By Jeff Vorva
There were smiles from some St. Laurence football players at Kavanaugh Field on Friday night after their game against Providence.
But they may have been a little forced.
After the 33-7 loss to the Celtics in a Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Conference crossover showdown in Burbank, the players trudged off the field and gathered by the school to receive their postgame talk from coach Adam Nissen.
Then a group of Vikings seniors walked back into the empty stadium on a chilly night and had their photos taken as a part of a shoot arranged by a player’s parent.
It was far from a picture-perfect game during a far from picture-perfect, abbreviated spring season caused by coronavirus concerns. After scoring 42 points in a victory over Leo and 44 in a wild loss to Brother Rice in Week 4, St. Laurence (1-4) had its offense stopped by the Celtics (3-2).
“We didn’t come out ready to play,” Nissen said. “That’s on me. I’ll own that one. We came out plat and spotted them a couple of touchdowns. They have a really good team and we can’t afford to spot anyone a touchdown – especially a really good team like Providence.”
Vikings quarterback Darius Wilson was coming off a 504-yard performance (297 passing and 207 rushing) against Brother Rice, but yards were harder to come by against the Celtics.
Wilson was not on the field for St. Laurence’s first two possessions as he served a punishment for a team rule violation, according to Nissen. When Wilson did get in the game, he throw for 143 yards and a third-quarter touchdown pass to David McBrearly. Thanks in part to sacks, he was held to one rushing yard on 13 carries.
As a team, the Vikings mustered just 68 yards on the ground on 32 plays.
Providence quarterback Kevin Conway threw for 168 yards, ran for 118 more and added a 79-yard interception return in the fourth quarter to help lead the Celtics.
St. Laurence is scheduled to play its fifth home game of the year out of six games when it hosts De La Salle Friday night.
“The goal is to always win your first and your last game – we talk about it all the time,” Nissen said. “We didn’t win the first game this year, but hopefully we’ll get the seniors out there and they get a ‘W.'”