Blue hasn’t always been a popular color at Brother Rice.
Ever since their entry into the powerful Chicago Catholic League Blue, the Crusaders have usually played second — or third or fourth — fiddle to other members of the division. That’s understandable seeing as how three programs have at least one state football championship to their credit since the CCL Blue’s inception and the fourth has been a runner-up.
That latter team is Loyola Academy, which had beaten Rice every year since 2008. The Ramblers’ 2013 victory was, in fact, one of just two double-digit wins foes collected against the Crusaders last fall.
So when Loyola visited Joe Johnston Field Friday night for the latest renewal of the series the supposedly smart money was on the Ramblers continuing their mastery over Rice. That turned out to be a fool’s bet, however.
Fresh off a payback to neighboring Marist for a 2013 loss, the Crusaders continued down that same revenge-seeking path and Loyola became their latest victim.
After spotting the Ramblers the game’s first touchdown, Rice rattled off 16 unanswered points over the middle two periods, an output that was just enough to nail down a 16-13 triumph in both squads’ CCL Blue opener.