ALTON - Marquette Catholic's football team got hit with injuries at very inopportune times, as the Explorers lost five key players during a 54-0 loss to Nashville in a week five football matchup Friday night at Public School Stadium.
The five players lost to Marquette during the game included starting wide receiver Nathan Hamberg, starting offensive lineman/linebacker Samuel Harshbarger and offensive and defensive lineman Colton Roswell. All the players who were hurt were big losses for the Explorers.
"We started out pretty well, and then, we got hit by the injury bug," said Marquette head coach Leon McElrath III. "We lost five guys, and for a small team, that's a lot."
Although the Explorers faced adversity, the team handled it well and kept on playing hard, and didn't give up.
"We did keep playing," McElrath said, "and we finished the game, which was the most important part."
Although Marquette stayed resilient and kept on going, the Explorers missed out on opportunities to score, while the Hornets were able to finish their drives and took advantage of their scoring chances.
"We didn't have many positives tonight," McElrath said. "We had opportunities to score, we just didn't execute. That was the story of the game right there."
McElrath also had praise for Nashville.
"They won state in 2019, and they're not a bad team," McElrath said. "They were well-coached, and they executed their stuff all night."
The Explorers are now 0-5, and go on the road to face Nokomis next week in a 7 p.m. kickoff. McElrath remains confident that his team will breakthrough very soon.
"We'll just keep working," McElrath said, "and eventually, we'll come out on top."