Lions come up short in homecoming loss


Julian Albright, Co-Editor

While a Homecoming football loss to the Normandy Vikings follows suit of the rest of the season, it was the best game the Lions have played so far.

Autumn weather hit St. Louis hard and fast which made the afternoon of Oct. 13 a chilly one, at just 48 degrees. Fans, students and U. City alumni alike, slowly arrived to the stadium, yet quickly into the first quarter, the stands were crowded with excited fans. 

The game started as a back and forth battle between the teams, both reaching fourth down situations and being forced to punt. Then with almost three minutes left in the first quarter, Normandy junior Caleb Carvin made an 89-yard touchdown run. With the additional two point conversion, Normandy took the lead 8-0.

The Lions did not seem too concerned and continued to focus on the rest of the game. This was proven when DeAngelo Davis, junior, ran the ball back to Normandy’s 41-yard line off the kickoff. The energy in the stands picked up and U. City fans were excited for a forward drive. The excitement ended as quickly as it started, as one of the Normandy cornerbacks scored a pick-6 off of a throw by junior quarterback Lawrence Coleman. U. City was able to deny Normandy of extra points, but the first quarter ended 14-0, Normandy. 

“We just weren’t prepared,” said Coleman. “We were messing around a lot at practice that week and it showed in the game.”

The second quarter looked to be more of the same, as Normandy scored quickly after a U. City fumble making the score 20-0. However, on the next drive, U. City running back Lamarq Murphy made a 4-yard run to get U. City on the board. Murphy would end up scoring two of the three U. City touchdowns. 

“That touchdown felt good because we needed some points on the board,” said Murphy. “But it wasn’t enough. I really wanted to win, and I was playing for my team and my community.” 

Both teams then went scoreless for the remainder of the half, ending the first half with a score of 20-6 in favor of Normandy.     

The Lions came out of the gate strong to start the second half and quickly worked their way down the field to the Normandy 15-yard line, where Murphy made a 15-yard run to score his second touchdown of the game. With help from Givion Crawford, senior, to score the 2-point conversion, the Lions brought the score to 20-14 and brought themselves within 6 points. 

“Coach told us we needed to correct our mistakes and execute like we can,” said Crawford. “He also said to keep a positive mindset.” 

As U. City kicked off to the Vikings after scoring, a kick by Patrick Fuller, freshman, pinned Normandy at their own 27. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Fuller is ranked top 50 in the St. Louis area for kickoff percentage. A quick drive and good U. City defense forced the Vikings into a fourth and third situation where they punted back to the Lions. The Lions quickly worked the ball back down into the red zone, but after multiple flags and some confusion on the field, U. City was not able to score. 

The energy in the stands had picked up and U. City hopefuls were anxiously awaiting comeback. Unfortunately for the home fans, a 45-yard touchdown pass play from the Vikings put the visiting team up by 12. Over the course of the fourth quarter, Normandy scored two more touchdowns including the second pick-6 of the game which brought Normandy’s score to 38. 

With just a handful of seconds left on the clock, a desperation touchdown and 2-point conversion run by Crawford with 18 seconds left made the final score of the game 38-22. Crawford, who has played four years on varsity, was happy after playing in his last Homecoming game. 

“I played with a chip on my shoulder,” Crawford said. “I felt like I was representing U. City and I was trying my hardest to make plays happen.”