NORTHLAKE – It’s not quite do-or-die time for the Lyons Township football team, but the Lions are aware that they don’t have much more room for error.
With their backs near but not quite all the way up against the wall, LT picked up a 31-14 win at Leyden on Friday to improve to 1-2 and begin the climb back from its slow start.
Running back Leonard Ross scored three touchdowns, including two in the second half, to help the Lions score the final 21 points of the game.
“We were expecting to win that [Leyden] game, but then again we were expecting that we were going to win the first two games so it’s definitely a good feeling,” said senior captain Sam Shea. “It’s definitely a game to turn momentum on our team.”
Junior quarterback Tommy Fiedler hit Matt Mrazek for a 6-yard touchdown to give LT a 17-14 lead just before halftime. At that point the LT defense put the clamps down, something they had not done in the two losses when Warren and Willowbrook scored 104 points.
“We were talking about how important this one was, how we can’t go in 0-3,” said senior linebacker Ben Rimmele. “We’re not on panic level yet, but we are urgent to win at this point.”
LT now enters West Suburban Silver play with a home game against defending Class 7A champ Glenbard West. The Hilltoppers may not be quite as strong as last year’s undefeated squad – they already have a loss this season – but proved to be the favorite in the Silver by beating Downers Grove North 21-0 over the weekend.
The Glenbard West game has been big since the Hilltoppers have emerged as one of the area’s best programs.
“Whenever this week comes the coaches are always in an intense mode,” Shea said. “All the players are, too. There’s not a lot of goofing around going on.”
LT 31, Leyden 14
LT leaders: Leonard Ross: 225 yards rushing, 3 TDs Matt Mrazek: 7 rec., 61 yards, TD Tommy Fiedler: 105 yards passing, TD
Week 4: Lyons Township vs. Glenbard West
When: 7:30 p.m. FridayWhere: 4900 Willow Springs Rd., Western SpringsRecords: Lyons Township 1-2, Glenbard West 2-1 (1-0 WSS)Outlook: Glenbard West week is always a big week for LT, but especially so this season because the Hilltoppers are the defending Class 7A champion. The Hilltoppers have wins over LT the past two season by scores of 31-3 and 49-7 and the Lions are in need of a strong start in the West Suburban Silver after losing the first two games of the season.