By Steve Millar
Chris Gallagher shined in his debut as Oak Lawn’s starting quarterback, throwing three touchdowns and running for another to lead the host Spartans to a 28-22 win over Marian Catholic in the season opener.
“Chris has worked really hard over the last two offseasons,” Oak Lawn coach Nick Novak said of the junior signal-caller. “He’s waited for his time. He came out and threw the ball well, made the right reads, ran hard. He’s a tough kid.”
All of Gallagher’s touchdown passes went to fellow junior Kevin Swatek. The pair hooked up for a 6-yard score in the first quarter, a 7-yard touchdown in the second, and an 8-yard score in the third.
“We had a matchup we liked,” Novak said. “Chris and Kevin communicated, picked their poison and used it when they wanted to. It’s a nice combination to work with.”
Swatek’s final touchdown, with 1:11 left in the third, came with Oak Lawn trailing 22-20 deficit. Running back Nick Puente then ran for the two-point conversion and the
Spartan defense shut out Marian the rest of the way.
Gallagher, who also ran for a 2-yard touchdown, finished 11-for-20 passing for 100 yards. Puente ran for 89 yards on 14 carries.
Defensively, Oak Lawn forced four turnovers.
The Spartans play at Thornwood (0-1) in week two.
“It’s always good to get the first win,” Novak said. “Now, we’re going to Thornwood. We have some things to clean up, a couple mental mistakes to fix, but we have some good momentum going into that game.”
Chicago Christian 54, Mooseheart 27
Desmond Rodgers had a huge night on the ground, totaling 176 yards and four touchdowns on 12 carries to lead the Knights (1-0) to the road win. Jonathan Griffin added 130 yards and two touchdowns on six carries.
Chicago Christian hosts Rockford Christian (1-0) on Friday.
Evergreen Park 19, Leo 12
Jack Manso’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Karlton Karpenter with 22 seconds left in the game lifted Evergreen Park (1-0) to a dramatic win in a game played at St. Rita.
Manso finished 13-for-24 passing for 140 yards and two touchdowns, the other a 33-yarder to Vincent Marzano. The Mustangs hosts CICS-Longwood in week two.
Shepard 18, Leyden 14
Rishard Blake threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Chris Harrison with 46 seconds left in the game to give visiting Shepard (1-0) a win in the debut of Astros head coach John Rone. Harrison also scored on a 24-yard interception return.
The Astros play at Stagg on Friday.
T.F. North 22, Stagg 10
Reide Modiest ran for a 3-yard touchdown and Nick Harper kicked a 28-yard field goal, but Stagg (0-1) fell to the Meteors in coach Brian Berg’s debut. The Chargers host Shepard in Week 2.
Benet 27, St. Laurence 10
Brailyn Johnson’s 66-yard interception return for a touchdown was the highlight for St. Laurence (0-1) in the High School Kickoff Classic at Northern Illinois. Liam McCarthy booted a 42-yard field goal, while Nate Thomas ran for 56 yards on eight carries.
The Vikings host St. Joseph (0-1) on Friday.
Marian (Ind.) 52, St. Xavier 7
St. Xavier (0-1), ranked No. 6 in NAIA, was dominated by No. 15 Marian in Indianapolis. Marian jumped to a 17-0 first-quarter lead and rolled from there.
St. Laurence graduate Alex Martinez was 17-for-32 passing for 171 yards and ran for a 3-yard touchdown for the Cougars, who play at NCAA FCS program Illinois State on Saturday.