The St. Viator Lions made the trek to LaGrange Park on Saturday hoping to quash Nazareth's bid for an East Suburban Catholic Conference championship.
But the Road Runners were true to their nickname, drubbing the Lions 51-14 to earn a share of the ESCC crown with Marist the first title in Nazareth school history.
"We just couldn't keep up with their speed," said Lions coach Chris Kirkpatrick. "They just wore us down towards the end. The character and the hard work was here today and all season."
Nazareth (8-1, 7-1) jumped out to a 21-0 lead before the Lions (2-7, 1-7) knew what hit them. Joshua Moore caught a 17-yard pass from quarterback Sam Poulos with 8:02 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead on Nazareth's first posession.
The Road Runners deflected a punt and took over at the Lions' 26.
Moore ran 23 yards on first down and Kevin Curtin scored from the 5-yard line on the next play for a 14-0 lead with 6:16 left in the quarter.
Kalium Ewing picked off a pass by the Lions' Mickey Macius (11-for-31, 114 yards, 4 interceptions) at the Road Runners' 35 and returned the ball 65 yards for a 21-0 lead.
On their next possession, the Lions marched 74 yards to score on A. J. Wegrzyn's 3-yard run to cut the lead to 21-7 with six seconds left in the quarter.
Moore scored again for Nazareth with 7:09 remaining in the half on a 3-yard run.
St. Viator cut the lead to 28-14 just before the half on Macius' 13-yard pass to Brian Guth with 1:11 left.
Moore broke the Lions' back by breaking loose for a 52-yard TD run with 6:25 left in the third quarter and a 35-14 lead.
Hersey bounced back from its loss in Thursday's Mid-Suburban League championship match to take second place at the Lake Park Invite. Naperville North topped Hersey (29-6) by a 25-22, 25-18 decisin in the title match.
Despite missing the final set against Naperville North after a shoulder injury in Set 1, senior Kelsey Haas led the Huskies' attack with 45 kills, followed by Kristen Pedersen (26), Maggie Hogen (18) and Erica Hill (16).
Junior setter Abby Fesl handed out 114 assists from 256 sets and was 11-of-11 on attack with 8 kills.
Pedersen tweaked her ankle in the MSL title match.
Fremd went 3-2 in the tourney, and was led on attack by Rebecca Clarke (26 kills), Lane Hindenburg (18 kills), Jessi Wiedemann 28-33 (16 kills) and Claire Brady (16 kills).
Junior setter Marilyn Lortz handed out 100 assists. Nina Scott led the defense with 24 digs.
Conant (16-18) took first place in the bronze division (3-2 record) as Jenn Donnell (36 kills), Allie Bauch (21) and Morgan Peterson (15) led the attack set by Taylor Levitt (46 assists) and Loznjakovic (35 assists).
Buffalo Grove Invite: Coaching her last regular season match at Buffalo Grove, retiring Marianne O'Shea directed the Bison to first place in their own tournament with a 4-0 record.
BG's Alaina Murphy, Bailey North, Katie Okamoto and Mary Zawlocki were selected to the all-tourney team.
The Bison won all their matches in the two sets over Immaculate Conception, Addison Trail, Glenbard North and Wheeling.
Victoria Ito led the back row with 39 digs while Paige Smith (25 kills, 26 digs), North (21 kills, 9 blocks) ), Zawlocki (21 kills, 4 blocks) and Murphy (20 kills, 7 aces) led the attack.
Teammate Marie Georgoulis added 5 blocks while Kelly Kowal collected 35 digs and Okamoto 26.
Wheeling (6-28) went 1-3 in the invite as all-tourney selection Sydney Keith (15 kills) and Kellie Kuzmanic (13) led the Wildcats' attack.
Girls state tennis
Tom Stanhope's young and talent-drenched Stevenson four freshmen and two sophomores amassed 21 points to finish third behind New Trier (28) and champ Hinsdale Central (39) in the final team standings of the IHSA state tournament.
Stevenson sophomore Alexxis Kiven/freshman Kendall Kirsch's 6-2, 7-6 (7) defeated Whitney Young's Natalie Whalen/Kendall Scruggs in a doubles quarterfinal Saturday morning to clinch hardware for the Patriots.
Kiven/Kirsch's lone loss of the weekend was to eventual doubles champs Marika Cusick/Caroline Lorenzini, of Hinsdale Central, in a 6-3, 6-3 semifinal late Saturday morning.
Kiven, near a baseline, showed goalkeeper-quick hands at 7-7 of the second-set tiebreaker, deftly getting a racket on a pair of Whitney Young overhead smashes to extend the crucial point.
Kiven/Kirsch, seeded 3-4, earned the point and won the next one to secure a semifinal berth.
"We wanted to get to the net, a lot, and play aggressive tennis all day," said Kiven, after she and her spirited partner placed a program-best third place in doubles with a 7-6 (6), 6-2 win over Decatur St. Teresa's Tracey Kuhle/Amy Kuhle.
Morgan Park Academy's Jerricka Boone, the 2009 state singles champ, topped Lyons' Alex Chatt 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in Saturday's singles final.