LYONS — It had been a week shy of a full year since the Lyons football team last played an official game on its home field.
But Friday night’s “homecoming” — and season opener — at John “Jet” Johnson Field didn’t go according to plan by any stretch.
After being displaced from Johnson Field for almost all of last season, following last September’s flooding, the Lions were thumped in their return, 43-0 Friday night by Wiggins in a 1A non-league contest.
The loss ended an 11-game winning streak for Lyons at Johnson Field, dating back to Aug. 26, 2011. And third-year coach Brandon Wilkes suffered his first defeat at the field since taking over the program in 2012. He’s now 6-1 there.
“It was a shame we didn’t do the (occasion) more justice,” Wilkes said. Asked what he told the team after Friday’s loss, Wilkes said, “We didn’t play very good, and I don’t think we’re that bad.”
At halftime, the game was delayed more than an hour by lightning. But the Lions had plenty to talk over.
They trailed 27-0 at intermission and were fortunate it wasn’t even worse.
Lyons fumbled the ball away three times in the first half, and didn’t manage a first down until the final five seconds before halftime. Losing quarterback Logan Watson (1,055 yards passing, 675 rushing last year) to graduation obviously won’t be an easy hole to fill.
The Lions started senior Bowe Herman at QB, but went back and forth between him and senior Zach Christiansen throughout the game. But the bottom line told the story — 11 yards of total offense at intermission for Lyons.
Rotating the QBs “doesn’t work,” said Wilkes, who said he’s decided on a starter for next week but didn’t want to disclose it publicly before he’s told the player. “Anytime your football team is replacing a quarterback it’s not fun. That’s really what made our team go last year. Last year we had a veteran quarterback who knew the offense. We kind of took that for granted.”
On Friday, it wasn’t any better on the defensive side of the ball. Wiggins running back Blake Ferris scored on touchdown runs of 13, 38, 15 and 30 yards in the opening half. He had 117 yards on the ground by halftime.
How bad did things go for Lyons, which went 6-3 last season?
One of LHS’ few highlights was a 77-yard interception return by junior Kiefer Wenande in the second quarter. But on the first subsequent Lyons play from scrimmage, Kanyon Raper fumbled the ball and Wiggins’ Tucker Baker recovered.
When play resumed after the long lightning delay, Lyons still couldn’t get anything going. Wiggins, which went 4-4 last year, tacked on 16 points after intermission, leading to a running clock starting late in the third period.
“The good thing is, it’s the first game, and we’ve got a lot of time to get better,” Wilkes said. “We only have nine guys back from the team last year. This is good starting point; we can only go up from here.”
Next up for Lyons is its first road game, at Highland next Friday.
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Wiggins 43, Lyons 0
At Lyons HS
Wiggins (1-0) 14 13 14 2 — 43
Lyons (0-1) 0 0 0 0 — 0
Wiggins — Vlake Ferris 13 run (kick fail). Wiggins — Ferris 38 run (Austin Dinis pass from Kaeson Risner).
Wiggins — Ferris 15 run (Risner kick). Wiggins — Ferris 30 run (pass fail).
Wiggins — Dinis 65 pass from Risner (Risner kick). Wiggins — Tcker Baker 50 interception return (Risner kick).
Wiggins — Safety.
RUSHING — Wiggins: Ferris 15-148, Dinis 3-25, Freauff 3-20, Burling 1-8, Kaufman 4-(-5); Lyons: Raper 10-15, Herman 7-(-5), Christiansen 9-(-47).
PASSING (comp-att-int-yards) — Wiggins: Risner 9-29-1, 155 yards; Lyons: Christiansen 1-7-0, 17 yards, Herman 2-5-0, 12 yards.
RECEIVING — Wiggins: Dinis 6-104, Ferris 2-5, Rider 1-39; Lyons: Myers 2-14, Wenande 1-15.