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St. Joseph's Demetrius Morrow makes a leaping catch against Leo on Saturday, September 29, 2012, in Chicago. | Chandler West~For Sun-Times Media
Leo rode a strong defense and big plays on both sides of the ball to defeat St. Joseph 32-0 Saturday at Stagg Stadium.
The Lions (3-2, 2-1 Catholic Red) limited the Chargers (0-6, 0-3) to 68 yards of total offense. Senior linebacker LeVern Johnson, along with cornerbacks Corey Pryor and James Davis III paced Leo's defensive effort. Johnson was solid in pass coverage and against the run, while Pryor and Davis controlled the passing game.
“I think we’re one of the best defenses in the Catholic League,” said Johnson, who left the game after suffering from cramps. “We can control the game.”
Heading into the contest, Leo coach Michael Holmes decided it was time to start using two-way player Theodore Hopkins Jr. at running back. Holmes acknowledged he wanted to save the option to use Hopkins on both sides of the ball until later in the year. The decision to use the 5-10, 180-pound junior paid dividends as he had eight carries for 167 yards, including touchdown runs of 82 and 55 yards.
“You’re going to be seeing a lot more of him,” Holmes said. “He’s one of the best backs out there.”
Senior Kerron Bragg added another element to the Lions’ offense, catching three passes for 108 yards, two of which went for 39-yard touchdowns. Bragg also returned a fumble 15 yards for the game’s first score.
It’s been a season of disappointment for the Chargers, but it hasn’t damaged their outlook, according to head coach Anthony Griffin.
“These guys keep high spirits,” said Griffith. “No quitters… They come to practice every day. We just need to learn to play for four quarters.”
St. Joseph failed to establish its passing game as it completed just 5 of 21 passes for 26 yards. Sophomore running back Brandon Johnson had 63 yards on 22 carries for the Chargers.