It's just fun to listen to Lisle coach Paul Parpet Sr. talk football.
"They threw a good, hard punch at us early," he began summarizing Lisle's 33-21 opening-night win at Peotone.
"We withstood, regained our composure and started to play more consistently on defense, made a couple adjustments on defense and took it to them," he said.
Getting stronger as the game went on, Lisle ran 62 offensive plays and held Peotone below 50. The Lions offensive line of Jared Arellano, Jon Pawlowicz, Isaac Wilk, Jack Hennessy, John Eckard and tight ends Christian Grego and Charlie Jansen led Mike Metoyer to 129 yards on the ground. Mark McGrath added 60 and sophomore fullback Grant Haen scored 2 touchdowns.
Parpet said the Lisle players and defensive coordinator Ron Jaegle told him it was Lisle's first Week 1 victory in eight years. Lisle last won its opener in 2006, 42-0 over Seneca in the last year the Interstate Eight was one unified conference.
The other half:
Glenbard South took a 13-game regular-season winning streak into Saturday's game against Addison Trail but fell to the Blazers 22-7.
No, the Raiders aren't panicking.
"We talked to our kids about that," said Raiders coach Jeremy Cordell. "Obviously, everyone's accustomed to winning, and losing a game like that is something they're not used to. Moving forward we need to think about what we can learn from it and how can we get better."
It's a credit to the program that the players aren't accustomed to losing, but it doesn't make losing any easier. The junior class, 8-1 at the freshman and sophomore levels, lost for just the third time in high school.
Glenbard South looks to get back on track in Friday's home opener against Antioch, which lost at Tremper, Wis. The Raiders know they're not alone in the hunt for that first win.
"There are a lot of good teams that lost," Cordell said. "It's not time to push the panic button."
Let's play two (quarterbacks):
Entering the season Glenbard East coach John Walters said he'd be perfectly comfortable using two quarterbacks this season. Week 1 bore him out.
In the Rams' 41-14 win over Willowbrook returning starter Drake Pusateri and junior Phil Abruzino each got snaps at quarterback, and sometimes both were on the field simultaneously, Abruzino handling the snap and Pusateri in at tailback in a Wildcat formation.
Abruzino came in when Pusateri's blood sugar "got a little low," Walters said, and the junior responded.
Abruzino completed 13 of 16 passes for 165 yards with touchdown passes to Zach Walsh, Karon Keyes and Joey Moore, and he added a 1-yard touchdown run. Pusateri, who ran the first two series before he needed to get cooled off and hydrated, completed 4 of 8 passes and ran for 61 yards, second on the Rams' to Dominic Wilbertson's 102 yards on just 6 carries.
All of Pusateri's 17 carries came in the second half when Glenbard East outscored Willowbrook 27-7.
"That's a pretty nice luxury to have for a varsity football coach to know you have two quarterbacks you can go to at any time," Walters said.
The coach said he'd told people he had two good quarterbacks "but nobody listened." Glenbard East's Week 2 foe, Oswego East, will.
"Drake had to go out and Drew came in and got hot," Walters said. "That's how we're going to do it. We're going to play both our quarterbacks all year."
Back to earth:
No Week 1 game shook the ground more than Hinsdale Central's stunning 23-15 win over Bolingbrook.
With a new coach in Dan Hartman and a new quarterback in 6-foot-7 senior basketball standout Matt Rafferty, the program's sophomore quarterback who returned to the team after a year away, the Red Devils were an unknown heading into the season.
Everyone knows them now.
"There's definitely a little buzz around the school and the community," Hartman said. "Getting the players to believe was the first hurdle to overcome. After that it was just a matter of executing."
From unknown to ranked seventh in the latest Class 8A Associated Press state poll, Hinsdale Central is suddenly a team to watch. But with Addison Trail on the horizon after a 22-7 win over Glenbard South, the Red Devils need to be wary of a letdown.
"The first thing you need to do is bring them back down to earth," Hartman said. "We know we still have a lot of work to do to get better."
One for the books:
Montini coach Chris Andriano said he'd never seen what transpired Friday, when Maine South scored 21 points in the last 3 minutes, 4 seconds to beat the Broncos 36-35.
At least he'd never seen it happen to one of his teams.
"And I've been around here almost forever," said the 36-year coach.
East St. Louis will provide Montini a different set of challenges for Montini. Game plans and matchups are old hat for Andriano and his staff. It's the psychological impact from last week's collapse that must be measured.
"We've got to get off the ground," Andriano said. "We got knocked down and it was a punch to the stomach that took the wind out of us that I'd never seen before. It was a nightmare.
"So, to have the mental toughness to get back to your game and compete. We don't want to doubt ourselves. We have a good football team, we proved it Friday night, we just didn't finish the game."
The positive to it is discovering things about the team early against the type of stern nonconference, championship-caliber competition Montini always schedules.
"I'd rather find out about the things you need to learn from than beat a team 60-0," Andriano said.
At face value Lake Park's 17-0 win over Conant was impressive. Look closer and it's even better.
The Lancers pitched a shutout without two of their top defensive players because of injury, including defensive back Antonio Shenault, who holds a slew of FBS scholarship offers. Talented junior linebacker Jontrell Mitchell also didn't play while 6-foot-3, 285-pound junior defensive lineman Mike Panasiuk was cleared to play only two days before the game.
"It was a tough week," said Lancers coach Chris Roll. "We didn't know if we'd have any of them until the last minute."
Lake Park allowed only 118 total yards, including 57 rushing yards. Linebacker Tyler Vittal led the team with 9 tackles while players like Nathan Figueroa stepped up in the depleted secondary.
The Lancers, on the heels of their first season-opening win since 2009, can improve to 2-0 for the first time since 2002 with a win at Lockport. Roll expects Shenault and Mitchell to return to the lineup.
"To get a shutout without those guys, that was great to see," Roll said. "We've got to be smart with it in terms of how much they play."
Good for the kids
As with the aforementioned Paul Parpet Sr., Ted Monken was another veteran coach who led a new team to victory.
In his first game as coach at West Chicago the former St. Charles East and Metea Valley coach watched his Wildcats build a 26-8 lead over East Aurora then hold on to win 26-24.
"It was a great win for the kids," Monken said.
He said when a coach comes in with his own ideas and schemes, a victory bolsters the players' belief in them.
"It lets them know the things they're doing will make them successful," Monken said.
Senior linebacker Michael Otzwirk was most successful. He countered East Aurora's early lead with an interception and return for a touchdown and a lead West Chicago never relinquished. Otzwirk came up with another interception and also recovered a fumble.
Monken would like to pick up the ground game and tighten the passing game some, but quarterback Peyton Seidler still threw for 196 yards including 2 touchdown passes to Alex Mitchell.
The game drew tense, but in the end it was a victory for West Chicago Community High.
"The win was important for what we're trying to get established," Monken said. "We're trying to get it going in the right direction."