The 2020 Lyons High School boys football team looks much different than previous years. For one reason, the boys are playing in the 8-man division this year, after decades of competing in the traditional 11-man game. For another, the team is off to its best start in the last four years with a 1-1 record heading into the third week.
The first 8-man game for the Lions pitted them against a very solid Pikes Peak Christian team. Pikes Peak is currently ranked among the top 10 in the state and is a regular playoff contender. Despite it being Lyons first game in the new format, against a formidable opponent, the boys played a solid overall game, especially on the defensive side. In the early going, after a long pass to freshman Maregu Sullivan, senior quarterback Shawn Stevelinck found fellow senior Camden Adams for a touchdown to put the Lions ahead 6-0. The two point try was unsuccessful as the score remained 6-0 Lyons heading into halftime.
Unfortunately for Lyons, senior center and nose guard Louis Vasquez, was injured just prior to the end of the first half and did not play the second half. That loss would prove to be a critical one. Early in the second half, a momentum changing play further reversed the course of the Lions fortunes. After a nice run down the sideline in Pikes Peak territory, sophomore running back Dequlyn Keller appeared to be shaken up on the play. Coach Jason Yantzer called another running play, but the dazed Keller did not seem to fully expect the ball, and fumbled on the play. Pikes Peak recovered and eventually scored on the ensuing drive to take the lead.
The rest of the scoring all came from the visitors. Lions had several opportunities, including twice marching inside the Pikes Peak ten yard line, only to turn it over on downs each time. The final of 30-6 was not entirely reflective of how well the Lions boys played on both sides of the ball. Their defense was tough, and they moved the ball regularly on offense. A few untimely mistakes cost the Lions an opportunity to keep the game closer in the second half.
The following week (October 15th) versus Denver Christian, the Lions took the field on Senior Night, poised to get into the win column. Prior to the contest seniors Camden Adams, Monte Pickering, Simon Richardson, Garret Roberts, Sean Stevelinck, Louis Vasquez, and Dustin Willis, were recognized along with their families. The Lions did not waste anytime getting a handle on this contest as the seniors were determined to go out with a victory. Quarterback and captain, Stevelinck drove the Lions down the field on nearly every possession in the first half.
After a scoreless first quarter the Lions exploded in the second starting with a 1 yard touchdown run by junior Frank Percarpio. The run capped off an impressive 97 yard drive. On the conversion attempt, a pass from Stevelinck to junior Wyatt Bashor made the score 8-0 Lyons, early in the second. A few minutes later, Sullivan caught a 30 yard touchdown pass from Stevelinck to push the score to 14-0. A few plays later, the super freshman would strike again. After the tough Lyons defense forced a Denver Christian punt, the freshman speedster took it to the house for his second touchdown of the night. At halftime the Lions led the visitors 22-0.
The second half continued to go Lyons way as the home team finished with an impressive 52-8 victory. Stevelinck finished his senior night in a big way leading Lyons with three scores and 340 total yards of offense, including a whopping 12.2 yards per rush attempt. Next up for Lyons is quick bus trip to Fairplay to face South Park (0-2) on Friday at 1pm. (No word if Cartman or Kenny plan to suit up for South Park, but Stan will be there to offer commentary and life lessons.)