It was a high-scoring night in the opening round of the Class 8A football playoffs, and the Bartlett Hawks were left stunned.
The Lyons Township Lions defeated the Hawks 45-42 at Millennium Field in Streamwood Saturday night, coming back from a 25-point deficit and putting up 21 points in the fourth quarter for the unlikely come-from-behind win.
Lyons (6-4) will host Glenbrook South in the second round. Upstate Eight Valley champion Bartlett finishes the season 7-3.
The Hawks got on the board early with a 24-yard touchdown run from running back James Butler just 1:30 into the game. Bartlett would then add another touchdown to its lead on a 30-yard touchdown run from running back Aaron Everson to put the Hawks up 14-0.
Lyons would get on the board with a 16-yard field goal from Jake Elliot but Bartlett would answer on its next drive with a 34-yard touchdown pass from AJ Bilyeu to Zach Karys to make the score 21-3. The Lions capped off the high-scoring first quarter with a 37-yard touchdown run from Jamie Jones to make it a 21-10 game.
Butler added to the Hawks' lead at the very start of the second quarter with a 4-yard touchdown run. The Hawks would have their biggest lead of the night later in the quarter, as a 25-yard TD pass from Bilyeu to Lorenzo Mitchell put the Hawks up 35-10. The Lions would answer with a 14-yard touchdown run from Jones to make the score 35-17 at halftime, leaving the Hawks' lead intact.
"We were in control in the first half," said Bartlett head coach Tom Meaney. "We just didn't score enough points in the second half, and that's the bottom line I guess."
The Hawks would only get 7 points in the second half, on an 11-yard touchdown run from Butler in the third quarter. Butler finished with 187 yards on 13 carries with 3 touchdowns on the night while Bilyeu was 12-of-21 with 208 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. For Lyons, quarterback Zachary Mahoney was 12-of-29 with 168 yards passing and 2 interceptions while Jamie Jones led the team in rushing with 197 yards on 17 carries and 3 touchdowns.
The Lions exploded in the fourth quarter, scoring 21 unanswered points, capping it off with an 18-yard touchdown run from Matthew Harris with just 2:42 left to play.
Bilyeu and Butler drove the Hawks down the field in hopes of getting the victory but when a third down conversion attempt by Butler fell just short at the 17-yard line, the Hawks were forced to try a field goal and kicker Ian Dobek missed the 27-yard attempt to tie the game as time expired.
"All phases of our team had some areas that we needed to do better on," said Meaney. "But I couldn't be more proud of these kids overall. It wasn't a lack of effort or lack of desire. They've worked hard all year and it's a shame that we didn't go further."