One game at a time, they say.
That's what Lisle's football team must take from Friday's well-attended 27-7 homecoming loss to Peotone at Benedictine University.
The Lions knew they'd have to beat Peotone and/or Wilmington to gain the outright title or a share of the Interstate Eight Conference Small Division title. It's down to "or," but Lisle (3-2, 2-1) remains in the race.
"Absolutely," said Lions linebacker Cameron Stitt.
"We're just on to the next game, focusing on the next game, and we're putting all our attention into our offense, our defense. We're just trying to critique everything," he said.
There will be much to review after Peotone (4-1, 2-1) rang up 377 yards and held Lisle to 56. Aside from Trevor Schwiesow's 55-yard pass to Jack O'Boyle to set up Dillon Buege's 6-yard touchdown run on the Blue Demons' first possession, Peotone's yardage came all on the ground.
Buege ran 24 times for 132 yards and Chandler Gartner carried 23 times for 145 times with a 27-yard touchdown run. The third back in Peotone's double-wing and two-back schemes, Ryan Brewer, added 39 yards with two 4-yard touchdown runs.
"We just tried to wear on them," said Peotone coach Apostolos Tsiamas. "We're a big team, we consider ourselves a physical team, and to their credit they didn't make it easy on us."
The Blue Demons made it tough on Lisle by converting on third and fourth downs, going 4-for-4 on the latter to compile 67 offensive plays to Lisle's 38.
"This had nothing to do with effort," said Lisle coach Paul Parpet Sr. "This had to do with a two-headed monster with some backs that were good and we let them on the field too long."
Lisle's highlights included Jared Hunter's 43 first-half rushing yards, though he finished with 45 as Lisle tried to rally through the air. Hunter also blocked an extra-point kick.
The Lions' biggest play came immediately after halftime, trailing 14-0. Caleb Carter returned the second-half kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown, Jay McGrath adding the kick.
Peotone fumbled away the ball deep into the ensuing possession but limited Lisle's own double-wing offense.
"They had a lot of linebackers who came in hard when we had runs, when we had passes, and they were on me all night," said McGrath, Lisle quarterback.
On to nine-time defending IEC Small champ Wilmington, whose 47-6 win over Seneca extended its divisional winning streak to 48 straight games.
"If that doesn't get you motivated to play, what will? That's the way I look at it," Parpet said.