CM's Adam Hill sets up for the pass in the first game of the season against the Marquette Explorers.
BETHALTO – Adam Hill came out pitching touchdowns and scoring them for the Civic Memorial Eagles on Friday night.
The junior quarterback passed for four TDs and scored two more as the Eagles rolled by Marquette Catholic, 49-7, in the teams’ season opener at Hauser Field.
“I’ve been playing football since I was 5 years old and I’ve been playing for this moment for a long time,” the 6-foot, 175-pound junior said. “I played my hardest. I was a little nervous at the start of the game, but our first touchdown helped me to calm down.”
He served as a backup to Kyle Kirkpatrick last season, but with Kirkpatrick graduating, Eagles’ head coach Justin Winslow gave Hill the keys to the Eagles’ engine.
“Adam did exactly what I expected of him,” Winslow said. “He had a great summer and a great game tonight. He showed a lot of composure.”
Hill completed 11 of 16 passes for 208 yards and scoring strikes to Caleb Buhs (68 and 9 yards), Brett Lane (33 yards) and Zach Klocke (4 yards). Hill ran for touchdowns of 2 and 4 yards.
Klocke, a 6-0, 195 senior, rambled 13 times for 123 yards and also scored on a 1-yard run. The Eagles accounted for more than 400 yards of total offense. Curiously, they scored 49 unanswered points after Marquette shot ahead 7-0 in the first quarter.
“I was happy with the way our offense responded after their (Explorers) TD,” Winslow said. “And our defense responded, too. Marquette is a good team, but we played pretty well tonight.”
Marquette coach Matt Bucher liked the way the Explorers kept control of things on their first drive. They went 86 yards on 19 plays, taking 10 minutes and 23 seconds, to get the opening score. Quarterback Trey Aguirre hooked up with Danny Holtz for a 5-yard score.
Yet after that, it was all Eagles.
“We had a couple of breakdowns in our pass coverage,” Bucher said of the Eagles’ quick strikes. “A couple of big plays hurt us early in the game, so there are some things we need to fix.”
He added, “We aren’t feeling sorry for ourselves. I think we played a decent game.”
Hill and Buhs hooked up for a 68-yard touchdown just 26 seconds after the Explorers scored. Then Hill hit Lane for a 33-yard TD on the first play of the second quarter. CM used a 20-point second quarter to build a 27-7 halftime lead and never looked back.
“I thought we would be pretty good offensively and we have some guys that can run a little,” Winslow said. Devin Daniels added five PAT kicks and John Whitworth supplied some lengthy kick returns to spur the Eagles.
Hill said, “Most everything worked tonight for us and it was a good way to get some momentum going. The blocking from our offensive line was great.”
Holtz snared six passes for 75 yards to pace the Marquette attack. Aguirre completed 8 of 15 passes for 96 yards before departing with a leg cramp early in the third quarter.
“I think he will be fine,” Bucher said, looking ahead to next week’s home opener with Quincy Notre Dame. CM remains at home in welcoming Mattoon.
CM 49, MARQUETTE CATHOLIC 7
Marquette 7 0 0 0 – 7
CM 7 20 15 7 – 49
M – Holtz 5 pass from Aguirre (Maher kick), 1:37
CM – Buhs 68 pass from Hill (Daniels kick), 1:11
CM – Lane 33 pass from Hill (Daniels kick), 11:51
CM – Hill 2 run (Daniels kick), 6:56
CM – Buhs 9 pass from Hill (kick failed), 2:45
CM – Z. Klocke 1 run (Lane pass from Hill), 5:22
CM – Hill 4 run (Daniels kick), 2:42
CM – Z. Klocke 4 pass from Hill (Daniels kick), 9:37