Levell Coppage may bleed OPRF orange and blue, but he found another home of sorts on Saturday-the Lyons Township secondary. Continually scooting through the line of scrimmage, that’s exactly where the elusive running back spent the balance of his time in leading the Huskies to an impressive 35-27 West Suburban (Silver) Conference win over Lyons .

Coppage shredded the visiting Lions defense, totaling 246 yards rushing on 31 carries. For good measure, he also caught four passes for 63 yards. Extremely quick and surprisingly durable, the 160-pound junior running back is already making a strong case for All-conference honors. Three games into the season, he has rushed 69 times for 549 yards, highlighted by a gaudy 7.9 yards per carry average.

“I really didn’t have to do much against Lyons because my offensive line just blocked and blocked all day long,” said Coppage, who has scored six touchdowns on the year. “I just followed them and I was good to go. They made it easy for me. I feel great, and I’m sure our seniors feel even better since th is is their first time beating LT.”

The Huskies (2-1, 1-0 West Suburban Silver), totaling over 400 yards of offense, scored on five of their seven possessions for the game. Behind the stellar play of his offensive line, senior quarterback Justin Brown (8 rushes, 95 yards) scored on touchdown runs of one and 46 yards to stake OPRF to a 14-6 lead with 9:02 left in the second quarter.

After Lyons’ Casey McMurray scored his second rushing touchdown to close the gap at 14-12, the Huskies responded with a 13-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Jack Scotty capped off the drive with a plunge from a yard out to give the Huskies a 21-12 lead at the half. “Lyons is a good team that always plays hard, but we managed to make some plays,” OPRF coach Jim Nudera said. “More importantly, I’m very proud of the kids as a whole in every aspect of the game. All of our 62 athletes were out there giving it their all and playing their role for the program.”

A 60-yard touchdown run by Coppage extended the Huskies’ lead to 28-12 at the 6:44 mark of the third.

“Levell has great vision and he’s quick. He understands football,” Nudera said. “He’s such a potent part of our offense. When you combine that with our quarterback who can run, we have some options.”

Lyons quarterback Eddie Viliunas (8-of-13, 157 yards passing), kept the Lions close with a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs in the final 14 minutes of play. But Brown’s third touchdown on the afternoon, a 40-yard dash into the end zone, essentially sealed the win for the Huskies.

Defense was hardly the order of the day for OPRF, but senior linebacker Max Ford led a scrappy unit that was just good enough to keep the Lions in check on a couple key series.

“The first two games for us was all defense, so we felt offensively we needed to step up our game,” Brown said.

For an offense that is already averaging 30 points a game, that’s a scary thought for the Huskies’ remaining conference opponents. OPRF may emerge as a serious conference title threat if they can pull off another upset on the road this Friday (7:30 p.m.) against Hinsdale Central (3-0).

Scores and Standings


OPRF 7 14 7 7 35
LYONS 6 6 8 7 27

Conference standings

Confer. Overall
Hinsdale Central 0-0 3-0
OPRF 1-0 2-1
York 1-0 2-1
Proviso West 0-1 2-1
Glenbard West 1-0 1-2
Downers North 0-1 1-2
Lyons 0-1 1-2

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Marty Farmer

The Illinois Press Association recently honored Marty with the 1st & 2nd Place Awards for Best Sports Feature for his article He's in an Oak Park state of mind: Former OPRF star Iman Shumpert returns...