WOODSTOCK – Lightning was a hot topic on the campus of Marian Central High School this week. On Friday night, though, the Marian Central football team created their own version of thunder and lightning.
As a lightning strike to the building caused the school to be closed for four days, the Hurricanes showed no side effects as they defeated Marian Catholic, 21-0.
“Our guys really persevered this week through a time where they really could given up with what happened, there are weeks when there are distractions, but our guys did a great job,” said Marian Central coach Darren Fortin.
THAT'S 12 STRAIGHT
The Central (3-0) defense continued its impressive start to the season by making it 12 straight quarters of shutout football in a commanding performance. The visiting Spartans could only muster 52 yards of total offense, this after scoring a combined 119 points in their first two games of the season.
“It feels amazing. We knew that this week was going to be a big challenge, but we prepared well, our guys knew what to do, we believe in our defense 100 percent”, said Central defensive back Harrison Stanko, who had an interception for the Hurricanes."
“The coaches tell us all the time that the defensive line is the engine of the team and if we can get pressure, then our defensive backs can do their job, so that’s our focus,” defensive lineman Brian Allen added.
The Central offense was electric on the ground and through the air. Hurricanes quarterback Brendan Hernon capped a 95-yard, five-play drive when he connected with Tom Novakoski with a 60-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
“We ran that play a lot this week in practice, I was excited when I got that play call. That score really set the tone,” said Hernon, who finished 7-of-14 passing for 128 yards and had 19 carries for 62 yards.
On its next series, Central took advantage of excellent field position deep in opposing territory. Hernon put the finishing touches on a 38-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0.
To start the second half, Central recovered the loose ball on the kickoff and quickly drove for another touchdown, with Hernon running in from 8-yards out. While Hernon finished the drives, the Spartans received a heavy dose of punishing runs from Central’s Luke Rogers. The senior running back carried the ball 28 times for 143 yards.
“We knew that we needed to establish the run this week, our offensive line was great and I see a lot more potential as the year goes on,” Rogers said.
Marian Catholic’s (2-1) offense had trouble finding rhythm, punting on six out of seven possessions. Tajheem Lawson led the Spartans in rushing with seven carries for 21 yards. Quarterback Randall Thomas III was 2-of-12 passing for 18 yards.
“We have six games left, we need to keep working together. Our guys have worked their tails off this off-season, we are going to get back to work tomorrow morning and get after it. We’ll bounce back,” said Marian Catholic coach Erick Middleton.
STAR OF THE GAME
Marian Central, so., QB
The sophomore quarterback threw for 128 yards and one touchdown on 7-of-14 passing. Hernon also had 19 carries for 62 yards and two touchdowns.
Marian Catholic 0 0 0 0- 0
Marian Central 14 0 7 0- 21
Central- Novakoski 60 pass from Hernon (Pomili kick), 6:53
Central- Hernon 3 run (Pomili kick), 0:01
Central- Hernon 8 run (Pomili kick), 9:49