Lyons topples Downers Grove North
The Lyons Township football team waited a long time for its first home game.
Finally getting the opportunity to play in front of their parents at Bennett Field after an earlier cancellation, the Lions' performance Friday night certainly didn't disappoint.
With outstanding efforts in all three phases, LT cruised to a 22-3 victory over Downers Grove North.
"It felt great," said senior defensive lineman Ryan Hatter Jr., who kicked off the scoring with a blocked punt that resulted in a safety. "We had a big turnout, I know all my family came. It felt great to be able to play in front of everybody and show out and have a great win."
The Lions (2-1) defense was dominant and has now given up 18 total points in three games. The unit allowed just four first downs to the Trojans while yielding 49 yards passing and 47 yards rushing.
Owen McAuliffe, Owen McManaman and Eddie Tuerk each had sacks, Colton Storandt picked off a pass and Hatter Jr. recovered a fumble.
"Our defense did a great job," said LT coach Jon Beutjer, whose team last took the field on April 1 with a 38-0 win at Leyden. "Early in the game we had some nice drives but didn't finish and our defense kept us in the game. They got stops when we needed to.
"They stopped the run and they stopped the pass. We felt coming into the game that Downers North was very balanced, they could throw and run. But our defense did a great job, they played hard and finished the game."
LT's offense got going midway through the second quarter when quarterback Joey Antonietti found Rafeon Kloes for a 62-yard score. The junior QB Antonietti later found freshman Noah Pfafflin for a 10-yard TD right before half.
Fellow freshman John Cheney added a 39-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Antonietti finished 8-of-13 through the air for 105 yards while also rushing for 105 yards on 18 attempts.
"This was really special for our seniors," Antonietti said. "They've been working at this for 16 months. We were talking about it all week, getting this win for the seniors.
"It starts in practice and the coaches drew up the perfect game plan. We were able to come out and execute it and that's why we got the win."
LT will try to make it three in a row when it welcomes in Hinsdale Central for the season finale next week.
"This has been a long year for the seniors," Beutjer said. "But they've been so patient and resilient. They have stayed committed to this program. We had two games canceled already so it was great for the seniors to have this home game and they came out with a lot of energy."
Downers Grove North (1-2), which has also had a pair of games postponed, will finish with a crosstown matchup against Downers Grove South. While the offense couldn't find their footing, the Trojans' defense stood tall. Samuel Baker had two fumble recoveries and Drew Bielawski and Connor Moore both had sacks.
"I thought our defense competed really well," DGN coach Joe Horeni said. "LT had a really good game plan against us defensively as well. But I think we will see on film that there were some execution things we could have done better."