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Marcos hold on to knock off Ridgewood in I8FA quarterfinal on the road

In a back-and-forth battle in Saturday’s Illinois 8-Man Football Association quarterfinal in Cambridge, the Polo Marcos managed to put together back-to-back scores to pull out a 38-32 win over Ridgewood.

Brock Soltow ran for 301 yards and five touchdowns on 32 carries, and the Polo defense got a key stop midway through the second half to pave the way to victory.

“It was back and forth, just a very well-played game by both sides,” Polo coach Ted Alston said. “They’re a really nicely coached team, and they’ve got some good players. We got a couple of stops and were able to put two scores together back-to-back, and that was the difference.

“It was a very entertaining game, a good hard-hitting game where both teams played hard. It was fun to be a part of.”

Soltow scored on a 51-yard run in the first quarter, then Ridgewood tied it up early in the second on a 24-yard touchdown run by Gavin McDonough. The Marcos took a 16-8 lead into halftime after a 39-yard scoring run by Soltow, but Ridgewood tied it up early in the third period on a 1-yard TD run.

Soltow answered with a 33-yard scoring sprint, then the Marcos got a stop and Soltow tacked on a 47-yard touchdown run for a 32-16 lead with 8:51 to play. McDonough ran in from 15 yards to cut the Polo lead to 32-24, but Soltow had another 33-yard TD run with 3:09 remaining to stretch the lead back to 38-24.

McDonough added his third touchdown run with 30 seconds left to get Ridgewood within six points, but the Marcos recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

“This team has grown so much,” Alston said. “Going back to Week 1, 2, 3, we wouldn’t have won a game like this. We’ve gotten a lot tougher, we’re much better tacklers, and the offensive line has really started to play well.

“Especially without Avery [Grenoble], that would’ve been tough for us. But being able to do it without him out there, other guys have stepped up, and it’s nice to see the growth of some of our kids.”

Grenoble, a senior two-time all-state running back and linebacker, missed his second straight game after suffering a knee injury right before Polo’s first-round playoff game last week.

McDonough finished with 91 yards on 24 carries, and Ryle Catour ran for 47 yards and a touchdown, and threw for 74 yards on 7 for 8 passing, with an interception for Ridgewood.

Polo advances to the I8FA semifinals for the third straight season, and will host West Central next weekend.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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