Ladies and gentlemen, meet Leonard Ross.
The Lyons Township sophomore call-up running back made his impressive varsity debut to the tune of 119 rushing yards and three touchdowns as the Lions (3-4) steamrolled the York Dukes (0-7) on Saturday, 49-21. (Watch game highlights here.)
The Lions’ first six drives all ended in touchdowns, plus a seventh when senior Connor Onion scooped up a fumble and ran it back 26 yards to make the score 35-0. LT never punted until the fourth quarter, after substitutes had largely replaced starters.
Meanwhile, the LT defense held strong and tallied three takeaways.
“We did a really good job of executing,” said Lions coach Kurt Weinberg. “We’ve been scoring points, [but] defensively we played really well today. We were efficient everywhere.”
Their first seven points came after junior Matt Mrazek stopped York’s opening drive with a pick at the half-yard line; on the next play, quarterback Zachary Mahoney (10-of-15, 255 yards, 3 TD) promptly connected over the middle with Jemari Burks (four receptions, 154 yards), who went untouched 99-½ yards to the house.
Burks would catch another touchdown pass of 11 yards in the second quarter, and Marcell Kellum would haul in a 7-yard touchdown reception as well.
Ross made a strong case that the Lions would survive the injury loss of junior running back Trevon Woods, by accounting for 21 points, running the ball in from two, six and 17 yards.
Also returning after three weeks of injury was senior wide receiver Matthew Harris, who played the everyman, catching four passes for 57 yards, throwing 2-for-3 for 34 yards (including a role-reversal 9-yard pass to Mahoney) and running twice for 15 yards.
On defense, Onion had four tackles and five assists, and senior linebacker Billy Cramsie added four tackles and four assists. Senior Jimmy Heim also had a second-quarter interception.
York’s biggest highlight in a game that offered few was a fourth-quarter tricky wide receiver double-pass from senior Austin Wagner to Connor O’Malley for a 30-yard touchdown. Jordan Peacock and Ted Harrold also had short touchdown runs.
The Lions will close their season with two brutal tests at Proviso West (5-2) and Leyden (6-1), both must-wins for LT to have playoff hopes.
“We know we’ve got to run the table,” Weinberg said. “It starts with winning one next week.”
York has two chances left to avoid a winless season, neither easy, first hosting undefeated Glenbard West (7-0), then visiting Hinsdale Central (5-2).