For Lisle it's about the pride
In a football game pitting strength versus strength, Lisle came out the stronger.
Jay McGrath, Demetrius King and Demetrius Kellie each intercepted passes from outstanding North Boone quarterback Britton Morris, with defensive tackle Anthony Raineri notching a sack.
Offensively, McGrath and Mike Walker led No. 4 seed Lisle to a 37-25 win over No. 5 North Boone on Friday in the Class 3A second-round playoff game at Benedictine University in Lisle.
Lisle (10-1) will advance to the quarterfinals against Saturday's winner between No. 1 Byron at No. 9 Princeton. Lisle's last quarterfinal appearance, and its last 10-win season, came in 1985.
"That's awesome," said McGrath, who completed 10 of 14 passes for 182 yards, kicked field goals of 30, 41 and 20 yards, and ran for 102 yards with a pair of 1-yard touchdown sneaks behind center Aaron Harris.
"The seniors and I have been lifelong friends, and the fact that we're putting our name on the wall and we're changing things is just even better," McGrath said.
Lisle led 37-12 on McGrath's 20-yard field goal with 5:29 to play when coach Paul Parpet Sr. utilized his second unit.
"It means that I think our team is for real," Parpet said. "I think that getting 10 wins against the competition that we have faced this year is really good. And we're going to enjoy this game and then move on."
Lisle moved all game on North Boone (8-3). It scored on all four first-half possessions and its first seven overall before Britton threw for 2 touchdowns in the last 4:20.
"I don't think they ever really stopped us," Parpet said after the Lions amassed 431 yards of offense.
Against a Vikings squad that ran the ball only eight times the 3 interceptions were huge, particularly King's pick at Lisle's own 8-yard line on the second play of the third quarter. The junior cornerback returned it 56 yards to help set up Walker's 7-yard touchdown run off left tackle Charlie Waldusky for a 27-6 lead.
"All week Coach has been stressing to stay on top, not to get beat," King said. "He wanted us to focus on (Vikings receiver Ethan Rydell) because that was their best receiver. He told the linemen, don't worry about the run, he told them, just stay in your lane and rush and let the secondary take care of the pass."
As well as Kellie finishing with 5 receptions for 132 yards, sophomore Walker solidified his nickname -- "Big Mike" -- with 23 carries for a personal-high 135 yards. Following Kellie's interception 10 seconds into the fourth quarter, Walker paced Lisle's final scoring drive of 70 yards, running 9 of 12 plays.
"I'm a rookie ball carrier, I've always been a lineman all my life, and being a running back really feels nice. Having Coach Parpet by my side is really helping me out. I've been improving every single week," said Walker, also a defensive end.
Britton completed 27 of 44 passes for 374 yards and 4 touchdowns. Rydell caught 11 passes for 159 yards and tough, toe-dragging touchdown grabs of 4 and 8 yards.
"It was a good win," Parpet said. "You're not going to stop them, but you can contain them and I think that's what we did."