Lisle sees 'ton of positives' despite tough league loss

Streator scored touchdowns on seven of its eight offensive possessions, piled up 512 total yards and forced a pair of first-half turnovers to snap a four-game losing streak with a 54-21 Illinois Central Eight Conference triumph over host Lisle on Friday night.

"We did what we thought we would be able to do on offense," Streator coach Kyle Tutt said, his squad with 270 yards rushing and 242 passing. "The past couple of weeks, we just didn't feel like we were clicking like we should. But tonight, I think [QB] Christian [Benning] is getting healthier, [RB] Isaiah [Brown] is running like he has wanted to all season. We've been banged up all over our roster, but we are starting to get healthy, and that's a huge key."

Streator led 12-7 after one quarter, 26-7 at halftime and 46-21 after the third quarter.

Benning finished 21 of 26 for 242 yards and 4 TDs, 2 to Matt Williamson and one each to Jake Hagie and Anthony Mohr. Brown had a pair of long TD runs and finished with 159 yards rushing on 9 carries. Streator is 2-4 overall and 1-3 in ICE action.

The Bulldogs' defense allowed the hosts 285 total yards and received a forced fumble and interception in the opening quarter by senior Colin Jeffries.

"Our defense made some big plays in the first half and really played hard tonight," Tutt said. "When you can cause turnovers, it not only helps the offense but also gives the entire team momentum and confidence."

After Benning scored on a 4-yard run on Streator's first chance on offense, Jeffries' interception helped set up a 26-yard TD pass from Benning to Mohr.

"That was my first high school pick, it was a great feeling," said Jeffries, a senior strong safety. "We were in man-to-man coverage, and I was right with my receiver. Now, I mean no shame on Lisle's quarterback, but I thought there was no way he was going to try and throw it to my guy. It came right to me; but for a freshman, that kid played one heckuva game.

"We were coming off four really rough weeks, no doubt about it. But this team, this family has stuck together, kept fighting, kept working in practice, and tonight played really well. We all did our jobs. We're not giving up on this season. We've got games left to play and we are going to keep fighting."

Lisle scored late in the opening quarter when freshman QB Nolan Ashmore (11 of 24, 200 yards) hit classmate Adam Drake (24 carries, 104 yards) for a 64-yard TD.

The Bulldogs scored twice in the second period on a 45-yard run by Brown and a 27-yard pitch and catch from Benning to Hagie.

Streator then opened the second half with a pair of Benning-to-Williamson TD passes, the first from 12 yards and the second from 37, while Brown added a 59-yard dash for a score.

Lisle (1-5, 0-4) also scored twice in the third, Ashmore finding Myloe Thordson for a score from 51 yards, then Asher Carson from the 8.

The Bullodgs' Jordan Lukes finished the game's scoring with a 10-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

"We had a ton of positives tonight," Lisle coach Cory Dillard said of his youthful squad. "At times we have eight underclassmen out there on offense. It's frustrating at times, but like you saw a few times tonight, those younger guys can make things pretty exciting. Adam Drake was super-tough tonight and had a really, really nice game for us.

"We've played some really tough teams already. This conference is a beast, but my guys came out here tonight and made a big step forward in getting to where we want to be. I saw some really good things from our guys tonight."

Next week, Streator hosts Peotone, while Lisle entertains Herscher.

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