Why SHG quarterback Ty Lott is Springfield's top breakout player so far

Bill Welt
State Journal-Register
Sacred Heart-Griffin quarterback Ty Lott (16) launches a pass against Lanphier in the first half at Memorial Stadium in Springfield, Ill., Friday, August 27, 2021. [Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register]

Sacred Heart-Griffin quarterback Ty Lott arguably had the biggest breakout performance in the Central State Eight Conference last week.

Lott completed 32 of 46 passing attempts for 419 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 50 yards in Friday's enthralling 45-41 loss against Class 5A top-ranked Rochester at Rocket Booster Stadium.

He also rallied the Cyclones (2-1), ranked No. 2 in 4A by The Associated Press, ahead 41-38 late in the fourth quarter with a pair of deep passes down the left sideline to junior receiver Jake Hamilton.

"It was just a very intense game, very fast-paced and really good competition that we had," Lott said. "It made our team move faster. We had to think faster and just come together as a team.

"Jake's a tall guy and just got to get it to him. He gets himself open and just gets up and receives the ball."

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Except that late effort was eclipsed by Hank Beatty's own heroics and Rochester reached the end zone with 1 minute, 13 seconds remaining to seal the win.

"It was really encouraging to see how we played against a really good team," Lott said. "It definitely helped us learn. Our receivers did really good receiving the ball and getting some more yards, just moving it down the field. Our (offensive) line really helped us with good blocks and we did run plays that got the yards that we needed."

Get to know the SHG quarterback

Lott said he has played quarterback ever since he was a kid. He's particularly improved over the last couple of years under assistant coaches Todd Chance, John Allison and Doug Martin.

"He's really starting to understand the passing game and understand our offense. It showed," SHG head coach Ken Leonard said.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior certainly looked calm in the pocket. He also displayed a big arm and ability to scramble.

"He's become a real leader," Leonard said. "He's really doing good. Like Ty said, coach Chance has done a great job coaching him up and consistently working with him. Just good fundamentals: his stance, his footwork and all of those things."

Sacred Heart-Griffin quarterback Ty Lott (16) breaks out on a rush against Rochester in the first half at Rocket Booster Stadium in Rochester, Ill., Friday, September 10, 2021. [Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register]

Lott said Chance has kept him on the right track since freshman year.

"He's always pushing me," Lott said of Chance. "Even if you make a mistake, learn from it and keep going and watch, watch film because it will really help you."

Lott also learned valuable lessons from former starting quarterback Isaiah Thompson. The latter went 6-0 in the spring and became The State Journal-Register's Male Athlete of the Year as a senior.

"Don't be afraid to make your own decisions," Lott said. "Just make a decision and follow through with it."

SHG'S elite junior class

Lott is also blessed to have such talented juniors around him, Leonard said. The receiving corps includes juniors Hamilton, KeShon Singleton, Maddix Morris, Kyle Long and Jack Western as well as senior Stephen McDowell.

Hamilton, who is 6-3, hauled in 12 catches for 182 yards and one touchdown while Singleton, who is 6-2, had nine receptions for 109 yards and three TDs against Rochester. Morris and Long combined for 10 catches for 115 yards as well.  

Both Hamilton and Singleton lead the CS8 with the most receptions this season. Hamilton has 15 receptions for 213 yards and two TDs while Singleton has 14 catches for 165 yards and six TDs.

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Junior running back Bill Sanders additionally has six rushing TDs while junior linebacker Cory West leads the CS8 with 30 tackles.

Lott, Hamilton, Singleton and the rest have the potential to play at the next level, but Leonard said right now they're focused on their next opponent: Springfield High. The Senators (3-0), led by senior quarterback Rashad Rochelle, are ranked No. 6 in 6A heading into Friday's showdown at Ken Leonard Field.

"They're juniors and they're going to make mistakes, but it's one of those deals, we're going to get better as the year as goes on," Leonard said. "We just have to fight through all of the adversity right now."

Contact Bill Welt: bill.welt@sj-r.com, Twitter.com/BillWelt