Marian struggles with loss of starters to injuries

The Marian Central Catholic High School football team lost 42-20 Sept. 15 to East Suburban Catholic Conference opponent Marist High School (4-0 overall; 2-0 ESCC).

Without four starters, Marian struggled to keep pace with the competitive, Redhawks who scored 28 points in the first quarter.

“We try to pride ourselves on a certain brand of football,” said Marian head coach Mike Maloney. “We talked about being relentless and having resolve about ourselves, and I think that we showed that. Today it wasn’t about points. It was all about pride, and we won in the pride category.”

Senior quarterback A.J. Golembiewski (23-31-1) led the Hurricanes, with senior receiver Jacob Potthoff (7-103) and junior Bryce Radcliffe (10-124) pulling in Marian’s three second-half touchdowns.

Marian’s first touchdown of the game, an 80-yard play from Golembiewski to Potthoff, came just 19 seconds into the third quarter. Senior Matthew Darbo’s kick was good to secure an extra point.

“We wanted to spark the second half,” said Potthoff. “We did not want to get shut out at home. We take a lot of pride when we play at home at George Harding Field.”

Potthoff gave credit to Marian’s defensive and offensive lines for the momentum in the second half.

“Our offensive line played a great game, especially on the screen.  We had two guys get pancakes,” added Potthoff. “I couldn’t thank them enough on the sideline, because I didn’t get in the end zone without those guys making those blocks.”

On defense, senior Kevin Herbst made the Hurricanes’ next touchdown possible. With under eight minutes to play, Herbst recovered a fumble, setting up a Marian first down at the 26-yard line. A 22-yard toss from Golembiewski to Radcliffe completed the successful drive. Although Marian’s attempt at a two-point conversion failed, they were able to regain control of the ball and score again with three minutes to play.

“I was in the right place at the right time,” said Herbst. “At that point our goal was to win the second half. It was an opportunity to learn and get better as a team.”

Senior tight end Sam Limbaugh had two catches for 20 yards. Sophomore running back Luke Rogers had 15 carries for 39 yards.

Maloney is hopeful injuries will be less of a factor as ESCC action picks up over the next few weeks. He remains positive about his team’s potential, particularly due to senior leadership.

“I’ve given everything I can as a leader emotionally, physically and spiritually, and I’m getting that in return. That buy-in by the most impactful individuals on the team is a positive thing,” said Maloney. “We’ll build from there.”

Marian (2-2 overall; 0-2 ESCC) will hit the road to play Joliet Catholic Academy (1-3; 0-2 ESCC) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22. The ’Canes will host St. Viator (2-2; 1-1 ESCC) for homecoming at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29.

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