Lyons Township football coach Kurt Weinberg firmly believes that his team competes in the toughest conference division (West Suburban Silver) in the state. With impressive victories from Glenbard West, Hinsdale Central and Proviso West over the weekend, the Silver is certainly shining after Week 1 of the high school football season.
The Lions’ nonconference schedule isn’t too bad either.
Stevenson proved that fact with a 35-28 shootout win over visiting LT in a highly entertaining matchup between ranked teams on Friday. Aerial attack offense was the theme of the night in Lincolnshire as LT quarterback Zach Mahoney threw four touchdown passes, while Stevenson signal caller Willie Bourban responded with three touchdown strikes, including two passes to Matt Morrissey, son of former Chicago Bears player Jim Morrissey.
On their third play from scrimmage, the Lions took a 7-0 lead when Mahoney connected with Jemari Burks (the first of three touchdown hookups between the two) on a 53-yard scoring pass. The Patriots knotted the score at 7-7 later in the first quarter after Bourban hit wideout Alan Velev on a 20-yard touchdown pass.
The Lions regained the advantage at 14-7 early in the second quarter on another Mahoney to Burks pitch and catch touchdown collaboration from 34 yards out.
“Jemari is an excellent football player,” Weinberg said. “He’s big, strong and fast. Obviously, Matthew Harris [LT player committed to Northwestern] gets a ton of attention but Jemari is also a very savvy football player with a lot of talent.”
After Stevenson drew even again at 14-14 aided by a costly LT personal foul on a fourth-and-30 situation, Mahoney threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Burks. Powered by a strong effort from the offensive line, LT racked up 13 first downs in the first half.
The negative flipside for the game featured too many mistakes.
“Overall, we were about a C plus,” Weinberg said. “We had too many glaring errors. There were some personal fouls and three turnovers that hurt us. Unfortunately, we had some bad mistakes from veteran football players. You can’t have that against a very good football team like Stevenson and expect to win.”
In the second half, Stevenson rattled off 21 unanswered points, featuring touchdown runs from Danny Nowak and Ryan Mass to take a 35-21 lead. The Lions mustered a final push on Mahoney’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Pikul to draw within 35-28 at the 4:45 mark of the fourth quarter. After holding the Patriots’ offense down, LT got the football back with 2:35 remaining but was unable to score.
LT (0-1) travels to Downers Grove South on Friday (7:30 p.m.). The Mustangs lost 48-35 to South Elgin in their opener.