Joshua Moore’s efforts carry NazarethLa Grange Park, IL - Saturday, October 29, 2011: Nazareth's Sam Poulos (1) gets stood up by Deerfield's Austin Jones (7). | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 29, 2011 5:39PM
Nazareth’s offensive line makes Joshua Moore’s job looks so easy.
The junior running back scored three touchdowns earlier this season against St. Viator, but had three touchdowns in just the first quarter Saturday in Nazareth’s Class 6A first round game against Deerfield.
Moore added a fourth touchdown in the third quarter as third-seeded and host Nazareth rolled to a 35-6 victory over 14th-seeded Deerfield. The Roadrunners (9-1) won their seventh consecutive game and ended Deerfield’s six-game win streak in a battle between the co-champions of the East Suburban Catholic and the champions from the Central Suburban League North.
“My offensive line is the heart of the team. They work hard every day,” Moore said. “They practice and study film. After that, we just execute.”
Moore (19 carries, 160 yards) nearly eclipsed his previous career high of 176 yards rushing against Joliet Catholic Sept. 30. He became Nazareth’s main rusher in that game when starter Rudy Romagnano suffered a season-ending ankle injury.
Nazareth scored on its first three possessions while Moore scored on TD runs of 52, 31 and 5 yards on his second, third and fourth carries in the game. His blockers on the line were tackles Brett Morris and Robert McGivney, guards Vincent Raimondi and Andrew Matcha and center Jake Reynolds.
“Everyone helps [Moore] get his yards,” Morris said. “We all work together, even the scout team during the week. I attribute it all to how the scout team plays [in practice].”
The Roadrunners defense handcuffed Deerfield (6-4), which had minus seven yards of total offense in the first quarter. Nazareth took a 28-0 lead in the second quarter when quarterback Sam Poulos ended a seven-play, 61-yard drive with a 1-yard sneak into the end zone.
“Really, my concern and something we really emphasized was having a good start all week,” Nazareth coach Tim Racki said. “We came out and responded in all phases of the game.”
The Roadrunners won their third consecutive playoff opener after making previous postseason appearances in 2007 and 2008. Nazareth advanced to host sixth-seeded Cary-Grove (8-2), a 17-7 winner over Crystal Lake Central Friday night, in the second round next Saturday.
The only previous time Nazareth has won in the second round of the playoffs was a 35-27 victory at home against Geneseo in the 2007 Class 5A playoffs.
Nazareth coach Tim Racki, who led Driscoll to four state titles, watched Cary-Grove’s first-round win.
“We are in for a game. They are a great program,” Racki said. “They have a great tradition. They have speed on the perimeter and power inside.”
Deerfield had only 19 total yards of offense in the first half. The Roadrunners outgained the Warriors 273-108 yards for the game. Warriors quarterback Brad Holway attempted only three passes in the game and completed two for six yards. Michael Maki attempted a pass off a fake punt and running back Ryan Adkins passed once on a trick play. Both attempts were incomplete.
Deerfield’s only score came on Adkins’ 19-yard run with 27 seconds remaining in the game.
“They are a good team,” Warriors coach Steve Winiecki said. “You can’t come out flat against a good team.”
The Roadrunners led 11-2 in first downs in the first half. Deerfield’s top two rushers, Tyler Vajdic (12 carries, 37 yards) and Adkins (four carries, 35 yards), combined for nine carries for 14 yards in the first half. Holway was sacked six times for minus-37 yards in the game. Daniel DeSimone had four sacks and Kevin Stiff had the other two sacks for Nazareth.