Football: New Lyons Township quarterback Zach Mahoney draws call for opener
Lyons Township's Jerami Burks catches a pass in pre-season practice on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012 in Western Springs. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
Pioneer Press/doings football power rankings
As voted on by the Pioneer Press/Doings sports staff. First place votes are worth 15 points, second place 14, etc.
1. Maine South 60 (4)
2. Stevenson 54
3. Loyola 47
4. Hinsdale Central 46
5. Lyons Township 42
6. Carmel 39
7. Glenbrook South 34
8. Lake Zurich 29
9t. Barrington 26
9t. Nazareth 26
11. Evanston 22
12. Libertyville 19
13t. Fenwick 9
13t. New Trier 9
15. Hinsdale South 8
Others receiving votes: Glenbrook North 7, Lake Forest 5, Highland Park 3, Leyden 1.
Updated: September 24, 2012 7:14AM
LINCOLNSHIRE — The last time Lyons Township and Stevenson met, Lyons Township captured a thrilling, 24-19 victory in the 2011 season opener in LaGrange.
Everyone is expecting a repeat when the teams meet again at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Lincolnshire.
In last year’s opener, only Stevenson was ranked (No. 14 by the Sun-Times). This year, Stevenson is ranked No. 12 and Lyons Township is No. 22 in the preseason.
There are plenty of new faces ready to decide the outcome. The returning player who made the biggest impact in last year’s game is Stevenson running back Anthony Bozin, who rushed 17 times for 61 yards and a touchdown.
Both teams will have new quarterbacks, with Zach Mahoney taking over for Connor Onion and Stevenson going with sophomores Willie Bourban or Jimmy Marchese. Onion started last year, but has been moved to safety.
One player who might step into the spotlight is Lyons Township senior defensive back/wide receiver Matt Harris, who committed to Northwestern last month. He caught six passes for 58 yards in last year’s opener and carried the ball once for 12 yards. Harris is the defending Class 3A state runner-up in the long jump.
Two-year leading rusher Jaime Jones has graduated and he has been replaced by former linebacker Victor Conforti. One other running back candidate for Lyons Township is Hillcrest transfer Trey Woods, a junior.
“At the end of the (school) year, he emailed me that he was moving into the district,” Lyons coach Kurt Weinberg said. “He was with us all summer, every day. He was a quarterback at Hillcrest, but his skill set is more as a running back for us.”
Harris joins two other players who will play two ways for Lyons Township. Senior Nick Demes (6-foot-4, 270 pounds) is a potential Division I lineman and Jemari Burks is a receiver/cornerback.
All-area kicker Jake Elliott returns for Lyons Township after converting a pair of game-winning field goals last season, including a 52-yarder against Oak Park-River Forest.
Lyons Township jumped out to a 24-7 lead in last year’s game and snuffed a Stevenson comeback when then-senior Connor Wasz intercepted a pass to end the Patriots’ final drive with 1:44 remaining.
Stevenson features three sons of former Bears players: safety Matt Morrissey (Jim), WR/DB Cameron Green (Mike) and offensive lineman Zach Novoselsky (Brent).