Martich, Lisle swipe momentum from Reed-Custer
Nick Martich and the Lisle football team didn't want Reed-Custer to gain any confidence after having some success on its first offensive possession.
With one acrobatic maneuver Martich and the Lions stole both the momentum and the game.
Facing a fourth-and-10 from the Comets 22-yard line, Martich ran a go route down the right hash marks, beat his man, dove and caught the ball one-handed over his shoulder.
"It's a hype play," the junior tight end said with a smile. "I felt that was more the morale booster. It was able to push us through and make sure we got defensive stops and continue grinding on offense."
Lisle carried that energy to a 28-6 Interstate Eight Small win over Reed-Custer.
"We did it against Seneca last week," Martich said. "We just drove it down first possession, grinded and we scored. It's always a good morale booster."
The Lions (3-1, 2-0) started the game with moxie. Lisle needed just seven plays to march the ball 63 yards on the opening possession and take an 8-0 lead on a 1-yard run from Jared Hunter.
"It's huge momentum for us," wide receiver Cameron Stitt said.
That's when Reed-Custer (0-4, 0-2) tried to punch back. The Comets marched the ball 39 yards in 5 plays to the Lions 44 but were forced to punt.
It took the Lions a drive to catch up to the Comets option offense.
"We had to get used to it," Martich said. "It's always different in the game than in practice."
Lisle's defense tightened up after that drive.
On its ensuing four drives of the half, Reed-Custer was limited to 1 yard of total offense.
"Once we were able to understand it, we were able to get stops and force three and outs," Martich said.
And the Lions offense kept clicking, too.
In last week's win Lisle rushed the ball for 313 yards. Against Reed-Custer, Lisle did most of its damage through the air.
"Any offense is going to tell you that they're going to take what the defense gives them," Lisle coach Paul Parpet Sr. said. "When you're stacking the line and playing decent defense like they did, they left the pass for us, so we took it."
Lisle took it and ran -- actually, flew -- with it.
Quarterback Jay McGrath finished with 246 yards passing. Stitt had 8 receptions for 160 yards.
"I'd like to say we're balanced all around," Stitt said. "This week we did focus on throwing the ball in the air a little bit more."
In the second quarter Lisle again used its aerial attack to burn the Reed-Custer defense. On second-and-14 from the Comets 33, McGrath connected with Logan Metoyer for a 28-yard pickup. After a Comets penalty, Hunter punched it in from 2 yards to give the Lions a 22-0 lead.
"We can always keep the defense on their toes," Martich said. "Either we'll pop it for a run, and if they decide to shut that down, we'll just throw it in the air."
In the third quarter the Lions thought they had burned the Comets on another pass play. On third-and-5 from the Comets 49, McGrath threw the ball to Demetrius Kellie on a lateral, who ran the ball to the end zone. The play was called back on a penalty. It made no difference to the Lions.
On the next play McGrath found Stitt, who caught the ball at the Comet 40, cut to the right, cut back up to the middle and received a couple of blocks to run it all the way for a touchdown.
"Finding the end zone it's always fun, I love getting the ball," Stitt said.