Seton LaSalle's Deanes joins 5,000-yard club in win over Freeport
Answer: Quick, strong, fast, elusive, durable, hard-working, humble.
Question: What are some terms that describe Seton LaSalle's staunch running back Lionel Deanes.
The 5-foot-7, 185-pound senior eclipsed the 5,000-yard mark in career rushing last week with one his best performances in a Seton LaSalle uniform.
Deanes, whose nickname is “The Train,” rambled for 282 yards and five touchdowns on 33 carries against Freeport in the first round of the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs.
“That was definitely one of his best games,” coach Rob Carter said. “I can't tell you what exactly has been his best game in his career; there are too many to choose from. He has been a horse we could rely on offensively over the years. He's helped make everyone better through his leadership and presence at practice.
“This year, everyone knew who was getting the ball, and with the offensive line opening holes, he was able to aid his team in achieving a goal they set, winning the conference title.”
The No. 3-seeded Rebels, who won the Allegheny Conference, motored past No. 6 Freeport, 35-18, last week at Dormont Stadium.
Deanes scored on jaunts of 17, 4, 17, 37 and 25 yards against the Yellow Jackets (7-3), who had a stingy 12.9 ppg defensive average; and ended the game with 5,226 career rushing yards and 55 career touchdowns.
Both marks are school records at Seton LaSalle.
“I am truly thankful for that accomplishment,” Deanes said. “I couldn't have done it without all the linemen that worked hard to help me gain those yards, as well as the coaches for trusting me enough to give me the ball and let me go to work.
“I was very happy with how our defense played (against Freeport). It made the game go easy for us, and it built up our confidence as we kept getting stops and scoring soon after. I felt I did what I could to help the team win.”
Deanes has a 4.3 GPA and is a member of the Environmental Club at Seton La Salle. He rates his second game as a starter in his sophomore season as the top performance of his career; he rushed for 295 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries in the first half against South Allegheny.
“Lionel has been a pleasure to watch over his career. He is the quintessential student-athlete,” Carter said. “He makes coaching easy. He is a good, young man who has worked hard for four years, put the time in, and got major results both on and off the field. He's a 5,000-yard rusher with 50-plus touchdowns; that's truly amazing.
“I wish Lionel the best with his future, and I hope he understands that he will always have a home at Seton LaSalle.”
The Rebels wrapped up the 2017 regular season with a 24-21 win against rival Keystone Oaks to finish 7-0 in the conference, one game ahead of Freeport. Seton LaSalle defeated the Yellow Jackets, 21-10, in Week 7.
“I am very happy with how the regular season went,” Carter said. “We went undefeated in the conference and had one hiccup against Quaker Valley, which is a very good team. The Rebels showed grit and handled the adversity of the season with maturity and pride. I am so proud of the team and staff for winning the conference; it was a team effort.”
Seton LaSalle (9-1) advanced to Friday's semifinal game with No. 2 Quaker Valley (10-1), which handed the Rebels their only regular-season loss in Week 8.
Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.