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Lions QB Zach Mahoney moves the ball during the West Suburban Conference matchup between host Proviso West and Lyons Township Friday October 12, 2012 in Hillside. | Scott Hardesty~for Sun-Times Media
Lyons kept its playoff hopes alive with a convincing road win at Proviso West Friday night.
Quarterback Zach Mahoney completed 17-of-26 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown and Sun-Times all-area kicker Jake Elliott made two field goals as Lyons ruined the Panthers’ homecoming with a 20-7 West Suburban Silver victory.
The biggest key to Lyons’ win was a bend-but-don’t-break defense that allowed 214 yards passing and nearly 200 yards rushing, but gave up only one TD in the second quarter on a quarterback sneak.
“We focused on what we needed to do,” Lyons senior linebacker John Phillipp said. “We needed everyone.”
Chance Haney rushed for 134 yards on 20 carries and Anthony Dorsey scored for the Panthers (5-3, 2-3), who hope to beat Oak Park-River Forest next week to clinch their own playoff berth.
Lyons (4-4, 3-3) must win next week against West Suburban Gold champion Leyden to be playoff eligible. The Lions needed to grind out a win at Proviso West behind Leonard Ross’ 15 carries for 86 yards. Ross had only 21 yards rushing in the first half.
“Every week is a playoff game. We have to keep working if we want to make it to the state playoffs,” Phillipp said.
Lyons took a 10-0 lead at halftime on Mahoney’s 34-yard TD pass to Matthew Harris (nine catches, 134 yards) over the middle with 29.3 seconds before the break.
Lyons scored first on Elliott’s 35-yard field goal with 1:51 remaining in the first quarter. Elliott made a 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
“At the end of the day, we couldn’t put the ball in the end zone,” Dorsey said. “We had a lot of turnovers. We needed everyone to execute.”
The Panthers, which won three of their last four entering the game, did not punt in the first half and went 1-of-5 on fourth-down conversions before intermission. Two Proviso West receivers dropped passes in the end zone in the first half. Dorsey’s favorite target was Denzel Tolliver (11 catches, 123 yards).
Ross put the game out of reach with an 11-yard TD run with 7:55 remaining.