Kickers know concentration is everything, which is why Cillian Hannon didn’t let an earlier miss or even a Nazareth late timeout distract him from another chance to win a football game with a field goal.
“I zeroed out,” Hannon said. “That’s why we are kickers.”
The Marist junior ended Saturday’s game with a 32-yard field goal to give the No. 5 RedHawks a 24-21 East Suburban Catholic victory at No. 25 Nazareth. Hannon missed a 33-yard field goal in the second quarter when his attempt went wide left. His second attempt in the game, from the right hash mark, launched a celebration as Marist rallied from a 14-0 deficit at halftime to pull ahead 21-14 on Nic Weishar’s 14-yard touchdown pass from Ian Woodworth (17-for-39, 152 yards) with 6:34 to go in the game.
Marist coach Pat Dunne had complete faith in Hannon as the RedHawks began their game-winning drive from their own 35 with 1:14 to play. Marist (3-0, 1-0) regained possession after Rudy Romagnano (21 carries, 135 yards) scored his second touchdown of the game on a four-yard run to tie the score at 21.
“I knew I was going to go with him right from there. We practice this,” Dunne said of Hannon.
Hannon’s game-winner was his first field goal of the season. He beat Benet 17-14 last season in Week 4 with a game-winning field goal.
Peter Andreotti (28 carries, 146 yards, touchdown) set up Weishar’s touchdown catch by running seven of nine times during the drive before Woodworth’s scoring pass.
Nazareth (2-1, 0-1), which was the only conference team to beat Marist last season, scored twice in the second quarter on Zachary Manuel’s 67-yard pass from Jake Bartels, which went through the hands of Carl Jackson before reaching Manuel. Nearly two minutes later, Romagnano scored his first touchdown on a 57-yard run.
“I told the kids that against a great team like Marist, you are not going to win every battle,” Nazareth coach Tim Racki said. “I’m happy with our performance. I told the kids that I am a competitor. I’m disappointed in the loss.”
Marist and Nazareth were two of four conference teams to enter the weekend without a loss. Now Marist remains 3-0 for the second time in the last three years. Nazareth, St. Viator and Benet suffered their first losses this weekend. Nazareth beat Marist 33-20 last season as both teams went 7-1 in the conference.
The Marist comeback in the second half started with Andreotti’s 17-yard scoring run with 7:21 to go in the third quarter. Woodworth’s eight-yard keeper tied the game with 35 seconds left in the third quarter.