The Leo Lions defeated the DePaul Prep Rams 20-18 yesterday (Sept. 21, 2019) at DePaul’s home field at Chicago Academy.
Leo jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in the first quarter on the speed of senior quarterback Tobias Sample. Semple took a keeper around need end on a long touchdown run early in the first quarter.
The Leos followed up with a balanced run/pass drive late in the first quarter capped by a ten yard run up the middle by Lion’s junior running back Jalen Jackson, making the score 14-0, with a two-conversion.
The Rams struggled on office much of the first half as the defense adjusted to contain Sample and Johnson despite the loss of senior defensive tackle Graeme Phillips to an elbow injury.
In the second half, the Rams offense moved the ball as senior quarterback Zach Burhans connected on an early fourth quarter pass to a senior wide receiver Layton Hopkins bring the Rams within one score at 14-6.
But on the very next possession, Tobias Sample reprised his first quarter run with a 81 yard keeper around the right side to make the score 20-6.
No quit in the Rams. With 6:05 remaining Zach Burhans connected on a perfectly thrown 55 yard touchdown pass again to Layton Hopkins to make it a one score game again at 20-12.
After holding Leo, the Rams got the ball back and, with the aid of penalties by Leo, moved the ball down field for a potentially game tying touchdown and two point conversion. On a quarterback sneak, Zach Burhans moved the ball to the half year line only to twist his ankle and be forced to come out of the game for the fourth down play because of the stoppage.
Backup sophomore quarterback Anthony Martinez came off the bench cold for the all important 4th down play. Again Rams head coach and play caller Mike Passerella went to the quarterback sneak. Martinez took the ball and bounced outside the tackle reaching the ball over the goal line on his first play under center for a touchdown.
For the game tying two-point conversion, Passerella called a fade to the wide out in the left corner of the end zone. The pass to Rams senior wide receiver Cole Ceravolo was broken up by Lions’ defensive back Khalil Blakes. The conversion failed.
The Lions held the 20-18 lead. And there it would end as the Lions ran out the clock with a couple first downs.
I have been to a bunch of blow out games this season. This game was certainly the most entertaining I have seen. While disappointing for the Rams, they proved there is no quit in this team.