WESTERN SPRINGS – It turns out that a position switch may have been the best thing to happen to Lyons Township’s Marcell Kellum.
The senior has turned it on of late and credits a move within the offense to getting him more involved. After playing outside at wide receiver to start the season, lately Kellum has been lining up inside as a slot receiver for the Lions and has turned into the weapon LT’s offense needed.
“I’m starting to have a better year,” Kellum said. “I started slow, but I’m starting to pick up. I moved around a lot position wise and they’re starting to use me more.”
Kellum caught a touchdown for the third game in a row on Saturday, but the Lions lost to Oak Park-River Forest 31-26 on homecoming. They now have to win the final two games of the regular season to have any hope of the playoffs. LT has made the postseason at 5-4 each of the last two years and should have enough playoff points to get in as a five-win team again.
If the Lions get there, they will need Kellum to continue his midseason surge. After catching 13 passes in the first four games, Kellum has pulled in 20 receptions in the last three.
Before the season, LT head coach Kurt Weinberg had big expectations for wide receiver Kellum. It just took a few games for Kellum to meet those expectations.
“Marcell is a heck of a player for us,” Weinberg said. “Obviously he’s a big weapon for us and three weeks in a row he’s been really, really good.”
On the season, Kellum has 489 yards receiving and four touchdowns. Along with fellow seniors Matt Mrazek and Sam Shea, Kellum has given junior quarterback Tommy Fiedler plenty of weapons to pass to.
Kellum has noticed little adjustments have made a big difference in how the offense has performed.
“Me and Tom started hanging out a lot and I started moving around,” Kellum said. “I moved to the slot to get more balls and get more involved in the game.”
Kellum and the Lions travel to York on Friday in a game between two 3-4 teams holding on to hope of making the playoffs.
OPRF 31, Lyons Township 26
Passing: Tommy Fiedler 24-for-41, 241 yards, 3 TDs
Rushing: Leonard Ross 18-70
Receiving: Matt Mrazek 7-64; Marcell Kellum 6-53, TD; Sam Shea 5-49, 2 TDs
Week 8: Lyons Township at York
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Clarence D. East Football Field, 355 W. St. Charles Road, Elmhurst
Records: Lyons Township 3-4 (2-2 WSS), York (3-4, 1-3 WSS)
Outlook: It's must-win time for the Lions. LT's 1-3 start has made the three previous games very important, but now it's official: if the Lions lose they are out of the playoffs. The host Dukes are in the same boat, making this game a virtual elimination game.