STILLMAN VALLEY, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — The Big Northern opened up with its biggest rivalry. Byron against Stillman Valley.
The two programs have combined to win seven state championships since 1999.
There was an electric crowd and atmosphere in the Valley.
The Cardinals took the lead 7 to 0 in the second quarter with a touchdown from Jory Spain.
In the fourth quarter, Byron has the ball. Brayden Knoll gets the handoff and he’ll get to the outside. Nice runs all night from the sophomore.
Freshman Caden Considine would be the one to tie things up for the Tigers. A stockpile into the end zone, and that would tie the game at 7 a piece.
But the Stillman Valley defense came to play. Huge stops all night were a difference maker.
What a way to start the season, overtime with your rivals. First drive of OT for the Cardinals and Portner Needs muscles his way in the end zone. But the icing on top of the cake comes when they go for two and Jory Spain walks it in.
Byron would not be able to find the answer and Stillman Valley takes the win on their home turf, 15-6.
And to make matters even more special, this win marked coach Mike Lalor’s 200th career victory.
“It feels great coming into this game against defending state champs and our rivals and our coach’s 200th win,” said senior Jory Spain on their rivalry win. “It was great to come out in overtime too and win such a close game. The anxiety and everything, and to win it is just the greatest feeling ever.”
And the same goes for coach Lalor.
“I start to realize I’ve just been so fortunate to be able to hang in there this long,” said Lalor. “Most guys don’t get the chance to coach this long as a head coach and I’m very very fortunate.”
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