||More Sports||Sign up||School Finder|
Marmion ball carrier, Jordan Glasgow runs the ball against Marian Central on Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media
This crosstown matchup may appear to be cut and dried. It’s not.
Defending IHSA Class 3A state champion Aurora Christian has the smallest school enrollment classification in the powerful Suburban Christian Blue at 513.5. Still, the Eagles (5-0, 3-0) look like favorites over 6A Marmion (1-4, 1-2) — at 1,692 — as they ride a 14-game winning streak into Friday’s matchup.
That’s a hard sell, though, to ACS coach Don Beebe.
“There are a lot of factors. Marmion is certainly one of the best 1-4 teams in the state of Illinois,” said the former NFL standout, who is well aware his team’s opponents are a combined 8-17 while the Cadets’ foes are 17-8.
“They’ve played some good football teams and just last week took a three-time defending state champ (Montini) to within 30-22 in a back-and-forth game. Secondly, (at 1-4) their backs are against the wall. Their season is over, playoff-wise, if they lose one more game.”
And while Beebe’s Eagles have three Northern Illinois recruits, WR Chad Beebe (39 receptions, 597 yards) is sidelined with a broken arm.
QB Ryan McQuade still has all-state receiver Cory Windle (13-224) available, and he can turn to those other Huskie recruits — RB-LB Joel Bouganon (362 yards rushing) and RB-DB Brandon Mayes (300 rushing).
“Cory had 1,300 yards receiving last year,” Beebe said. “And we’ve got Noah Roberts and Brandon Walgren at receiver who are ready to step up. Both have been injured this year but both are healthy for this week. Everybody, except Chad, is healthy.”
McQuade has the option to change plays at the line of scrimmage and will do so, depending on whether the defense is keyed to stopping the run or pass, said Beebe, who thinks his offense can do both.
“When you go against a defending state champ, you just want a chance to be at the door in the fourth quarter,” Marmion coach Dan Thorpe said. “We held (Montini) to nine points in the second half, last week, unfortunately we were down 21-7 at half.
“There are still no moral lessons, I’d rather have a victory. But I am starting to see some passion. Montini, in the fourth quarter, knew they were in a ball game.”
Aurora Christian’s diversity on offense and defense concerns the Cadets’ coach, whose offense has relied heavily on sophomore Jordan Glasgow (88 carries, 505 yards rushing) but needs some other options to step up.
“They’re very deserving of the No. 1 ranking in state (3A),” Thorpe said of the Eagles. “(Beebe’s) offense is pretty darn good even without (Chad Beebe). They still can run the ball and throw the ball. And they’ve got a tremendous kicker which means you’re going to be starting your drives on your own 20.”
This local rivalry doesn’t have much history. The teams have met only once before on the football field. In 2010, the Cadets claimed a 42-20 victory.
“Anytime you play one of your local schools, it’s always a big game,” Thorpe said. “And this one is like a playoff game for us because if we lose, we’re done.”