Grabbing a road win at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn is a rare event for area football teams. It takes a special effort, talent and a level head. Lyons has all of that with quarterback Ben Bryant.
The 6-3, 195 pound junior shook off two dislocated fingers—one on his throwing hand—to engineer a 28-14 win over the No. 4 Hilltoppers.
“[The right] one I hurt in the first half,” Bryant said. “My dad is an ER doctor so he came and popped them back into place. This one, [left pinky] got dislocated too. Honestly, it wasn’t that bad. I just iced it and moved it around a lot.”
Bryant, who has scholarship offers from Wisconsin and Central Michigan, finished 14-for-18 for 172 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He connected with six different receivers.
“They are the best group I’ve ever thrown to,” Bryant, a two-year starter, said. “I can throw the ball up and I know they will catch it, they are huge playmakers.”
Both teams spent most of the first half in the middle of the field. Bryant found Hasahn Austin for an 18-yard touchdown pass with 1:46 to play in the second quarter.
“It was huge,” Bryant said. “Both teams weren’t scoring at that point so I think that was a game changer.”
Reggie Terrell (19 carries, 46 yards, two touchdowns) scored on a five-yard run on the first drive of the second half for the No. 11 Lyons. That’s when the upset started to look real.
“Our offensive line handled them very well,” Bryant said. “We had an edge on them. We attacked them very well.”
The Hilltoppers (4-1, 2-1 West Suburban Silver) entered with a 32-game conference winning streak. The last loss, also to Lyons in Glen Ellyn, was in Week 9 of 2010.
“We understand how difficult it is, but I don’t think our guys are afraid to come to play,” Lyons coach Kurt Weinberg said. “All the respect to Glenbard West, but we came here to win the football game and our guys weren’t afraid.”
Glenbard West scored on a five-yard pass from Cole Brady (20-for-36, 192 yards, three interceptions) to Alex Pihlstrom (seven catches, 90 yards) with 4:28 to play in the third quarter to cut the Lions’ lead to 14-7.
The Hilltoppers moved the ball well in the second half. Running back Dre Thomas finished with 15 carries for 112 yards, most in the final two quarter. But they were undone by turnovers. Hareson Willis, Mickey Brown and Jack Walton each grabbed interceptions in the fourth quarter for Lyons.
“[Glenbard West] is a great team and when you get an opportunity to take the ball away you have to take advantage of it,” Weinberg said.
Brown, a 6-3, 305 pound defensive lineman, was an unlikely pass grabber.
“That was so funny,” Bryant said. “He can’t catch. It hit him right in the hands and he caught it. He’s going to remember that his whole life.”
The Lions (5-0, 2-0) entered with four solid wins, but lacked a marquee victory and were fairly heavy underdogs for an undefeated team.
“People already had us 4-1,” Bryant said. “We put a chip on our shoulder and played really hard, we didn’t want to lose.”