ALTON - Although Marquette Catholic's football team was defeated by Civic Memorial 48-7 in the season opener for both teams Friday at Public School Stadium, the Explorers came away with several positives to build on for the remaining eight games of the regular season.

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Marquette was even with the Eagles in total offense in the first half, but it was the little things that went wrong that hurt the Explorers' cause.

"There were some positive things," said Marquette head coach Leon McElrath III during an interview Saturday afternoon. "At the end of the first half, although the score was lopsided, we had just as many yards as they did. We have to do a better job of executing, doing the little things like lining up correctly. It's always the little things that add up so quickly."

Despite the score, the Explorers kept hanging in there, played hard the entire game, and didn't quit or surrender, always something good to build on.

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"The kids kept playing hard for the entire 48 minutes," McElrath said. "That's always a good thing."

Johnny Everage had the highlight of the game for Marquette with a spectacular 66-yard touchdown run after taking a short pass from quarterback Michael Allen.

Everage and fellow running back Sage White, who are both transfers to the team this season, add speed to the Explorers and have the ability to quickly turn a game around.

"Sage and Johnny do have great speed," McElrath said. "They can turn a five-yard gain into a 20-yard gain in the blink of an eye. I think they both have a great future with our football team."

The Explorers are 0-1 to start and go on the road to face Salem next Friday night, and McElrath and his team will be set to go against the Wildcats.

"The good thing is that we get to play another game next week," McElrath said. "Our schedule. once again, is really tough, but we've got to line up and compete week in and week out. Football is a movie, not a picture, and it always keeps changing. We're ready to redeem ourselves against Salem."

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