The Leo Lions can offer grim affirmation of the old football axiom that quarterback is the most important position on the field.
Leo has scored just one touchdown in the three games since senior quarterback James E’Akels was lost to a concussion. With two untested subs manning the position, it’s really no surprise that the Lions’ losing streak reached three in a 34-0 Senior Day pasting by Marmion Academy at St. Rita’s Pat Cronin Field on Saturday, Oct. 16.
Leo might have known it was in for a rough day when Marmion linebacker Jacob Bottarini intercepted its first pass of the day and brought it back 36 yards for a touchdown. The Lions’ defense played with admirable purpose for the remainder of the half and kept Marmion from scoring again, though the Cadets were complicit in their own struggles, throwing an end-zone interception, losing a fumble at the 1-yard line and accumulating nearly 100 yards in penalties.
Junior cornerback Tim Durr made the interception and recovered the fumble.
But with four interceptions and three lost fumbles keeping the Lions from getting anything going offensively, their defense once again wore down from overuse. Marmion scored on its first three second-half possessions, twice as a result of turnovers, and a once-promising Leo season continued to deteriorate into an injury-ravaged 2-6 nightmare.
Marmion quarterback Daniel Chung, meanwhile, was solid rather than spectacular in helping the Cadets (5-3) solidify their IHSA playoff hopes. Chung completed six of nine passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns, a 56-yarder to Joshua Lim and a 36-yarder to Alexander Valenzuela. Lim scored another touchdown on a two-yard run, and Anthony Kuceba scored from a yard out.
Leo’s offensive highlights were limited to junior Rayshaun Davidson’s 31-yard run and a 17-yard pop by senior Marcus Ray. The Lions’ longest pass play went for just eight yards, and they had only one completion in the second half.
Remaining on the Leo schedule is nonconference season finale at Rich Township on Saturday, Oct. 23. A decision on whether the game will be played is expected mid-week, as Rich Township has been dealing with COVID issues in recent weeks.