Brenden Lytle is tired of being labeled.
Throughout his career at Bishop Dwenger, the senior has carried several different labels – system quarterback, game manager, “typical” Dwenger QB.
Lytle helmed the Saints to a state championship as a sophomore. He surpassed 2,000 yards passing as a junior.
This year, he has an 8:1 TD to INT radio and has thrown for at least 150 yards in four games.
So let’s label Lytle the way he should be labeled? One of the best quarterbacks in the area.
Lytle was the difference in Bishop Dwenger’s 31-21 victory over Carroll on Saturday night. From the outset, the Saints opened up the offense, trusting their senior signalcaller to make the right reads and the correct plays in big spots.
The game’s first score came on a 23-yard touchdown to Henry O’Keefe on Bishop Dwenger’s second drive. The game ended with Lytle having set a new career high in yardage, with some clutch throws in the fourth helping to hold off Carroll (4-1).
Meanwhile, Jeff Becker, who has deservedly received much praise of his own, was running for his life the majority of the game. He finished with 347 yards and three scores, but also threw a pair of INTs and took the brunt of the punishment from a Bishop Dwenger defense that was able to get penetration and harass the stud junior repeatedly.
The night, however, belonged to Lytle. Carroll trimmed the deficit to three on three different occasions in the second half. Every time, Lytle and the Saints had an answer.
Early in the fourth facing a 3rd-and-11, Lytle hit KJ Tippmann on a quick screen in traffic that resulted in a first down, a drive that ended with a Devion Tippmann touchdown.
With six minutes to go in the fourth, Lytle hit Henry O’Keefe for a 65-yard gain on 3rd-and-5. That drive also resulted in a score, keeping Carroll at bay.
It is no secret that Bishop Dwenger (4-1) wants to establish the run, then pick its spots in the pass game to make overeager defenses pay selling out against the rush. But Saturday saw a different approach, with the Saints showing confidence in their veteran QB to make the throws that would stretch Carroll’s defense and open up the running attack.
Lytle is a different type of quarterback when we talk about the best around. He does not routinely put up the eye-popping numbers of a Becker or a Duce Taylor, but in his role as the Bishop Dwenger quarterback, that’s not his role.
Over the last three years, his role has been to make the big throws and big plays when they count. He rises to the occasion when he is called upon, the most recent example being Saturday.
Lytle finished Saturday 19-of-25 for 325 yards and a touchdown, a career night for the senior. Even on his big night, Becker eclipsed him in pass yardage.
But that’s OK. Sometimes, stats do not tell the entire story. Sometimes, we have to delve deeper when examining and deciphering a quarterback’s value.
When you do that, there is no mistaking the fact that Lytle is one of the best, and most underappreciated, quarterbacks in the state.
System quarterback? No way.
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