Miles Boykin and Nate Vejvoda continue to garner most of the headlines for Providence — and rightfully so, as one of the state’s premier wide receiver duos.
According to Marmion coach Dan Thorpe, however, quarterback Justin Hunniford is the conductor powering the Celtics’ train.
“It’s not the wide receivers, it’s their quarterback,” Thorpe said. “(Hunniford) makes great decisions. You’ve got to disguise everything. They’re a well-oiled machine.”
Hunniford was razor sharp from the pocket Friday night, going 16 of 20 for 206 yards and three touchdowns before being pulled late in the third quarter with a substantial lead. Providence went on to defeat Marmion 37-7 in the Catholic League crossover.
“Our chemistry as an offensive unit has been phenomenal,” Hunniford said. “From the start of the summer the chemistry has been there, and it’s showing.”
It helps to have the Notre Dame-bound Boykin taking half of his receptions to the end zone. Boykin scored on catches of 26, 45 and 22 yards, the first two coming on quick catch and runs for the Celtics (4-0). Boykin caught six passes for 125 yards. He has 11 touchdowns on the season.
“You just have to get the ball into his hands and let him do his thing,” Hunniford said. “He’ll turn a five-yard catch into 15 or 20 yards, or as we saw (Friday), he’ll turn it into a touchdown.”
While Marmion (3-1) had trouble keeping up with Providence’s aerial assault, it also struggled getting its offense into gear. Marmion was held to 19 total yards and one first down in the first half. The Cadets totaled 81 points in their previous three games.
“Their linebackers are big and they’re fast and they hit your tail,” Thorpe said. “We’re just not there yet, but our kids fought.”
Luis Vasquez and Jimmy Sharkey combined for three sacks for the Celtics. Erik Carroll added a third-quarter interception that set up a 47-yard TD run by Richie Warfield to make it 37-0.
“They’re aggressive guys and they’re smart,” Providence coach Mark Coglianese said of his defense. “They keep their gaps.”
Warfield moved the chains on the ground and finished with 88 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.
Marmion broke the shutout with 9:13 left in the fourth quarter on a 14-yard touchdown run by Nate Traxler, who finished with 34 yards on three caries.
Traxler was one of nine players to rush the ball for Marmion after starting running back Lucas Warren left the game with an injury. Matt Ferraro added 47 yards on seven carries.
Providence’s Mike Markasovic had touchdown runs of 83 and 62 yards called back because of holding penalties. Markasovic contributed on special teams with a first-quarter fumble recovery.