St. Francis falls to Bishop McNamara for first loss of season
St. Francis didn't get the start it wanted Friday night against Bishop McNamara, but the finish showed some promise.
The Spartans suffered their first loss of the season, 51-20 against the fifth-ranked team in Class 3A.
Showing no ill effects from last week's narrow loss at IC Catholic, Bishop McNamara (4-1, 2-1 Metro Suburban Conference Blue Division) jumped out to a 42-7 first-half lead and looked headed to a second-half running clock. But Spartans running back Henry Plamondon absorbed a tremendous hit on a short pass late in the second quarter, bouncing off, finding his equilibrium and completing a 49-yard TD.
When Plamondon scored on a 5-yard TD run with 3:27 left in the third quarter, the Spartans (4-1, 1-1) were within three touchdowns.
"We challenged them at halftime to come out with a different mindset," St. Francis coach Bob McMillen said. "The first 15 minutes of the game, that wasn't the team we are. I thought the second half is the kind of football team we are on defense, and I thought I thought our offense played well and moved the ball against a very good Bishop Mac team."
Bishop McNamara senior running back Tyshon King ran for 4 touchdowns and caught a 93-yard TD pass. He rushed for 253 yards on 23 carries.
"He's the best I've seen in the state right now," McMillen said. "The kid is as good as it gets right now, and that kid deserves to be playing somewhere on the Division I level next year."
Plamondon finished with 85 yards on 21 carries.
The Spartans will try to bounce back from their first defeat of the season against Aurora Christian next week.
"That's going to be the test," McMillen said. "This is a program that's been struggling the last few years and now we're asking to challenge them and see what they can do coming back from a loss. Are we going to be the old St. Francis or are we going to have a good week of practice and be ready for a tough Aurora Christian team?"