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1990 Football Team (1990)

The ascent to the top of the Illinois football world began with the unlikely exploits of the 1990 Football Ramblers. Coming off a disappointing 5-5 season, the Ramblers were picked to finish fourth in the Catholic League North pre-season predictions. An opening loss to Evanston seemed to confirm the suspicion that mediocrity lay ahead. What happened next defined this team and the character of its players and coaches. They picked themselves up, brushed off the dirt and the disappointment and the doubt, and together they persevered. Guided by Head Coach John Hoerster (Hall of Fame, 2004) and his staff Ð Paul Maggiore, E.J. Doyle, Scott Baum, Ed Flynn, and Hobie Murnane (Hall of Fame, 2008) Ð the Ramblers took nine of the next ten games, including a hard-fought 32-31 win over Fenwick. Their lone loss was a three-point heartbreaker to an undefeated, number two ranked Mt. Carmel team in the last seconds of the game. Two tough playoff victories Ð the first a 10-7 victory over Stevenson and the second a 14-6 payback win over Evanston Ð led the Ramblers to the state semi-finals for the first time in fifteen years. Their showdown with Thornton ended in a tough 13-8 loss in which Loyola made too many mistakes against a good football team. The 1990 team walked off the field after that final game swallowing bitter disappointment, but carried with them a ten-win season and a Final Four memory, neither of which seemed remotely possible ten weeks before. They finished the season ranked 8th in the final polls, an astonishing achievement for a team that seemed to come out of nowhere. Inside linebacker and team captain Terry Glavin was named All-League, All-Area, and Second Team All-State while defensive tackle Alex Ilich made Second Team All-State. Running back Jack Prikos, a Chicago Tribune Athlete of the Week, was joined on the All-League team by outside linebacker Pat Bourke, quarterback Peter Patton (Hall of Fame, 1992), and defensive back Jim Callahan. Since the state playoff series began in 1974, some 35 years ago, only a handful of Loyola gridiron teams have achieved as much as the 1990 squad. That it did so following a .500 season is impressive and reveals the larger historic significance of this team. In the distance one could now see a state final team and, at last, a state championship team. The ascent to the top of that mountain began here.

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