Lisle gets off to a good start at Harvard

The opening drive of the season could not have gone much better for Lisle.

After receiving the kickoff, the Lions used short passes and a strong running game to move the ball 68 yards on 12 plays, ending with a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Drew Nigro. The opening drive also laid the foundation for big passing plays later as the Lions earned a 28-7 nonconference win at Harvard.

Nigro guided the offense to perfection on the first drive by going 3-of-3 passing, with running back David Skonieczny providing the muscle in the power running game. From there, though, the passing game provided a major spark for the offense.

Instead of quick passes, the Lions chose to feature the fade and sophomore Myloe Thordson took advantage of the opportunities. Nigro, a senior, first connected with Thordson for 32 yards and two plays later Nigro threw a 25-yard fade pass to Thordson in the end zone to give the Lions a 14-7 lead.

Skonieczny added a 12-yard touchdown run to give the Lions (1-0) a 21-7 lead at the half. In the third quarter the fade worked again as Nigro and Thordson teamed up for a 30-yard touchdown to finish the scoring for the Lions.

"We practice all week for these chances when we can get the ball to the receivers, I just saw it open and it worked out for us tonight," Nigro said. The senior quarterback was 11-of-17 passing for 131 yards while also leading the team in rushing with 72 yards on 14 carries.

The defense made its presence felt throughout the night, limiting Harvard to 68 yards rushing while also creating turnovers. Ramon Ortega recovered a fumble, Gael Maldonado added a sack and Clay Hicks had an interception to lead the defense.

"Our philosophy is to keep everything in front of us and when our defensive line plays the way they did tonight, it creates pressure and it makes easier for everyone on that side of the ball," said Lisle coach Cory Dillard, who earned his first win.

Lisle's defense made it difficult for Harvard's offense to find any consistency, but the Hornets did have some very positive moments. Quarterback Cesar Pelayo hit Daniel Rosas on a well-executed screen pass and Rosas raced in for a 35-yard touchdown. Rosas finished the game with 5 catches for 84 yards. Pelayo was 5-of-13 passing for 83 yards.

First-year Harvard coach Brad Swanson saw many positives from his 0-1 team.

"Our guys battled, I am really happy with that, we had some guys go out with injuries, but other guys stepped up and the energy was really good," Swanson said.

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