Boylan wins first state championship
By Matt Nestor
The identity of the Boylan Titans’ defense all year was turnovers. So, it was fitting that Boylan rode six Marmion turnovers on their way to their first state championship ever by a final of 48-19 in the IHSA Class 6A final Saturday, Nov. 27.
The championship capped off an undefeated season for the Titans, the first ever in school history.
“It’s a feeling that you just can’t do justice to right after it happens,” Boylan Head Coach Dan Appino said after his team’s victory. “It’s something we have worked at non-stop ever since we’ve been at Boylan.”
The Titans fell behind twice early, at 7-0 and then 13-7. But the Titans used those turnovers to outscore the Cadets 41-6 the remainder of the game.
Tyreis Thomas led the way for the Titans. The junior star made a name for himself, running for a team-high 140 yards and two touchdowns, part of a complete offensive effort that saw the Titans gain 415 yards.
“It’s determination,” Thomas said. “If you want to get the touchdown and be a part of the scoring, if you want to win something, you have to go for it.”
The Titans took the lead for good in the second quarter when quarterback Lamont Toney found Jaxon Meister for a 54-yard touchdown.
Following a Marmion fumble by TJ Lally, Thomas scored from 24 yards out to extend the lead to 20-13. The Titans capitalized on another Marmion fumble on the next possession when Frank Cimino plunged in from 1 yard away.
The Cadets scored on a 7-yard touchdown pass to Nick Scoliere from Bobby Peters before the half to close the lead to 27-19 at the half.
But the Titans’ defense struck again. Boylan caused another Lally fumble on Marmion’s first possession of the second half, and Thomas took the first play 38 yards for a touchdown to make it 34-19.
Senior Chris Miller scored for Boylan from 1 yard out in the fourth quarter. Tony Pirello returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown to finish the scoring.
In addition to the five turnovers, the Titans’ defense also sacked Peters five times, with the pass rush taking advantage of the big lead by teeing off on the Cadets’ offense. Coming in to the game, many thought the Cadets’ offense would be too big and physical for the Titans.
“(Josh) Fagan said coming into the game we had to out-physical them,” senior Grant Flodin said. “We have great technique tackling and we get our hand on the ball and hope it comes out.”
For Boylan, it was an exciting, but anti-climatic, ending to the season. After pulling out tight games late to make the championship, Boylan cruised to their first title. But you won’t find anyone on their sideline complaining.
“That’s our goal every year coming in,” Appino said. “We write it down, we talk about it. It’s always a possibility. And this year made believers out of all of us.”
Print This Article