Marquette Catholic junior RB Alex McCloud carries the ball in the Explorers' season-opener against Civic Memorial Friday night at Public School Stadium. (Photo by Dan Brannan)ALTON - If there’s anything Marquette Catholic running back Alex McCloud could do differently about his game in the season opener against Civic Memorial, it’s play more. McCloud, a junior running back for Eric Dickerson’s Explorer ball club, made his presence felt offensively when he was on the field. But as was apparent at high school games all across the region, the unforgiving heat led to cramping for McCloud, who had to sit out some game time.

“Big time,” Alex McCloud said, when asked if the heat played a factor in Friday’s game.

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“It was annoying when I was cramping,” said McCloud after the game, a 42-16 loss for his Explorers. “When I was cramping I couldn’t be in the game, but when I was in the game I had a blast.”

While not an ideal result for Marquette, Alex McCloud scored a late rushing touchdown to bring the score a bit closer. A 16-yard rush where McCloud broke tackles and made CM defenders miss on his way to the endzone, the junior back showed what he can bring to the Marquette offense in games to come.

For the big play in Friday's game, Alex McCloud is a Tucker's Automotive Repair & Tire Athlete of the Month for Marquette.

Athlete of the Month is sponsored by

Marquette head coach Eric Dickerson noted the impact his skill players, like McCloud, can bring to a football game.

“We’ve got some dangerous weapons there," Dickerson said.

While their season opener ended in defeat, it hasn’t dampened any hopes for McCloud. Speaking after the game, he expressed confidence that Marquette would find the win column for the first time since the shortened 2020 season.

“Playing with these teammates, I feel like we’re a good team,” said McCloud of his teammates in Explorer blue, a bigger group than the 2022 team. “We’re definitely catching a win this year.”

McCloud and Marquette head to Salem on September 1 in hopes of catching that streak-busting win.

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