By Matt Nestor
Throughout the Boylan Titans’ run to the IHSA Class 6A state championship, they have been favorites along the way.
In each round, they have been bigger, stronger and faster than their opponents, and if they haven’t overwhelmed them from the start, they have at least worn them down into submission.
When they line up at Memorial Stadium in Champaign Saturday, Nov. 27, they are going to see a much different opponent than they have seen all year.
First and foremost, this will be the biggest offensive line the Titans have faced all year. They are led by Graham Glasgow (6 feet 7 inches, 295 pounds), Jake Winkel (6 feet 3 inches, 275), Brendan Bakala (6 feet 2 inches, 270) and Tyler Boyd (6 feet 1 inches, 245).
The Titans have not seen size like that all season from an offensive front. They also move well for their size, able to get out in front of runners down the field.
Behind that sits dual-threat quarterback Bobby Peters. Marmion does not throw the ball much, but Peters has been efficient.
But for the Titans to have a chance, they will have to contain senior two-way player TJ Lally. The 6-foot-1-inch, 215-pound senior has an amazing combination of strength and speed. He has the ability to break away a long run if the line opens up holes, but also the ability to run over defenders who try to take him head on.
Offensively, the Titans will have the potential to move the ball.
Marmion came into the playoffs only allowing 8.9 points per game, topped only by Boylan’s semifinal opponent Prairie Ridge, who allowed 5.3 per game during the regular season.
But in the playoffs, that defense has been tested. After a shutout in their opening-round game, the Cadets have given up 25 points per game in the last three games.
If the Titans can hold on to the ball and avoid the costly turnovers that have taken potential points off the board, they will have a good shot to win, despite the Cadets’ huge offensive line.
From the Nov. 24-30, 2010 issue