John Lynch impersonated … John Lynch.
The Loyola Academy senior defensive back — no relation to the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos defensive back — turned in an elite performance in his team’s 41-14 victory over visiting Fenwick on Sept. 23.
“At the start of the year, we were wondering if he would step up,” said Loyola head coach John Holecek. “He has.
“He’s had a heck of a year so far,” the coach added. “He’s been a shutdown corner.”
Lynch, a first-year starter at cornerback for the Ramblers (4-1), intercepted a pair of passes in the contest.
“First two of my career,” said Lynch.
For the record, the other John Lynch — the current GM for the San Francisco 49ers, known mostly as a ferocious hitter — finished his 15-year pro career with 26 INTs.
Also, for the record, Lynch’s first pick against Fenwick was … NFL-like.
While defending a deep sideline route late in the first quarter, Lynch — also a basketball player at the school — went up high and “won a jump ball” against Fenwick wideout Jack Polston.
“A 50-50 ball,” said Lynch. “And I was able to come down with it.”
Three minutes and 43 seconds later, LA turned the turnover into seven points to take a 14-0 lead with 5.5 seconds left in the opening quarter.
Pick No. 2 wasn’t as spectacular. But it was just as vital.
It came on Fenwick’s first series of the second half. And Lynch nearly turned it into a pick six, returning the ball to the Friars’ 10-yard line.
There was a cost, however. On the runback, Lynch sustained a left shoulder injury. He finished the game with an ice pack wrap around his shoulder.
“A deep bruise,” said Lynch. “I should be fine by Tuesday.”
Three plays after the interception, LA went up 24-7 as quarterback Quinn Boyle connected with Dillon Grant on a six-yard fade in the left corner of the end zone.
Stepping up on the defensive end has always been Lynch’s thing.
He’s also a defensive ace on the basketball court.
“I always want to guard the other team’s best player. Lock him down and chase down the loose balls,” said Lynch. “Playing ‘D’ is how I’ve found my way.”
LA’s Game Balls: John Lynch (DB), Quinn Boyle (QB), Hamid Bullie (RB), John Costello (LB), Christopher Scott (LB), Dillon Grant (WR)
Fenwick Game Ball: Mike O’Laughlin (WR)
LA’s Offensive Player of the Game: Boyle
LA’s Defensive Player of the Game: Lynch
LA’s Offensive Stat Leaders:
— Boyle (16 rushes, 122 yards; 12-33-1 passing, 205 yards, 2 TDs)
— Bullie (14 rushes, 60 yards, 8-yard TD run, 1-yard TD run; 2 catches, 8 yards)
— Grant (5 catches, 36 yards, 6-yard TD catch)
— Artie Collins (4 catches, 54 yards, 12-yard TD catch)
— Andrew Forsyth (4 catches, 34 yards)
— Rory Boos (3 catches, 31 yards)
— James Joyce (2 catches, 32 yards)
— Alex King (1 catch, 10 yards)
— John Fallon (5 rushes, 28 yards)
Fenwick’s Offensive Stat Leaders:
— O’Laughlin (8 catches, 131 yards, 24-yard TD catch, 5-yard TD catch)
LA’s Defensive Stat Leaders:
— Lynch (2 tackles, 2 INTs)
— Costello (5 tackles)
— Scott (3 tackles, 5-yard QB sack)
— Marty Geary (3 tackles, 2 tackles for loss)
— Kelly Hugh (1 INT)
— Timothy Thompson (2 TFLs)
— Andrew Shearson (fumble recovery)
LA’s Unsung Hero: Danny Baker
Notable: With senior star Anthony Rodriguez not suiting up for the game (concussion protocol), the tandem of Christopher Scott and John Costello saw even more action than usual at inside linebacker. “All three of those guys play a lot so we were OK,” said LA head coach John Holecek. “I’m really proud with the way Scott is developing. He’s the brains of the operation back there. And Costello is a tough kid. He’ll hit you like a ton of bricks. He brings a physical element.”… Danny Baker continues to be solid weapon for the Ramblers. He nailed a 42-yard field goal in the first half and added a 36-yard field goal in the second half. He also capped a couple of his kickoffs with tackles. … Check your twitter (@qpboyle7). LA quarterback Quinn Boyle added a little pizzazz to his position just before halftime. He received a bunch of oohs and aahs from LA fans — and teammates — when he scrambled out of the pocket, ran to his left and hurdled over an unsuspecting defensive back. The seven-yard pickup gave LA a first down at the Fenwick 44. Six plays later, Baker drilled a 41-yard field goal with 6 second left in the half. “That showed Quinn’s great athleticism,” said Holecek. “It also showed you how competitive he is. He’ll risk whatever to make a play.”