Jack Cheney

After a season-ending injury following the 2021 Lyons Township High School football opener, junior running back Jack Cheney returned with a flurry during the 2022 season opener on Aug. 26 at Buffalo Grove.

The Lions also enjoyed quite a comeback collectively.

Cheney’s four touchdowns and 228 rushing yards on 35 carries helped the Lions prevail 38-35 after trailing 21-10 with 5:00 left in the first half.

“It felt pretty awesome,” Cheney said. “It felt good to get the win but also to go out there and perform the way that I was able to perform for the first time in a year.”  

Cheney had a touchdown run of seven yards for the game’s first score and then three straight five-yard touchdown runs. His back-to-back scores put the Lions ahead 24-21 in the third quarter.

LTHS quarterback Ryan Jackson (17 of 23 passing, 230 yards) then threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Travis Stamm (6 catches, 105 yards) for a 31-21 lead. After Cheney’s fourth score, the Bison closed to 38-35 with 4:34 left, but Graham Smith recovered the ensuing onside kick and the Lions managed to run out the clock.

“I’m really proud of our players because we were down 21-10 and the kids kept battling and fighting and executing,” LTHS coach Jon Beutjer said. “The fact that we were able to stay together and get a win there was a really nice start.”

David Wright converted a 38-yard field goal to give the Lions a 10-7 lead in the second quarter. 

The Lions amassed 461 total yards behind the offensive line of Cooper Komsthoeft, Mikey Nunez, Kevin Cruz, Eddie Tuerk, Aidan Hallett and tight ends Smith and Jack Falls. 

Defensive tackle leaders were Quinn Farnan (5) and Quinn Magee (4, one for loss). Linemen Tuerk, Luke Wehling and Kellen Knop and linebackers Danny Pasko and Cooper King also starred.

“We scored first and we knew we could score. The defense got a couple of key stops and we just pulled it out,” Cheney said. “We can rally as a team and if we put it together even more, we can be one of the better teams in the conference.”