Rockford Boylan overpowers Marmion
Rockford Boylan set the tone early during Saturday's Class 5A second-round playoff football game against Marmion.
Scoring on their first two offensive possessions, the Titans built a 12-0 first-quarter lead while thoroughly dominating play.
While running 22 offensive plays to Marmion's 3, Rockford Boylan outgained the Cadets by a staggering 138-16 through the first 12 minutes.
Things didn't get a whole lot better the rest of the way for the upset-minded Cadets (7-4) during their 38-6 season-ending loss to the 2nd-seeded Titans (11-0) at Fichtel Field in Aurora.
"Hats off to Boylan," said Marmion coach Dan Thorpe. "They ran the ball, they passed the ball. The game is still pretty simple if you can run the ball and if you can stop the run. They made us pretty one-dimensional."
Rockford Boylan unleashed its multi-pronged offensive backfield and effectively wore down the Cadets' defense.
Running backs Xavier Bryant, Tristen Gile, Erik Goodloe and DeTreyvion Malone, and quarterback John Starck helped the Titans rack up 315 yards on the ground and 5 rushing touchdowns.
Bryant, whose 23-yard TD run made it 18-0 with 9:37 left in the first half, led the way with 123 yards on just 7 carries.
"We had kids right there to make the plays and they ran through the tackles," said Thorpe. "It was their physicality. Their offensive linemen were big. We were hoping they would run more spread but (Titans) Coach John (Cacciatore) saw that they could play power football against us."
Marmion's lone touchdown came on an 84-yard pass play from junior quarterback Padraig Fitzgerald (14 of 31, 191 yards) to junior receiver Jack Scales that narrowed the gap to 18-6 midway through the second quarter.
"Paddy gave me a great ball -- put it perfectly where it needed to be," said Scales, who caught 5 passes for 113 yards. "Their defender hit me but I slipped the tackle and kept going down the sideline."
Following a scoreless third quarter, the Titans sealed the deal with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, highlighted by Jacob Sciame's 61-yard interception return for a score.
Chase Dixon, Daniel Contreras and Mike Way also added interceptions for Rockford Boylan, which limited the Cadets to 14 rushing yards.
"I thought we executed really well, especially in the first half," said Cacciatore, whose team will face Sycamore in next weekend's state quarterfinals.
Rockford Boylan finished with 377 yards of total offense.
"Thinking about it defensively, when a team can run and pass, that's when you have the most sleepless nights," said Cacciatore.
Linebackers Major Haas and Max Lambert provided bright spots for the Cadets with second-half fumble recoveries.
"We had to play a perfect game," said Thorpe. "It wasn't so much us -- it was them."
Coming off a 3-6 regular-season finish last season, the Cadets' longtime head coach was pleased with his team's turnaround in 2019.
"If you had told me we would be in round two of the state playoffs -- I'll never forget 2019," said Thorpe. "It's hard to be down because we never thought that we'd be here. It's just a credit to our senior leadership and our juniors and sophomore buying in."