St. Francis maintained a positive attitude in the face of St. Ignatius' 30-3 victory on Friday.
"In every game there are a few plays that define the game," said Spartans defensive end John Vohasek, who registered a pair of tackles for loss and a hurry of Wolfpack quarterback Quinn Donath at Kuhn Memorial Stadium in Wheaton.
"I think the most important thing is how you bounce back from those plays, and frankly I thought we bounced back well," the senior said. "Of course, the end score didn't turn out as we wanted it, but I think we fought hard and that's what I'm proud of."
Helping define the Chicago Catholic League crossover were Campbell Callum's 50- and 62-yard touchdown runs off pitches out of the double-wing triple option. St. Francis (1-5) ran 34 plays to the Wolfpack's 21 in the first half of its homecoming game, but Callum's scampers eclipsed Zach Burke's 31-yard field goal.
"That's what we tried to do in the triple option," said St. Ignatius coach Matt Miller, his 5-1 team now playoff-eligible.
"As it states there's three guys that could possibly have the ball and it makes it tough to defend, you've got to tackle all three of them," Miller said.
On St. Ignatius' long opening drive of the third quarter the Spartans defense bent but didn't break, Joe Lang's blocked field goal stoning the Wolfpack.
A Burke punt hit a St. Ignatius blocker and Noah Salinas recovered the ball on the 15-yard line. After a loss sophomore Mike Baffa, in for injured starting quarterback Sidney Moore, zipped a swing pass to Henry Plamondon for an apparent 20-yard touchdown. A holding penalty brought the play back to the 16, and Donath intercepted in his own end zone on the next play.
"It seemed like things snowballed after that for us," said St. Francis coach Bob McMillen. "You get these guys playing so hard, they think they accomplished something, and all of a sudden things don't work out their way. But that's life, that's the game of football. I thought they played hard today, gave everything they got."
Donath added fourth-quarter touchdown runs of 64 and 2 yards, helping St. Ignatius pile up 294 yards rushing.
"In the first half we fought hard, did everything we could," said Baffa, 14 of 27 passing for 108 yards. "They got to us in the second half but we fought, fought and kept going. We did our best."