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O’FALLON — Lyons scord two touchdowns in a span of 25 seconds in the third quarter Saturday, sparking it to a 42-27 victory over O’Fallon in the second round of the Class 8A playoffs.
O’Fallon scored just ahead of halftime to cut its deficit to 22-14, but Lions senior quarterback Zach Mahoney had a 5-yard TD run, and after Lyons recovered a fumble by freshman Kentrail Moran, senior Jemari Brooks scored on a 10-yard run to make it 36-14.
O’Fallon (8-3) was in catch-up mode the rest of the game, but was unable to make that plan work as the Lions (7-4) continued to punch away en route to a berth in the quarterfinals.
Lyons will play host to Mount Carmel on Saturday.
“I thought we did a good job keeping them off-balanced,” Lions coach Kurt Weinberg said. “They’ve got a lot of great players defensively, a lot of speed. I thought we kept them off-balanced with a lot of different things and we executed very well, too.”
Sophomore Leonard Ross had two touchdown runs, Mahoney added a 13-yard TD run and senior Jake Elliott kicked four field goals for Lyons.
“Defensively, we had some trouble slowing down their offense,” O’Fallon coach Brandon Joggerst said. “They were able to run a little bit, throw a little bit. We knew coming in they were a very good offensive team. We didn’t expect it to be that kind of offensive output. Give them credit.”
Lyons led 22-7 late in the second quarter, but O’Fallon trimmed its deficit to 22-14 on Porter’s 17-yard touchdown pass to junior Tae’Mon Franklin with 6.5 seconds left in the half.
The Panthers drove 80 yards in 1:05 to get within striking distance after Lyons had taken its 15-point lead on Ross’ 1-yard plunge up the middle at the 1:19 mark.
Lyons struck first, getting a 42-yard field goal from Elliott with 8:50 left in the first quarter. O’Fallon went ahead 7-3 on Porter’s 7-yard touchdown run with 6:57 to play in the period.
Elliott’s second field goal of the game, a 23-yard drive, cut the Panthers’ lead to 7-6 with 47.7 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Lyons then began to take over, pushing ahead 8-7 when Moran was tackled in the end zone for a safety with 8:55 left in the second quarter.
The Lions took the ensuing free kick and marched 60 yards in six plays, taking a 15-7 lead on Ross’ 5-yard touchdown run at the 6:09 mark. Senior Ben Grissim recovered a fumble by Porter, setting up Ross’ touchdown run that made it 22-7.