Bishop McNamara’s Jonathan Ward lights up Leo

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It wasn’t the Catholic League White debut Leo was hoping for but Bishop McNamara sure made it one the Lions will never forget with a 40-12 victory Friday at the Kroc Center.

Junior running back Jonathan Ward made it a long night for the Lions as he scored two first-half touchdowns on runs of 38 and 49 yards. Ward did most of his damage early with 158 yards on 19 caries in the first half. He finished with a total of 178 yards on 28 carries before cramping up in the fourth quarter.

The Fighting Irish (2-1, 1-0) only led 14-12 by the third quarter, but from that point on the defense took over and recorded two blocked punts, made two fourth-down stops and returned two interceptions for touchdowns — a 27-yard return by Brian Regnier and a 62-yard return by Kevin King.

Ward, who had an outstanding overall game, did fumble twice and both led to touchdowns for Leo (2-1, 0-1). “Our defense was dominant,” Ward said. “Whenever our team is facing any type of adversity we stick together. I give all the credit to them and the offensive line which did a great job.”

Quarterback Latrell Giles threw two touchdown passes — 72 yards to Saheed Adewole and a four-yard pass to Kevin Washington.

Despite the heavy rain, Leo coach Mike Holmes said costly mistakes and penalties were the pivotal factors in the game. “When you have over 100 yards of penalties in a game, that’s it in a nutshell,” Holmes said. “We had two touchdowns called back and two pick-six and a close game got out of hand.”

Bishop McNamara coach Rich Vinanni acknowledged his team’s toughness. “This is just who we are,” Vinanni said. “This team will not give up and they will fight to the very end. I am very proud of their effort.”

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