St. Viator had to wait a long time and go a long way Friday night to return to the win column.
Fittingly, it took a long pass of 63 yards from juniors Mickey Macius to John Balas with less than three minutes to play to put the Lions ahead to stay in a 26-15 nonconference football victory over St. Ignatius at the University of Chicago's Stagg Stadium.
A late touchdown off an interception by Andrew Norris sealed the end of a nine-game losing streak for Viator (1-5).
"It's just good to get a win," said Viator coach Chris Kirkpatrick. "The kids have been great and the effort has been there despite all of the losses and injuries."
Viator took a 6-0 lead in the second quarter but St. Ignatius (2-4) scored a go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter. Macius (12-for-22, 163 yards passing) also threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Brian Guth and A.J. Wegrzyn (13 carries, 46 yards) scored on a touchdown run. Viator finished with 294 yards of total offense.
Balas caught 5 passes for 76 yards and the Lions got big games on both sides of the ball from Shane Rooney and Jack Kellner. Rooney rushed for 52 yards, caught a 20-yard pass and had 8 solo tackles and Kellner caught 3 passes for 43 yards and had 2 sacks.
Norris also had 9 tackles and 1½ sacks, Marty Cukierski had a sack, Kevin Hammarlund intercepted a pass for the second straight week and Nick Smeriglio recovered a fumble.
"Our defense played really well," Kirkpatrick said. "They've struggled all year but I'm happy with the way they played and offensively we made a play when we needed to."
Leyden 28, Morton 13: Leyden (1-5, 1-3) also got in the win column Friday night as quarterback Joe DiFronzo threw a touchdown pass and ran for two scores in the West Suburban Gold game in Berwyn.
The Eagles fell behind 13-3 with 1:31 left in the half. But Jon Rodriguez's 55-yard kickoff return set up DiFronzo's 11-yard touchdown pass to Mike Lurigio just 10 seconds before the break.
DiFronzo, who had 63 yards passing and 37 rushing, scored from 6 yards in the third and from a yard in the fourth after Nelson Lugo's punt block.
Mickey Gulo (22 carries, 140 yards) completed the comeback with a 23-yard touchdown run.
Krystian Chudoba put Leyden ahead in the first quarter with a 48-yard field goal.