The Alexander Trojans raised their Section V football record to 5-1 this afternoon with a 49-6 victory over Class D rival Notre Dame.
The visitors wasted little time in exerting their dominance when junior Christian Kissel fielded a punt at his own 22-yard line, broke a tackle and raced 78 yards untouched into the end zone with 8:31 left in the opening quarter (photo at top).
Kissel’s play was the first time the Trojans touched the ball after forcing the Irish to punt from their own 47.
Kicker Eric Cline converted the point after touchdown – he was successful on all seven attempts for the game – to give Alexander a 7-0 lead.
Alexander went up 14-0 about a minute later when, following an interception by defensive back Ricky Townley, quarterback Nick Kramer broke through the line off left tackle for a 61-yard touchdown run.
Ben Merrill’s interception on ND’s next possession set up a three-yard run by Brayden Woods, capping a six-play, 61-yard drive to make it 21-0 late in the period.
Another turnover, this time a fumble after a sack, gave the ball back to Alexander at the ND 24, and seven plays later the score ballooned to 28-0 on a 13-yard screen pass from Kramer to 6-2, 230-pound sophomore fullback Clayton Bezon.
The next three possessions for ND, 1-5, resulted in a fumble, punt and interception – the last turnover setting up a two-yard TD run by Woods to make it 35-0 at halftime.
The Trojans scored again on their opening possession after intermission on a 16-yard pass from Kramer to Merrill, and went up 49-0 midway through the fourth quarter on a 13-yard run by Tyler Marino.
The Irish, victimized by four interceptions and two lost fumbles, scored with 2:46 remaining on a two-yard run by quarterback Jimmy Fanara. The touchdown was set up by an 18-yard pass to C.J. Thornley and 40-yard completion to Evan Cummings.
Cummings, who recovered a fumble in the end zone to thwart the Trojans early in the fourth quarter, prevented another touchdown when he ran down Ricky Townley after a long run deep into ND territory inside of a minute to play.
Leading rushers for Alexander were Kramer with 79 yards on eight carries and Townley with 73 yards on five carries. Kramer was 4-for-8 passing for 47 yards and two TDs.
Defensively, Townley and Merrill each had two interceptions while Andrew Pulliam and Chase Graham recovered fumbles.
For the Irish, gained 46 yards on the ground, while Fanara completed five of 17 passes for 95 yards. On defense, Anthony Edwards was in on 14 tackles, while Anthony Fiorentino and Conner McWilliams had nine each and Vin DiRisio had eight.
Both teams play again on Friday night. Alexander hosts York/Pavilion while Notre Dame travels to Cuba-Rushford/Hinsdale.
Alexander's Clayton Bezon attempts a fullback option pass over ND linebackers Vin DiRisio (24), Evan Cummings (12) and Conner McWilliams (58).
Bezon is brought down by ND's Ryan Fitzpatrick but not before crossing the goal line for a touchdown. No. 52 is Cole Dean.
Eric Klein converts one of his seven point-after-touchdown kicks.
Photos by Howard Owens.