Marmion’s Lucas Warren is a load.
The 6-0, 250-pound running back had 108 yards on 22 carries including the go-ahead touchdown with 6:53 remaining as the Cadets defeated St. Francis 17-13 Friday in Wheaton in both teams’ Catholic League Green opener.
“We worked hard all week, a lot of sprints, a lot of running,” Warren said. “We didn’t take it easy, that’s for sure. We knew their spread offense was going to have a big effect on us. Coach (Dan Thorpe) kept me fresh and got me breaks when I could. I felt good the whole game.”
St. Francis, which took a 13-11 lead late in the third quarter on an 89-yard kickoff return by Jeff Duke after Connor Hoeft’s 36-yard field goal extended Marmion’s lead to 11-7, drove from its own 14 to the Cadets’ 15 after regaining possession with 2:34 remaining.
But Sean Campbell’s interception in the end zone with less than 30 seconds left preserved the win.
“I’m sure everyone got a little nervous,” Warren said. “But overall I think our defense played really tough. Big players make big-time plays.”
Marmion (3-0, 1-0) struck first, courtesy of a bad snap that sailed over the St. Francis punter’s head and through the end zone with 7:15 remaining in the first quarter.
But six minutes later, St. Francis’ Steven Fassnacht (12 carries, 89 yards) broke through the middle of the Marmion defense and ran 61 yards to the Cadets’ 14 before being hauled down from behind. Five plays later, Fassnacht scored from the 1 to give the Spartans a 7-2 lead.
The Cadets’ Jordan Glasgow, who lost a fumble at the St. Francis 20 after a 19-yard run on Marmion’s previous possession, atoned for his miscue by racing 32 yards with a pass from Russell Joyce (8-of-16, 120 yards) to give Marmion a first-and-10 at the Spartans’ 35 late in the second quarter.
Eleven plays later, Warren capped the 15-play, 84-yard drive by rumbling in from 2 yards out to give Marmion an 8-7 halftime lead.
“Lucas, he’s a load,” Marmion coach Dan Thorpe said. “Defensively, they (St. Francis) were very, very good. Thank goodness our defense came to play. Defense definitely won the game for us. St. Francis didn’t lose. They just didn’t score enough points.”
Cllnt Bobowski completed 13-of-24 passes for 120 yards for St. Francis (2-1, 0-1), which lost Fassnacht to an injury on the second play of the second half.
“Our kids fought hard all the way until the end,” first-year St. Francis coach Mike Fitzgerald said. “It wasn’t just that play at the end. There were a few other mistakes we probably could have capitalized on. But it was a great opener for the Catholic League.”