The Marengo Indians (9-3) played toeto- toe with IC Catholic Prep for most of the first half until IC Catholic Prep scored with less than a minute left to pull ahead en route to a 49-27 win in the IHSA Class 4A quarterfinal playoff at the Elmhurst school’s home field. The Nov. 10 contest brought the curtain down on a stellar 2018 season, which saw Marengo capture the Kishwaukee River Conference title.
The Knights (14-0) had won two straight IHSA Class 3A championships, and eventually took the Class 4A in their first year of competition at that level, with a Nov. 24 win, 31-20 over Bishop Mc Namara. The Indians held their own and more in the first quarter with Finn Schirmer (27 rushes, 172 yards, 2 TDs) grabbing a 77-yard pass from quarterback Travis Knaak (12 passes, 149 yards, 2 TDs) at just under the two-minute mark, and the defense blocking a punt for a TD score to negate ICC’s 15-0 lead.
ICC’s Kyle Franklin (27-312, 6 TDs), scored his second TD at the 8-minute mark of the second quarter, followed by Knaak and the offense working the ball downfield that finished with his 3-yard TD run at 2:52, putting the score at 22-20 for ICC. Franklin snuck into the end zone from 4 yards out, with less than a minute remaining in the half, for a 29-20 ICC lead. The third quarter found the Marengo offense virtually shut down with 8 yards, while grudgingly allowing only a 57-yard TD run by Franklin as the only points allowed. The Indians played hard, with Franklin scoring twice more to put the game out of reach in the final quarter. Schirmer added a 4-yard TD run at 5:31 to close out the scoring.
After Marengo missed the playoff in 2017, this season’s mark of a KRC title and deep playoff run brought success and accomplishment, with an eye toward next year.
INDIANS WIN TWICE AT BURLINGTON THANKSGIVING TOURNEY
The Marengo Indians varsity girls basketball team took two games in the annual Burlington Central Thanksgiving Tournament beating Belvidere North 60-45, and Woodstock 65-41.
In the Nov. 16 contest against the Blue Streaks, Marissa Knobloch (25 points) had 2 treys and 15 points in the first quarter.
The three-point basket parade continued with Jennifer Heinberg (16) sinking four 3’s. Hannah Ritter (8), and Jordan Parker (7) were the other high scorers.
The Indians (3-2) also defeated Prairie Ridge 54-48, overcoming a 15-6 first quarter deficit.
The squad opened the 2018 campaign with losses to Mc Henry 58-43, and Geneva 61-49. Varsity coach Nick Rode was asked about the team and the season, so far: “We are a very athletic group capable of both defending and scoring well, that’s what has me most excited about our potential. Playing top-notch competition brings out what we need to work on. That includes making contact on screens, and getting physical when boxing out to create rebounding space.”
Regarding the conference schedule, Rode is confident in the team’s abilities. “Getting more bruises on our arms and legs, that will be a direct correlation to our record. I think we can play with anyone in the conference. Last season, we had wins against the two projected top teams in Burlington Central and Johnsburg. We return seven experienced players from last season and have high expectations…I think a surprise team could be Richmond- Burton.”
Rode also believes practice strategies and game preparation are two important components to a successful team. “We have drill clusters that we do that all have the purpose of teaching principles…we practice these quite often. From there, we try to have very competitive segments for rebounding and defensive closeouts. Our process to prepare for opponents involves finding willing coaches on our schedule to trade films. We generally like to watch film of an opponent a week in advance, and it allows us to work on the things we will need to do well, during practices leading up to the games.”
Boys Varsity Basketball: (Nov. 23) Dean Riley Thanksgiving Tournament Oak Forrest wins over Marengo 52-50; Marengo beats Streator Township 53-50. Boys Varsity Wrestling: (Nov. 20) Loss At Winnebago High School 37-36 Indian wins…Danny Chicoine (220), Logan Reed/pin (120), Jake Doyle/pin (145), Stan Dawiec/pin (160), Sebastian Palka/ pin (170), Michael Macias/pin (182). Boys Varsity Bowling: (Nov. 15) Marengo Win against Belvidere 3,039-3,075 (Game 1) Marengo 953,Belvidere 1,020; (Game 2) Marengo 1,071,Belvidere 945; (Game 3) Marengo 1,051,Belvidere 1,074. Jim Faber bowls 251 in third game; Josh Streu and J Mortimer each bowl 574 series. Girls Varsity Bowling: (Nov. 26) De Kalb High School away (no score at press time)