Mistakes can cripple any football team's chances at winning.
For Lisle, a 5-turnover, 10-penalty night was what doomed the Lions in a 28-20 loss to visiting Westmont on Friday night in Interstate Eight Conference Small Division play.
In addition to the five turnovers and 10 penalties, Lisle (0-3, 0-1) was flagged twice for unsportsmanlike conduct. Overall, it was a frustrating end to an evening coach Dan Sanko would rather forget.
"We shot ourselves in the foot. I don't know how many chances we had," Sanko said. "And after three games we keep making the same mistakes over and over again."
For only the second time in school history, Westmont (1-2, 1-0) took back the Old Plank Road Trophy, an award given annually since 2006 to the winner of the Westmont-Lisle game.
"It was the first time we've won the trophy since I've been the head coach," Westmont's Mark Orszula said. "The kids worked really hard and they came out and did a great job tonight."
After a scoreless first quarter Lisle looked to strike first when Andy Populorum scored on an apparent 38-yard touchdown run. But the play was negated on a holding penalty and the Lions eventually punted.
Westmont took the lead on its ensuing possession when quarterback Tim Doll found Jean Pietrzak open in the flat, where he scampered 63 yards into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
After a 53-yard touchdown run by Doll made it 14-0 at halftime, Lisle looked to start gaining momentum at the beginning of the second half. A fake punt by the Lions was converted when punter Kazim Khan found Ty Howell for 15 yards to keep the opening drive alive. This led to an 18-yard touchdown run by Populorum, which cut the Westmont lead to 14-7.
The Sentinels were forced to punt on their next possession, and Lisle was poised to tie the game and grab complete momentum heading into the fourth quarter. However, the Lions threw the second of five interceptions, this time to Doll, who picked off the ball at the Lisle 8-yard line and ran it back 92 yards for a touchdown and a 21-7 lead with 23 seconds left in the third quarter.
Doll finished with 3 interceptions on the night.
"That's a play I'd like to have back," Sanko said of the third-quarter interception. "That call was completely on me. We had the momentum in our favor and then the interception happened."
Both teams traded touchdowns on their next possessions with Lisle scoring on a 4-yard run by Lisle's Robbie Dean and Doll connecting with Kris Pierce for a 65-yard touchdown pass.
Lisle scored its last touchdown of the night as quarterback Nick Saul found Howell from 10 yards out, cutting the Westmont lead to 28-20.
Mike Bueser sealed the win for the Sentinels by picking off a pass with 50 seconds left.