Football: Brother Rice overpowers Shepard
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media August 25, 2012 12:16AM
Updated: September 27, 2012 11:20AM
When first-year Brother Rice coach Brian Badke told his quarterback the offense would be more of the aerial variety, Matt Page couldn’t wait to take the field.
Showing off the Crusaders’ air attack for the first time, Page threw five touchdowns and ran for another Friday night in Brother Rice’s 48-14 season-opening home win over Shepard.
“I was definitely excited to hear we were going to open up the playbook a little more and throw the ball,” Page said. “Definitely excited. We worked hard all season for this.”
Page finished 22-of-40 for 275 yards and five passing touchdowns. Receiver Luke Mueller caught 10 passes for 107 yards and a score, with Nuntreae Jackson catching two touchdown passes.
With the game knotted at 7, Brother Rice blew things open, with Page finding receiver Alex Alarcon for a 21-yard touchdown strike late in the first. The senior quarterback found Jackson for touchdown catches of 21 and 3 yards, respectively, on back-to-back possessions as the Crusaders took a commanding 28-7 lead into halftime.
“Our game plan was to throw a lot,” Page said. “We stuck to it, and Shepard stuck with man-to-man coverage. We thought our skill guys could get to the edge and make plays, and they did.”
The Rice defense never allowed Shepard and quarterback Jimmy McClinton to get into rhythm. McClinton finished 15-of-33 for 105 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions. Receiver Londell Lee had both scores (2 and 11 yards).
A St. Xavier assistant coach since 1999, Badke was awarded the game ball and got an ice water shower as he addressed his team postgame.
“It’s awesome because from Day 1 in May these guys came in, and we worked their tails off,” Badke said. “They deserve this win, and I’m very proud of them. Our coaching staff did a phenomenal job, and we have to keep the ball rolling.”