Marmion becomes playoff-eligible after crossover win over St. Viator
Major Haas played more like a five-star general for Marmion Friday night.
Haas, who earlier stopped St. Viator cold with a first-and-goal fumble recovery at the goal line, did even more damage on the offensive side.
Lined up in the slot, Haas, the Cadets' tailback, made a sensational catch to complete a 22-yard scoring reception from quarterback Padraig Fitzgerald.
The Marmion defense did the rest as St. Viator was repeatedly sabotaged by the poor field conditions that added an extra layer of intrigue to the schools' Catholic League/ESCC crossover contest.
But the Cadets are now playoff-eligible with their 14-10 victory in Aurora.
"I saw the ball up there, and I was like, 'I have go get there,'" Haas said. "Somehow I did. I just put my hands out and the ball landed in there."
St. Viator had a 10-point unanswered run to take the lead as the Lions also sought to earn a potential playoff berth after winning a mere game last season.
The Lions (4-3) took the second-half kickoff and drove 77 yards in 7 plays. P.J. Scales made a brilliant improvisation on a fourth-down, do-or-die play to haul in a 34-yard scoring strike from Jack Ziebka.
"P.J. is a great athlete and moves in space," St. Viator coach Dave Archibald said.
Eric Adams' interception for St. Viator halted any hopes the Cadets (5-2) had of quickly regaining the lead.
St. Viator was seemingly on the cusp of scoring a second consecutive touchdown, but a poor center-quarterback exchange resulted in a fumble that Haas recovered at the Cadets' 1-yard line.
On the previous play, St. Viator lost Ziebka to what Archibald termed, "a very serious injury."
The Lions regained the lead one possession later after regaining the ball at the Marmion 15-yard line as the Cadets were forced to punt deep in their own end zone.
Giuseppe Maffei knuckle-balled a 27-yard field goal to give the Lions their first lead of the game.
But Marmion struck back on its ensuing possession.
The key play of the drive was Fitzgerald scrambling 15 yards on a 3rd-and-8 run.
The distance was subsequently doubled when St. Viator was cited for a major face mask foul.
Two plays later, Haas, who broke a scoreless first-half tie with a 10-yard sweep around left end, captured the improbable go-ahead pass from Fitzgerald with six minutes and 13 seconds to play.
Marmion forced punts on the two straight St. Viator drives, and the Cadets iced the game by recovering a muffed punt with a minute-plus to play.