CHICAGO (CBS) — After defeating their archrival Marist to the South Side Superbowl semifinal, Brother Rice will now face Loyola Academy in Saturday’s championship game.
The buzz around Brother Rice is at an all-time high.
The Crusaders are in the state championship game for the first time since 1985.
“We’re just really excited to get this chance to represent Brother Rice on a big stage like this. You know it’s very important to this community,” said wide receiver Anthony Arquilla.
“To have the opportunity to represent everybody who has been here, put helmet on or coached here, it means the world to us,” said assistant coach Tim Lyons.
The Crusaders made an amazing turnaround from a 2-7 season plagued by injuries and inexperience last year, to a confident band of brothers boasting a 13-0 record this year.
“We just worked hard all off-season. A lot of people counted us out but we are here to prove them wrong,” said defensive back Richard Seavers.
“Our chemistry is amazing and I think that’s the biggest turnaround. If I had to pick one thing, it’s the chemistry these seniors have,” Lyons said.
The Crusaders beat Loyola handily 35-3 back in September. The team said that doesn’t matter in a title game. They also think the Ramblers are a different team now.
“You can’t look at where we were in September. We have different players in different spots,” added Arquilla.
“We’re expecting a dogfight. This is two Chicago Catholic League blue teams playing each other when the chips in the line,” Lyons said. “We know what they bring. We know what we have to bring. It should be an exciting game. Hopefully we can bring something back here that hasn’t been here since 1981.”