Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010
By Steve Tucker
CHAMPAIGN -- Marmion senior running backdefensive back Nick Scoliere addressed his teammates on the field after the Class 6A title game about what I am going to remember in 20 years.
The Cadets started fast and were within eight at halftime, but four fumbles and two interceptions were critical as Marmion fell to Rockford Boylan 48-19 in the Class 6A championship Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
"Since last December, I wanted to be down here eating turkey on Thanksgiving, and we did," Scoliere said. "We knew this year could be special. We got close. We just didn't win it."
"I knew when these kids came from 21 points down to tie Class 5A winner Montini that they had heart," Marmion coach Dan Thorpe said. In the locker room at halftime, all the kids believed that good things can happen when you have athleticism and a little heart."
The Cadets (12-2) got the first break when Mike Shares recovered a fumble at his 20. They followed with a nine-play, 80 yard drive capped by a 13-yard scoring run by Stuart Quinn. The kick made it 7-0. Boylan (14-0) marched 77 yards and tied the game with 1:21 to play in the first quarter on a 21-yard run by Frank Cimino.
Marmion answered with a 74-yard drive capped by T.J. Lally's 16-yard scoring run.
But the Titans used turnovers to score three touchdowns in 2:58 on a 54-yard pass from Lamont Toney to Jaxon Meister, a 24-yard run by Tyreis Thomas and a one-yard run by Cimino to go up 27-13 with 4:10 to play in the half.
Marmion wasn't through though, the Cadets drove down and after lining up for a field goal, Boylan called a time out and Bobby Peters threw a seven-yard scoring pass to Scoliere on a fourth down and six.
Boylan wasn't through and drove inside the 10, but a bad snap on a field goal try ended the half with the Titans up 27-19.
T.J Lally finished with Class 6A title-game records of 13 solo and 18 total tackles. And despite losing three fumbles, he carries 18 times for 125 yards.
"We were pretty calm in the locker room," Lally said. "The offensive line was still getting holes for us and we usually had just one guy to beat, but their safety Chris Miller played well. I feel pretty honored that we were the first ones from Marmion to get here. I wish we would have won.
"I'm happy about the title game record for tackles. But it's tough to get to the state championship and probably have our worst game of the year on both sides. I just hope all of us remember just how amazing this has been. We worked hard and we almost lived the dream."
"I saw the heart that T.J. Lally plays with and want people to remember Marmion and for the players to stand proud," Thorpe said. "Nobody thought we'd be here. I felt good at the half. One of our mottos all year was, don't flinch.
In the second half, Boylan scored on a 38-yard run by Thomas (14 carries, 138 yards), a one-yard run by Miller and a 30-yard interception return by Tony Pinello.