By Leo Niksic ‘24
In the CCL Blue Conference League, Brother Rice Football brought out a win against St. Viator. This was the third win out of the five needed to make it to the playoffs. It was the first home game for Brother Rice and was celebrated with a tribute to the first responders. All the senior parents showed their appreciation to all the coaches, and the hard work and dedication of all the football players.
The Chicago Catholic League (CCL) started in 1912 and is a highly competitive league. Brother Rice is 3-2, beating Main South, Ignatius, and St. Viator. They are looking to win out, which all starts with the upcoming game against Mount Carmel on Friday, Sept. 29.
It was beautiful weather on this Friday night in September. This Brother Rice home game was filled with energy and excitement. The stands were filled, with a few empty seats, and the students filled the courtyard. You walked in to see the concession stands packed, and Brother Rice gear available to purchase. The BR band was playing while the cheerleaders were shouting for the varsity team.
The first quarter was underway. St. Viator won the coin toss and chose to receive. The Crusaders started on defense. It was a rocky start for the defense as they played sloppily. It didn’t matter though, because the offense came to play when senior quarterback Ryan Hartz marched down the field and finished the drive with a handoff to senior running back Randall Nauden for his first of three touchdowns on the day.
At halftime, the score was 14-7. This was not what the Crusaders were hoping for. As the football team corrected their mistakes in the locker room,the cheerleaders did their routine, and the band played well. The third quarter started, and the Crusaders responded quickly with a big interception by junior cornerback Donovan Brown, who took it back for a pick six. That was the start to the Crusaders 42-0 run as Randall Nauden ran for two touchdowns and about 160 rushing yards. Donovan Brown got another interception to make it two on the night.
It was all Brother Rice the whole game. They added a special teams touchdown on a punt return by junior safety Kenneth Morris; he ran it back 50 yards to top off the win against St. Viator 56-7.
Junior Donovan Brown said, “Watching and playing alongside the seniors was very enjoyable and contributing to their unforgettable night for them with two interceptions was the best.”
Senior Randall Nauden said, ”It was a great game. The team played amazing. My line came out strong and allowed me to get 3 touchdowns. Being able to accomplish three touchdowns is great, and I owe it all to my o-line!”
Star tight-end Thomas Amado said, “It was an exciting game on offense because we felt like we did a good job. Putting up that many points felt good. The O-line had a great game and Randall ran for three touchdowns and about 150 rushing yards for the third game in a row.”