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Comeback bid falls short in historic season opener

While+the+Leo+Catholic+Choir+performed+the+national+anthem%2C+Lane+players+raised+their+helmets+in+solidarity.
While the Leo Catholic Choir performed the national anthem, Lane players raised their helmets in solidarity.

While the Leo Catholic Choir performed the national anthem, Lane players raised their helmets in solidarity.

Joshua Tarafa

Joshua Tarafa

While the Leo Catholic Choir performed the national anthem, Lane players raised their helmets in solidarity.

By Joshua Tarafa

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In a Friday night battle at Soldier Field, the Leo Catholic Lions defeated Lane by a final score of 21-13.  The two teams faced off on the gridiron in the third and final game of the annual High School Kickoff Classic on Aug. 25.

The evening began with a fairly large crowd that filled in most of the first level at the lakeside venue. A live rendition of the national anthem by the Leo Catholic Choir welcomed the audience and this was followed by a coin toss featuring alumni of Leo’s 1974 team, who also played at Soldier Field.

Excitement mounted for both sides until kickoff. The historic venue set the tone for a game that saw multiple changes of possession and swings in momentum.

Lane received the ball to start the first half. With their first possession in an NFL stadium, Lane marched the ball down the field and capped the drive with a rushing touchdown by senior quarterback Luke Calkins.

However the team failed to score again until the fourth quarter. In between came multiple mishaps by the offense. At the start of the second quarter, Lane conceded a safety after the ball rolled through their own end zone, making the score 7-2.

The defense rallied and held the Lions in check, but then the Lane offense suffered another turnover just before halftime. The Lions’ defense intercepted the ball and returned it for a touchdown. With only 1:31 left in the half, Leo had their first lead of the game at 8-7. That’s where the teams stood going into the locker rooms.  

The second half didn’t start much better for the Indians. Leo’s offense finally put together a scoring drive and their running back Stephon Howard broke off a 24-yard touchdown run. After a failed attempt at a 2-point conversion, Lane was still within a score at 15-7.

More futile attempts by Lane’s offense to crack the defensive schemes of the Lions led to an eventual 21-7 deficit by the end of the third quarter after a receiving touchdown by Leo wideout Deshon Harris.

Lane did manage to get back on track when they ran the ball in for a touchdown with 5:53 left in the game. However they missed the extra point attempt and were still down 21-13 with all of their timeouts remaining.

The defense then struggled to get the ball back, leaving only 41 seconds on the clock for the offense to work with. After a few downfield passing attempts, the game ended after an exciting scramble by Calkins and a deep throw towards the end zone. It fell harmlessly to the ground as the clock showed zeros.

This was followed by many gasps from fans on both sides and looks of heartbreak on the faces of Lane players and their coaching staff.

At the end of the day it was a loss in which Lane came out sharp to start the first quarter but ultimately came up short in their bid to tie up the game and force overtime.

Next up for Lane is a home matchup against Mt. Carmel on Sept. 1 at 7:15 p.m. The game will take place at Lane Stadium.

 

Lane steps on the field out of the locker room. One of their captains tries to fire up the team before kickoff.

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Comeback bid falls short in historic season opener