Wilmington denies Lisle
Wilmington wasn't looking for a grind-out victory in its Interstate Eight Small opener against Lisle on Friday at Benedictine, and it showed that in the second half.
After going into halftime leading 7-3, the Wildcats (3-0, 1-0) put up 27 straight points, taking down a depleted Lisle group 34-3.
"We ran out of bodies," Lisle coach Paul Parpet Sr. said. "We had some guys banged up and I think the score at the end of the half kind of deflated us a little bit. It was tough to come back. I thought Wilmington played very well on defense, they stuffed us pretty good… . It's a process. We'll go get them next week."
The Lions (1-2, 0-1) got on the board first thanks to a field goal by sophomore Mark McGrath, and for the rest of the first and most of the second quarter, held that lead. But the Wildcats found their way onto the board.
In the dying minutes of the second quarter, Wilmington found the play that opened the floodgates. The Wildcats got back to basics as junior running back Nick Hawkins found his lane, rushing for a 15-yard touchdown.
It was the kind mentality that coach Jeff Reents stressed at halftime with his team up 7-3.
"We just needed to refocus on what we were doing," Reents said. "I give them a lot of credit, they were hitting us in the mouth more than we were hitting them. Coach Parpet there is doing a great job with the kids… . We just went back to what we were doing. I just think we didn't come out as focused."
At the start of the third, the Wildcats quickly got to work doing the damage through the air, before inflicting it on the ground.
Senior quarterback Mason Southall found a wide-open Hawkins for a 53-yard touchdown pass and a missed extra point put the score at 13-3.
Hawkins and fellow running back Nick McWilliams then got to work. The senior McWilliams struck first on the ground in the second half, with a 29-yard touchdown to put Wilmington up 20-3. Hawkins quickly followed it up with a 20-yard touchdown, his third of the night.
"At first we weren't getting to where we should have been," Hawkins said. "We were supposed to be hitting the hole where we were supposed to be and we weren't. Second half we starting hitting the holes, O line was blocking and we couldn't have done it without our O line."
The final damage was done in the fourth quarter when Tyler Brimer got a couple reps. The junior running back topped off his first drive of the night with an impressive 47-yard touchdown against a worn down Lisle team.