By Dan McGrath
Leo drew a nice Homecoming crowd to St. Rita’s Doyle Stadium for its Catholic League crossover football game with De La Salle on Saturday, Sept. 30.
The frosh-soph team did not have a game scheduled, so Coach Marques Stevenson dressed several younger Lions and accorded them varsity experience.
The extra bodies in the stands and on the sidelines didn’t matter. De La Salle (3-3) rolled up a 48-6 victory, with sophomore quarterback Keyonte Louis shredding the Lions for six touchdowns.
Leo (1-5) had a hand in its own undoing with five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumbles), 80 yards in penalties and a lack of cohesive execution that was puzzling six games into the season. And with Joliet Catholic (4-2), St. Francis (4-2) and Marian Catholic (3-3) remaining, the schedule doesn’t get any easier.
Owing to its team speed, the “jet sweep” is a staple in the Leo playbook. But it has to be blocked to be effective. The Lions ran it four times; it lost 28 yards.
Attempts to be innovative went awry as well. After Ryan Cunningham’s 11-yard touchdown run cut De La Salle’s lead to 21-6, Leo tried an onside kick. The Meteors covered it at their own 42-yard line. Two plays later, Louis broke containment after dropping back to pass and sprinted down the middle of the field untouched for a 58-yard touchdown and a 28-6 lead that would grow to 35-6 by halftime.
The sophomore Louis had his way with the Lions in unveiling himself as one of the Catholic League’s most promising players. He added a 3-yard touchdown run to his 58-yard jaunt and threw touchdown passes of 55 and 5 yards to David Coffey; 19 yards to Myles Green and 55 yards to freshman Travezz Jones. He finished 9-for-12 passing for 240 yards and also piled up 125 rushing yards on nine carries.
Leo got 107 rushing yards from quarterback Marshawn Durr, most of them on run-for-your-life scrambles after his pass protection broke down. Durr hit on his first two passes for 50 yards, then misfired on his next seven and threw two interceptions.
Javon Logan accounted for 75 rushing yards on 12 carries and caught three passes for 56 yards on a long day for the Lions that wasn’t very satisfying.