ALTON – Both the running and passing games were in sync for the Marquette Catholic football team’s offense, and it helped tremendously as the Explorers won over Salem 28-21 in a non-conference football game Friday night at Public School Stadium.

The entire offense played very well throughout the night, which was a big factor in the outcome of the game.

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“We had a good balance on offense tonight,” said Marquette head coach Leon McElrath III of the homecoming win. “The running game and the passing game worked really, really well.”

No statistics were available at press time, but McElrath thought quarterback Jake Hewitt stood out for the Explorers, as did running back Zachary Smith, wide receivers Devon Fields, Alex Barnhart, and Gerold Nave III,

“And the linemen played very well,” McElrath added.

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The game was close throughout, but in the end, the Explorers were able to get past the Wildcats a historic first win for McElrath as head coach.

“It was my first win as head coach at Marquette,” McElrath said. “I’m really happy with how everything went tonight, Everyone played well, and you can’t ask for any more than that.”

The Explorers are now 1-1 and will play at Freeburg next Friday night, then travel to East Alton-Wood River the following Friday night. McElrath is very happy with how things went and are looking ahead to the game against the Midgets next week.

“We hope to keep building on our confidence and execution from this week,” McElrath said. “We’ll go out there and compete.”

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Dan Brannan also contributed to this story

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