Lavion Bland’s tenacity, rock-solid defense lead Prosser past Kelly

SHARE Lavion Bland’s tenacity, rock-solid defense lead Prosser past Kelly

Prosser’s Lavion Bland (21) dodges Kelly linemen. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

Lavion Bland plays running back, defensive back, kick returner and kicker for Prosser. The junior is always around the ball, always making plays. Running back is where he sparkles. The first hit never seems to bring him down, which is surprising considering his thin build.

“We’ve been feeding him and trying to put weight on him for two years,” Falcons coach Pat Ade said. “He only weighs 145 pounds but he hits you like he’s 210, it is crazy.”

It generally took several Kelly players to tackle Bland on Thursday at Lane Stadium. Bland ran for 184 yards on 26 carries and grabbed an interception in Prosser’s 30-0 win against the Trojans.

“Sometimes I get tired but playing all those positions is also a thrill,” Bland said. “I love doing it.”

Bland has played on varsity all three years. He posted a 240 yard rushing game last season.

“He’s a junior so hopefully he will get stronger over the next year,” Ade said. “He likes the contact.”

Bland scored on a seven-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for Prosser (2-1, 2-0 Chicago State Street). Quarterback Jayden Davila was 3-for-5 passing for 88 yards with touchdown passes of 35 and 47 yards. He also ran for an eight-yard touchdown.

The Falcons were successful on offense but completely dominated defensively.

“This was one of the best games we’ve ever had,” linebacker Lavon Mayers said. “We’ve been working hard the last two seasons. The key is pressuring the quarterback and making sure everyone does their jobs and shoots to the right gaps.”

Kelly (1-2, 1-1) didn’t complete a pass and only managed 44 yards rushing.

“We are getting better every week, working hard in practice and playing for each other,” senior James Duke said. “That’s showing in the games.

“And [Mayers], our captain is always key. He is calling out the angles and the strengths and we are trusting him.”

Bland and Stephon Brown both had interceptions for the Falcons.

“Being 2-1 doesn’t mean we stop the hard work,” Duke said. “We have to come back to practice and keep working hard.”

Ade is in his sixth season has head coach at Prosser. A lot of the players are in their third or fourth season of varsity football.

“We’ve been pretty even since I’ve been here,” Ade said. “Wins here and there, pretty much. 500. This team has a shot of going undefeated in conference, which would be great.”

Chicago Public Schools announced on Thursday that the city was investing $12 million in Prosser. The money will support expanded facilities for career and technical education.

“We have a lot of kids in the school but we are outnumbered by girls and enthusiasm for football has been lacking,” Ade said. “The IBEW and the unions coming in is huge. Hopefully that brings some more numbers into the school and some more football players as well.”

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