ELMHURST – Matt Mrazek does a lot of different things for the Lyons Township football team and does all of them well.
The senior captain plays both ways and contributes on special teams to be an essential do-it-all athlete for the Lions.
In Mrazek’s latest performance, he made his biggest plays at wide receiver with eight catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns, which helped the Lions beat York 42-23 to keep their playoff hopes alive heading into the season finale against Proviso West.
“He had some great, tough catches,” LT coach Kurt Weinberg said. “He kept some drives alive and just did some great things with picking up some tough catches and was physical inside, as well.”
Mrazek now has six touchdowns on the season to go with three interceptions as a safety. The 6-foot-4 Mrazek also started as a forward for the Lions’ basketball team last year
and will be an equally important part of that team in the winter.
For now, his versatility suits the football squad.
“He’s gone all over the place,” Weinberg said. “We’ve played him at tight end. We play him at wide receiver. We play him at safety. He plays on extra points and kickoff. He wears many hats for our team and he does it really well.”
Mrazek’s most visible aspect of his game is currently his play at wide receiver. He is part of a receiving core that has given quarterback Tommy Fiedler plenty of options.
Fiedler completed passes to six different receivers against the Dukes. Mrazek credited the emergence of fellow senior wide out Marcell Kellum for being the focus of opposing defenses.
Both Kellum and Mrazek have spoke of the off-the-field chemistry with Fiedler that has helped the Lions’ passing game.
“He knows if he needs a bail out he’s got guys he can go to in the receiving corps,” Mrazek said. “He’s been playing well lately and we’re looking to ride this out the rest of the year.”
The Lions have won three of four games to get back in the playoff hunt. Thanks to the strong West Suburban Silver and a non-conference slate that included playoff teams Warren and Willowbrook, five wins will get LT to the playoffs.
If the Lions get to 5-4, they won’t be a team anyone will want to face. LT’s up-tempo, spread offense is one reason why they are a tough matchup.
“We like to pride ourselves on our conditioning,” Mrazek said. “We can run teams into the ground. You see a lot of guys [on the other team] bent over and we’re all standing up straight.”
Lyons Township 42, York 23
Passing: Tommy Fiedler 22-for-35, 251 yards, 3 TDs
Rushing: Leonard Ross 22-91, TD; Trevon Woods 4-23, TD; Fiedler 8-13, TD
Receiving: Matt Mrazek 8-102, 2 TDs; Marcell Kellum 6-52; Sam Shea 3-33; Connor Pavletic 2-29; Emmet Corrigan 2-26, TD
Video: Watch first-half highlights of Lyons Township's football team at shawurl.com/u4d
Week 9: Lyons Township vs. Proviso West
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Bennett Field, 4900 Willow Springs Rd., Western Springs
Records: Lyons Township 4-4 (3-2 WSS); Proviso West (2-6, 0-5 WSS)
Outlook: The Lions are one win away from another miraculous 5-4 playoff appearance. Thanks to a strong schedule it looks like five wins will be enough for LT to get in. All they have to do is beat a Proviso West team that has fallen short of expectations this season. The Panthers are winless in the West Suburban Silver, ending a streak of four straight playoff appearances.