Trailing 17-13 at halftime, something clicked for Lisle.
The Lions used a dominant second half en route to a 27-17 Interstate Eight Conference crossover victory against Herscher Friday night at Benedictine University in Lisle.
"You can make your changes and try to get them fired up at halftime, but something clicked," Lisle coach Dan Sanko said. "I honestly wish I knew what it was, but we need to start doing this every week."
Lisle (1-1) got behind early as Herscher (1-1) nailed a first-quarter field goal, then blocked a Lisle punt and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown.
Then the Lisle senior duo of quarterback Nick Saul and wide receiver Dawon Burrell started to impose their will, leading to three touchdown strikes.
Saul found Burrell for a 39-yard score down the sideline to put Lisle on the board in the second quarter.
Saul made two spectacular scrambling plays in the second half, as he bought enough time to find Burrell for touchdown strikes of 28 and 5 yards.
"He's (Burrell) a smart receiver," Saul said. "I was rolling out on the one touchdown, I was getting a little scared, but he came back to me for the touchdown."
Burrell made an acrobatic grab, as he kept one foot in the back of the end zone for his second touchdown grab, which put Lisle up for good at 19-17. Saul scrambled, rolled out and took a bit hit but found Burrell for the score. Burrell finished with 5 catches for 111 yards to go with his 3 touchdowns, while Saul finished with 190 yards passing with 3 touchdowns and no turnovers.
"The line really stepped up and gave (Saul) some time to throw me the ball," Burrell said. "He's always scanning the field looking at everybody and didn't throw any interceptions, and I'm proud of him."
"It all comes down to (Saul)," Sanko said. "Two of those touchdowns were checkoffs to the third receiver. He's really stepped up and taken care of the ball these first two games."
While Herscher's one-dimensional offense stalled in the second half, Lisle's offensive balance may have been the thing that made everything click. The Lions rushed for 123 yards.
"I told them this week, we've got to be able to run the ball," Sanko said. "We're undersized up front, we know that, but we have to be able to run the ball. We got them on their heels a bit in the second half, and we were able to run the ball."
"It just clicked, we really came together in the second half," Saul said. "Our running backs did a good job; they're really young but they're learning, and our defense stepped up and stayed disciplined."