CHICAGO – It doesn’t seem to matter who gets the ball for Nazareth, but there will be many Roadrunners that get a chance.
Naz’s latest display of balance was a 37-13 win over Brooks in a Class 5A first round playoff game on Saturday at Gately Stadium. The Roadrunners had a staggering 13 ball carriers in their run-focused offense.
“We’ve been doing it all year so it helps because if somebody gets dinged or they’re out another kid is coming in and he’s already used to carrying the ball so it’s nice to have a variety of weapons,” Naz coach Tim Racki said.
However, the running game didn’t get off to a good start for Naz (8-2). The first play from scrimmage was a fumble and the host Eagles (8-2) recovered and scored a touchdown three plays later for a 7-0 lead.
Naz responded on the next drive to tie the game on a 2-yard run from Daniel Bakovich.
The Roadrunners took the lead on a safety after a high snap on a Brooks punt attempt. Second quarter touchdown runs from Bakovich and Julian Love extended the lead to 23-7, which was the halftime score.
Kevin Jackson picked off his second pass of the night on the second play of the second half and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown.
Brooks scored on a 20-yard quarterback keeper from Tyree Dantzler to cut the lead to 30-13, but didn’t score again. Naz closed out the scoring on a 12-yard run from freshman Ivory Kelly-Martin.
Next week Naz will host undefeated Sycamore, which beat Antioch 48-24 earlier on Saturday.