Marian Central quarterback Gavin Scott started his first IHSA Class 5A playoff game of the 2016 postseason with back-to-back incomplete pass attempts against Chicago’s Payton College Prep Oct. 28.
With the passing game not creating an immediate spark, Scott tried the ground on third down, setting the pace for a dominant first quarter with a 61-yard touchdown run that set the tone for a 49-14 final score in favor of the Hurricanes.
That was far from Scott’s only rushing touchdown. It wasn’t even his longest of the day. He went on to score four rushing touchdowns, including a 75-yard sprint in the third quarter. Scott finished the game with 176 yards, and those four touchdowns, on only six rushing attempts.
Running back Brian Niemaszek ran for 61 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.
The sixth rushing touchdown was a 1-yard run by Patsy Ricciardi. The lone passing touchdown from Scott to Ricciardi went for 10 yards in the second quarter. Kicker Matt Darbo was 7-for-7 on point-after attempts.
The 49 points on offense allowed the ’Canes to move into the second round of the playoffs with confidence, and provided an opportunity for the second team offensive and defensive players to earn playoff experience.
“This was business as usual, just step one in a five-step process,” said Marian Central coach Mike Maloney, who was in high spirits after the game.
“The guys came out and took care of business. I am exceptionally proud of the seniors for leading this crew throughout the adverse scenarios we have faced. Our job now is to go 1-0 again this week.”
The Hurricanes also played well on defense, with the standout performance coming from junior linebacker Nick Tegtman who had two interceptions, both in the first half on consecutive possessions. The Hurricanes held Rich Central scoreless in the first half and gave up only 14 points in the second half.
Marian Central will host Hillcrest at George Harding Field at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 4.