Leo’s football team knew it would have to play a perfect game to have a chance against  Brother Rice in their Catholic League meeting at Brother Rice on Friday, Oct. 12.

Didn’t happen. Instead, the Crusaders (8-0) demonstrated why they’re the class of the CCL Blue Division and a definite state playoff contender, rolling to a 48-0 victory.

Leo coach Mike Holmes turned to freshman quarterback James E’Ackels in an effort to inject some life into an inconsistent offense, with mixed results. E’Ackels completed seven of 16 passes for 52 yards, but threw two interceptions and was dropped four times for 33 yards in losses.

The Lions’ ground game didn’t fare much better, managing 65 total yards on 19 carries. Only once did the Lions cross the Brother Rice 30-yard line.

Playing only the first half, Rice quarterback John Bean completed five of nine passes for 127 yards and a touchdown, a 42-yard strike to Dylan Summers. Bean also ran four times for 51 yards.

Jessi Plunkett and Marquis Jackson gave the Crusaders an effective ground game, combining for 125 yards on 18 carries with four touchdowns. Summers caught five passes for 123 yards and set up a touchdown with a 67-yard return of the second-half kickoff.

At 3-5 overall, 2-4 in the Catholic League and 2-1 in the CCL Red Division, Leo is out of the running for a a berth in the IHSA playoffs. The Lions can solidify their chances for a spot in the Catholic League/Prep Bowl playoffs with a victory over St. Ignatius (5-3 overall, 3-3 Catholic League, 2-1 CCL White) on Friday, Oct. 19. The 7 p.m. game will be played at St. Rita’s Cronin Field.