Niklas Polonowski drives around Glenbard West’s Bobby Durkin in the first half of a West Suburban Silver game on Jan. 28. Polonowski led Lyons with 20 points. Photo by Steve Metsch

Niklas Polonowski drives around Glenbard West’s Bobby Durkin in the first half of a West Suburban Silver game on Jan. 28. Polonowski led Lyons with 20 points. Photo by Steve Metsch

Lyons rally falls short against unbeaten Glenbard West

By Steve Metsch
Correspondent

The third time was not the charm.

Lyons, which had lost games by 37 and 32 points to Glenbard West earlier this season, headed into their third matchup of the season hoping to break through against the unbeaten Hilltoppers.

With a frenzied, near-capacity home crowd behind them, the Lions mounted a furious rally that made it a two-point game 4:07 to play, but West proved to be too much and held on for a 62-50 victory in a West Suburban Silver game on Jan. 28 in La Grange.

Paced by 6-foot-6 junior Niklas Polonowski, who sank three of his six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, Lyons had come back from a 10-point deficit after three quarters. When senior Tavari Johnson nailed a five-footer to cap a 14-6 Lions’ run, the Hilltoppers’ lead had been cut to 52-50.

However, West (23-0) demonstrated why it is the AP’s top-ranked Class 4A team in Illinois by going on a 10-0 run to close out the game.

Despite the outcome, Coach Tom Sloan was proud of his team’s effort.

“Four minutes left, a two-point game, if you told me that before the game started I’d sign up for that every time,” Sloan said. “I’d like to play them maybe when they don’t make seven 3s in the first half.”

In the end, Lyons failed to execute when it had to against the Hilltoppers’ swarming defense.

“We had to make the right pass,” Sloan said. “We had to catch the ball, and if you had an open look, knock it in if you had the shot.”

BoysBB Lyons GW Carroll

Lyons’ Will Carroll drives to the basket in the fourth quarter of a 62-50 loss to Glenbard West on Jan. 28. Photo by Steve Metsch

Polonowski led Lyons with 20 points.

“Nik was shooting it like crazy,” Sloan said. “Nik has played well all three times we played [West]. He’s a big perimeter kid.”

Polonowski played in international competition over the summer for the Danish National Team in July and August.

“So Nik is not afraid of the moment,” Sloan said.

Polonowski’s skills and experience will hopefully bode well for the Lions (18-4) come the postseason. Three of their four losses have been to West.

Johnson scored 14 for Lyons. The only other Lions who scored were seniors Billy Bach and Aidan Sullivan, with eight points each.

Lyons jumped to the early 18-11 lead with six three-pointers in the first quarter, two each by Bach and Sullivan. But West rallied behind 6-foot-6 senior Caden Pierce, who made three treys in the first quarter to help the Hilltoppers to a 21-20 after one.

Pierce, who has signed to play at Princeton next season, led all scorers with 25 points. Gonzaga-bound 6-foot-11 senior Brendan Huff scored 15 for the Hilltoppers.

An ice-cold second quarter didn’t help Lyons, which was outscored 16-6.

Huff had a big play with 3:46 left in the game. He scored and was fouled, and made the free throw to give West a 55-50 lead.

This game was much closer than the previous two, a 71-34 Hilltoppers’ win on Dec. 3 and a 60-28 victory in the Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament title game at York on Dec. 31.

“It showed a tremendous amount of improvement,’ Sloan said. “I’m happy for our guys, but at the same time, there are areas where we can play better.”

For the first time in nearly two years, the big barn on Brainard was filled to near capacity.

“I was an outstanding atmosphere,” Sloan said. “The kids were in heaven. It was so exciting for them.”

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad

Mount Carmel tested in win over Brother Rice

By Steve Millar
Correspondent

After Mount Carmel beat each of its first five opponents by 24 points or more, senior quarterback Blainey Dowling thinks it is good the Caravan had to fight to the end against an upset-minded Brother Rice team.

Dowling ran for the game-winning 15-yard touchdown with 1:58 left to lift Mount Carmel to a 28-21 win over the host Crusaders in a CCL-ESCC Blue game Sept. 30.

“I’m glad this was a close game,” Dowling said. “We needed that. I wouldn’t say our heads were getting too big, but we needed this for sure after pretty much blowing everybody out.

“Rice put up a good fight. At end, it came down to Carmel guys vs. Rice guys, and I thought we dealt with adversity pretty well and battled back.”

