ELMHURST – Marian Central quarterback Billy Bahl scanned IC Catholic's defense in search of an open receiver.
With the Hurricanes trailing 3-0 in the first quarter after a fumble on their second play of the game, Bahl found senior wide receiver Brett Olson for a 10-yard touchdown to give Marian the lead. It was a connection that worked all game for Marian, ranked No. 10 in Class 5A.
The Hurricanes wouldn't relinquish the lead. Bahl threw for 328 yards and four touchdowns, including two to Olson, who hauled in nine catches for 184 yards to lead the Hurricanes to a 49-17 Suburban Christian Conference crossover win against IC.
A focused week of practice after Marian's loss to Marmion helped the Hurricanes (4-1 overall, 2-1 SCC Blue) avoid another setback.
"This week we wanted to come out here and make a statement after the miserable, embarrassing loss last week," Bahl said. "We came out here and wanted to punch them in the mouth, put up a whole bunch of points on the board and get a win."
The Knights (3-2, 2-1 SCC Gold) grabbed a 3-0 lead with 7:26 remaining in the first quarter, but those would be the last points they would score until a touchdown with 1:02 left until halftime. By then, the Bahl-Olson connection had done its damage.
Less than two minutes after taking a 7-3 lead, Bahl found a wide open Olson for a 44-yard touchdown with 22 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Olson recorded 113 of his 184 receiving yards in the first half, part of a performance that Marian coach Ed Brucker called "one of his better games."
"We wanted to show a lot more emotion, come out and play a lot more physical," Olson said. "It was a tough loss last week and we just needed to get back on track, try to get back to what we were doing."
The Hurricanes were content with taking what IC's defense gave them, which allowed Bahl to complete 20 of 32 passes to complement his four touchdowns and an interception. Senior running back Ephraim Lee helped Marian have a balanced attack, rushing for 136 yards on 26 carries with three touchdowns. His 2-yard run put Marian ahead by 18 points midway through the second quarter, and Bahl's 21-yard touchdown pass to Tom Klinger with 3:48 remaining until halftime gave the Hurricanes a comfortable 28-3 lead.
"I thought we responded well," Brucker said. "Obviously, our passing game was good today against them. Our running game was pretty good, but I'd like to see it better than what it was today."