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Gordon Tech Outlasts Leo In Catholic League Playoff

Gordon Tech 14 Leo 8

Deon Taylor’s first career interception came at exactly the right time for Gordon Tech.

The junior defensive back’s interception with 30 seconds left sealed the Rams’ 14-8 victory over Leo in the first round of the Chicago Catholic League playoffs.

“The whole game I was expecting a pick and all season I was waiting for my first pick,” Taylor said. “I saw an opportunity there and I took it and I went.”

Gordon Tech led 14-0 going into the fourth quarter, but had to hold off a furious comeback attempt by the Lions.

The Rams were attempting to take a three possession lead halfway through the fourth quarter when quarterback Julian Russell fumbled deep in Lions territory.  Leo defensive lineman Eric Owens recovered the fumble at the Leo 20 yard line and gave the Lions new life.

Quarterback Jarod Cooper connected with running back Keith Harris Jr. on a 71-yard touchdown pass. Cooper then ran the ball in for a two-point conversion, cutting the Gordon Tech lead to 14-8 with five minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Leo then forced Gordon Tech to turn the ball over on downs, giving the Lions offense the ball at their own 29 yard line with just under two minutes to go.

Cooper completed three passes and Leo was able to drive the ball to the Gordon Tech 35-yard line, but Taylor’s interception with 30 seconds left ended the Lions’ comeback attempt.

“We were real confident on that last drive,” said Gordon Tech Head Coach Bill Jeske. “The way our defense was playing today, we were real confident we could get a stop.”

The Rams got both of their touchdowns in the first quarter. Russell (10 carries, 47 yards) kept the ball on an option read and ran untouched up the middle for a 25-yard touchdown, giving the Rams a 7-0 lead four minutes into the game.

Habeeb Durojaiye (10 carries, 102 yards) added a 58-yard touchdown run that gave Gordon Tech a 14-0 advantage with one minute left in the first quarter.
The Rams did most of their damage on the ground, running the ball 46 times for 232 yards. The Rams only attempted four passes in the game.

“If running works, then we’ll just keep doing it. That’s our offense, just run it down their throats,” Russell said.

Gordon Tech will play Fenwick next weekend in the second round of the Catholic League playoffs.

SCORING PLAYS

FIRST QUARTER

[7:53] GT Julian Russell 25 yard run (PAT good) – 7-0 GT

[1:47] GT Habeeb Durojaiye 58 yard run (PAT good) – 14-0 GT

FOURTH QUARTER

[5:00] LEO Jarod Cooper 71 yard pass to Keith Harris Jr (2-pt good, Cooper run) – 14-0 GT

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Habeeb Durojaiye, WR, Gordon Tech: 10 carries, 102 yards, TD (58 yards)

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times. It also appears on yourseason.com.

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