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Terrence Shannon’s love of football pays off for Lincoln Park

Terrence Shannon also played on the Lincoln Park football team. |Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

Lincoln Park senior Terrence Shannon is 6-6 and athletic. In Chicago that means one thing: basketball. So that’s the path Shannon was on throughout high school. Over the summer he had an enticing offer to go play basketball at a prep school. He was close to making the move, but one thing kept him in Chicago.

“I stayed for football, because I love it,” Shannon said. “It’s my favorite sport. The prep school didn’t have a football team.”

Shannon had five receptions for 77 yards and two touchdowns in the Lions’ 53-0 win against Schurz on Thursday at Lane Stadium.

“He wasn’t sure what to do over the summer,” Lincoln Park quarterback Jake Dowell said. “There are always a lot of people talking to him about basketball. But I told him we haven’t done everything we can do on the football field. We are seeing it now. Those two fades at the back of the end zone, that’s what he can do, he’s killer at that. He’s committed and ready and dominating.”

Dowell, a three-year starter for the Lions (3-1, 2-0 Big Shoulders), had a highlight-reel performance. He was 17-for-20 for 317 yards passing and six touchdowns. Dowell connected with Shannon for 24-yard and five-yard touchdowns. Aria Sarvineghabi caught touchdown passes of 25 and 51 yards, Gabe Medina had an 18-yard touchdown catch and Dee Habib had a 53-yard touchdown reception.

“Those are all career bests for me. The touchdowns, yards and completion percentage,” Dowell said. “You can’t ever expect a day like that, you just have to prepare for it so you are ready.”

Lincoln Park running back Tavares Bean had 12 carries for 162 yards and two touchdowns. It’s the second shutout of the season for the Lions.

“A shutout is always important but it is more about us executing and doing what we have to do the entire game,” Lincoln Park defensive lineman Angel Cortes said.”

Public League football teams face a range of challenges. Blowout, running clock victories are a major issue for the city’s better teams.

“In the playoffs we are going to have to play four quarters and in the regular season that might happen three times,” Lincoln Park coach Vince DeFrancesco said. “We’ve found that when we get in the playoffs we aren’t conditioned for four quarters. It’s difficult to finding the balance between sportsmanship, respecting the opponent, and making sure that the starters get enough reps to keep their conditioning up.”

This is the third season where the Lions are aiming for the playoffs while dealing with several regular season running clock games.

“We have to play four quarters, we know it is a problem in the playoffs,” Dowell said. “We start out hot in the first two drives and then things don’t go well. We need to stay focused and stay conditioned.”

Schurz (0-4, 0-2) had a rough time on both lines. Running back Anthony Williams was tackled for losses on several players and the Lions sacked Bulldogs quarterback Joseph Flores four times.