Written by Ken Karrson
Error-plagued Vikings fall short of postseason
Whatever lessons St. Laurence players may have learned from their mistakes Saturday afternoon won’t help them until 2014.
That was the painful reality for the Vikings after they dropped a 28-14 verdict to Chicago Catholic League White champion Fenwick at Morton West High School. St. Laurence needed to win its finale to have any hope of extending its season beyond Week 9, but a total of six turnovers undermined that mission.
There’s no question the Vikings were vastly improved in their second campaign under Harold Blackmon, but the coach wasn’t quite ready to declare himself satisfied.
“Maybe as time goes on, I’ll change my opinion of it,” Blackmon said. “But I judge success on the field by wins and losses, and we didn’t win enough. You’re never satisfied totally unless you go all the way [to the top].”
St. Laurence (4-5), which will not be offered a spot in the upcoming Catholic League playoffs, wasn’t without opportunities to upset the Friars. Fenwick scored touchdowns on each of its first three possessions — running back Robert Spillane notched all of the TDs — and required a total of just eight plays to do so, but the hosts grew relatively quiet after that.
While some damage was obviously done to the Vikings in the early going, St. Laurence may have actually inflicted a greater degree of it on itself over the entire course of the contest. The Vikes did answer one of the Friars’ first-quarter scores when Mike Sterna’s 4-yard reception successfully capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive.
However, St. Laurence also missed a short field goal and fumbled the ball away at Fenwick’s 2-yard line during the opening half. Another drop occurred at the Friars’ 44.
“We did not play up to our expectations,” Blackmon said. “It was a little disappointing to see us not take advantage of [scoring] opportunities. It’s something we have to focus on [improving] going into next season.