ELGIN – It might be dramatic to say any game in Week 4 is a must-win, especially for a 2-1 team.
However, a look ahead to IC Catholic’s schedule shows the Knights really needed to beat St. Edward on Sept. 20. Good thing they did.
The Knights won, 21-17, going ahead in the fourth quarter on a touchdown pass from Jack Copher to Max Eichhorn in a game that featured five lead changes.
“That was a must-win,” IC coach Bill Krefft said. “There’s no doubt about it.”
The reason for the urgency is because the Class 3A Knights (3-1, 2-0 Suburban Christian Gold) will be underdogs in the next three games. A loss to the Green Wave would have forced IC to win one game in that stretch to stay alive for the playoffs. Now, the minimum required is to beat Walther Lutheran and Chicago Christian, both 1-3, on the final two weeks of the season to get to five wins and let the tough schedule give them enough playoff points to qualify.
The next three games on the Knights’ schedule are against powerhouse programs in the SCC Blue: Marian Central (3-1), defending Class 5A champ Montini (4-0) and defending Class 3A champ Aurora Christian (4-0).
First up is a Marian team that is coming off its first loss of the season – a 28-10 loss to undefeated Marmion. Despite the loss, Krefft does not want his team thinking this is a down Marian squad.
“Marian is what Marian is every year,” Krefft said. “Hopefully we continue to get better and grow and learn from this competition because I don’t think we’re going to see anything like this if we get into the playoffs. It’s a good mark of where we’re at now. We played Kaneland already and I think Marian is a little better than Kaneland, so we’ll see how much we’ve grown since that game.”
After giving up nearly 400 yards rushing to St. Edward, Krefft noted how the Knights will need to tackle better if they want to compete against Marian.
Offensively, quarterback Jack Copher had another solid game and has become a reliable passer. Clark Brinkman, the team’s leading receiver, caught his first touchdown of the season in the win.
IC Catholic 21
St. Edward 17
IC leaders Passing: Jack Copher 13-for-20, 174 yards, 2 TDs Rushing: Randy Leslie 12-64; Copher 7-52; Max Eichhorn 1-1, TD Receiving: Clark Brinkman 7-131, TD; Leslie 6-12; Eichhorn 1-4, TD
Week 5: IC Catholic vs. Marian Central
When: 1 p.m. SaturdayWhere: Lewis Stadium, 150 S. West Ave., ElmhurstRecords: IC Catholic 3-1 (2-0 SCC Gold), Marian Central 3-1 (1-1 SCC Blue)Outlook: Fresh off the crucial win over St. Edward, the Knights need to refocus for a tough test against Marian Central. The Hurricanes are coming off their first loss of the season, a 28-10 home defeat at the hands of undefeated Marmion. Last year the Hurricanes beat IC 37-7 in Woodstock.