Marian Central lost more than a game Friday at Benet.
Worse than the 27-0 shutout at the hands of the Redwings was a long list of Hurricanes injuries, starting with quarterback Gavin Scott and running back Brian Niemaszek. Both suffered knee injuries, although Marian coach Mike Maloney was not sure to what extent as of Saturday.
Backup quarterback Patsy Ricciardi (pectoral muscle) and right tackle Jayden Thiergood (ankle) also went out with injuries. When Ricciardi, a sophomore receiver, was hurt, it meant receiver A.J. Golembiewski had to step in at quarterback.
“A.J. hadn’t taken a snap in a year and a half,” Maloney said.
Now, the 2-1 Hurricanes face defending East Suburban Catholic Conference champion Marist (3-0) with several key players who may not be available.
“They have six Division I kids on the team,” Maloney said. “You don’t expect to be down three or four starters in Week 4. We don’t know if they’re out or not. We have to shuffle personnel around. It’s a chain reaction. We’re still trying to figure things out.”
If Golembiewski is at quarterback, they have to find receivers to replace him and Ricciardi. Thiergood likely is out, so defensive end Pat Kelly will step over to the offensive line but will have to be replaced on defense.
Scott was the area’s third-leading rusher with 319 yards heading into Week 3. Maloney said the play was not dirty, as Scott was hit by a middle linebacker whose knee landed on the back of Scott’s knee. Niemaszek took a knee-to-knee hit from a safety while he was finishing a run. Both were on crutches before halftime. Luke Rogers took over at running back.
These could be crucial blows for Marian, which is No. 4 in Class 5A and has its sights on making a deep playoff run. The Hurricanes advanced to the quarterfinals last season and return a majority of their starters.
Maloney will know more Monday when Scott and Niemaszek will be evaluated.
Tigers’ tough times: Crystal Lake Central coach Jon McLaughlin had to cancel the Tigers’ junior varsity game Saturday for the second week in a row. McLaughlin said because of injuries and sickness, and his team’s small junior class, it was too difficult to field a JV team.
“We have kids who have gotten injured, kids who were sick last week,” McLaughlin said. “We have a small junior class, so the combination of all that makes it hard. Last year, we pulled up six or seven freshmen for sophomore games. It was tough to field a team.”
The FVC switched from five levels to four this season – varsity, junior varsity, freshman-sophomore A and freshman-sophomore B, hoping it would give teams that are fighting numbers problems more flexibility to fill those four games.
McLaughlin emailed parents last week to notify them of the situation. Ten JV players missed practice Wednesday, causing him to make the decision. He told the parents he was discussing with Central administrators whether to keep trying to play JV games or eliminate them this season.
“It’s probably going to be ongoing,” he said. “It’s just the situation we’re in right now.”
Gators’ QB situation: Crystal Lake South coach Rob Fontana started senior Dylan Rhoades at quarterback Friday in the Gators’ 56-28 loss to Jacobs. In the second half, Fontana went with sophomore Ian Gorken, who started the first two games.
Rhoades completed 11 of 18 passes for 107 yards and two first-half touchdowns. Gorken was 5 of 8 for 43 yards and rushed six times for 40 yards. Rhoades had sparked a comeback in the previous game, a 34-29 loss to Central.
“Ian does certain things that catch the eye,” said Fontana, whose team is 0-3. “He’s very quick – he’s shifty – and I think the game’s starting to slow down a little bit for him. It was good to see him play football and have a smile on his face.”
Quarter century of broadcasts: Former Marian Central athletic director and coach Hans Rokus and Scott Padjen are celebrating their 25th year of broadcasting high school sporting events this year with WHIW 101.3 FM in Harvard.
Rokus and Padjen used to do football games on WMCW and through the years have moved over to Internet broadcasts, now available at whiwharvard.com. Rokus was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in the spring as a friend of basketball.