly. Their first drive stalled because of penalties and they settled for Kyle Eguez's field goal. On their next play, Sam Sweetland found Spencer Redd for a 60-yard touchdown.
Marmion (6-5) couldn't move, and the Cyclones got the ball back at midfield. On their first snap, Sweetland handed to Adams, who raced straight ahead for the score.
Sacred Heart got the ball back on the first of Charlie Hamilton's 2 interceptions. On the next play, Sweetland hit Redd again. Redd wove through traffic and broke free before being caught from behind at the 11. Two plays later, Sweetland ran it in and the Cyclones led 24-0.
Southern Illinois-bound Tremayne Lee tweaked a groin injury in practice and was held out as a precaution. Adams, bound for Illinois State, had one of the best days of his life, racking up 259 yards on the ground. He added touchdowns of 94 and 26 yards.
Redd finished with 3 catches for 169 yards for SHG, which will play Nazareth in next week's quarterfinals.
Marmion never got its ground game untracked, totaling just 31 yards. Urwiler gained 1 yard on 4 carries, but scored a touchdown. He also hauled in 6 passes for 100 yards and another score.
"You can't say enough about our defense," said SHG coach Ken Leonard. "My goodness, we just shut them down."
It was a disappointing end to high school careers for Marmion's seniors, whose positive attitude carried the team at times.
"I've never been around a team in 36 years that had such confidence," Thorpe said. "Even when they were down 14 points many times this season, they just believed they were coming back and, darn, they did come back."