Editor’s note: I will have a story on Jake Marwede’s performance against Brother Rice on Saturday.
In a battle of unbeaten teams Friday, Loyola needed contributions in all three phases of the game Friday to earn a 48-37 win over Brother Rice in Chicago.
Senior receiver and Wildcat quarterback Jake Marwede ran for career-best five touchdowns, Loyola’s defense made stops when it mattered most and punter Mark Nicholson’s 33-yard pass to junior tight end Alex King on fourth-and-6 early in the fourth quarter led to the Ramblers’ go-ahead points.
The win was the Ramblers’ 26th in a row and gave them the Catholic Blue championship and the top seed in the Class 8A playoffs.
After Loyola converted Nicholson’s fake punt for a first down, Marwede scored on a 2-yard run to give the Ramblers a 41-37 lead with 9 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. It was the ninth and final lead change of the game.
Loyola’s defense stopped Brother Rice on downs on its next two possessions before Marwede put the game away with his 4-yard run at the 2:15 mark of the fourth. The Crusaders charged down the field on their ensuing series, but junior linebacker Anthony Rodriguez intercepted a pass to end the remote chance of a comeback.
Marwede, who has verbally committed to Duke University, finished with 91 yards on 14 carries and caught three passes for 26 yards. Senior running back Kyle Rock ran the ball 18 times for 116 yards and scored one TD. Senior quarterback Tommy Herion went 16-for-29 for 169 yards. He rushed for one TD and didn’t turn over the ball. Senior receiver David Terrell Jr. finished with eight receptions for 104 yards.
Loyola totaled 479 yards of offense and averaged 6.7 yards per play.
Brother Rice’s offense was as good as advertised. The Crusaders, who came into Friday averaging 48.5 points a game, amassed 480 yards, averaging 7.4 yards per play.
Senior quarterback Dino Borrelli finished 27-for-41 for 422 yards and threw three TD passes. His lone interception came at the end of the game. Senior receiver Branden Houston caught 10 passes for 213 yards and scored two TDs. Senior receiver and Illinois recruit Ricky Smalling had 11 receptions for 118 yards, but he was kept out of the end zone.
The Class 8A seeds and pairings will be broadcast live on CSN Chicago at 9:20 p.m. Saturday.