For the first time ever, arch rivals Marian and St. Joe will meet for a sectional championship in football tonight at 7pm at Clay Field. It's our Pizza Hut Spotlight Game of the Week.
If the regular season meeting was any indication, tonight's Holy War rematch will be an all-time classic. In fact, the regular season showdown six weeks ago, was a classic in and of itself.
In a back-and-forth affair, Marian shutdown St. Joe inside the Knights 5-yard line as time expired as Marian escaped with the 25-21 win at Otolski Field.
St. Joe quarterback Nick Carmola struggled to get a play called and executed on what turned out to be the game's final play.
"I kind of messed up on the last play," Carmola says looking back. "I'm Trying to redeem myself. Team is trying to redeem themselves. Made a couple of mistakes last time but I think we have it covered."
Carmola hasn't forgotten the feeling of watching Marian celebrate the big win.
"Losing to them the first time is not a good feeling at all," Carmola says. "It's like playing your brother, you just want to get back at em--you never want to lose to your brother in anything."
While Indians coach Ben Downey feels his team doesn't need extra motivation other than the fact the sectional championship is on the line, he's happy his players get to face Marian one more time.
"it's good for the guys to try and have an opportunity to redeem themselves," Downey says. "The guys are excited to have another crack at it."
Last year, Marian beat St. Joe in the regular season--only to see the Indians get their revenge in sectionals.
Only once---St. Joe in 2008-- has one team beat the other twice in one season. Now marian is looking for that double shot of glory for the very first time.
"we're not worried about that right now. We're just worried about this game. Last game doesn't even matter," senior wide receiver and safety Anthony Rice says with a smile.
Then Rice admits, "Its in the back of our heads but we're trying to stay focused on this game only."
And this game---the biggest in the Holy War's history.
"it gets no bigger than a rivalry game but this makes it even more special--historic," says Marian coach Reggie Glon. "Playing for a sectional title---it's never been done before. I know both teams are excited, ready to go. Should be a great game to watch."
Kickoff is set for 7pm Friday night at Clay Field. Both teams are 9-2. The winner faces either Jimtown or Heritage in regionals.