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Aurora Central, Marmion set to renew rivalry

Marmifootball Rivals. Matt Smith Charlie Faunce Peter Shares. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media

Marmion football Rivals. Matt Smith, Charlie Faunce and Peter Shares. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 13, 2012 6:16AM



It’s never meaningless when Aurora Central and Marmion square off, no matter the sport.

Friday the Chargers and Cadets renew their football rivalry that dates to 1973 at Marmion. It’s had a two-year hiatus, thanks to the teams being in opposite divisions of the Suburban Christian Conference. That means this will be the 38th meeting in this, the 40th year of the rivalry. Marmion holds a 22-14-1 advantage in the series.

“It means a lot, actually,” said ACC captain and two-way starter Izzy Rosa. “They’re our rivals, so we’re pumped. And if we win, we’re conference champions, too.”

The Chargers are 6-1 overall and 4-1 in the SCC Gold in coach Brian Casey’s third season. Last week, they clinched a postseason playoff berth for the first time since 1997. A win this week clinches a share of their first league crown since 1996.

Marmion has struggled to a 2-5 overall record and a 2-3 SCC Blue record and will end a string of three straight playoff appearances under coach Dan Thorpe.

“We have a lot to play for, though,” Thorpe said, noting the strong effort his defense gave in last week’s 14-6 win over St. Francis. “That was a rivalry game, too, since a lot of our kids from the tri-cities (St. Charles, Batavia, Geneva), know their kids from youth football leagues. And now, the Aurora kids who may have been classmates or rivals in grade school, play each other.”

Defensive backs Jordan Sullivan and Jake Ruddy, who returned from a concussion, each had 10 tackles last week but “it was a team effort,” said Thorpe. “Our defensive linemen didn’t make the tackles but they made plays. They stayed low and didn’t get driven far.”

That line rotation included Alex Fritz, Mike Hughes, Joel Talbot, Luke Juriga and Matt Smith, backed by linebackers Mike Montalbano, Sam Breen and Charlie Clohecy.

“And Tom Jude and Charlie Faunce, our other two defensive backs, had interceptions,” said Thorpe, adding that the unit needs to be up to the challenge again this week since ACC has “a great running attack. (Steven) Amoni is the real deal. He’s 200 pounds, he’s tough and fast and so is (Brian) Bohr.

“Their offensive line gets off the ball, they’re backs run hard and they have good misdirection, so you need to play good assignment football.”

Amoni is expected back from an ankle injury but Julian Rios has filled in well in his place.

Casey said Marmion “is significantly better than their record indicates. They’re battle-tested, having played a lot of great teams. Offensively, they’re a little more run heavy than we thought they would be. Defensively, they’ve got some athletes out there, although I don’t think they’re as big as Marmion teams of the past couple years.”



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