Ramblers Ramble Past Redhawks to Advance to Quarterfinals


M. Krein

Kreutz breaks through the Redhawks defense for the first touchdown of the game. The offense would go on to have a nearly perfect day.

Edward Nieman, Writer

And then there was one.

The Loyola Academy Ramblers remain as the only undefeated team in the 8A bracket following their win over Naperville Central in the second round of the IHSA playoffs.

When it comes to the playoffs it’s not always easy, but the Ramblers sure made it look easy with a dominant 36-7 win over the RedHawks.

The Ramblers’ dominance showed from the very beginning as they marched with ease down the field on  their first offensive drive of the game. The Ramblers capped the drive with a 3 yard run by senior James Kreutz to open the scoring up for the Ramblers.

Junior quarterback Jake Stearney completed his first 12 pass attempts as the Ramblers cruised in the first half offensively. Stearney ended the first half with two touchdown passes with connections to Collins and Mahon. The Ramblers had the 33-0 advantage over the RedHawks at halftime.

The majority of scoring was done as the Ramblers only tacked on 3 more points before the end of the game via a Baker field goal making the final score 36-7.

The Ramblers were near perfect in all aspects of the game. Jake Stearney finished the game 16-for-19 for 146 yards, finding the end zone twice, and only throwing one interception.

Stearney credited much of the offensive success on the week of practice saying “This whole week we prepared nonstop. In the first half we scored on every drive. We were lights out and the line gave great holes. In the second, we got too out of ourselves. It was good to focus up and put them away.”

The Rambler ground game also found its rhythm as Kreutz rushed for two touchdowns and Gibbs found the end zone once. The Ramblers finished the game racking up a total of 226 yards on the ground.

Rambler Coach John Holecek was very pleased with the rushing saying “[James Kreutz] is a powerful running back. He has the ability to do both obviously until Marco comes back. Regan had a great day today. I thought he had some really good cuts and ran hard.”

Holecek, also impressed with the defensive effort said “Anytime you win in the postseason it’s important. I’ll take it no matter how you win. The turnovers and capitalizing on those mistakes are helpful. It’s helpful to jump out to a lead where they can’t run the ball effectively and are forced to throw.”

The Ramblers defense held the RedHawks to only 97 yards in the air, forcing one interception on the RedHawk field general Owen Prucha. The defense also proved effective against the run game, holding senior running back Tristan Hall to only 27 yards.

With the win the Ramblers advance to the quarterfinals to host the Griffins of Lincoln Way East in what will be a rematch of the 2018 semifinals. The two teams have faced off twice in the last four seasons. Kickoff is slated for 12pm on Saturday November 13.