Loyola continues to roll, dismisses Evanston
Wilmette Saturday 10/27/12 Evanston's#34 Maalik Todd sprints from the line of scrimmage against Loyola. | Jerry Daliege~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 3, 2012 3:21PM
WILMETTE — Loyola took its first step toward returning to Champaign for a second season in a row Saturday.
The Ramblers, who took second in the state a year ago, hardly had any trouble with Evanston on their way to a 41-0 win in the first round of the Class 8A football playoffs. It was the second year in a row Loyola, which is ranked No. 5 by the Sun-Times, beat the Wildkits in the postseason opener.
Ever since pulling out a closer-than-expected 49-28 victory over Fenwick on Oct. 6, the Ramblers (9-1) have been rolling. Saturday was the team’s second shutout in three games and fourth of the season. Loyola has allowed one touchdown in its last three games.
“We know we can’t look down on anyone anymore,” Loyola senior nose tackle Darby Goodwin said. “That Fenwick game really woke us up a bit and made us work harder.”
Loyola senior Joseph Hovanec picked off a pass on Evanston’s first offensive play of the game, and the Ramblers scored three plays later on Peter Pujals’ 23-yard pass to senior Luke Ford. Pujals, a senior, then added three rushing touchdowns as Loyola went into intermission ahead 34-0.
Pujals finished 13-for-17 for 230 yards in two quarters of work. Senior Richie Wehman III was the big beneficiary, catching five passes for 131 yards.
Julius Holley scored the team’s other touchdown in the first half and ended up with 14 carries for 61 yards. The junior ran the ball once in the third quarter.
“We are really confident right now,” Wehman said. “We’ve had a great season so far, and we are looking forward to the rest of the playoffs.”
Loyola will travel to Bartlett for its second-round game Saturday. The time has not yet been announced.
Evanston (5-5) struggled to get anything going in the first two quarters. The Wildkits, who haven’t won a playoff game since 2003, turned the ball over twice and managed 47 yards in the first half with 24 coming on Justin Bishop’s run in the second quarter.
Pick up your local Pioneer Press newspaper on Thursday to read more about the Loyola and Evanston football teams.