Dowling finished 22-of-34 for 321 yards and two touchdowns for Mount Carmel (6-0, 2-0). Denny Furlong was his favorite target, pulling in nine catches for 138 yards, including a 35-yard TD.

Dowling’s biggest play came on the game-winning run as he continued to show off his multi-dimensional game.

“Last year, I don’t even know what I’d call myself: a running or throwing quarterback,” Dowling said. “This year: being a dual threat. Coach (Jordan) Lynch gets me comfortable throughout the week. We watch film. He gets me familiar with what the defense is going to do and that makes it so much easier.”

Brother Rice (3-3, 0-2) seems to have found its own dual-threat quarterback.

Junior Marcus Brown, making his first start under center, ran 18 times for 64 yards and two touchdowns and finished 5-of-7 passing for 138 yards and a TD.

Brown left in the third quarter with an injury.

Crusaders coach Casey Quedenfeld said he went with Brown over Ryan Hartz, who started the first five weeks, because of Brown’s athleticism.

“It was more about we wanted a little bit more movement from the position,” Quedenfeld said. “It had nothing to do with Ryan’s performance. Ryan had a really good performance in the previous week and a good week of practice.

“It was more about whenever you’re scouting film and you’re seeing a team with such great athletes as Mount Carmel has, we have to give our team the best chance to win, and we felt like that was [Brown].”

Brown ran for a pair of 4-yard TDs in the first half to give Brother Rice a 14-7 lead.

Dowling connected with Darrion Gilliam on a 17-yard TD pass with 44 seconds left in the first half to tie the game, then hit Furlong for a 35-yard TD early in the third quarter to put the Caravan in front for the first time.

The Crusaders answered on a 52-yard TD pass from Brown to Owen Lyons to tie the game at 21 midway through the third.

“We let Marcus know that he doesn’t have to do anything out of the ordinary,” Quedenfeld said. “We’re going to try put him in positions to be successful using his tools. We really designed things to get him on the move.”

The Crusaders had an opportunity to tie the game, but the Caravan had the final answer.

After Dowling’s TD run, Hartz led Rice to the Mount Carmel 27-yard line, but Tavon Rice and Daniel Banks made sure the Crusaders would get no closer. Each produced a sack, Banks’ coming on fourth down and sealing the victory.

Mount Carmel survived and kept alive its hopes for an unbeaten season.

The Caravan also got some revenge for two losses to Brother Rice last season, including a season-ending 41-28 defeat in the Class 7A quarterfinals.

“That was our motivation the whole offseason,” Dowling said. “Remember that taste from them storming the field against us last year. We played hard, we played physical and you saw the outcome.”

Area Sports Roundup: St. Laurence golfers make history

By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

 

That didn’t take long.

The St. Laurence girls golf program is in only its second year of existence but last weekend celebrated a major accomplishment.

Coach Jim Tracy’s troops won the Providence Catholic Class 1A Regional by four strokes, logging a 372 to edge University High (Chicago), which finished with 376.

It was the program’s first regional title and the first postseason golf trophy at St. Laurence since the boys won a regional in 1991.

The Vikings’ Mary McGuire tied for second with an 81 and Madeline Davis was fifth with an 85. Eileen Solad added a 102, Anna Perez and Ava Nowacki each had scores of 104, and Sonia Perez had a 118.

Also at the regional, which was held Sept. 28 at Green Garden Country Club’s Blue course, Evergreen Park’s Charlie Burns claimed fourth with an 82.

 

Back-to-back champs

The Sandburg boys golf team won the Stagg Class 3A Regional on and the Eagles girls won the Shepard Class 2A Regional.

The boys won at Waters Edge in Worth on Sept. 28 with a 322. Marist took second with a 325 and Stagg was third at 340.

Sandburg’s Caleb Negley won the individual title with a 77 while teammate Quinn McElligott was tied for second with a 78. Kyle Kuchel was ninth with an 83 and Cole Vazzana was tied for 10th with an 84.

The girls won with a 300 at Lincoln Oaks Golf Course in Crete on Sept. 29. Lyons was second with a 337 and Mother McAuley and Riverside-Brookfield tied for third with 355.

Sandburg’s Jillian Cosler dominated the field with a 68, eight strokes ahead of teammate Brooke Adams and Riverside-Brookfield’s Mayan Covarrubias, to take the individual crown. The Eagles’ Alyssia Jarquin was fourth with a 77 and teammate Katie Wehlus was fifth with a 78.

Sectionals were scheduled to be held Oct. 3 and the state finals are at various courses in central Illinois on Friday and Saturday.

