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Lutheran-Byron Preview 10/4/12

Lutheran will take on Byron Friday in our Sports Connection game of the week.
Rockford, Illinois-6-0 Lutheran will take on 5-1 Byron Friday night. In some ways these two teams were looked at as underdogs coming into this season. But they never doubted their potential. They were expecting success.

"We did. Nobody else did, but we did," says Lutheran coach Bruce Bazsali.

"A lot of people underestimated us this year," says Lutheran running back Zack Pattat. "No one really had faith in us or believed in us."

There aren't any doubters for either team any mroe. These are two of the most explosive offenses in the state, but with two very different styles. Lutheran runs the spread. Byron likes to pound teams with the run game.

"What they want to do is hold the ball and grind it out and keep our offense off the field," says Lutheran quarterback Jake Milbourn.

Byron's physical style was a big hit the last two weeks in blowout wins over Stillman Valley and Oregon.

"I think the biggest thing is our intensity and our physcial play," says Byron coach Jeff Boyer. "We've been preaching that all year. We're definitely starting to practice the way we should be practicing and it's starting to show up on Friday night."

The two games that Byron has struggled in this year were against North Boone and Rock Falls, two teams that, like Lutheran, run a spread offense.

"With Lutheran they run a lot of the same stuff like those teams do, but they have a great back in Robinson in the backfield," says Boyer.

And the Crusaders, although they're built on speed and finese, feel they can play physical against a team like Byron.

"We're not as timid as we used to be, and we feel like we can stand up to anybody," said Bazsali.

Last year when these two teams met it was an unbelievable shootout. Byron won 64-63. It won't be a major surprise is we see a similar game this time.

"They believe in their offense, we believe in our offense. It'll be real interesting," says Bazsali.

Watch for highlights of the game Friday at 10:15pm on WTVO.
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