Tough test awaits Jacobs at Marmion

SHARE Tough test awaits Jacobs at Marmion
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Jacobs and Marmion have a lot in common, including their status as members of highly competitive conferences known for producing state title contenders.

With grueling league schedules awaiting both teams down the road, every chance to notch a precious victory in nonconference play takes on added importance.

That’s the backdrop for the Week 1 showdown between the Golden Eagles and Cadets at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Aurora. The matchup features a Jacobs team that figures to contend in the rugged Fox Valley Conference Valley Division and a Marmion squad capable of making some noise in the loaded Suburban Christian Blue.

“We were having a hell of a time getting somebody to play us the first game, so we were happy (Marmion) wanted to play,” said Jacobs coach Bill Mitz, whose team will face Barrington in Week 1 next year. “We’re very excited to go down there.”

Both teams ended the 2011 season on a down note, suffering lopsided losses in the first round of the playoffs.

Jacobs bowed out with a 28-0 defeat against Wheaton North in Class 7A, marking a disappointing end to a 7-3 season that began with six straight victories.

Marmion’s 5-5 campaign ended with a 49-0 loss to eventual Class 6A champion Prairie Ridge, and the abrupt postseason ouster was an unwelcome change of pace for a Cadets program that was the Class 6A runner-up in 2010.

The Golden Eagles welcome back a pair of All-FVC Valley honorees in seniors Adam Kulon and Jake Gierlak. Kulon is a two-way lineman who committed to Toledo over the summer and Gierlak is a receiver who caught 29 passes for 688 yards last year.

The Cadets are looking for big things from Jake Ruddy, a talented athlete who reached the state finals in the long jump and will be a key part of the offense at running back. Marmion will be without senior linebacker Matt Lally, who is out for the season after breaking his leg in three places during two-a-days.

“These seniors were co-champs of the conference as sophomores,” Marmion coach Dan Thorpe said. “We have excellent attitude and we’re all embarrassed about last year’s record.”

Rick Armstrong contributed

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