By Jack Morrison ‘23

The varsity Brother Rice football team defeated the Marian Catholic Spartans 42-7 at home on a cold rainy day.

In the first quarter, Owen Lyons started the momentum with a big catch on the Brother Rice sideline, setting up the Crusaders with great field position. TeShon McGee finished the drive with a two yard rushing touchdown. The Spartans bounced back with a long touchdown tying the score at 7-7.

Lyons said, “I knew we needed something to get the momentum going; when my opportunity came I took advantage of it.”

In the second quarter, Ryan Hartz connected with Owen Lyons for a 14 yard touchdown. The Crusader defense was strong in the second quarter, not allowing any more scores. Ryan Hartz continued to catch fire in the second quarter. He rushed for a touchdown and connected with Ricky Taylor for another passing touchdown.

Ryan Hartz reflected on his performance and said, “I couldn’t let the rain impact the way I played. We came out with good energy and buried them.”

Coming out of half, the Crusaders had a 28-7 lead over the Spartans. Leo Niksic had a big interception coming out of the half. Ryan Hartz drove the Crusaders down to the six-yard line where he carried the ball for his second rushing touchdown of the day.

The Crusader defense had a strong second half and did not allow the Spartans to score. With time running out, Leo Niksic had a long pick-six to increase the Crusaders lead 42-7.

“I used to play running back, so when I caught the pick, I turned on my running back mode,” said Niksic.

The Crusaders improved to 5-3 on the season and clinched a spot in the IHSA playoffs.