Lyons Township High School junior cornerback Danny Montesano nearly had an early interception during the Sept. 9 showdown with rival and two-time defending West Suburban Conference Silver football champion Hinsdale Central.
Senior linebacker Noah Pfafflin came over to lend encouragement.
“He went up and the ball was just out of his reach,” Pfafflin said. “I was telling him that he’s going to get another chance and he’s going to make it happen.”
With the game on the line, Montesano made an interception in the end zone with 38.9 seconds remaining to seal the Lions’ 10-7 victory in front of their packed white-clad, fan section at LTHS South Campus.
The WSC Silver opener marked the first victory for the Lions (3-0) over the Red Devils (1-2) since 2013 and ended their streak of 12 consecutive conference victories, beginning with LTHS in 2019.
“It was a really great feeling to be able to beat Hinsdale, especially the way we did. It was a dogfight on both sides of the ball,” Pfafflin said.
With Hinsdale Central facing second-and-9 from the 12, Montesano said he was supposed to be on the strong side of the field, but he couldn’t switch. Montesano stepped in front of the pass by quarterback Billy Cernugel to Reece Kolke, who earlier scored the Red Devils’ touchdown on a 11-yard reception 15.9 seconds before halftime.
“Everything just happened so fast at the goal line. It just worked out in my favor. I came ready,” Montesano said.
The Lions scored on their opening drive with a 35-yard field goal by David Waight, his third this season.
After the Red Devils went ahead just before halftime, LTHS opened the third quarter with a 14-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that consumed 8:28 for the game’s final score.
Quarterback Ryan Jackson scored on a 4-yard run. Jackson also had 92 yards passing and probably the biggest play of the drive – an 18-yard pass to Pfafflin at the 13 on fourth-and-14.
That was the lone catch on Sept. 9 for Pfafflin, who played more receiver his previous two seasons.
“They called my name and put me into the game, so I knew I had to do something special. Me and Ryan have been playing since our youth, so we have that connection,” Pfafflin said.
Defensively, Pfafflin joined Danny Pasko, Kellen Knop and NCAA Division I prospect Eddie Tuerk in four quarterback sacks. Pasko rushed for 40 yards in the second half after an injury to starter Jack Cheney.
“With the West Suburban Silver, this is just the beginning,” LTHS coach Jon Beutjer said. “It’s a tough conference but what a great night for high school football and our LT football program and the community and alums. This win was for all of them as well.”
RBHS football overruns Chicago Christian
With the Riverside-Brookfield High School football team facing a tie score near the end of the first quarter on Sept. 9, the defense made a goal-line stand.
The Bulldogs responded with another scoring drive and rode the change of fortune to a 28-7 victory over Chicago Christian on Senior Night and their home and Metro Suburban Conference Red opener.
“[The defensive stand] was definitely a big turning point,” RBHS coach Sam Styler said. “We had brought the team together and said we’ve got to start digging deep and define who we are going to be, and the defense showed up and played great. We were able to flip the field right away.”
Drew Swiatek had an interception and 2.5 tackles, one for loss. Other defensive leaders included Gio Gonzalez (5 tackles, 3 for loss), Caleb McCottry (3 tackles), Marques Turner (2 tackles), Joe Midona (sack) and Jackson Drumheller (tackle for loss)
David Valencia (88 yards on 15 carries) had two 5-yard touchdown runs as part of another strong rushing night. Luke Kumskis also scored twice on 3-yard runs.
Quarterback Diego Gutierrez was 16-for-21 passing for 109 and rushed for 46 yards, including a 17-yarder. Muhammad Salem (5 catches, 37 yards) and Adam Uriostegui (4 catches, 32 yards) were leading receivers.
“We were able to keep them in control,” Styler said. “Everybody on the team was able to get in, which was nice.”
RBHS (2-1) meets Aurora Christian (2-1) for homecoming on Sept. 16.