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Lisle finishes well, earns second win
By D.J. Wanberg | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 10/1/2011 1:39 AM

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Most people have a favorite time of the day. For the Lisle football team, it's becoming the last 24 minutes of a game.

The Lions again showed their prowess in the second half, scoring 20 unanswered points to down Reed-Custer 27-6 on Friday night at Benedictine University.

It was the Lions' second straight win and put them at 2-4 overall and 2-2 in the Interstate Eight Conference Small Division. The Comets fell to 0-6, 0-3.

"We've been good in the second half the last three games," Lisle coach Dan Sanko said. "We made some adjustments at halftime. And their quarterback got hurt and that hurt them. But I don't why it takes so long for them (Lisle) to get going."

The Lions racked up 159 yards of offense in the second half for a grand total of 256 for the game and earned seven first downs in the final two quarters after earning just two in the first half.

"At halftime we knew we were the better and just wanted to kick it up to a new level," said senior Nick Leonard, who led all rushers with 127 yards on 14 carries and scored 2 touchdowns.

Lisle hit the ground running in the second half, rushing for all 67 yards on the drive and capping it with Leonard's 9-yard run 4:06 into the third quarter.

An interception by the Lions' Ryan VanVolkenburg eventually led to Nick Saul's 7-yard pass to Ty Howell. That and Kazim Khan's third extra point of the night made it 21-6.

Another Reed-Custer turnover, a fumble recovered by Lisle's Dan Kisla was turned into Brad Leonard's 7-yard run to conclude the scoring for the night.

Lisle takes to the road next week to battle Seneca, followed by a home game against Manteno and a trip to Herscher to close out the regular season. The Lions must run the rest of the table to remain playoff eligible at 5-4.

"We're nowhere near where we need to be in Game 6, but we're definitely better than what we were in Week 1. I don't talk (about the playoffs). We need to take it one game at a time and keep playing well," Sanko said.

Nick Leonard's 49-yard run on the Lions' first drive of the game was the team's lone score of the first half.

He was crucial on defense as he sacked Comets quarterback Mark Harper twice in the first two quarters for a loss of 23 yards.

During the first half Reed-Custer practiced fairly solid ball control but relied on the big play to reach the scoreboard. Harper found Mark Karraker for a 46-yard gain that put the Comets at the Lisle 20. Cameron followed with two 9-yard runs, the second into the end zone. But Lisle caught a break when the extra-point attempt failed.

Later the Comets drove to the Lisle 3, but Ty Howell's tackle of Tom Cadorette came as time ran out in the first half.

"It's definitely on our minds," Howell said of the playoffs. "But we have to keep it one game at a time and not look at the big picture."