Marian football passes first playoff test
The Wauconda Bulldogs (5-5) came out hard against Marian Central Oct. 26, but the Hurricane defense ultimately limited the Bulldogs to just one touchdown to Marian’s six to secure a 42-10 first-round win. The outcome advances Class 5A No. 2-seed Marian (10-0) to host Woodstock North at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.
“You have to give them [Wauc-onda] credit,” said head coach Ed Brucker. “They had some big linemen that rushed pretty well.”
The Marian Central defensive unit managed to hold fast against the Bulldogs, who came out firing in the first quarter. A sack by junior Thomas Lesniewski helped the Hurricane defense slow the Bulldogs offensive effort started by a 51-yard pass completion. The Hurricanes turned over the ball on their next possession, but the defense stepped up again with senior Tyler Hickey disrupting a 20-yard pass and senior Nick Bloom making a tackle for a loss of three yards. The strong defense limited the Bulldogs to a field goal.
“We take pride in shutouts and we struggled in the first half,” said Hickey, who was irked by even the few points Wauconda put on the board.
Marian’s offensive barrage did not begin in earnest until the second quarter. The Hurricanes went on a 10-play drive netting four first downs to score their first touchdown. That score was followed by a 66-yard completion for a touchdown from Streveler (12-18-193) to senior Greg Walczak. Walczak would go on to lead the Hurricanes in receptions with three total for 94 yards.
Wauconda punched in a touchdown with 1:33 left in the first half to make the score 12-10.
On the first play of the following possession, Streveler matched Walczak’s run with a 65-yard scamper into the endzone to help Marian pull ahead 19-10. Senior Trent Faunce lengthened the lead to 22-10 with a 34-yard field goal heading into halftime.
The Hurricanes scored on touchdowns by junior Ephraim Lee (18 carries for 105 yards) and Streveler in the third quarter. Streveler’s 12-yard touchdown completion to junior Tom Klinger with a kick by sophomore Charles Shin with 5:59 left in the game combined with a 40-yard interception by junior defensive back Dylan Fortin put the clamp on the victory for Marian.
Brucker said he looks forward to getting the ‘Canes back on the practice field to tune up for round two of Class 5A play.
“It wasn’t our best game on offense or defense, but we battled,” said Brucker. “We need to prepare and pay attention to the details next week. We have to get better.”
Kickoff against seventh-seeded North (7-3) at Marian is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. North won easily on Saturday night 68-20 over 10th-seeded Sterling High School.