Football: Loyola easily handles Plainfield South, setting up long trip
The Loyola Ramblers put the game away in the first quarter of their Class 8A first-round playoff football game.
No. 6 seed Loyola scored 35 first-quarter points against No. 27 Plainfield South on the way to a 42-7 victory at Hoerster Field in Wilmette Oct. 29.
Loyola (9-1) makes the long trip for its second-round contest at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at No. 22 Edwardsville (7-3), a 43-36 winner over No. 11 O'Fallon.
It might have been a costly victory, though, as Ramblers starting running back Will Nimesheim didn't return after a first-quarter knee injury, having run 6 times for 30 yards.
The margin over Plainfield South did allow Loyola coach John Holecek to give other players important reps, which now may become more important.
Luke Foster ran for 32 yards with 2 touchdowns, Ryan Craddock ran for 31 yards and a touchdown, and Peter Hogan ran for 28 yards in relief of Nimesheim.
Senior quarterback Luke Collins came in for starter Jake Stearney while still in the first quarter and completed a crisp 6-of-7 passes for 115 yards and a 59-yard touchdown pass to Quinn Foley, Foley's sole reception.
Stearney rested after completing 7-of-8 passes for 79 yards and a 6-yard touchdown pass to Corey Larson to open the scoring at 9:10 of the first quarter.
Nine seconds later at 9:01 Johnny McGuire returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown and the Ramblers were off and running.
Scoring 5 first-quarter touchdowns, Loyola clinched a running clock for the entire second half when Craddock scored from 1 yard out to make the score 42-0 at halftime.
Plainfield South (6-4) scored in the fourth quarter on a 21-yard pass to Brian Stanton from Connor Folliard.
Loyola, which averaged 7.4 yards a play on offense, allowed a net 62 yards rushing and 125 total, as Plainfield South earned 6 first downs. The Ramblers forced 7 punts.
Loyola has met Edwardsville once before in the playoffs, a 17-10 Ramblers victory in the 2017 Class 8A semifinals. Loyola went on to lose the 2017 championship game 23-14 to Lincoln-Way East.