Leyden dominates Lyons, 31-3
Senior lineman Cushing injured as team falls to 1-4
By Steve Metsch
Here’s hoping the dance went better than the football game.
Leyden, with three touchdowns by junior running back Vincent Fredrickson, pounded Lyons Township 31-3 Saturday, spoiling the Lions’ homecoming.
To make matters worse, lineman Emmett Cushing suffered what appeared to be a serious injury during the third quarter. An ambulance was driven onto the field and he was carefully lifted in on a stretcher in the third quarter.
Lyons Township football players watch as teammate Emmett Cushing is taken to La Grange Hospital. He can’t play again until he gets medical clearance, his father said. Photo by Steve Metsch.
According to his father, Lyons Township High School District 204 board president Tom Cushing, the senior was home Sunday after a battery of tests at La Grange Hospital and was expected in school Monday.
“Emmett is doing very well overall, but he does have cervical nerve impingement at several levels,” the elder Cushing wrote in an e-mail.
He thanked the medical staff at the hospital and wrote that his son is sidelined until he receives clearance from doctors, including a neurosurgeon.
Despite players yelling “win it for Cush,” Lyons fell to 1-1 in conference play, 1-4 overall.
Lyons has allowed 24 or more points in four games this season and been outscored 117-36. Lyons likely will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
However, Lyons did give Leyden a battle in the first half.
After Chris Clarke tied the game 3-3 with a 32-yard field goal, Lyons gave Leyden the ball back at its own 20 with just 1:15 remaining.
However, a steady diet of Fredrickson and a clutch 54-yard pass from quarterback Kyler Britten to running back Nicholas Motyka soon put Leyden on Lyons’ 5-yard line. Fredrickson then ran in from a yard out with 38 seconds left.
Leyden (1-1, 2-3) dominated the second half. Fredrickson had TD runs of 3 and 7 yards. Britten capped the scoring with a 7-yard strike to Motyka.
After Lyons Coach Kurt Weinberg expressed concern for Cushing’s well-being, he said Leyden “definitely did a good job on both sides of the line.”
Weinberg used two trick plays which thrilled the fans with consecutive razzle-dazzle plays starring Hareson Willis.
“We’re trying to create some offense. We’re struggling, so we’re trying some things to create some yards, and points,” Weinberg said.
The speedy wide receiver ran for 27 yards on a reverse.
The next play, quarterback Deounte Dextra flipped the ball to Willis, who passed 16 yards to Clarke, giving Lyons first down at Leyden’s 17.
Apparently out of tricks, Lyons ran three times for two yards, and settled for the field goal.
Lyons senior defensive back Adam Strezelczyk lowers the boom on pesky Leyden wideout Tyler Saldana in the first half Saturday. Leyden pulled away in the second half, 31-3. Photo by Steve Metsch
Several Lyons defensive players converge on Leyden quarterback Kyler Britten. He later threw a 7-yard touchdown pass in Leyden’s 31-3 victory. Photo by Steve Metsch.
Junior Blaise Reichert (0-for-4 passing) replaced senior Dextra (0-for-1) at quarterback in the second half. Dextra led Lyons with 35 yards on 7 rushes. Lyons was held to 88 yards in total offense.
Unable to quarterback with his right hand in a cast, senior J.J. Dutton played defensive back. He intercepted two first-half passes. “A lot of it is knowing where to be. I just improvise,” Dutton said.
After the game, the Eagles erupted in an impromptu mosh pit near midfield when Coach Tom Cerasani told them this was Leyden’s first win over Lyons since 2009 and first at Bennett Field since 1998.
The offensive line, Fredrickson and Motyka were the difference, he said.
“Those two guys are running the ball extremely hard. They’re tough to bring down. They keep their legs moving,” Cerasani said. “There’s some things you can’t coach in running backs, that unwillingness to go down. They’ve both got it.”
Fredrickson smiled when told his pounding running style resembled that of NFL Hall of Famer John Riggins.
“My freshman coach told me, ‘Be the hammer, not the nail.’ So, I just put my head down and fight for those extra yards,” the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Fredrickson said.
Lyons visits Glenbard West (2-0, 4-1) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
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