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9/28/12 Niles-Notre Dames Dan Nagode carries against Nazareth. Stacia Timonere/for Sun Times Media
Coming in with a three-game losing streak, Nazareth needed a win to hold on to their playoffs hopes. They got both that and a big East Suburban Catholic win with a 21-6 victory over host Notre Dame.
Both teams scored early in the game, with Nazareth taking advantage of a Notre Dame fumble to get on the board at the 7:08 mark of the first quarter. Senior running back Aeneas White flipped in from one yard out to give the Roadrunners a 6-0 lead.
Notre Dame answered back with a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-one from the Nazareth 40-yard line. Senior quarterback Dan Nagode found a big hole over the left side of the line and took it the rest of the way for the tying score, making it 6-6.
Defense dominated the rest of the way. There were eight combined turnovers and 13 total punts between the teams. Notre Dame’s top rusher, junior Chris James, managed only 37 yards, well off of his pace for the season on which he is already over 1000 yards.
“They won the line of scrimmage,” Notre Dame coach Mike Hennessey said. “We didn’t make enough plays to keep sustained drives.”
Nazareth didn’t have any sustained drives either, but they made two big plays the provided the difference in the game. On the first play from scrimmage of the second half, senior running back Joshua Moore had an 84-yard run that put the ball at the Notre Dame three-yard line. White punched it in on the next play to give Nazareth a 14-6 lead.
The Roadrunners extended their lead on the Dons in the 4th quarter when senior wide receiver Zachary Manuel hauled in a jump ball over two defenders, then took off down the sidelines for an 80-yard touchdown catch to make it 21-6.
“This was the defining moment for our season,” said Nazareth Head Coach Tim Racki.