Marist’s head coach Pat Dunne wants four quarters of good football from his team. He got three.
“I think we still have a lot of room to grow,” Dunne said of the No. 8 RedHawks.
It was the third quarter that slipped away Friday in Mundelein.
But with Carmel’s stifled offense, the end result was never in doubt. Marist ultimately cruised to a 28-7, East Suburban Catholic victory over the Corsairs (2-4, 2-2), boosted by 367 total yards from the offense.
It was 21-0 when Carmel caught Marist (6-0, 4-0) napping, recovering an onside kick to open the first half — a misstep compounded by the RedHawks receiving an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the play.
Carmel (2-4, 2-2) took over on the 27-yard line and mounted a four-play scoring drive. Junior quarterback Nick Grandolfo, who threw for 15 yards and added 48 on the ground, scored the team’s lone touchdown.
Marist quarterback Ian Woodworth threw for 203 yards, with running back Peter Andreotti gaining hard yards all over the field.
The two lead the breathless, no-huddle offense that scored 21 of the team’s 28 points in the first half on 103 yards rushing and 114 yards passing.
The Corsairs’ option-based offense isn’t built for making up a lot of points fast. Carmel’s early mistakes — a botched punt on the first drive, a fumble near the goal line on the subsequent possession — helped Marist forge an insurmountable advantage.
The fumble proved to be the costliest. Trailing just 7-0, the Corsairs pushed to the Marist nine-yard line before Grandolfo fumbled.
Marist wasted no time, mounting a nine-play 93-yard drive in 2 minutes, 36 seconds, with Andreotti punching it in from four yards out to put the RedHawks up 14-0.
“I think we played hard,” head coach Andy Bitto said. “I also think Marist is the best team in the league.”