Lions lose to Fenwick 28-6

Leo’s hopes for a return to the Prep Bowl come up short when the Lions lost their second-round playoff game to Fenwick 28-6 at Triton College on Friday, Nov. 3.

The loss halted a three-game winning the Lions had used to turn the season around after enduring a six-game losing streak earlier. They finished the season 4-7 overall, 2-1 in the Chicago Catholic League Red Division.

“It’s always tough to see a season end short of expectations, but I was proud of how the kids hung in there and kept playing through tough times,” Coach Mike Holmes said. “I want to thank the seniors for all they contributed, and remind the juniors and sophomores that they’ve given themselves something to build on.”

The Friars (7-4) used big plays to reprise the 28-0 victory they registered at the same venue on Sept. 15.  Jason Ivery scored on 49 and 20-yard runs. Mike O’Laughlin caught a 28-yard TD pass from George Lagios, and Joe Rafferty returned a blocked punt 24 yards for a score.

Leo’s touchdown came on a 17-yard pass from junior quarterback Darryl Ousley to sophomore running back Tobias Sample.

Ousley threw 12 TD passes for the Lions and will be a key returnee on next year’s squad, along with Sample, who came on strong late in the season after a knee injury sidelined senior running back Antoine Wheeler. Wheeler combined with fellow senior Stephon Howard for nearly 1,800 rushing yards. Senior Keyshaun Douglas was the Lions’ leading receiver, with six of his 25 catches going for touchdowns.

Tackle Gabrell Spruill, voted Red Division defensive player of the year as a junior, will anchor next season’s defense, along with linebacker Jokon Cousett and safety Do’ron Gee. Spruill was one of seven Lions named to the Red Division all-conference team, joining Douglas, Howard, center Jalen Robinson, linebacker John Harris and two-way linemen Kenny Taggart and Gregory Coleman. Wheeler, Cousett, wide receiver DeJon Harris, linebacker Cassius Kurns and tackle Elijah Lamptey made second team.

“It’s great to see the guys recognized for all the hard work they put in,” Holmes said. “You always hope they got as much out of the season as they put into it.”