 

Top boys finishers

Other top-10 finishers at the Stagg Regional were Stagg’s Caden Balcaitis (third for third with a 78), Richards’ Max Kawa (tied for fourth with a 79), Marist’s Will Schilling (tied for fourth with a 79), Marist’s James Hollowell (fifth with an 80), Richards’ Shane Gordon (tied for seventh with an 82) and Marist’s Kevin Cardinale (tied for seventh with an 82.

Lyons won the Payton Regional with a 297. Charlie Novak won the individual title with a 71, one shot ahead of teammate Jack Berry. Lyons’ Anderson Palm was sixth with a 76, and teammate Joe Steller and Riverside-Brookfield’s Joey Garvey each tied for seventh with 78. Lyons’ Kevin Larmon tied for ninth with a 79.

In Class 2A, Mount Carmel won the Marian Catholic Regional with a 339. St. Rita took second with a 346.

Brother Rice’s Phill Cipriani won the meet with a 73.

Other area standouts were Mount Carmel’s Tim Christie (second with an 80), Mount Carmel’s Michael O’Keefe (tied for third with an 81), Mount Carmel’s Ryan Walsh (fifth with an 82), St. Rita’s Richie Glenke (tied for sixth with an 84) and St. Rita’s Luke Mahar and Nathan Tracy (both tied for eighth with an 85).

St. Laurence finished third in the Crete-Monee Regional, with Matthew Sucheski earning the individual title with an 82. Viking Connor Marino tied for fifth with an 87.

In Class 1A, Chicago Christian took third in the Grant Park Regional. Edmond Fisher took second with an 80.

 

Top girls finishers

Girls golfers in the top 10 at the Shepard Regional were Stagg’s Kaeli Forde (sixth with an 80), Lyons’ Maeve McDougal (seventh with an 81), Lyons’ Addison Watanabe (eighth with an 83), Marist’s Kylie Collins (ninth with a 84) and Lyons’ Kiera Kessler (10th with an 85).

In the Class 1A Rosary Regional, Nazareth finished second. Maryssa Zielinski claimed ninth with an 89.

 

Mighty national powers

Mother McAuley may have had a recent hiccup in a loss to rival Marist, but the Mighty Macs proved they still have one of the best teams in the nation after beating the field in its own Asics Challenge, which wrapped up Oct. 1.

McAuley beat Notre Dame (Kentucky), 25-21, 22-25, 25-13 after a tough 23-25, 26-24, 25-17 semifinal win over Skutt (Nebraska). Ellie White was named tournament MVP.

Marist finished fifth in the tournament, Nazareth took second place in the silver division and Sandburg placed fifth in bronze.

 

Huge milestone

De La Salle volleyball coach Anna Marassa hit the career 500-win mark on Sept. 27 with a victory over St. Ignatius.

According to the IHSA, 50 girls volleyball coaches have 503 or more victories.

Under Marassa’s watch, the Meteors have won eight regionals and four sectionals since 2002. The longtime coach was a 2007 inductee for volleyball in the DePaul University Hall of Fame.

The Meteors later in the week won their own tournament with a 23-25, 25-19, 15-8 victory over Providence. De La Salle’s Jennifer Falk was the tourney MVP and Dalani Gioia made the all-tournament first team.

Reavis’s Paulina Potok, Morton’s Nioble Azpilcueta and Argo’s Annette Las made the second team.

 

Award for Stagg assistant

Stagg’s Chris Sandor was named the Illinois High School Tennis Coaches Association 2A Boys’ Assistant Coach of the Year.

“Receiving this award is not only an honor for Chris, but also a positive reflection on the players he has coached, the Stagg boys’ tennis Program and Amos Alonzo Stagg High School,” Stagg High School Principal Eric Olsen said in a statement. “The Stagg tennis program is a point of pride in our school and in our community, and his work as a coach helps make that happen.”

Pigskin Wrap: St. Xavier tops Roosevelt in thriller, gets Feminis career win No. 200

By Jeff Vorva
Staff writer

Saint Xavier coach Mike Feminis was gunning for his 200th career victory, but it looked more like he might be tagged with his 78th career loss.

After wasting a 14-point halftime lead, the Cougars found themselves down six in the closing minute of the Homecoming game Oct. 1 at Bruce Deaton Field.

But quarterback Stuart Ross found Brandt Hixson for a 13-yard touchdown connection with 38 seconds to play, Peyton Benes booted the extra point and Feminis picked up his milestone with a 21-20 victory in the Mid-States Football Association Midwest Conference opener for both teams.

