Loyola Academy football takes down Neuqua Valley in the Second Round of the IHSA playoffs

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The Neuqua Valley Wildcats continue their postseason in Wilmette as they face number-one seed Loyola Academy in the second round of the IHSA playoffs. The Ramblers look to continue their perfect season with the Wildcats hoping to spoil the title hopes of the defending state champs. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Loyola Academy football scores 20 points in the first

After Neuqua won the toss and deferred, Loyola got started on the ground early as Drew MacPherson kicks it to the sideline on second down for a 34-yard gain.

A few plays later, Loyola is on the goal line with Fitzgerald opting for a sneak, and the push is enough as Loyola gets on the board early in the game with a 7-0 lead.

Facing third down, Ethan Hogg comes off the right side for Loyola to sack Kiet Truong and force a Wildcat three and out on their first offensive possession.

Next drive for Loyola, Fitzgerald drops back and looks to the left to find a wide-open Brendan Loftus to take a 13-0 lead just five minutes into the first quarter.

After another three and out, Neuqua looks to punt it away to Donovan Robinson. Robinson sheds the first tackle and he is off from there. He bounces to the home sideline and picks up a few great blocks from his teammates and he’s in for the touchdown. Loyola looks as advertised and takes a 20-0 lead in the first quarter.

Ramblers defense stands tall

Looking to strike back, Truong drops back and fires to Miles Miskel in the middle of the field for a wildcat first down.

Facing a third down later in the drive, Loyola is all over the coverage and breaks up the Truong pass to Cooper Lehman.

After the defense holds, Truong looks to get a drive going but his pass is off the mark and Quinn Herbert gets the interception for the Ramblers and returns it within the Wildcat 30-yard line.

Opening the second half on offense down 26-0, Neuqua loses the ball in the backfield and it’s pounced on by Jack McGrath for Loyola. It’s the second turnover of the game from the Wildcats and Loyola takes over in Neuqua territory.

After a penalty forces them back, Loyola tries to go for it on fourth down but Hayden Foley gets a sack for the Wildcats to keep the Ramblers at bay.

On the next possession, it’s Hogg again on third down who was excellent on the edge all day for Loyola.

Loyola advances to the quarters

Loyola marches downfield again after the Neuqua punt and it’s Finley Miller who scores from a few yards out to take a 33-0 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Truong rolls to his right, sets, delivers, and fires to Cooper Lehmen who scores for a 42-yard touchdown pass. It was all the Wildcats could muster though as the Ramblers take the game 33-6. Loyola Academy advances to the quarterfinals of the Class 8A IHSA Playoffs against St. Ignatius next week.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!