(11-29-19) Byron QB (Sr) Ben Carlson told the Rockford Register-Star –
“There’s so many things that will fire us up, we want redemption.”
RB-LB Drake Snodgrass agreed with Carlson –
“We just couldn’t ask for anything else in the world right now. We got back, and now we can go after that title that slipped away last year.”
The two standouts for Byron’s 12-1 team remember their loss last season in the IHSA 3A State Title game to Monticello 24-20, they don’t want that seem feeling on Friday after they play Williamsville (13-0).
It wasn’t easy for Byron last Saturday as they held on to beat Princeton 7-3. The 7 points were the lowest point total for the Tigers’ offense this season.
Princeton (11-2) was held to just 52 yards rushing, including 19 yards on 12 carries from 3A All State running back Ronde Worrels. One reason that happened…Byron controlled the football for 36 of the game’s 48 minutes. Despite that ball control the Tigers would gain just 179 yards offense, while Princeton was able to manage 160 yards.
Byron scored their only points late in the 1st Quarter…with 3:19 remaining in the quarter QB Ben Carlson scored the only TD in the game on a 1-yard TD run, Aydin Lambert made the extra point. That score would be all the Tigers needed.
Byron will need Senior OL/DL Tyler Elsbury (6-foot-6, 295 pounds), who is an Iowa commit, to be dominate on both sides of the ball. On defense he leads Byron with 63 tackles.
The Tigers running game can eat up a lot of clock and features the combo of Senior RB Drake Snodgrass who on 99 carries has gained 1,037 yards with 8 TDs, add RB Isaac Stickler who has 109 carries for 1,237 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Passing? Not in Byron’s vocabulary…Carlson was just 22 for 59 on the season, which averages out to about 4 attempts a game and less then 2 completions a game.
Special teams could be the ‘X’ factor in this game, both teams combined for just 24 punts, only 9 by Byron. Byron’s PK Aydin Lambert made only 1 FG in one attempt and was 48 of 58 on PATs, while Williamsville’s Riley Jones also made just 1 FG on 1 attempt and was 52 of 67 on PATs.
Byron - 12-1 Date Opponent W/L Own Opp 8/30 Winnebago W 50 3 9/6 Stillman Valley L 16 18 9/13 Rock Falls W 41 6 9/20 Oregon W 45 7 9/27 North Boone W 54 7 10/4 Mendota W 55 0 10/11 Rockford Lutheran W 41 6 10/18 Genoa-Kingston) W 42 13 10/25 Dixon W 62 21 IHSA Playoffs 11/2 Rock Island Alleman W 50 28 11/9 Durand [Coop] W 42 14 11/16 Wilmington W 32 0 11/23 Princeton W 7 3
- COMPLETE – Detailed Background For Both Teams From IHSA
Williamsville dodged a bullet (no pun intended) when they squeaked by Quincy Notre Dame in their State Semifinal game 28-23. The Bullets trailed for most of the game, including the first three quarter breaks and finally took over the lead in the 4th quarter when RB Grant Ripperda scored on an 8 yard run with 10:25 remaining in the game.
Williamsville QB Connor McCormick was 117 out of 176 passing for 2,039 yards on the season with 18 TDs, the Bullets have scored 40 or more points this season in 10 of their 13 games thanks to their spread offense. His favorite receiver has been Noah Sanders with 33 catches for 635 yards and 4 TDs.
Bullets Head Coach Aaron Kunz told fridaynightdrive.com –
“In the past we’ve always gone fast, but this year Derek Smith and Mike McCormick took over our offense, and I’ve always wanted to go faster. But this year we’ve only got one guy going both ways and I thought if we could we go at an extremely fast pace with us being a one-way football team on pretty much both sides of the ball that it could be such a big weapon as far as wearing teams down, so we went to it, and we love it.” –
RB/LB Grant Ripperda is the workhorse on the ground for Williamsville with 210 carries for 1,449 yards rushing and 26 TDs, he added 13 receptions for 313 yards with 5 TDs.
Ripperda has help from two teammates, McCormick adds 834 yards rushing and 14 TDs, while Stephen Gleason adds 616 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns and 9 TD catches.
Defensively Williamsville is led by ILB Trevor Shue (5’8 190), who leads the teams in tackles with 108 and ILB George Spanoil who has 85 tackles, they should be very busy trying to stop the Tigers run-control methods.
Williamsville- 13-0 Date Opponent W/L Own Opp 8/30 Athens W 27 12 9/6 Riverton W 62 14 9/13 Auburn W 34 17 9/20 Maroa-Forsyth W 43 41 9/27 Virden (North Mac) W 55 22 10/4 Pleasant Plains W 63 13 10/11 New Berlin [Coop] W 46 7 10/18 Pittsfield W 55 14 10/25 PORTA [Coop] W 51 15 IHSA Playoffs 11/2 St. Joseph-Ogden W 54 26 11/9 DuQuoin W 48 14 11/16 Vandalia W 56 28 11/23 Quincy (Notre Dame) W 28 23