St. Viator impressive in first win
From its first two contests on the road this season commencing with a trip to two-time defending Upstate Eight champ South Elgin as a last-minute schedule replacement in Week 1, and followed up with a trip to the Southside of Chicago to do battle with a state contending Morgan Park unit last week, St. Viator gained some key intangibles while not finding the win column.
Strength, inspiration, and character according to Lions' coach Dave Archibald.
"We played two really great teams and we battled and we thought we could come out of those games as a better football team, as a tighter football team and put a good performance together tonight after being battle tested," Archibald said.
The Lions passed that test with flying colors in their home opener as they posted their first win of the season, 41-7, over previously undefeated DePaul Prep at the Forest View Educational Center in Arlington Heights Friday night.
The Lions (1-2) broke a 7-7 tie on the second of junior RB Jake VanBooven's 3 touchdown runs, a 12-yarder with 9:36 left in the first half that gave them the lead for good at 13-7.
That set the stage for a 22-point third stanza that gave the Lions permanent control of the evening in their homecoming game.
VanBooven (17 carries, 169 yards) took an option pitch from sophomore QB Charlie Dolsen and scampered 47 yards that Dolsen followed up with a 2-point conversion toss to Michael Nix that put them ahead 21-7.
Senior Carson Eggebraten removed any doubts of a Rams comeback when he picked off a Chris Perez pass and took it back 57 yards on the next series for a 28-7 Viator lead.
Dolsen (8-for-10, 92 yards) then found Nix for a 29-yard TD toss had the Lions up 35-7 after three.
Then, perhaps the evening's biggest success for the hosts came when their Week 1 starting QB Alex Konopka came back into the Lion lineup just two weeks after suffering a debilitating knee injury and tossed a 4 yard TD pass to Dominic McKevitt for the game's final points.
It was something that gave VanBooven and his teammates a huge lift.
"Alex, I love him to death," VanBooven said. "It really made so happy that he threw a touchdown."
He also chalked up his teammates' sentiment about earning their first win against a DePaul Prep (2-1) squad that won its first two games by a combined 98-0 score.
"Going 0-2 (to start the season) we really needed a big win," he said. "We were really hungry for a win and that's what we went out and did."