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Since the school joined the Northeastern Athletic Conference in 2012, Ottawa Marquette has been at the head of the league’s football class, and the Crusaders showed their talent once again on Friday in a 55-0 victory over Mooseheart.
With Friday’s win, the Crusaders improved to 40-2 all-time in NAC football play and to 7-0 this season, and they were in control from the end of the first quarter through the final play.
Yet Mooseheart (2-5, 2-5 NAC) stayed in the game through the first quarter. It took the visitors more than 4 minutes to take the lead on a 51-yard Max Donahue TD reception from quarterback Logan Komater. The Ramblers were still in the contest with 4:03 left in the quarter when Donahue scored from the 1-yard line.
“They came out and played,” Mooseheart coach Jacob Pekofske said. “We knew what they were about, but we came out and kept it 7-0 until there were 4 minutes left in the first quarter. We’re a 2-4 team and our wins are against teams that aren’t powerhouses. But we hung with them until we couldn’t do it anymore.”
The killing TD came late in the first quarter, a 21-yard Komater-to-Sam Hettel TD pass connection. From that point, the Crusaders cruised. Evan Green scored three touchdowns and Zach Dyche added a further score for Ottawa Marquette.
A look at the sidelines before the game showed that Ottawa Marquette had more bench players. Mooseheart’s depth became more and more limited as the game progressed as injuries mounted. By the time the game ended, the Ramblers had very few subs to put into the game.
“It’s hard to get our replacements in there,” Pekofske said. “We had guys playing roles tonight that they had never played before, and I’m very proud of them for the resiliency that some of them had.”
Friday’s game was Senior Night for the entire Mooseheart fall athletic program, and the football team only has only a pair of seniors on the roster this year – Tarry Johnson and James Lewison, meaning the program’s future is promising.
“We’ve got to continue getting younger guys and then have our leaders continue to be leaders. We have a big sophomore class, so hopefully they will step up like our older guys are doing now,” Pekofske said.
Mooseheart closes with road games against Luther North and Hope Academy, teams that were 10-2 entering this week’s games.
“It’s a hard stretch at the end for us,” Pekofske said. “As long as we come out focused and play as we did tonight, there’s not a doubt in my mind that we can hang with the best of them.”