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Byron pulls off fourth quarter comeback to stun IC Catholic in Class 3A semifinals

Published: Nov. 20, 2021 at 7:55 PM CST
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ELMHURST, Ill. (WIFR) - Byron is headed back to the state title game after stunning IC Catholic with a fourth quarter, 15-point comeback win on the road.

The Tigers knew they were in for a dogfight against a Knights team that was considered by many to be the best in Class 3A. Byron lost to IC Catholic 7-0 in the semifinals in 2017. This year’s version of the game had the same low-scoring intensity.

Byron trailed 14-0 heading into the fourth quarter. The Tigers had many missed opportunities, including a fourth and goal from the five to start the quarter. Byron knew it had to strike quick and went to the air. Braden Smith found Max Connell in the back of the endzone for the touchdown with 3:45 to play to make it 14-7.

The Tigers then lined up for an onside kick. Smith squibbed it right to a Knights player, but it bounced off him and Byron’s Carson Behn fell on it for the recovery.

Byron drove down the field, and facing fourth and goal from the three, Smith handed it off to Chandler Binkley. The All-State running back trucked his way across the goal line to make it 14-13 with 5 seconds to play.

Instead of going for the tie, head coach Jeff Boyer rolled the dice and went for the win. The Tigers went back to their go-to running back. Binkley followed his blocks before finally making a cut and fighting his way in for the two-point conversion.

This will be Byron’s third straight trip to the state championship game, hoping third time’s the charm. The Tigers are looking for their first state title since 1999.

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