Nolan Dean, Julian Love drive Nazareth past Marian Central

SHARE Nolan Dean, Julian Love drive Nazareth past Marian Central

Nazareth graduated a quarterback and a leading running back from last year’s 8-3 team, but at this school, there are always plenty more of


So it goes for the Roadrunners, who had big games from a pair of runners and a pair of throwers Saturday en route to a 56-35 East Suburban Catholic win over Marian Central in LaGrange Park.

Nolan Dean, who transferred in this year from Neuqua Valley, ran 28 times for 211 yards and two touchdowns for Nazareth (4-0, 2-0), while Julian Love had 12 carries for 160 yards and two total TDs.

Quarterbacks Carson Bartels and Jonah Beauduy were a combined 6-for-13 passing for 208 yards and two touchdowns. Beauduy also ran for two scores and Bartels rushed for one.

All told, the No. 11 Roadrunners gained 674 yards and went on a 35-7 run from the second through fourth quarters to break open a close game.

They never really felt safe because Marian Central (3-1, 1-1) has one of the state’s premier quarterbacks: 6-4, 215-pound Miami (Ohio) recruit Billy Bahl.

“We didn’t really contain him,” Dean said, “but one man can’t beat us.” Bahl passed for 228 yards and ran for two touchdowns. But he was also sacked six times and hurried often by a defense led by linebackers Dan Bakovich and Decx Kelly-Martin and defensive back Matt Flach, among others.

“He’s so talented,” Love said of Bahl. “We know he will make plays.

“The big thing for us is keeping composure. Some of the younger guys were losing their heads a little bit. But our coach really puts an emphasis on keeping your head right: ‘Next play, short memory, short memory.'”

The Roadrunners made more big plays than Bahl did, starting with Bartels’ 81-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Jackson at 7:15 of the first quarter. Bartels (38 yards) and Beauduy (44 yards) ran for scores to make it 21-0, but the Hurricanes fought back.

Eric Ruschke’s 90-yard kickoff return touchdown and Bahl’s 1-yard scoring run cut it to 21-14 33.3 seconds before halftime. But Beauduy hit Love with a 33-yard scoring pass less than 15 seconds later for a 28-14 Nazareth lead at the break.

“We just made too many mistakes on defense, giving them the easy ones,” Marian Central coach Ed Brucker said. “They’re big and they’re fast.”

That describes Dean, a 6-2, 215-pounder who ran for two scores in the second half.

“Nolan has been just a very tough, very angry runner,” Love said. “We love that, because [after] last year we lost Tuck [Cyle Tucker] and Nolan has filled that role and then some.”

“We knew No. 2 [Dean] was going to be hard to tackle,” Brucker said. “And he showed it again today.”

Love (5-11, 175) wasn’t easy to bring down, either. His 90-yard scoring run at 10:53 of the third quarter made it 35-14.

“If you put my wife behind that line, she’s going to get some yards,” Nazareth coach Tim Racki said. “But Nolan with his power and speed and Julian [with] how elusive he is, that makes coaches look good.”

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