Feminis couldn’t definitively rank this triumph among his 200.

“It’s a special one — it’s just amazing,” he said. “Today reminds me of a lot of great kids who played here a long time. So many of them were here and it’s a special place.”

Freshman running back Mario Price’s 14-yard run on the game-winning drive set up Ross’ touchdown pass. Price has only been around for a handful of games, but he appreciated the historic aspect of the win.

“It’s pretty cool seeing everyone here at Homecoming knowing how much we wanted this win,” he said.

Price rushed for 123 yards, Matthew Chavers III had three carries for 11 yards and two touchdowns and Ross threw for 158 yards.

Joey Markasovic had 11 tackles while Kevin Countryman, Payton Campbell and Tyler Barnette each had interceptions. Countryman has four picks in the last three games.

The Lakers entered the game unbeaten and averaging 491 per game, but the Cougars defense held them to 317, including 51 yards in the first half.

Roosevelt was ranked 18th in nation in the NAIA coaches poll and SXU (2-2) was 23rd.

Saint Xavier’s Matthew Chavers III reacts after scoring his second touchdown of the game in the Cougars’ 21-20 win over Roosevelt in a battle of nationally ranked teams. Photo by Jeff Vorva

 

South Suburban Red

Reavis’ Jorden Brown scored in the fourth quarter of a 14-6 loss to Eisenhower. The Rams ran 31 plays to Eisenhower’s nine in the first half but went into halftime with a 0-0 draw. Reavis coach Tim Zasada was suspended for the game because the Rams (3-3, 2-2) were flagged for two sideline penalties in a Week 5 loss to Evergreen Park. Assistant Tony Pape ran the show for the Rams.

Richards (4-2, 4-0) kept its stronghold on first place with a 47-21 win over Argo (4-2, 1-2). The Bulldogs will on Friday play a crossover game at South Suburban Blue power Lemont that does not figure into the Red standings.

Shepard (2-4, 1-2) snapped a four-game losing streak with a 41-25 triumph over Oak Lawn (1-5, 0-4).

Evergreen Park (4-2) lost, 18-7, to T.F. South. The Mustangs must win one of its final three games against Shepard, Eisenhower and Argo to be eligible for the postseason.

 

CCL/ESCC

Marist (3-3, 0-2) gave Loyola (6-0, 3-0, No. 1 in Class 8A AP poll) its closest game of the season in a 28-17 loss in Chicago in the Blue.

St. Rita (4-2, 2-0) won its third straight with a 33-10 win over Nazareth (2-4, 0-2) in the Green. Nazareth must win its next three games against Leo (2-4), Montini (3-3) and Benet (3-3) for playoff consideration.

St. Laurence (3-3, 1-1) had its two-game winning streak snapped with a 49-28 loss to defending Class 4A state champ Joliet Catholic (5-1, 2-0) in the Orange. Aaron Ball ran for 93 yards and three TDs for St. Laurence and Richie Gomez had six receptions for 33 yards. Tommy Fus had one catch for 19 yards and scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery.

De La Salle (1-5, 0-2) lost its fourth straight in a 39-13 setback to St. Ignatius. Freshman quarterback Keyonte Louis ran for both touchdowns for the Meteors. Evan Smith had 14 tackles and Tristyn Hynes added 13.

 

Metro Suburban Red

After four weeks in which it scored a combined seven points, Chicago Christian (2-4, 1-3) broke out with a 35-13 victory over St. Edward in Palos Heights. Jeremiah Oliver had 128 yards and two touchdowns and made five tackles on defense. Brock Sperling had seven tackles, and forced and recovered a fumble. Austin Huizenga had two interceptions.

Riverside-Brookfield (5-1, 4-0) matched its win total from last year by pounding Westmont, 55-0.

 

West Suburban Conference

Lyons (5-1, 3-1) recovered from its Week 5 loss to still unbeaten York with a convincing 51-6 win over Proviso West.

Morton (2-4, 2-1) dropped its first Gold game of the season, a 28-7 setback to Oak Park-River Forest.

 

SouthWest Suburban Red

Stagg (2-4, 2-5) lost 49-6 to District 230 foe Andrew for its fourth straight loss.

 

Chicago Public League

Back of the Yards (1-5, 1-3) dropped a 48-6 decision to Tilden in the Blue Southwest.

Gage Park (1-5, 0-4) lost 62-0 to unbeaten Lindblom in the Blue Southwest.

