Lisle celebrates first win of season

Lisle couldn’t have chosen a better game to celebrate after claiming its first win of the season.

After dropping the first four games of the year, the Lions topped Dwight 26-8 for a Homecoming victory Friday night.

Things looked dicey in the first quarter. After the Lions kicked off, the Trojans (0-5, 0-3) drove the ball down the field and had a first and goal from the Lisle 7. The Lions (1-4, 1-2 Interstate Eight Conference Small Division) responded by stuffing the run three times and then knocked down a pass in the end zone to get possession of the ball.

“That was the first goal-line stand of the season and being in our fifth game, that isn’t the best,” Lisle coach Dan Sanko said. “That was huge for us to stop them. Who knows what would have happened tonight if we didn’t stop them there. We were sick of losing and we all stepped up and got the win tonight.”

After falling behind early in the second quarter 8-0, Lisle responded with 26 unanswered points. Running back Nick Leonard had 2 rushing touchdowns and quarterback Nick Saul hooked up with Dawon Borrell and Ty Howell from 7 and 9 yards out for touchdowns.

“I think we were a little nervous to start the game with it being Homecoming and all,” Leonard said. “We knew we were the better team, especially after making some defensive stops. After we scored we were pumped up and didn’t lose any of that momentum.”

Even though the offense was able to put points on the board, it was the defense that shined for Lisle. The Lions defense forced the ball over on downs three times, recovered two fumbles and intercepted a pass in the win.

The lone touchdown the Lions gave up was on a broken play on a third down and long that went for 82 yards. But that play didn’t affect the Lisle defense, it very well might have woken it up.

“We just manned up on defense and were able to pull it out,” linebacker Justin Spangler said. “This win tonight feels great and our record doesn’t reflect what type of team we are. We are better than what our record indicates. We came out and wanted to win, and I think we showed ourselves that we can win games.”

Saul finished the game 15-of 22 for 219 and two scores, while Nick Leonard had 65 yards rushing on 19 carries.