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Oak Park's Sedrick McDonald (4) stops Lyons Township's Trevon Woods (34). | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
Lyons reached the Class 8A quarterfinals each of the last two seasons, but its playoff hopes this season took a serious blow Friday night.
Jamal Baggett’s 10-yard touchdown run with 36 seconds remaining gave Oak Park-River Forest a 35-34 victory over visiting Lyons in the West Suburban Silver. The Huskies scored only six points in the first half, but gashed Lyons’ run defense in the second half as Baggett became one of two OPRF rushers to gain over 100 yards in the game.
“This is Huskies football,” Baggett said. “What can I say? We fight to the last second on the clock. We know we are capable of playing in Week 10.”
Baggett’s TD gave the Huskies a 35-32 lead. After quarterback Zach Mahoney threw an interception on Lyons’ next play from scrimmage, OPRF took a safety three plays later with 3.6 seconds left.
Lyons held a 26-13 lead in the third quarter after Mahoney (21-for-33, 234 yards) threw the last of his three TD passes to Jemari Burks (12 catches, 118 yards). Burks’ TDs came on receptions of 19, 22 and 12 yards.
Jake Elliott, who beat OPRF last season with a game-ending 52-yard field goal, missed two attempts in the first quarter but made four field goals from 24, 46, 28 and 41 yards.
“This was the toughest loss I’ve ever had,” Lyons coach Kurt Weinberg said. “We couldn’t make a tackle. I think that they wanted that game more than we did.”
The two teams combined for 34 points in the third quarter after Lyons led 9-6 at halftime.
For the third consecutive week, Lyons played without Northwestern-bound Matthew Harris (chest injury). Mahoney returned after missing the previous week with a shoulder injury.
OPRF’s Jakari Cammon (18 carries, 143 yards) and Baggett (11 carries, 128 yards) each carried for two TDs. Baggett ran 72 yards for a score in the third quarter.
OPRF, which improved to 4-2, 2-2, won three games a year ago in coach John Hoerster’s first season. Lyons (2-4, 1-3) must win all its remaining games to be playoff eligible.
“We are trying to build a culture of hope and believing in yourself, and believing in your teammates,” Hoerster said.
OPRF quarterback Lloyd Yates (14-for-20, 150 yards) also scored on a two-yard run and rushed for 67 yards on 17 carries.