The Marengo Indians varsity volleyball team. Photo courtesy of MCHS athletic department
It didn’t look good for Marengo, at the start, punting from their 43-yard line on the first possession, and fumbling the ball away at Chicago Sullivan’s 1-yard line on the next. But, by halftime, it was all over and the offensive juggernaut had piled up a 47-6 lead. As they say in Colorado, “No worries.”
Marengo (8-2) opened the IHSA Class 4A playoffs Oct. 26 with a 47-20 firstround win over Sullivan at Rod Poppe Field. The 5th-seeded Indians, who carried a perfect 6-0 mark to take first-place outright in the Kishwaukee River Conference, returned to the post-season in a big way, after going 2-7 last year, and staying home.
Marengo’s Finn Schirmer seemed to carry a pile of defenders, from the 5-yard line, for the first of his four touchdowns on the night, with 3:32 left in the first quarter. Two minutes later, Cole Davis (4 reception, 51 yards) snagged a 21-yard TD pass, from quarterback Travis Knaak. In the second quarter, Schirmer (13 rushes, 86 yards) scored TD’s on runs from 4, and 7 yards out, within minutes of each other.
The Indians’ defense then closed ranks on the 12-seeded Tigers (6-4), with Colton Lohff breaking into the backfield, and knocking the ball out of running back David Toney’s arms, with Willy Arriola recovering the fumble. Marengo worked the ball downfield, as Schirmer picked up his fourth rushing TD, from the Tigers’ 4-yard line.
A little more than one minute later, Knaack threw a 21-yard TD strike to Lohff. Knaak passed for 83 yards, completing five of thirteen passes, and rushed for 78 yards. Sullivan’s Dave Roberts caught a 26-yard TD pass, from John Dishman, to put the Tigers on the scoreboard. Marengo’s Aaron Shephard received the ball at the 10- yard line on the kickoff, and proceeded to run 90 yards for a TD, with 0:39 seconds left in the half. His PAT kick brought the tally to 47-6, with a running clock.
Sullivan’s Matt Granderson picked up two TD runs in the fourth quarter: a 7-yarder, with Dishman running for a 2-point conversion, and one from 5 yards out, with a second 2-point try failing with an incomplete Dishman pass. Marengo moves on to face the 4th-seeded Chicago Urban Prep-Bronzeville (9-1), which defeated Elgin-based St. Edward (5-5) in its first-round playoff game, by a score of 24-14. St. Edward had gone 5-0 in the Metro Suburban-Red league, and the CUP-Bronzeville Lions also went 5-0 in conference play.
GIRLS VARSITY VOLLEYBALL
The Marengo Indians won straight sets against the Woodstock North Thunder, during an Oct. 17 Kishwaukee River Conference away tilt.. The Indians won 25-17 in the first match, and took the second 25-22. The Indians also traveled to Rochelle to play the Hubs Oct. 24. They split the first two sets, winning 26-24, and dropping the second, 25-14. The third set was a hard-fought 25-23 win. Photo courtesy of MCHS athletic department.