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Line opens big holes for St. Francis' Miller
By Dave Oberhelman | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 10/2/2010 6:49 PM

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St. Francis senior Bob Miller ran for 4 touchdowns Saturday against Walther Lutheran, and 5 the week before that.

No man is an island, especially on a football field. After St. Francis' 43-13 Suburban Christian Blue victory in Melrose Park, Miller said the right stuff.

"Our offensive line did spectacularly today controlled 100 percent of the plays, really some of their best work that I've seen.

"They really came out to play today," said Miller, who ran 13 times for 119 yards, among the 259 yards the Spartans ground out behind the starting line of tackles Mike Stolte and Kyle Bosch, guards Jack Porter and Nick Pfeiffer and center Brian Herr.

That half of the equation solved, St. Francis (4-2, 1-2) adhered to a defensive game plan that focused on Walther Lutheran's Northwestern-bound athlete, Sean Cotton, and running back Andre Cooper.

The Spartans caused 6 turnovers. Hunter Bolin intercepted Cotton twice and Nick Donati once. St. Francis also caused 3 fumbles, with safety Mike Yanan falling on 1 and defensive end Porter 2 others. Kevin Walsh and Ben Trimble each had quarterback sacks.

"Stop them, pretty much," was Porter's abridged scheme. "Keep contain, make sure they didn't get outside of us because they've got speed. We've got speed, but they've got some really good speed."

In its precise, Wing-T way, St. Francis went 10 plays on the game's first possession to score on a 3-yard Miller run. Three minutes later St. Francis got the ball back. It took nine plays for Miller to reach the goal on a 5-yard dive, again to the right between Pfeiffer and Stolte.

Walther Lutheran (2-4, 0-3) turned the ball over four times in the second quarter, leading to Miller's 55-yard touchdown jaunt and Colin O'Donnell's 13-yard misdirection that gave St. Francis a 29-0 halftime lead.

"Simple blocks that we missed, not hitting the holes, we had a lot of turnovers that we shouldn't have had," said the Broncos' Cotton, who threw for 138 yards and ran for 78. "It was basically stop the run ... and stop the (Donati play-action) pass when we need to. We just didn't execute like we should have."

St. Francis capped its scoring in the third quarter on a Miller 8-yard run and Jack Petrando's 6-yarder at 1:03 to start a running clock up 43-0.

Cotton threw to Tyreese Andrews for a fourth-quarter touchdown and caught a Cooper touchdown pass. By then St. Francis was thinking ahead.

"We've got three home games to finish the season at College of DuPage, and we're just really excited that we've got a chance now to get to the playoffs," said Spartans coach Greg Purnell. "If we take it one day at a time and one game at a time, we can get it done."