Vikings conquer No. 1 IC but Richards falls to No. 1 Phillips

  • Written by Jeff Vorva



Supplied photo

 Members of St. Laurence’s football team do a good deed loading trucks in Orland Hills to help out flood victim in Texas Saturday morning after stunning IC Catholic in Elmhurst the night before.


The week heading into a game against a team ranked No. 1 is usually full of anticipation and excitement.

Then the game is played and one of two things happen:

One, the big upset, causing yelling and dancing on the field for the postgame for the underdog.

Two, the No. 1 team plays like the No. 1 team and pulls off the victory and the underdog leaves the field deflated.

Two area football teams had a chance to play the Associated Press’s No. 1 teams in the state in their respective classes on Friday night and both scenarios played out.

St. Laurence topped Immaculate Conception Catholic (ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 3A) 26-23 in Elmhurst while in Oak Lawn, Phillips (ranked No. 1 in Class 5A and coming off a monumental 24-20 win over Loyola in Week 1) beat Richards, 34-21.

Outsiders may scoff that St. Laurence, a 6A team, beating a 3A team is not a huge deal, but IC is the defending Class 3A champion that beat St. Laurence, 63-49, in Burbank last year and opened the season with a 43-7 win over Bishop McNamara. The Vikings, which lost in Week 1 to Class 7A power Benet, 49-28, had no interest in opening the season 0-2.

Devon Rembis hit Matthew Hamer with a 73-yard pass with 3 minutes, 12 seconds left for what turned out to be the winning score for the Vikings. Donte Bronson’s interception in the closing minute helped ice the game for the winners.

“That was a really big win for us,” Vikings assistant coach Corey Flagg said. “It was up and down. It was scary. We needed to pull that one out.’’

The next morning, members of the Vikings headed to Orland Hills to load up trucks heading to Texas with supplies to help flooding victims.

St. Laurence, a state semifinalist in Class 5A in 2015 and 6A in 2016, plays its first Catholic League White Conference game of the season against Bishop McNamara in Kankakee on Friday.

Phillips came to Oak Lawn wanting to prove its stunner over Loyola was no fluke and grabbed a 20-0 lead with 9:08 left in the half as quarterback J’Bore Gibbs tossed a couple of touchdown passes and Craig Elmore added a scoring run.

The Bulldogs (1-1) grabbed some momentum before halftime as quarterback Sebastian Castro scored on a 1-yard run with 2:09 left and the defense came up with a stop.

Richards closed the gap to 20-14 when Castro hit Niles Gall with a 39-yard scoring strike in the third but could get no closer as the Wildcats scored two touchdowns to put the game away. Amaree Beard caught a pass for a late TD for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs open the South Suburban Red season at 7 p.m. Friday with a road game against Shepard, which is 2-0. Last year, Richards won 38-10 in Oak Lawn.