IC Catholic Prep first lost its quarterback on Friday.
Then the Knights lost their first game since 2015.
With Luke Ricobene forced to watch from the sidelines over the final two and a half quarters, IC saw a late lead slip away in a 26-23 loss to St. Laurence in Elmhurst.
The defeat ended a 15-game winning streak for the defending Class 3A champion Knights dating back to last season.
Ricobene left with a leg injury after scrambling for 11 yards. In the first 18 minutes alone the senior had already thrown for two touchdowns -- to Dan Gibbons on a botched field-goal attempt and to C.J. West -- while rushing for a pair of 2-point conversions as the home team led 16-6 at half.
"Losing Luke, he's our leader and he plays safety also, so that really hurt us," IC coach Bill Krefft said. "But Khalil (Saunders) came in and did well without many reps in practice. This game came down to stupid mistakes. We had a touchdown called back because we blocked their quarterback in the back. We fumbled on their 20 and had another touchdown called back on a penalty.
"The heart was there, the desire was there, the want was there. We just have to focus on fixing our mistakes."
Indeed, Sanders had a 55-yard interception return for a score wiped out midway through the fourth quarter. Then after IC was forced to punt on their next possession, Vikings QB Devon Rembis found Matthew Hamer for the 73-yard game-winning score with 3:12 left in the contest.
"That's a great football team," Krefft said after playing the Vikings for the second year in a row. "I have all the respect in the world for them. First last year and now this year, you can't really have better football games then we've had the last two years. We got one and they got one."
St. Laurence scored on the opening possession of the second half before Saunders found the end zone on a 9-yard run with 36 seconds left in the third quarter to make the score 23-13. The Vikings answered with a 5-play, 75-yard drive that took less than two minutes.
"We just have to learn from our mistakes," said West, who finished with 4 catches for 48 yards for IC. "The effort was there, every guy put 100 percent into this game. We just didn't come out on top in this one. But we will be back."