WOODSTOCK – Marian Central’s Steve Wember remains friends with several Crystal Lake South players from his days in the Crystal Lake Raiders’ youth program.
That does not mean, however, that Wember was about to cut any of his old buddies a break in the season opener.
“Our goal was to never let South score a point against us for the last three years,” the Hurricanes senior linebacker said. “We had to deliver this year and we did pretty well.”
The defense allowed the Gators 126 total yards and set the offense up with a prime second-half scoring opportunity as Marian, which is tied for No. 10 in The Associated Press Class 5A poll, defeated South, 32-0, Saturday at George Harding Field.
Marian (1-0) led 13-0 with 9:31 remaining in the second quarter Friday when the game was suspended for lightning and thunder. The Gators (0-1) made their best scoring threat in the third quarter, moving to Marian’s 15, but defensive back Luke Tegtman knocked down Payton Minogue’s pass at the goal line on fourth down of that drive.
In South’s last three openers, all against the Hurricanes, it managed only two points on a bad punt snap.
“That’s a stat we’re very happy about,” linebacker Mike Hartlieb said. “I was pretty happy with the defense, only a few first downs. We put a lot of pressure on them. Our linebackers played well and our D-line controlled the line of scrimmage, that’s good to see.”
Hartlieb caught a deflected pass from Hurricanes quarterback Billy Bahl for an 11-yard touchdown Friday, then almost scored on defense Saturday afternoon when he picked off Minogue at the South 42.
“I just wanted to score, unfortunately I was a little short,” said Hartlieb, who was tackled at the 1. “But we gave the offense good field position.”
South running back Corey Sheehan finished with 96 yards on 20 carries, accounting for most of the Gators’ offense. Marian allowed the Gators five first downs.
“I liked our defense, our defense played well,” Hurricanes coach Ed Brucker said. “Offensively, we made a lot of mistakes, which is kind of opposite of what I thought we were going to have. I thought the offense would be fine.”
Brucker commended South’s defense, which sacked Bahl four times, with end Steve Anchor getting two. Running back Mike Velazquez had a 97-yard touchdown run and a 51-yard gain to finish with 188 yards on 12 carries.
Still, Gators coach Chuck Ahsmann saw encouraging signs.
“We played a lot harder and more physical today than we did last night,” Ahsmann said. “I did not feel like we came out yesterday like we came out today. They’re a heck of a football team. We need to work on sustaining drives. There were a couple things we just missed. We’re still a work in progress, we’ll get better.”
Marian Central RB Mike Velazquez ran 12 times for 188 yards and a 97-yard touchdown. He also had a run of 51 yards for the Hurricanes.
Marian's defense allowed South 19 total yards in the first half, at which point the Hurricanes led, 19-0.
Hurricanes LB Mike Hartlieb picked off a pass late in the third quarter and ran it from South's 42 to the 1 to set up another Marian touchdown.
Marian Central 32, Crystal Lake South 0
CL South 0 0 0 0 – 0
Marian Central 7 12 7 6 – 32
MC–Ruschke 17 pass from Bahl (Higgins kick), 3:48.
Second quarter MC–Hartlieb 11 pass from Bahl (kick failed), 10:55.
MC–Cabusao 4 run (pass failed), 2:15.
Third quarter MC–Peisert 1 run (Stoll kick), 0:46.
MC–Velazquez 97 run (kick failed), 8:52.
RUSHING–CL South: Sheehan 20-96, Weber 2-5, Bartusch 3-1, McSweeney 1-minus 2, Minogue 4-minus 10. Totals: 30-90. Marian Central: Velazquez 12-188, Peisert 9-28, Cabusao 12-13, Bahl 6-minus 20. Totals: 39-209. PASSING–CL South: Minogue 3-15-1-36. Marian Central: Bahl 10-17-0-122, Budmayr 1-2-0-11. RECEIVING–CL South: Sheehan 2-13, Buckner 1-19. Marian Central: Ruschke 5-58, Niemeyer 2-27, Bokowy2-26, Hartlieb 1-11, Rominski 1-11. TOTAL TEAM YARDS–CL South 126, Marian Central 342. Sophomore score: Marian Central 35, CL South 14.