Photo by Jeff Vorva
Marist quarterback Brendan Skalitzkiy threw for 445 yards and ran for 188 and had a hand or foot in all eight of the Redhawks’ touchdowns Saturday night.
Marist senior quarterback Brendan Skalitzky had accounted for 630 yards of offense and seven touchdowns.
He threw for 442 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 188 yards and three TDs.
And his team was losing.
Time was running out.
The season was almost over.
But on a night when big scoring plays ruled, the Skalitzky hooked up with tight end James Dunican for the first time in the game for a 3-yard TD completion with 12 seconds left and the RedHawks went on to win a 59-56 Class 8A second-round football playoff game over seventh-seeded Barrington Saturday in Chicago. It was the highest-scoring 8A playoff game in state history.
Those three precious yards kept the 23rd-seeded RedHawks (7-4) alive as they visit Oswego at 6 p.m. Saturday in the quarterfinals.
“We practiced that play and we did it against Joliet Catholic,” Skalitzky said about a 35-28 win over the Hilltoppers on Oct. 23 to get into the playoffs. “We were waiting for it all game. It was perfect. James is one of the hardest workers on the team and he does a great job blocking and I’m so glad it went to him.’’
Dunican waited his turn and it came in the 11th hour with 12 ticks on the clock.
“I trusted my coached that they would call a play like that for me and I did my job,” Dunican said. “That’s probably the biggest play of my life. It’s a great experience and I can’t wait for next week.’’
Coach Pat Dunne called this one of the wildest games he has ever coached, and that’s saying something.
Dunne’s wide open style of football has leant itself to a 64-64 double OT win over Carmel in 2011, a 56-51 win over Joliet Catholic and a 42-37 win over Nazareth in 2012. This year, the team beat Niles Notre Dame 49-42 during the regular season.
So the man knows wild football games.
Skalitzky, who could be heading to the Ivy League to play football next year, said his big night was a product of his offensive line and running back-receiver Darshon McCullough, who had five catches for 207 yards and three touchdowns.
“Any time he touches the ball he can break free,’’ Skalitzky said.
Dunne is glad he has at least one more game to watch his signalcaller work his magic with this explosive offense.
“You can talk about the best quarterbacks around and he throws well and runs well,” Dunne said. “His stats have shown what he could do all year. He’s such a great team player. And he’s a great leader. He can hurt you in a lot of different ways.’’
Barrington closed its season at 9-2, It was the most points the Broncos scored this year but it was offset by the fact that it was the most points they gave up in 2015. Its only other loss was a 26-24 setback to Palatine, which is still alive in the Class 8A quarterfinals and plays Brother Rice.
Marist is making the most of its postseason as it knocked off Niles Notre Dame, 17-14, in a rematch in the opening round and another three-point win on Saturday.