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Brother Rice's Matt Page hands off to Marcus Jones. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Brother Rice coach Brian Badke had a simple message for his team after absorbing a 56-7 shellacking Friday at the hands of No. 2 Mount Carmel.
“I told them we’ve got to move on,” Badke said. “It wasn’t our night Friday night.”
Badke hopes it’s a better Friday night for his Crusaders (3-2, 1-1) when they host Catholic Blue foe Providence (4-1, 1-1) in the SouthtownStar’s Season Pass Spotlight Game.
The No. 6 Celtics boast an explosive running game, led by Brandon Price (86 carries, 370 yards) and Chad Weaver (44-350). Quarterback Dominic Lagone is also a rushing threat.
“We’ve got to stop the run,” Badke admitted. “Price is a tough running back and their quarterback is a good athlete.”
Stopping the Celtics’ ground game will be an even bigger challenge for Rice with linebacker Redick Richardson (concussion) and lineman Marcus Cheatham (knee) on the sidelines.
Providence will have its own challenges trying to contain Rice’s high-flying spread offense. Quarterback Matt Page leads the area in passing yards (1,413) and has multiple receiving weapons in Chris Rozell (26 catches, 388 yards), Luke Mueller (33-346) and Malik Moody (19-279).
Though much has been made of the Crusaders’ aerial attack, their ground game, led by Marcus Jones (66-371), can’t be ignored.
“Their offense is a big challenge for us,” Providence coach Mark Coglianese said. “It’s very hard to simulate in practice, especially their no-huddle. They have great speed and receivers who make plays after the catch. We’ve got to be ready to go.”
Badke is hoping the Crusaders can avoid turning the ball over, which they did four times against Mount Carmel, and give their fans something to cheer about at home, where they’re 1-2.
“We have to do a better job of protecting our home field,” Badke said. “We’ve got to protect the football too. We’ll see what we’re made of Friday.”