Spartan Defense Stifles Rival Bloom Township

Randall Nauden reaches to score against Bloom Township
Sophmore Randall Nauden reaches to break the plane of the end zone against Bloom Township Friday night. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Chicago Heights, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Marian Catholic defense set the tone against Bloom Township on Friday night, and Randall Nauden and the Spartan offense were more than happy to reap the benefits.

With Marian limiting visiting Bloom Township to 2 yards off offense in the first half, Nauden scored four touchdowns to lead the Spartans to a 33-0 command and eventual 33-6 nonconference conquest of their crosstown rivals.

On his way to a 16-carry, 126-yard effort, Nauden scored on runs of 6, 9, 37, and 3 yards in leading the Spartans (2-1) to their 12th victory over the Blazing Trojans (1-2) in the 14-game series. Marian added its final score on fourth-and-goal, as quarterback Kyle Thomas hit Dylan Ross over the middle for a 5-yard touchdown.

Ricky Gallegos booted his third conversion kick to give the host team a 33-0 command with 14 seconds to play in the third period and signal the start of mop-up time.

The Spartan offense managed just 84 yards of offense in building a 13-0 halftime margin, so the defense was clearly the dominant force early and when the outcome was still in doubt.

Led by a defensive front that included Correll Young, Joseph Garcia, Leo Mendez, Tyler Belton, and Etin Oronsaye, the Spartans forced six turnovers and held Bloom to negative yardage on nine of 44 snaps. Isaiah Johnson pulled in an interception for Marian, while the Spartans also got fumble recoveries from Austin Alexander, Ross, Young, and Dominic Mascolino.

The Blazing Trojans didn’t manage a first down until the final two minutes of the opening half, as Marian capitalized on turnovers to take a two-touchdown advantage.

A muffed punt return turnover set up the Spartans at midfield and Nauden polished off a 51-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. His second score, a 9-yard touchdown burst, was set up when Marian recovered a fumble on the Bloom 20-yard line.

With the defensive keeping matters in check, Marian exploded for 20 third-quarter points to leave little doubt. Nauden’s third scoring run followed a Bloom fumble and the fourth touchdown run culminated a 90-yard scoring drive that began after Johnson’s interception. Ross’ touchdown catch came after another Blazing Trojan fumble, as every Marian point for the night followed a turnover.

In the end, Marian pounded behind an offensive line of Derek Marin-Martinez, Caiden O’Neil, Craig Morrison, Michael Biesboer and Demarcus Jackson for 227 rushing yards on 43 totes. Along with 62 passing yards, Thomas rushed 14 times for 52 yards.

Zion Horn led the Spartans with 25 receiving yards while adding a 22-yard first-down run on his lone carry of the night. Jeremiah Smith also grabbed a pair of passes for 19 yards.

The CCL-ESCC portion of Marian’s schedule finally gets underway next Friday, when the Spartans celebrate Homecoming with a 7:30 p.m. Purple Division contest against Saint Patrick. Although it’s the first-ever test in the Purple Division, Marian owns a 5-0 all-time record in CCL-ESCC divisional contests. 

Sophomores: The young Spartans improved to 2-0 with a 42-6 decision over the Blazing Trojans.

Photo Gallery: Game and Marian Catholic Band

Friday’s Game Stats

CATEGORY Bloom Township Marian Catholic
First downs 12 14
Rush attempts / yards 35-141 43-227
Passing yards 18 62
Pass completions 7 5
Pass attempts 9 14
Had intercepted 1 0
Fumbles / lost 5 / 4 1 / 1
Penalty Yards 6-60 6-50
Next at Thornridge SAINT PATRICK

SCORING

MC- Randall Nauden 6-yard run (Ricky Gallegos kick), 4:52 first.
MC- Nauden 9-yard run (kick failed), 7:11 second.
MC- Nauden 37-yard run (Gallegos kick), 6:42 third.
MC- Nauden 3-yard run (kick failed), 3:45 third.
MC- Dylan Ross 5-yard pass from Kyle Thomas (Gallegos kick), 0:14 third.
BT- Diego Garcia 19-yard run (kick failed), 7:52 fourth.

Rushing: BT- Jose Servin 14-69, Garcia 20-66 (TD), Tayshawn Harper 1-7. MC- Nauden 16-126 (4 TD), Thomas 14-52, Zion Horn 1-22, Jerry Thurman 7-21, Kaleb Isom 3-12, Ernest Tetter 2-(minus 6). 
Passing: BT- Garcia 7 of 9, 18 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT. MC- Thomas 5 of 14, 62 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT.
Receiving: BT- Devion Love 2-8, Ramon Villareal 1-7, Servin 4-3. MC- Horn 1-25, Jeremiah Smith 2-19, Austin Alexander 1-13, Ross 1-5 (TD).
Interceptions: Isaiah Johnson (MC).

2021 Fall Varsity Football Spartans

No Name Ht Wt Yr Pos
1 Isaiah Johnson 6-0 160 Sr WR / DB
2 Kyle Thomas 6-3 160 Jr QB
4 Wande Oluwibe 6-0 205 Sr LB / DB
5 Dylan Ross 6-1 220 Sr LB
6 Kendall Winters 5-10 154 Sr DB
7 Aaron Hudson 5-11 167 Sr DB
8 Ernest Tetter 5-8 195 Sr RB
9 Jeremiah Smith 6-2 183 Jr WR
10 Jerry Thurman III 5-5 151 Jr RB
11 Christian Gaw 5-11 161 Jr DB
12 Aaron King 5-11 163 So WR / DB
17 Kelby King 5-11 150 So WR / DB
18 Zion Horn 6-1 165 Sr WR
21 Kaleb Isom 5-11 189 So RB / WR
23 Kaiden Jensen 6-0 186 So LB
24 Randall Nauden 5-10 180 So RB
25 Caleb Hines 6-0 170 Sr LB
27 Jaylen Holland 5-8 139 Jr DB
29 Giovanni Cyril 5-9 180 Jr RB
30 Austin Alexander 5-11 144 So WR / DB
31 Eric Sebastian 5-8 140 Jr K / P
32 Isaiah Beamon 5-10 170 Sr LB
42 Jeremiah Barker 5-10 186 Jr DL
50 Correll Young 5-10 240 Sr LB
51 Francisco Maciel 5-8 198 Jr OL
52 Demarcus Jackson 6-4 227 Sr OL / DL
54 Colin McDonough 6-4 230 Jr OL
58 Derek Marin-Martinez 6-0 215 Sr OL
67 Michael Biesboer 6-3 281 So OL
69 Craig Morrison 6-0 320 Jr OL
70 Cameron Orange 6-2 235 So DL
71 Caiden O’Neil 6-5 215 So OL
72 Joseph Garcia 6-0 212 So OL / DL
73 Kenneth Smith 6-1 215 Jr DL
75 Leo Mendez 6-2 224 Sr DL
88 Tyler Belton 5-7 231 Sr DL
92 Dominic Mascolino 5-9 228 Jr DL
93 Etin Oronsaye 6-0 290 Jr DL

Kevin Kelly is the Athletic Director at Marian Catholic High School. A former journalist with The Star Newspaper, Mr. Kelly writes game summaries and posts extensive statistics on the school’s website for all athletic events.