Catalyst/Maria (3-3, 3-1) knocked off Noble/Rowe-Clark 32-12 in the Red Central.

Curie (2-4, 0-3) lost to Simeon, 42-8, in the Red South.

Hubbard (0-6, 0-4) lost 34-0 to Morgan Park, who was missing several players who were suspended after a brawl with Kenwood the previous week.

Kennedy (2-4, 0-4) dropped a 29-20 decision to North Lawndale Charter in the Red West.

Jorden Brown scores Reavis’ lone touchdown against Eisenhower in 1 14-6 loss on Sept. 30. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Forest Preserves stocking thousands of trout

From staff reports

The Forest Preserves of Cook County’s 2022 fall inland trout fishing season will open at sunrise on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Axehead Lake in Park Ridge, Belleau Lake in Des Plaines, Busse Reservoir-North Pool in Elk Grove Village, Sag Quarry-East in Lemont, Horsetail Lake in Palos Park and Green Lake in Calumet City.

The Forest Preserves is stocking approximately 1,000 pounds at Horsetail Lake, while the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is providing and stocking 850 pounds of rainbow trout at Sag Quarry East; 2,700 pounds at Busse Reservoir – North Pool; 1,255 pounds at Axehead Lake; 1,000 pounds at Belleau Lake; and 667 pounds at Green Lake. These are catchable-sized Rainbow Trout, in the 0.5 – 1-pound size range.

A worker with the Forest Preserves of Cook County stocks a lake with rainbow trout. –Photo courtesy of FPDCC

As part of the IDNR’s stocking program, fishing for and possession of any trout is illegal from Oct. 1 until 5 a.m. on Oct. 15. In addition, the Forest Preserves’ trout lakes will be closed to all fishing from Monday, Oct. 10, until sunrise on Saturday, Oct. 15. The lake closings allow the trout to disperse throughout the lakes prior to opening.

Once the season opens, there is a five trout per day creel limit with no size restrictions. No more than two lines per person with no more than two hooks per line may be used.

A valid Illinois sport fishing license with an Inland Trout Stamp is required for anglers 16 years of age and older. An Illinois sport fishing license is not required for Illinois residents who are disabled and have a State of Illinois disabled I.D. card showing a Class 2 or 2A disability or a Veterans Disability Card, and Illinois residents who are on active military duty and are home on leave.

For a list of all lakes and waters open to public fishing within the Forest Preserves of Cook County, visit fpdcc.com/fishing and download the Fishing Guide. The guide includes maps that show location and depth of each lake, as well as main fish species.

Girls Volleyball: Marist knocks Mother McAuley from unbeaten ranks

By Randy Whalen
Correspondent

Kamryn Chaney had the “eye of the tiger” and Marist got a huge win over their arch-rivals.

Hosting Mother McAuley in the regular season for the first time in four years, the RedHawks came out focused.

Chaney clubbed a match-high 12 kills and added five blocks and eight digs and an ace as the RedHawks knocked the Mighty Macs from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 25-22, 25-19 victory on Sept. 22.

Chaney’s performance helped Marist (14-4) defeat McAuley (17-1) for the first time since the 2019 sectional finals.

“Kamryn was just feeling so comfortable to take it on her shoulders,” Marist coach Jordan Vidovic said. “She was ready to step it up and she did.

“We went back to doing what was working for us. We were so much more focused and so intense. We knew what we had to do.”

Chaney, a senior outside hitter, called the victory “very important.”

“I just really wanted to work hard for my team and have a good journey going forward,” Chaney said. “It feels great. To win on our home court was the best part.

“I’m just trying to beat the game and be smart. I’m just trying to do the best for my team.”

Freshman libero Elayna Davidson had 16 digs. Davidson wasn’t on the varsity team to start the season, but she came up after Labor Day and has shined ever since.

“It’s just so great and I trust my team very much,” Davidson said. “We put 110 percent effort into everything. I knew [McAuley] would be big at the net. So it was just locating the ball and then finishing.”

Vidovic believed Davidson would step up in the match.

“She’s very intelligent, plays great defense, and is not phased by it,” he said

RedHawks sophomore outside hitter Bella Bullington bashed six kills and added four blocks, and sophomore setter Maddie Berry passed out 19 assists.

“This is huge for us.,” Davidson said. “We have been getting better and better each week and working our butts off. This team is amazing.”

Junior outside hitter Ellie White led McAuley with eight kills and three digs. Senior middle blocker Maeve Moonan mashed four kills and had three blocks. Tess Hayes had 10 assists and seven digs while fellow senior setter Olivia Klapp dished out eight assists. Senior libero Gigi Navarrete added 15 digs.

