LYONS 7 21 14 7 49
PROVISO EAST 0 13 0 0 13
The Lyons Township football team improved its record to 2-0 overall by trouncing Proviso East 49-13 Friday night.
The Lions (2-0) got things rolling early with quarterback Ed Viliunas plunging in from the 2-yard line with 6:36 left in the opening quarter.
The LT defense then forced a three-and-out, but the offense fumbled on the 20 and Proviso East took advantage, punching the ball in with a 7-yard pass from Ladwayne Banks to Darrell King. Franklin Benjamin’s extra point tied the game at 7-7.
On the ensuing kickoff, however, senior return man Alex Sewall swung the momentum back squarely in LT’s favor with an electrifying 79-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Viliunas (11-for-18, 110 yards, 2 TDs) found Patrick Stafford for a 19-yard touchdown pass with five minutes left in the first half.
Proviso struck back when Banks hooked up with Darrell King for a 15-yard touchdown, but failed to convert the extra point. But the Lions had the last TD of the half when Viliunas scampered in from 12 yards out. Ethan Guenther’s fourth straight extra point of the half gave the Lions a 21-13 advantage at the break.
The Lions began the second half with some trickery, kicking and recovering an onside kick. The recovery led to another Lions TD, this time an 8-yard Viliunas-to-Sewall touchdown toss. LT coach Jack Derning said the onside kick was just a matter of keeping the first-half momentum going.
“We thought we played a solid first half, we just wanted to keep them on their heels,” he said. “Fortunately, the play worked and we kept things going. After that, things just sort of snowballed from there and we had a great second half on both sides of the ball.”
LT’s defense was downright stingy the entire game, holding Proviso East scoreless in the second half, and a mere 28 yards rushing the entire game.
The Lions scored three times in the second half, including a 76-yard TD run by David Bellisario to close out the scoring.
Derning was especially pleased with his offensive output considering the Lions managed a meager field goal for a 3-0 win over Sandburg the previous week.
“Winning by that large of margin gave us a lot of confidence going into next week,” Derning said. “We didn’t have a great offensive game last week, so that was good to see. Also, the defense came back with a good game as well. Proviso East have some great kids at the skill positions, so to limit them to just 13 points is pretty good.”
The Lions have a tough test in Hinsdale Central next week to open West Suburban (Silver) Conference play. Derning will rely on Viliunas and Sewall, who both garnered 2006 All-West Suburban Conference Silver Division honors last year, to continue to lead the Lions.
“We have always been a senior-led team and that is something we will rely on this year as well,” Derning said. “Hinsdale beat Morton already this year, so we know they are a quality team. They have a talented sophomore kid at quarterback and he runs their offense very well. We will really have to be on our A-game if we want to go in there and get the win.”