High energy fueled the Marian Central Hurricanes on opening night of their 2017 football season with a 33-25 win at home over Oak Creek.
Head coach Mike Maloney said the biggest change to his team from last year is the number of veteran leaders on the roster.
The ’Canes had a slow start to their offensive game in the first quarter but also held the Knights of Oak Creek, Wis., scoreless. The Knights were first on the board with a field goal early in the second quarter.
After back-to-back false starts on the following drive, senior quarterback Gavin Scott rushed 20 yards for the first touchdown of the game, giving Marian a 7-3 lead.
Scott kept the football for three consecutive running plays, rushing 66 and seven yards, then into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown, bringing the Hurricanes to a 14-3 lead with 4:05 left in the half.
“The fast-tempo, high-momentum offense really works for us,” Scott said.
Oak Creek fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the ’Canes great field position, setting up their third touchdown, a 13-yard pass from Scott to sophomore Patsy Ricciardi with 2:30 remaining in the half.
Another extra point would wrap up first-half scoring for the ’Canes. The Knights had a successful first touchdown just before the end of the half.
The third quarter started off with a familiar scene. Just 18 seconds in, Scott ran for a 62-yard touchdown. A failed extra point attempt, brought the ’Canes to a 27-10 lead.
The ’Canes added one field goal in the third and another in the fourth. Oak Creek upped its offensive game through the second half, delivering two more touchdowns, one extra point and a two-point conversion, but Marian couldn’t be caught. The final score was 33-25 Hurricanes.
Maloney said his team could have improved on a lot despite the win.
“We left some points on the board. From an execution standpoint on offense, I think we have much to improve on. And that’s good, to have scored 33 points.”
Scott finished with 234 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown.
“The line was doing well all game, they did a lot of good out there. It wasn’t all me. I was just running through the holes,” Scott said.
“Defense played lights out with the exception of three or four plays, but in our league, three or four plays are the difference in a season,” Maloney said. “So we’ve got to get those coverages cleaned up.”
The Hurricanes are away for their next two games. They will travel to Columbus, Wisc. Sept. 1 to face non-conference rival Cardinals. Marian will return home Sept. 15 to battle Marist.