By: Pat Disabato – Daily Southtown
Brother Rice senior John Bean wanted a chance for redemption.
His defense obliged with a fumble recovery.
Bean turned that turnover into a game-winning, 1-yard touchdown run Friday that lifted host Brother Rice to a 20-16 victory over archrival Marist in front of an overflow crowd.
Bean, basically, stole the show. The 6-foot, 190-pound quarterback completed 15 of 21 passes for 160 yards and rushed for 117 yards and two TDs for the Crusaders (1-0).
Jessi Plunkett added an 8-yard TD run for Brother Rice.
“This is something you dream about as a kid,” Bean said. “For it to happen is something else.”
It nearly didn’t happen. With Brother Rice trailing 16-14 in the fourth quarter, Bean drove the Crusaders to Marist’s 20-yard line.
But his pass near the end zone was intercepted by RedHawks safety Kendric Nowling with 4:45 remaining.
Bean couldn’t afford to put his head down.
“I knew I had to deal with some adversity,” Bean said. “I had to carry on and move forward. Kendric made a great play.”
Brother Rice defensive lineman Jalen Rheams, however, made an even better one.
A botched handoff by the RedHawks (0-1) resulted in a fumble. Rheams pounced on the ball at the Marist 13 with 3:45 to go.
Bean eventually scooted in from the 1 with 1:47 left for the 20-16 lead.
Brother Rice coach Brian Badke never doubted his quarterback.
“When they got the interception, I went over to John and told him we’re going to get him one more chance,” Badke said. “John’s a winner.”
Marist didn’t go down without a fight.
A nifty hook-and-ladder play with less than a minute to go resulted in a 50-yard gain. Quarterback Mike Markett completed a pass to Jadon Thompson, who pitched the ball to an oncoming Billy Skalitzy.
The RedHawks all of a sudden had the ball on the Rice 16 with 52.1 seconds left.
Brother Rice’s defense, led Justin Jefferson, Zach Wareyko, Tyrhen McCoy and Alex Roche, stood tall and held on.
Markett completed 12 of 24 passes for 166 yards, including a 13-yard TD to Thompson. Markett also rushed for 83 yards and a TD on 19 carries.
“They made one more play than we did,” Marist coach Ron Dawczak said. “It was a hard-fought game. We knew it would be. Their quarterback had a heck of a game.”