“We knew coming in that it was going to be an intense, exciting match,” White said. “We put up a fight. We just didn’t play our best and our chemistry was off. We just have to put this in the past, bring fortitude and continue to push through it.”

Since 2016, which is the last five played postseasons, the two programs have combined to bring home a trio of Class 4A state championships (McAuley in 2016, Marist in 2017 and 2018), a runner-up finish (McAuley in 2021) and a third-place trophy (Marist in 2019).

The teams could face each other again in sectionals. Marist, McAuley and Lyons, three of the state’s top teams, will all be in the Lyons Sectional.

The Mighty Macs entered the match against Marist ranked fourth in the nation.

“They played a very clean game, blocked well, hit well and passed well,” Macs coach Jen DeJarld said of Marist. “I think our girls were feeling the nerves of being undefeated and ranked No. 4 in the country.

“Going undefeated is not a goal for us. We play one of the toughest schedules and this will be a growth moment for us.”

Football: Richards scores season-high 49 in win over Shepard

By Jason Maholy
Sports Editor

It took all of 16 seconds for the fireworks to begin in a high-scoring South Suburban Red matchup between district rivals Richards and Shepard.

Terangie Eskridge returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, Myles Mitchell scored four touchdowns and the Bulldogs pulled away in the second half to top the Astros, 49-36, for its third consecutive victory.

Richards got off to a slow start this season, getting outscored 79-8 in losses to Morgan Park and Marist in their first two games. There is still work to do on both sides of the ball — the Bulldogs’ defense has allowed 142 points in five games — but an offense with a wealth of playmakers appears to be finding its groove.

The game was a back-and-forth affair in the first half, with the teams trading the first six touchdowns. Richards had the final word in the second quarter, scoring on a Joe Mayo-to-James Smith 50-yard touchdown pass to take a 28-18 lead into halftime, then increased its lead on a 2-yard run by Mitchell with 8:51 to play in the third quarter.

Mitchell, a sophomore running back, carried the ball 25 times for 142 yards and three touchdowns and added a 21-yard catch for a score. Mitchell saw an increase in his workload because of an injury to senior running back Michael Maura.

“In the beginning of the season I was getting my feet wet,” Mitchell said. “Now, I’m more comfortable in the offense.

“It feels great to get the ball a lot. The coaches had a great game plan this week, the O-line blocked great and it was just a great offensive effort.”

Shepard senior wide receiver Elijah Tyson comes down with a catch during the Astros’ loss to Richards on Sept. 23. Photo by Jason Maholy

Mitchell’s touchdown catch came from wide receiver Donnie Burton, who took a pitch from quarterback Joe Mayo and launched a perfectly placed pass across the grain to the sophomore back, who was streaking down the left sideline.

Burton, a senior who sustained a season-ending leg injury in Week 4 last year, also caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Mayo. He acknowledged he is still working his way back from the injury and said the Bulldogs’ offense will only get better moving forward.

“I’m feeling good now, trying to ease back in,” he said. “Our offense is nice. We’ve got a lot of weapons. You can’t stack the box and you can’t cover us one-on-one.”

Mayo, a senior, threw for 126 yards and two scores.

Smith, a 6-foot-6 senior wideout, caught two passes for 66 yards.

The Astros rushed for 243 yards and outgained the Bulldogs, 366 to 347. They were led by senior running back Xavier Rogers, who scored on runs of 25 and 7 yards.

Shepard senior wide receiver Elijah Tyson scored on a 7-yard run and sophomore quarterback James Lascola tossed two touchdown passes.

Lascola was forced into duty after starting quarterback Quran McClellan sustained what appeared to be a serious injury to his right leg. McClellan, a senior, was carted off the field in the third quarter.

Lascola’s first touchdown, an 8-yard pass to senior wide receiver Damarrius Hodges, brought the Astros to within 11 points with 8:03 to go in the third quarter and provided some hope for a comeback. Shepard forced Richards to punt on the visitor’s ensuing possession, but the Bulldogs recovered a Lascola fumble and scored one play later on the Burton-to-Mitchell pass to open up a 42-24 lead.

Richards wide receiver Donnie Burton reaches back before tossing a 21-yard touchdown pass during the Bulldogs’ 49-36 win over Shepard on Sept. 23. Photo by Jason Maholy

DVN Jack Pats Butcher Shop House Ad
Regional Aurelios Pizza House Ad