Lake Forest Falls at Chicago in Season Finale

Photo by Larry Radloff,
Photo by Larry Radloff,

Freshman wide receiver A.J. Jackson scored all three of the Foresters' touchdowns in Saturday's season finale, a 35-21 loss at the University of Chicago.

Jackson gave his team the early lead on a 5-yard touchdown run, which capped off a 14-play, 67-yard drive to open the game.

After the Maroons tied the score on the ensuing possession and scored another touchdown the next time they had the ball, Jackson finished off a five-play, 60-yard drive with a 12-yard scoring reception from senior quarterback Bill Degnan.

Neither team scored during the final seven minutes of the first half or in the entire third quarter.

The Foresters had reached field goal range early in the fourth when a fumble gave the home team possession. Chicago's second play of the next drive was a 76-yard touchdown catch and, after Lake Forest fumbled on the kickoff, the home team struck again on a pass play from 38 yards out. A 30-yard touchdown run on the Maroon's next possession mae the score 35-14 with 4:37 to play.

Degnan completed six of seven passes for 60 yards on the Foresters' final driveof the year, which ended with a 19-yard touchdown catch by Jackson.

Jackson hauled in six passes for 104 yards and added eight yards on two rushing attempts in the contest. He also returned three kickoffs a total of 68 yards and finished his rookie season with 1,767 all-purpose yards and 13 total touchdowns.

Degnan passed for 180 yards on Saturday and finished the season with a program record 153.9 quarterback efficiency rating.

Sophomore running back Stone Matthews carried the ball 16 times for 87 yards and led the team with 759 rushing yards and 5.1 yards per carry on the year.

Junior defensive end Matt Leonard and senior outside linebacker Johnny Laponte led Lake Forest with a dozen tackles apiece while senior defensive end Jordan McInerney and junior middle lineback Michael Salazar added 11 and 10 stops, respectively. Laponte's 269 career tackles rank ninth in team history and McInerney, the program's career leader with 54.5 tackles for loss, finished 2019 with 14.5 sacks and 22.0 tackles for loss. Laponte also picked off his third pass of the season and junior cornerback Jordan Briggs his team-high fourth.

Saturday's game was between the second-place teams in the Midwest Conference's North and South Divisions. The Foresters were 4-1 in MWC North play and finished the year with an overall record of 7-3. Chicago went 3-1 in the South and ended the season at 6-3.

Degnan, Laponte, and McInerney are part of a senior class whose 29 victories (against just 11 losses) are the most of any four-year span in program history.