Lyons’ new-look defense smothers Leyden

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WESTERN SPRINGS — The upcoming week should be pretty emotional for the Ostrowski family of La Grange.

Lyons senior defensive end Andrew Ostrowski is the son of Glenbard West graduates. His father, Mark Ostrowski, was a defensive standout. His uncle, Kurt, played for Glenbard West’s undefeated Class 6A state championship in 1983.

But when it’s Glenbard West week, there isn’t much divided loyalty for Andrew Ostrowski and his parents. They will be rooting for Lyons to upset the defending West Suburban Silver champion Hilltoppers Sept. 20 in Glen Ellyn.

“I can’t wait,” Andrew Ostrowski said. “All offseason we’ve been excited a lot about beating Glenbard really bad.”

Ostrowski is the left defensive end on Lyons’ revamped defense, which shut out Leyden 45-0 Friday night in a nonconference victory.

Ostrowski, nose tackle Aaron Smith and right defensive end Dante Stefanini limited Leyden (0-3) to 45 total yards of offense — including nine rushing yards — in the first half. Lyons (2-1) took a 35-0 lead at halftime behind Leonard Ross’ three touchdown runs.

“Our defense overall has played well,” Lyons coach Kurt Weinberg said. “I’m pleased with their speed and getting to the ball really fast.”

Stefanini said the line has worked on its pass rush in recent weeks. The 6-2, 275-pound senior is a three-year starter on the line. Smith (6-1, 270 pounds) was a part-time starter last season and 6-0, 205-pound Ostrowski moved to the line after playing linebacker last season. He was injured early in the 2013 season and played sparingly in Lyons’ 44-7 loss to Glenbard West.

Weinberg switched from a four-man defensive front to a 3-5-3 this season because of the depth of his linebackers.

“We thought about [changing] personnel based on who we have in the next couple years,” Weinberg said. “We do not have a ton of big guys [coming in]. With our depth at linebackers, we needed another playmaker up front at D-line. Andrew was the guy we needed at D-line.”

Lyons’ defense gave up 38 points in its first two games, against Warren and Willowbrook, but the focus in the next week will be stopping Glenbard West running back Donahvon Vaughn and quarterback Kyle Kramer.

“We’ll be ready to take it to Glenbard West with guns a-blazin’,” Stefanini said. “We need to keep the pressure on the quarterback. We’re doing a great job of rushing the quarterback. Since our opening game, we’ve worked a lot on our pass rush.”

  • Leyden’s best opportunity to score came near the end of the game at the Lyons 2, but quarterback Tom Pajor was intercepted by cornerback Steven Heim in the end zone. Heim returned the interception to midfield to end the game.
  • Pajor completed all three of his pass attempts in the first half to Alexander Lemon. The duo hooked up for 36 yards.
  • Leyden’s leading rusher, junior David DeMarais, was limited to six carries for zero yards in the first half. In the first half, Lyons led in total yards 166-45.
  • Lyons’ Jaquan Phipps, a starter on the basketball team, returned Ryan Kelly’s blocked punt for an 18-yard touchdown to give Lyons a 21-0 lead with 47.3 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Lyons scored on three of its first four possessions.
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