LYONS — It was a chilly, rainy and at times windy Friday night in Lyons as the boys in maroon and white took on a dangerous team from Alexander Central.
The Trojans immediately asserted their dominance over Lyons, won the game almost instantly and went home with a 48-14 victory.
Forty-eight points is a lot for any football team, but it could have been much worse for the Lions. After Lyons kicked off to begin the game, Alexander quarterback Dylan Busch unleashed a beautiful spiral pass to wide receiver Kameron Lyons who sprinted to the goal line and put Alexander up a touchdown on the first play of the game.
Things did not get any better for the Lions until the second half.
Lyons fumbled the ensuing kick off and Alexander recovered at the Lyons’ 20-yard line. On first down, the Trojans scored on their second consecutive play with another perfect throw from Busch. This time it was to running back Josh Devries to put the Trojans up by 14.
The first play that Lyons was able to run was a 9-yard rush by running back Ahmir James, who stood out for the Lions. Unfortunately, the positivity of that run was swallowed by a botched snap that was recovered by Alexander at the Lyons’ 17-yard line.
Another Trojans touchdown would follow and Lyons would get the ball back only to fumble once more.
By the time the first quarter had ended, the score was 35-0.
The second quarter did not get much better for the Lions. They received the kick and began with great field position on their own 40-yard line only to fumble and turn the ball over for the fourth time in the game.
In the first half, it seemed as if every positive step for the Lyons would be met with two steps back. The Lions forced a fumble and recovered it a few plays later. Ahmir James then kicked in the afterburners to torch the Trojan defense for 20 yards, only to have it be brought back because of a holding call. The Lions then fumbled again but were lucky to recover it.
The fumble recovery would not seem to matter because on fourth down, they had their punt blocked by Alexander, which would take possession on the Lyons’ 30-yard line and score its sixth touchdown of the game.
The next Lyons possession was a microcosm of the entire game.
A 10-yard pass by quarterback Jaylen Battle went in and out of the hands of Lucas Lucieer and landed in the arms of Alexander cornerback Mason Pastuszynski, who then ran five yards before fumbling the ball which was recovered by Lyons, who ended up gaining about 10 yards on the play.
The next snap, Alexander sent an all-out blitz, forced a fumble and recovered the ball in Lyons territory.
At halftime, the score was 41-0.
If the Lyons have anything positive to build on, it is their play in the second half.
Not only did Lyons come out with a more confident and positive demeanor, they limited Alexander to just one touchdown and outscored the Trojans 14-7 in the third and fourth quarters.
‘I told them ‘just get better,’” said Lyons head coach Randy Wadhams. “It’s all you can do is try to get better every play.”
Lyons received the kickoff in the second half and went on a 58-yard, 6:08 minute drive to set up a first and goal for Ahmir James, who punched it in for the first points of the season for Lyons. They attempted a two-point conversion, but were unsuccessful.
Alexander then marched right back up the field and scored their final touchdown of the game.
In the first half, Lyons would have been emotionally shut down the next possession. However, the young team picked themselves back up, and battled for the rest of the game. Running back Noah Gravino came alive in the second half for the Lions. While Ahmir James would juke, spin and outrun the defense, Gravino would run right through them.
Gravino and James both had multiple rushes of 15- and 20-yard gains throughout the second half.
With the ball on the Trojans’ 43-yard line, Lyons marched up the field and Gravino finished off the drive with an 18-yard touchdown run. The Lions attempted another two-point conversion and this time it was good.
Lyons managed to recover an onside kick, but by then it was too late, and the Trojans left Lyons with a 48-14 victory.