By Matt Nestor
Prep Sports Reporter
In their return to class 7A in the IHSA Saturday, Oct. 29, the Boylan Titans got out to a slow start against Libertyville. Their quarterback ensured they finished strong.
Lamont Toney completed 9-of-15 passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns, and also added a game-high 73 rushing yards and two more touchdowns, as the Titans cruised to a 40-0 victory over the Wildcats.
“We practiced all week on their defense, and our defensive scout team gave us great fits in practice,” Toney said. “We came out focused and ready to play.”
While Toney was having a breakout game, it took most of a quarter for the Boylan offense to get rolling. Until it was ready to go, the Boylan defense came out on a mission.
The Titans were physical from the start, and held Libertyville to 181 total yards of offense and finished with four sacks, a fumble recovery and an interception.
“They’ve done that all season long,” Boylan Head Coach Dan Appino said of his defense. “They played really physical to begin with and given us a chance to get going. To a certain extent on offense, we have to see how the other team is going to play us before we can get going.”
To get the offense going for Boylan, it took a big play by their defense. Peter Cimino intercepted a Jack Deichl pass and returned it to the 1-yard line, where Toney punched it in two plays later to get the Titans rolling.
“It was huge,” Boylan defensive lineman Theo Parthenios said of the interception. “It was a momentum changer. That put us where we needed to be. It boosted all our confidence, and the momentum swung our way from there.”
Toney ran another score in from 19 yards out, while also throwing a 34-yard touchdown to Marquez Beeks. He also threw 4-yard touchdowns to Dean Lowry and Tyreis Thomas.
The maturity of the Titans’ senior leader has been a big key for them this season, and a big reason for optimism for a return trip down state. Appino said he is the kind of player who can give opposing coaches nightmares.
“He’s just one of those guys where he can just make things happen with his feet that just drive defensive coordinators insane,” Appino said. “How do you scheme for some of the moves that he makes when the pocket breaks down, and he finds the open man deep?”
Boylan will move on to face Wheaton North at Titans Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, at 1 p.m. After shutting out their first opponent in the playoffs, they hope to bring the defense with them in the following rounds.
“It was a good feeling,” Parthenios said. “It will set the tone for us for the rest of the playoffs.”
From the Nov. 2-8, 2011, issue