Lyons 17
Proviso West 14

Considering he is a team leader who plays offense, defense and special teams, Mark Sewall is arguably the MVP of the Lyons Township football team this season. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound junior proved his worth once again on Friday during the Lyons’ 17-14 win at Proviso West.

With less than two minutes left in the game, Sewall intercepted a pass from Proviso West quarterback Malik Thurman on a fourth-and-seven at the LT 6-yard line, quelling the Panthers’ late surge.

“I had a feeling they were going to throw it to my side,” Sewall said. “I was able to go up and make a break on the ball.”

Lyons coach Kurt Weinberg praised the job Sewall did against the Panthers’ athletic receiving corps – notably playmaker Ryan Harris. Teaming up with fellow ballhawks like Will Konstant, Mike Thomas and Matt Harris, Sewall is a perfect fit in the Lions’ solid defensive backfield.

“Mark made a great play for us,” Weinberg said. “Sewall and Matt Harris did a nice job on No. 1 [Ryan Harris]. We had seen him in person and on film. He’s just an impressive player. We designed a few coverages to take him away a bit. Overall, I thought we matched up pretty well with Proviso West.”

The Lions set a successful tone in the first half when Thomas blocked a punt that was recovered by Matt Harris deep in Panthers’ territory. Quarterback Brian Kelley (8-for-14, 124 yards passing) took advantage of the favorable field position by scoring on a one-yard run with three minutes left in the opening quarter. Kelley then capped off a 10-play, 86-yard drive by tossing a 31-yard touchdown pass to Chris Klotz to put LT up 14-0 with 1:25 left until halftime.

The Panthers responded with a strong second half effort, highlighted by Thurman’s 26-yard touchdown strike to Clarence Heath, whittling the LT lead to 14-7. After Mike Pett’s 20-yard field goal extended the Lions’ edge to 17-7, Proviso West pulled back to within 17-14 on Jamaal Payton’s five-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

Proviso West orchestrated a final scoring threat in the closing minutes before Sewall’s pick pulled the plug on their comeback bid.

Lyons locks up a postseason spot with the victory.

“Obviously, it’s always nice in the seventh week of the season to know you’re in the playoffs,” Weinberg said. “It’s kind of a security blanket. I’m happy for the kids and coaches. At the same time, our kids are mature enough to realize we still have a lot of football to play this season.”

With a regular season conference showdown looming at Glenbard West (Oct. 23) against the first-place Hilltoppers, the Lions still have a shot at winning a share of the league championship. York, which beat LT but lost to Glenbard West, also remains in the hotly-contested conference race.

“We’re not looking ahead to Glenbard West or the playoffs,” Weinberg said. “Our focus is on Leyden.”

The Lions host the Eagles on Friday (7:30 p.m.).

West Suburban

Conference standings


                             W-L W-L

Glenbard West        4-0 7-0
York                       4-1 6-1
Lyons                     4-1 6-1
Hinsdale C.             2-2 4-3
Proviso West          1-3 4-3
OPRF                     0-4 2-5
Downers Grove N.    0-4 1-6