Brother Rice quarterback Matt Page is pressed against the back of the end zone in their game against Loyola. | Patrick Gleason ~ For Sun-Times Media
There’s not much for Brother Rice to do other than look ahead.
The Crusaders are in must-win mode in Week 9 after losing 45-0 to Loyola on Saturday afternoon in Catholic League Blue action in Wilmette.
Rice (4-4, 1-3) must beat Leo next weekend to punch its ticket to the postseason.
“We’ve got to win next week, then we’re in the playoffs and who knows what could happen?” Crusaders coach Brian Badke said.
What happened Saturday was the Crusaders were shut down by a Loyola defense that was highly motivated after last week’s 49-28 win over Fenwick. Middle linebacker Cody Sullivan called that performance “unacceptable and embarrassing,” which wasn’t the case at all for the Ramblers (7-1, 3-0) this time around.
Loyola limited Rice quarterback Matt Page to 4-of-25 passing for 27 yards with three interceptions. The Crusaders ran 16 times for six net yards and managed just three first downs, all in the first half, which ended with them down 31-0.
“They’re very good,” Badke said of the Ramblers. “It’s a numbers game. You need to have numbers and Brother Rice’s are a little thin right now.
“But that’s a good football team. We’ve got a pretty good team but we’ve got a ways to go to get to that caliber.”
Badke didn’t blame Page.
“Matt didn’t have a lot of time to throw,” the coach said. “We had three sophomores starting on the offensive line and it showed. When Matt has time, he can be very effective. So I give a lot of credit to Loyola.”
The Ramblers had a pair of touchdown runs from Julius Holley (23 carries, 89 yards) in the first quarter, covering 17 yards and one yard.
Loyola quarterback Peter Pujals, who passed for 106 yards and ran for 84, had touchdown runs of 43 and eight yards in the second quarter and Mike Kurzydlowski kicked a 27-yard field goal.
The Ramblers added two more scores in the third quarter on Colin Skinner’s 7-yard run and Devin Murphy’s 3-yard return of a Rice fumble.
“They’ve got a good football team,” Badke said. “We want to get to that level.”