During crunch time of any game, Lyons Township junior Ben Bryant is a fearless quarterback. That mindset, coupled with excellent physical tools, has Bryant on the recruiting radar of several Division I colleges.
UnfortunatelBryant’s ability to muster up magic in the tightest of moments didn’t occur on his last pass this season. Trailing visiting Palatine 20-17 in overtime of a Class 8A second-round game, Bryant attempted to flip the ball to junior wide receiver Brandon Fischer under pressure on a third-and-goal in overtime. Palatine senior Johnny O’Shea intercepted the pass to secure the Pirates’ impressive road victory.
“It was a great, hard-fought game,” LTHS coach Kurt Weinberg said. “It’s a shame someone has to lose, but we were on the positive end of it last week. This week, we were unfortunately on the negative end of it.”
Bryant finished 15-for-30 for 196 passing yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 48 yards on nine carries. Fischer had six catches for 115 yards and a touchdown, while senior running back Reggie Terrell contributed 57 yards on 10 carries. Junior wide receiver Nathan Rusk contributed a 10-yard TD catch.
Defensively, LTHS sophomore cornerback Hareson Willis had an interception.
“Our defense has been great this year. Right now, it’s a learning experience,” LTHS junior defensive lineman Andrew Ezell said. “, who had a sack shared with senior linebacker Jack Walton in Saturday’s game. “We have a lot to learn from, and we’re just going to come back even stronger next year and play even harder.”
After Palatine scored first fo grab a 7-0 lead, Rusk nailed a 40-yard field goal to whittle the deficit to 7-3. With about five minutes remaining until halftime, Bryant tossed a 65-yard TD pass to Fischer to put the Lions ahead 10-7 at the half.
“Our passing game was big this year,” Fischer said. “We were more of a running team last year. We’re not the biggest team but we have really fast guys, and of course Ben (Bryant) and our O-line are great too.”