Lyons Township High School senior Caleb Greer continues to be a big-time playmaker. As a defensive back, he’s returned two interceptions for touchdowns.
In Saturday’s Homecoming game against York, as a wide receiver, he connected with senior quarterback Ryan Jackson for a 70-yard touchdown reception with 4:15 remaining. They barely missed each other at the same spot just past midfield three plays earlier.
“I knew I had man-to-man [coverage] with the linebacker. I told [Jackson] let’s run it again. I believe you can get it to me,” said Greer of his fourth TD reception. “I beat [my defender] to the inside and Ryan was able to get the ball to me, as he always does.”
The Lions had several big plays Saturday but most happened while playing from behind. The result was a 24-14 loss that ended their chances for at least sharing their first West Suburban Conference Silver Division title since 2010. The Lions (5-3, 4-2 in Silver) can clinch a playoff berth with a win Friday at Proviso East (1-7) in the regular-season finale.
York (7-1) now shares the Silver lead at 4-1 with Glenbard West (6-2), which beat LTHS 13-10 on Sept. 16.
“It was a big game for us,” Greer said. “I feel like it got to our heads a little bit. We started worrying about who we were playing more than executing what we had planned.”
Jackson was 15-for-24 passing for 200 yards, 85 to Travis Stamm and 77 to Greer, and he rushed for 69.
On the Lions’ first drive of the second half, Jackson had a beautiful 49-yard TD run up the middle after a fake handoff to Danny Carroll. But York already owned a 14-0 halftime lead, including a 24-yard TD pass just 55.4 seconds before halftime.
Caleb’s TD reception came after Jack Cheney’s interception in the end zone. LTHS closed to 24-14 and Davey Paulus recovered Tommy Newcomb’s onside kick at the York 47. However, Jackson’s deep pass was intercepted at the 2 with 3:40 left. The Dukes ran out the clock after a controversial first-down spot at their 12 kept the drive going.
“Obviously, there’s some things we need to clean up offensively and defensively, but I was proud of the way we fought. I thought we ran out of time a little bit,” LTHS coach Jon Beutjer said.
“[York] beat us and were better than us. But there were a lot of good things that we did and things we’re going to build off of.”
On the first two possessions, York drove 67 and 56 yards but were held to 31- and 37-yard field goals. The Dukes’ first TD came after getting the ball at the Lions’ 45 with 1:46 left in the first half after an LTHS punt into a vicious wind.
In the second quarter, the Lions failed to convert third and fourth-and-8 from the York 37 with back-to-back incomplete passes, the second with a declined illegal procedure penalty.
The Lions’ drive late in the third quarter opened with a 35-yard pass to Stamm. They reached the York 21 but a fourth-and-12 pass to Jack McQueeney was stopped two yards short.
Eddie Tuerk and Roman Sosnovyy combined for three tackles for loss. McQueeney and Cheney had nine tackles each. Noah Pfafflin played linebacker despite breaking his left wrist in practice Thursday.
“We showed little spurts of [playing well],” Beutjer said. “It was just one of those games that we really wanted but we didn’t deserve to win. We didn’t make enough plays.”