It’s hard to find two teams that got off to better starts last week in high school football than Stillman Valley and Byron did. They earned lopsided victories.
In week one Byron was well Byron. The Tigers lit up Winnebago 41-12. They ripped off four touchdowns of more than 50 yards and another that topped 40 yards. Stillman Valley went into Dixon and stunned a good Dixon team 42-13 giving the conference a wakeup call that the Cardinals might again be a top contender in the conference.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been a part of one like that as far as a first game.,” says Stillman head coach Mike Lalor. “About everything that could have gone right went right in the first quarter.”
Senior quarterback Tyler Lamer running the option was more than the Dukes’ defense could handle. He rushed for 273 yards and three long touchdowns.
“Obviously starting last year a lot of experience nine games as a junior, so coming into this year you know what you need to do, what other teams are doing,” says Lamer.
In Byron’s win over Winnebago junior running back Drake Snodgras put up the biggest numbers. He rushed for 208 yards on only six carries and he scored three touchdowns on runs longer than 50 yards.
“He’s a special player,” says Byron head coach Jeff Boyer. “We knew that last year when he was a sophomore. He actually in week two came up to the varsity with us and unfortunately broke his leg the second week of the season. To get him back and healthy this year is really a bonus for us.”
In this showdown between Byron and Stillman the intriguing matchup is Byron’s defense and experienced linebacker corps squaring off against Lamer and the Cardinals option offense.
“The quarterback is a very good runner,” says Boyer. “A quick kid.”
“What jumps out is they really run well to the ball and they’re big and physical,” says Lalor. “They’re big, tall and lanky kids so they cover a lot of ground and when they hit you they’re going to bring it as well”
Byron has won every matchup against Stillman Valley the last four years, but this remains one of the classic rivalries in Northern Illinois and there’s some extra juice to it this year with the way these teams played last week.
“When it’s Byron week I think both sides of the river know it,” says Lalor.
“They’re 1-0. We’re 1-0 coming into the game,” says Boyer. “I know it’s early in the season, but it feels like one of these great matchups again.”