By Christopher Johnson


Eight wins has guaranteed no less than a shared Big Northern Conference Title for the Byron Tigers. However, that’s not the goal right now for the State-ranked and still undefeated front runner.

On Friday night, Oct. 15 in the eighth game of the regular season, Byron ran into a very good team that has shown steaks of brilliance this season.

In the conference championship clinching clash, Dixon found its offense, which had powered it to a 5-2 season mark, and one game away from a guaranteed placement in the upcoming High School Football State Playoffs, didn’t have enough power to stave off the Tigers.

The migrating attack pack clamped onto an early advantage in the Dixon meeting. The offense was not questioned as it worked up and down the field, supported by strong defensive stints.

After one period of play, Byron had grabbed a two-touchdown edge and put the reality of what the hosts were facing in full frontal.

Dixon responded to the Tigers invitation to play and got on the board early in the second. Byron was unfazed and tacked on its own response.

The Dukes put together another concerted effort that netted the team, which had averaged 37 points a night heading into the Byron tussle, another touchdown score and bonus opportunity.

Byron tacked on two more tallies before the second quarter entered the final seconds ahead of the half. The lead was 35-14 at the turn. Dixon did some figuring at the intermission.

When the third period opened, Byron found it could not move the ball as efficiently as it had throughout the evening.

The Dukes defense, averaging just over 13 points a night allowed, showed up and shut down the visitors. The Tigers could only gather an additional three-points to the team total in the third.

Dixon paced its previous period-success with a matching mark, experienced a little over twelve minutes earlier. The 14 point outbreak put the Dukes back into contention for the upset.

As the fourth frame materialized, Byron, which had led by double-digits throughout most of the night  attempted to secure that advantage.

With the score locked in at 38-28 in favor of the visitors, scoring found its way back into the night light.

Byron scored 14 points and allowed the Dukes to climb back to near its season average, with a seven-point add-on.

When the final knee hit the turf, the siren sounded and Byron had secured no less than at least a share of the 2021 Big Northern Conference Title with the 52-35 win.

A perfect season and number-one seed placement in the second season is at stake this Friday night as Byron travels for the final time this month and visits Rockford Christian.

The Royal Lions are winless this year and stand no chance of keeping Byron from collecting the undisputed title of Big Northern Conference Champion.

Offensively, Rockford Christian has supported the base in the conference with its barely ten points a night scoring average.

Defensively, the Royal Lions have allowed an unprecedented 446 points over the eight games of the 2021 fall regular season.

The Tigers could see another 50-point win in the waiting and a guaranteed top-billing consideration in the upcoming Class 3A State Football Playoffs scheduled to begin on Oct. 29.

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