Lions Coast in Shutout Win Over Eagles
Rookies get first taste of action, capitalize in preseason opener
Geneva, Ill. - A new season brought new faces to the Leyden squad, but all were welcomed early and often as the Lions started their 2013 campaign with a 27-0 shutout win over the Fox Valley Eagles Saturday night.
First year quarterback Timothy Collins was impressive in his first start, connecting on three passes for 101 yards before being subbed out for backup quarterback Alex Berbakov in the second half. Collins was particularly impressive during the game's first drive, leading his team downfield in just over three minutes for a touchdown. Collins capped the drive with a 34-yard pass to fellow rookie Corrice Burns in the corner of the end zone to take the lead.
"We've got a lot of individual athletes that have the potential to create a positive team chemistry," said Leyden head coach Jose Rodriguez. "We picked up Tim who has got a great arm. He's a great addition, and with the depth we now have with our top four or five receivers, we can spread the field. Before we couldn't play the whole field."
Joe Zahn Pulling
the numbers for the pool
No Fly Zone
Harrington Shines in 2014 Season Opener
Melrose Park, Ill - Defensive back Detaureo Harrington had three pick-sixes, and the Leyden Lions defense combined for four touchdowns in a 30-13 victory over the Monona Warriors Saturday night at Serpico Field.
Harrington led a Lions defense that tallied five interceptions, forced three fumbles and kept their opponent scoreless through three quarters of play. Leyden gained 122 yards on turnovers, and 99 of those were credited to Harrington. He scored on returns of 8, 42, and 49 yards.
"He is one great athlete in a group of great defensive backs," said head coach Jose Rodriguez. "He leads by example and is a very dedicated player. Every time he touches the ball there is a chance he will score. I will not be surprised when he is the best safety in the league by the end of the season."
Fellow DB Terrence West opened the game's scoring with a pick-six of his own, returning the ball 17 yards to give the Lions a 7-0 lead just before the half. Antonio Benson also grabbed his first interception of the 2014 season.
Offensively, both units struggled to find consistency. Leyden quarterback Tim Collins looked sharp at times but was picked off on three occasions - twice in the end zone. Collins finished with 156 passing yards, connecting with wide receiver Michael Swiatkowski and tight end Michael Musillami for big gains across the middle. Swiatkowski led all Lions receivers with 3 catches for 66 yards.
The Warriors were held scoreless for 52 minutes, but made it interesting late in the fourth quarter. With the Lion's up 14-0 and eight minutes left to play, Monona quarterback Brent Staudt hit Matt Stoker in stride for a 90-yard gain. Three plays later Devin Evans barreled across the goal line to bring the game to 14-7.
The away team's excitement was short lived though, and the Lions intercepted Staudt three times and put up 16 points in the games final five minutes. Harrington caught his second and third interceptions during that run.
Leyden returns to the gridiron Saturday at 7 p.m to take on the Chicago Thunder at Downers Grove South High School at 7 PM . The Lion's will be looking for retribution after dropping last year's contest 23-17 in overtime.
by: Andie Bradley