Leo Defeats DePaul Prep 20-18

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.

DePaul Prep Edges Leo in OT

The #11 ranked DePaul Prep Rams edged the #4 Leo Lions on Friday (December 21, 2018) 61-58 in DePaul’s Tom Winiecki Gym. This matchup of the top teams in the Chicago Catholic League did not disappoint. One could tell that it was going to be close in the end even as the Rams opened a six-point early lead.

There were a great many Leo fans in the crowd. I haven’t seen so many opposing fans since the last time Loyola came in. The game got a little chippy. I didn’t really see what was going on. I have a very narrow field of view looking through a 70-200 mm lens all evening. I miss a lot. But of what I saw, it did not look too bad.

Leo’s DaChaun Anderson played inside against DePaul as well as anyone has this year. He is a beast and can finish. Myles Thomas was solid as usual. And of course, Fred Cleveland. He seems so small out there but I have never seen a small guard like that so able to drive and score.

With 4.1 on the clock in the fourth quarter, after DePaul’s Raheem Anthony missed the second of his 1 and 1 with the scored tied, Leo senior guard Fred Cleveland took an outlet pass and launched a shot from three quarters court which banked in off the glass for an apparent Leo victory. But with the ball in air, a ref blow his whistle repeatedly waiving off the shot because of a travel by Fred Cleveland. I didn’t see it in real time but seeing it on video, it looked like a travel to me and the referee started the call before the shot when it. Nevertheless, the Leo faithful were not happy.

In OT, the Rams finished as usual. They seem so determined this year. I wish I could pick a standout performance by one of the Rams. But they all played well. They all contributed. Pavle scored inside. Ty Johnson hit a big 3 late. Perry scored inside and outside including another monster dunk. Lance played great defense, rebounded and hit his shots. Brian Mathews come off the bench in the first half and hit two big free throws. Solid and determined all the way round. The Rams rallied back from losing the lead late in the game.

The Rams improved there record to 9-1 overall and 5-0 in the Catholic League. The games against Blue division CCL teams begin after the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic which starts the day after Christmas. The Lions record drops to 9-2 overall and 4-1 in the Catholic League. Leo’s #4 ranking is in some jeopardy but if they fall, they won’t fall far. They played well but were edged in the end by the talented and determined #11 ranked Rams.

As for the photography, I took 2130 photos. That’s a lot more than I usually take. I am not sure why—just a lot of action. I tinkered around with the settings again, going with a fixed ISO at 6400, rather than automatic. The auto setting was pushing up to 12,800 which gave me images that were too grainy. These images came out okay but I had to boost the exposure on all of them.

So onto the Christmas tournaments. I am not sure where I will be yet. I will be out at Hinsdale Central for some games but I will be looking for the best matchups of teams I haven’t see yet. I had planned to go to Pontiac but I don’t know if I will this year. We’ll see.

Team Rose Shootout--Sunday Edition

I saw three really good games on Sunday (December 9, 2018). It was the first time I saw Leo this year. They looked really talented if a little undisciplined. The Lions came back and beat Bloomington. Bloomington is talented by not closers.

Kenwood v. Hillcrest was next. Those were two big, strong and talented teams. It was great to see them. It gave a some great perspective on the good teams out here.

The third game I saw was Orr v. Oak Park-River Forest. It was my first time seeing Orr this year. It is not the same Orr team as it has been for the last few years, but still very talented—and entertaining. The same Lou Adams. Lou has to be my favorite coach to photograph. I have talked to him a few times over the years. He is a very nice man.

Oak Park is good. They caught Orr in the last to minutes and then quickly closed the deal. Wasn’t even close at the end. I was impressed. It was a bit of a sloppy ending. Technical fouls, officiating screw-ups, pissed off coaches. Nevertheless, it was very entertaining.

I experimented with the settings on my camera. I changed around the auto-focus settings to see what works best for basketball. I moved the ISO around. The photos seem quite grainy to me but look okay on the webpages.

These are not my best photos. Not sure why. I have to keep working at it.