YORK 3 13 7 7 30
LYONS 0 7 0 8 15
During its 30-15 loss to York, Lyons Township experienced a sequence of plays that perhaps served as a microcosm for the football team’s sluggish start this season.
Trailing York 9-0 midway through the second quarter, the Lions ostensibly climbed right back into the game on a 55-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Eddie Viliunas to receiver Alex Georges. Unfortunately, before the Lions’ touchdown celebration was barely completed, York responded with a four-play, 68-yard scoring drive a mere minute and a half later to extend the Dukes’ lead to 16-7.
“I actually thought their first drive of the second half really hurt us,” Lyons coach Jack Derning said. “That was like a nine-minute drive and they just pounded us. The crucial thing was more what we didn’t do. We had opportunities but just did not execute well offensively.”
The Lions, owners of a 1-3 record, have trailed in all four of their games yet paradoxically have shown flashes of being a good team. A banged up defense has not exactly helped the Lions’ cause, either.
“We are giving great effort,” said Lyons linebacker Matt Gralen. “It has not come out on our side, but we will shore up some things in practice.”
York (3-1, 2-0 West Suburban Silver) took advantage of the inexperienced Lyons defense, which played six new starters. Corey DeRosa scored three touchdowns and rushed 26 times for 137 yards in leading a bruising York ground attack. The Dukes controlled time of possession with 227 yards rushing on 45 attempts and 16 first downs.
Conversely, Lyons struggled offensively with five first downs and 63 yards rushing on 20 attempts, a 3.1 yards per rush average.
“I have been on the other side of what York did to us and there’s not much you can do about it,” Derning said. “As an option team when we get ahead, we’ll do the same thing by running the football.”
York led 16-7 at the half courtesy of two touchdown runs of three yards and one yard by DeRosa, and a 31-yard field goal by Devin Kolstad. York consolidated its lead with an opening second half 12-play, 64-yard march that took almost six minutes off the clock. DeRosa scored one final time from 33 yards out to propel the Dukes to a 30-7 lead with 7:55 left in the game.
“Every game we always want to run the ball,” DeRosa said. “Lyons is always tough, but we were able to respond after they scored.”
Lyons running back Lucas Gacek ran 25 yards and Viliunas threw a 21-yard pass to Georges (2 catches, 76 yards) to set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Gacek with 4:47 remaining in the game. Gacek ran in the 2-point conversion to make the final score 30-15.
“Our offense took a step back this week,” Lyons’ 6-foot-6, 237-pound offensive tackle Jeff Adams said. “We need a complete team effort. For us, it’s still all about making the playoffs.”
The Lyons travel to Hillside this Saturday (1:30 p.m.) to take on conference opponent Proviso West. The Panthers are coached by first-year head coach Famous Hulbert, a former assistant under Derning at LT for nine years.
“It’s going to be special for us to go against Famous,” Derning said. “Our kids all liked him and our coaches certainly respect the job he did here. Like any conference game, it’s going to be tough and they always have great talent over there.”
The Panthers, who are coming off a 27-0 loss to Downers Grove North, are 2-2 overall and 0-2 in the WSC.