Marmion handles Carmel to snap 3-game skid
Before every game, Xavier Flores imagines returning an interception for a touchdown.
The Marmion junior made it happen during Friday's 49-14 nonconference victory, adding something he'll never forget to a festive Homecoming night at Fichtel Field.
"Before every game and the night before every game I like thinking about getting a pick-6 and taking one back," Flores said. "I was thinking about me celebrating and obviously I really didn't get to do that, but it was great."
Marmion (4-3) wasted little time jumping all over Carmel (2-5) in a battle of two teams in desperate need of a victory with both carrying three-game losing streaks into the action.
All it took was a 54-yard touchdown run from Jacob Bottarini less than two minutes into the game to get the Cadets rolling.
"Last week was had run the Wildcat for one series and they called quarterback a couple times so thankfully we opened the drive with that," Bottarini said. "We got great blocking down field and I was able to cut it outside so that was perfect."
The Cadets extended their lead to 21-0 after one quarter, as Anthony Kuceba connected on a 45-yard strike to fellow senior Jackson Burroughs with 3:21 left in the quarter after junior Josh Lim had found the end zone on a19-yard run earlier.
Then, senior Haydn Karner joined in on the fun, barreling in for a 4-yard touchdown run on the opening play of the second quarter for a 28-0 lead.
The Corsairs were able to solve Marmion's defense with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Johnny Weber to Ashton Gondeck with 8:51 remaining in the opening half, but the Cadets answered with another scoring drive. This time Bottarini blasted five yards into the end zone while losing the ball, giving junior teammate Zach Weiersheuser the chance to recover and celebrate the 35-7 lead with 28.4 left before half.
That was too much time for Carmel to try to do something as the Corsairs aired it out and Flores got in the way.
"We were in prevent and I'm usually not in for prevent," Flores said. "I saw (my guy) was running out and I saw the quarterback's eyes look at him and I kind of followed the ball and just scored then. It was kind of a blur after that."
Weber connected with Jon Buckley for a 41-yard touchdown late in the third quarter as the Cadets had sparked the running clock after Bottarini's brilliant 26-yard touchdown run with 4:59 left in the third quarter.
"The more we've been practicing with that I've been a lot more patient just trusting my line," he said. "This year they've been great so I took a lot of time in the backfield and let the tackle get around his guy and let me bounce it outside and just a couple of cuts and we're there."