When Lyons Township High School senior linebacker John Tobin intercepted the football deflected by lineman Sumner Julian early in the second quarter Friday at Hinsdale Central, it looked to be a good omen.
It was one of a couple of big plays for the Lions in their West Suburban Conference Silver Division opener, but they couldn’t sustain the momentum.
LTHS (1-2) lost 35-16 after training 35-10 at halftime when the Red Devils (2-1) scored 21 points in the final three minutes of the second quarter. The last two touchdowns followed turnovers in LTHS territory.
“We just have to work on bending but not breaking. You get put in a tough position, we’ve got to do the best we can to get off the field,” Tobin said.
“The first three games, this game specifically, the second half I thought we played a lot better. We’re so tense in the beginning of games. We’re so hyped up. We’re so in with the crowd. We’ve got to relax. We’re a great defense. We fly around. We’re fast. We just have to get to playing how we know best.”
The Lions lost to their rivals for the eighth straight season following their 31-10 defeat to complete last season’s abbreviated campaign in the spring.
“I know our guys played hard. I know it means a lot to them,” LTHS coach Jon Beutjer said. “We prepared and we thought we had a really good chance to beat [Hinsdale Central], but I think when you turn the ball over that much [it’s harder]. And hats off to them. They had a good game plan.”
The Red Devils scored on the opening possession, but the Lions responded in a big way when senior quarterback Joey Antonietti darted 62 yards to the 14-yard line. Antonietti scored from the 2 and Lions tied the game 7-7.
However, Thomas Skokna returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown that put the Red Devils ahead for good.
Tobin’s interception led to Marko Dubak’s 28-yard field goal that cut the deficit to 14-10. But, the Red Devils answered with a 23-yard touchdown drive after an end zone punt and two more quick scores after a fumble recovery at the Lions’ 25 and a 34-yard interception return to the 6.
Antonietti rushed for 127 yards and passed for 95. Noah Pfafflin (46 yards) and Cullen McManaman (26 yards) caught four passes.
Danny Pasko added an 8-yard touchdown run with 5:23 left. Reserve quarterback Aidan Sullivan completed passes of 12 and 27 yards during the 73-yard drive.