ALTON – A young Marquette Catholic football team played well, but lost to Taylorville 47-14 on Saturday night at Public School Stadium.

The Tornadoes, ranked in the Top Ten in Class 4A and undefeated at 6-0, lead from start to finish, leading at halftime 28-5.

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“These guys are good,” Explorer coach Darrell Angleton said. “They have a good quarterback, a good core of receivers, they’re well-coached. They’re a good team.”

Marquette had two juniors and a senior in their starting offensive lineup, and also had 21 first downs in the game, but seven turnovers played a key role.

“A lot of those mistakes were young mistakes,” Angleton said. “One of our sophomores had two fumbles, and we also started a freshman at running back. He had a good game.”

Angleton was happy with the Explorers’ effort, and at the start of the second half, surprised Taylorville with an onside kick that Marquette recovered.

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“I was happy with the level of effort,” Angleton said, “and at the start of the second half, we got an onside kick and drove the field.”

That drive at the start of the second half resulted in a touchdown that cut the Tornadoes lead to 28-14. But the Tornadoes scored the final three touchdowns of the game to result in the 47-14 final.

The Explorers return to Prairie State Conference play next week at Dupo in a 7 p.m. kickoff, and finish up the regular season at Kincaid South Fork Oct. 19. The Explorers game Oct. 12 against South Mac won’t be played, and Marquette has been given a 2-0 forfeit win. With the forfeit win, the Explorers will enter the game against Dupo 3-4.

Angleton does like his team’s chances of winning the five games needed to become IHSA playoff eligible and thinks that the point count will be enough to send the Explorers through.

“Right now, I think we’ve got better than a 50-50 chance of getting into the playoffs,” Angleton said. “I’m liking our chances, and I think the playoff points are looking good. It was an acceptable performance tonight, but we’ve got to clean things up and finish strong in the conference.”

Chris Rhodes also contributed to this story.

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