By Doug Schroder


and Chris Johnson


ROCKFORD – Crowds filled the stadium on Friday, Oct. 9, with many media on hand in anticipation, as the Byron Tigers played the Rockford Lutheran Crusaders at Rockford, while Crusader running back James Robinson had his sights set on the state record for rushing. Robinson met his goal in the first quarter, needing only 25 yards to do so. The game was stopped to recognize James’ effort.

The Tigers hung tough with the Crusaders, actually taking the early lead after scoring first to go up 7-0. Lutheran had not been behind in any games so far this season. It didn’t last long though as the Crusaders came back and led 13-7 after the first quarter. That lead lasted deep into the second quarter when Lutheran scored twice in the last three minutes before the half to go up 28-7.

Things continued to go Lutheran’s way in the second half as they pulled away, making the score more typical for a Lutheran win this year.

The Byron Tigers overall record dropped to 5-2 after they suffered their worst loss of the season, 56-19, to Rockford Lutheran on Friday night, Oct. 9. Lutheran improved to 7-0.

The Crusaders were a handful.

Byron Head Coach Jeff Boyer, in an interview with reporter Chris Jonson, said the talented team had all the pieces in place. They were able to run their offense, at will, so it seemed.

“They were very fast and we had trouble moving the ball on the ground against them. Their linebackers were great. The biggest problem we faced was their explosiveness. It was 13-7 and then within three minutes, with the second quarter winding down, they scored two more touchdowns.”

After half time the Crusaders held their foot to the pedal and poured it on, just like they have to all the other teams they have played this year.

On Robinson’s accomplishment, the Byron coach had this to say.

“We think it’s a great accomplishment, we were in support of stopping the game! We knew it was going to happen prior to the game. It was no problem and the kids were ready for it.”

Tiger coach Boyer also had this to say about the game.

“After our first score, we had trouble moving the ball on the ground, but we threw the ball well. We couldn’t keep up with their explosiveness, though. It was 13-7, and in just three minutes, in the second quarter, the score was 28-7. Their defense was just as good, we couldn’t do anything running to the sides. Most of the success we had was going right at them.”

The Tigers host Winnebago this Friday night, with a victory, they will lock down their position in the 2015 post season, as they claim their sixth win.

If Winnebago defeats Byron, the Tigers should still be in, with just one game to go and with the number of playoff points to be totaled, even in a situation where a game nine loss occurs, causing their overall record to drop to 5-4, the win total of the opponents they’ve faced should still be high enough to allow access into game play on Oct. 30.

Congratulations to James Robinson on breaking the state rushing record in Illinois.

10-9-15 Byron-Rkfd Lutheran 1

Tiger Verne Johnson (1) hauls in the reception in the first quarter to put Byron up on Rockford Lutheran. It was the first time all year Lutheran had been behind in a game. It didn’t last though, as Lutheran came to form and squished Byron 56-19. See page 11 for more photos. Doug Schroder photo

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