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Byron hopes third time’s a charm in state title game

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 9:59 PM CST
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BYRON, Ill. (WIFR) - Maybe Byron is the team of destiny in Class 3A. The Tigers have won their last two playoff games on the final possession. Now, they hope they are battle tested to get over the hump on Friday at 4:00.

Byron will play for the state championship against Tolono Unity. This will be the Tigers third straight appearance in the title game. In 2019, Byron lost in a crazy shootout to Williamsville 46-42, and in 2018, lost another one possession game to Monticello. The Tigers are hoping to bring back the program’s second state championship and first since 1999. Head coach Jeff Boyer was part of the ‘99 team. He says this year’s team is taking it game-by-game.

“It’s a 1-0 mentality each and every week. You win and you move on,” said Boyer. “So, it doesn’t matter how you do it. And actually to do it in the fashion that we have the last two weeks has been absolutely crazy.”

A state championship billboard hangs off the side of the school where the players enter and exit the field. They know they have high expectations for themselves.

“That team was a great team. Coach Boyer, Coach Considine were on that team. They were an absolute unit of a team,” said senior lineman Nick Brass. “If you go back and watch the video of that 99 state game, it’s honestly amazing to watch. It was a really fun watch. So yeah, that team was good and I hope we can come out like them too.”

Tolono Unity beat Williamsville in the quarterfinals and Mr. Carmel in the semifinals to reach the title game. The Rockets are in search of their first state championship.

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