Saturday, October 09, 1999

McNicholas 28, Purcell Marian 7

Rockets back in playoff hunt

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Placing the tombstone on the McNicholas grave may have been premature.

        Coming off a 38-7 loss to Chaminade-Julienne and in danger of falling out of the Division II playoff picture, McNicholas rebounded with a 28-7 victory over Purcell Marian before a crowd of 3,000 at Norwood Stadium.

        The victory catapulted McNicholas, No.3 in the Divisions II-IV poll, into a first-place tie with No.5 Purcell Marian and Chaminade-Julienne, a 38-0 victor over Badin, in the Greater Catholic League North with one game remaining.

        “Scoring first was important for us,” McNicholas coach John Rodenberg said. “We were coming off a tough loss to Chaminade, and the TD restored our confidence.”

        Purcell Marian coach Tom Stickley was disgusted after the game. “I'm ashamed of the way we played,” Stickley said. “I guess a lot of these guys have never played for a GCL championship.”

        The outcome was never in doubt after McNicholas scored on its second possession of the game.

        Taking over on their own 19 with 7:11 remaining in the first quarter, the Rockets drove 81 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a 2-yard run by Nick Schmidt.

        The conversion pass failed, but from that point, the Rockets were never looked back.

        “We've never won a GCL North championship,” Rodenberg said. “Next week we'd like to beat Badin, which would give us at least a share of the title.”

        If the McNicholas offensive and defensive lines dominate Badin like they did against Purcell Marian, the Rockets could pull it off.

        The Rockets' defensive front of Kevin McNerney, Vaughn Blackburn, Chris Hafertepen, Justin Meyer and Nate Wiegel didn't allow Purcell Marian to penetrate McNick territory in the first half and only twice in the game.

        The McNick offensive line of Hafertepen, Blackburn, Jason Wier, Trey Gundrum and Neil Nieberding made it easy for running backs Tony Pasture (105 yards on 23 carries) and Chuck Moore (58 yards on 11 carries).

        Bryan Cupito also took advantage of the good protection, completing eight of 15 passes for 115 yards while rushing for 42 yards on nine carries.

        Overall, McNicholas racked up 303 yards, 211 rushing, while Purcell Marian was limited to 151 yards rushing and 74 passing.

        “C-J took it to us, and we told the kids this week they had to have a short memory,” Rodenberg said. “We feel Purcell Marian is our big rivalry, and by beating them, we hoped to earn some respect.”

        McNicholas ....... 6  8  0  14—28

        Purcell Marian ....... 0  0  0   7— 7

        M—Schmidt 2 run (pass failed)

        M—Schmidt 5 run (Schneider pass from Cupito)

        M—Cupito 1 run (Tilford kick)

        M—Schneider 19 pass from Cupito (Tilford kick)

        P—Berry 30 run (Johnson kick)

        Records: McNicholas 6-1, 3-1 GCLN; Purcell Marian 5-2, 3-1 GCLN.

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Aiken 30, Taft 0
Anderson 14, Harrison 7
Batavia 20, Bethel-Tate 14
Bellevue 17, Beechwood 0
Blanchester 44, Clinton-Massie 0
CCD 47, Landmark Christian 7
Chaminade 38, Badin 0
CHCA 42, Clermont Northeastern 18
Dixie Heights 35, Holmes 13
East Central 42, Greensburg 0
Elder, 28, Moeller 18
Finneytown 32, Taylor 0
Harrison County 29, Grant County 12
Highlands 49, Scott 21
Indian Hill 33, Reading 7
Kings 49, Ross 16
Lakota East 28, Colerain 25
Lakota West 23, Hamilton 14
Lebanon 41, Goshen 7
Lexington Bryan Station 63, Simon Kenton 14
Lexington Henry Clay 56, Boone County 28
Loveland 44, Norwood 29
Ludlow 51, Dayton 13
Madeira 28, Mariemont 25
Mason 31, Northwest 7
Mason Co. 41, Newport 26
- McNicholas 28, Purcell Marian 7
Milford 17, Princeton 10
New Richmond 35, Hillsboro 6
Newport Central Catholic 45, Holy Cross 23
North College Hill 27, Lockland 13
Oak Hills 33, Trotwood Madison 23
Roger Bacon 23, Alter 21
Ryle 25, Franklin County 20
St. Xavier 31, La Salle 10
Summit 34, New Miami 0
Sycamore 28, Middletown 15
Talawanda 23, Franklin 13
Turpin 14, Amelia 6
Valley View 63, Middletown Madison 10
Walnut Hills 44, Woodward 8
Western Hills 40, Withrow 0
Williamsburg 68, Western Brown 21
Winton Woods 32, Glen Este 15
Wyoming 32, Deer Park 6