The first indication that Friday night might be a long one for South Lyon’s football team emerged during pre-game warm-ups when star player Trevor Tank appeared wearing purple basketball shorts, not white football pants.
The second sign came 20 seconds into the contest against host Livonia Stevenson when the Spartans drove 75 yards in three plays and scored on junior quarterback Chris Tanderys’s 23-yard pass to Austin Petrie, who had hauled in a 41-yard pass on the previous snap.
With Tank sidelined (reportedly by a thigh bruise) and Tanderys doing a pretty good impersonation of Marcus Mariota, Stevenson rolled to an emphatic 35-0 victory in a KLAA Central Division clash.
Stevenson improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the division. The loss dropped the Lions to 2-3 and 0-3, respectively.
Stevenson outgained South Lyon in total yards, 437-188.
“We had heard a couple rumors that (Tank) may not play, but we just focused on playing a good game, whether he played or not,” said Stevenson defensive standout Tyler Hudson, who piled up eight solo tackles and seven assists. “They had some big boys carrying the ball, but our defense is quick and our coaches preach 11 hats on the ball.”
South Lyon employed a unique offense that featured the quarterback (Colton Plummer) in the shotgun position with backs flanked tight to each side of him.
The Lions’ center would then snap the ball to any three of the backs, depending on the play call.
“They ran it a little last week and when we saw it on film, we were thinking, ‘Holy cow, what are we going to do with this?'” admitted Stevenson head coach Randy Micallef, referring to the Lions’ unique offense. “We had to put in a lot of time this week in practice working on tackling each of the three backs because you never knew who the snap was going to. I’m impressed at how their center makes those snaps.”
The last thing the run-oriented Lions needed was to fall into a quick, deep hole – but that’s what happened when the Spartans carried a 21-0 lead into the half thanks to a 35-yard touchdown run by Petrie on his team’s second drive of the night, and a 33-yard Tanderys-to-Petrie TD pass at the 7:47 mark of the second quarter.
Stevenson expanded its lead to 28-0 with 2:33 left in the third quarter when Tanderys threaded a laser to Frank Carlin on a fourth-and-goal slant pass from the South Lyon 3. The drive was set up by a 41-yard reception by Ryan Ledbetter.
The Spartans put an exclamation mark on their sterling night when Tanderys connected with Gino D’Agostino on an 85-yard bomb with 10:15 remaining in the game.
Tanderys finished the night with a meticulous stat line: 17-for-25 passing for 316 yards and four touchdowns.
Petrie ran 10 times for 82 yards and caught three spirals for 97 more. D’Agostino racked up 103 yards receiving on three catches while Carlin hauled in eight passes for 56 yards.
Plummer completed just 2 of 9 passes for 21 yards. Vince Candela led the Lions’ rushing attack with 89 yards on 16 carries.
Stevenson defensive back Nate Bunton intercepted a pass for the fourth game in a row.
Ian Henzi was successful on all five of his extra-point attempts.