Wilmington grinds out win over Lisle
Wilmington would give the high school version of Sunday night football at Benedictine University a strong review.
Lisle, not so much.
Continuing the Illinois Central Eight contest that had been suspended by Friday's storms, Wilmington finished with a 27-6 victory over the Lions (3-2, 1-2).
Ahead 7-6 when play was suspended, Wilmington (5-0, 3-0) opened Sunday with a defensive stop, drove 65 yards for a 33-yard Allan Richards field goal and controlled the remainder with its double-wing ground game and physical defense.
"It was a hard-fought game," said Lisle running back-linebacker Mike Walker, who ran for 51 yards and made 9 tackles. "I feel like we couldn't get nothing going in the passing game. That's something we're going to have to work on during the weeks before we get to crunchtime. I feel today we came out with a lot of positives but a lot of negatives. But we'll improve."
Wilmington wingback Trey Shaw finished with touchdown runs of 44 and 41 yards and 169 yards rushing on 16 carries. Fellow Wildcats wingback Jacob Rodawold capped the scoring on a 52-yard touchdown run with 6:14 to play and gained 138 yards on 18 carries.
Before scoring, Rodawold made an interception of a high, deflected pass courtesy of Richards, who at linebacker converged on Lisle quarterback Aidan Lombardo as he released the ball. Richards appeared to hit Lombardo's right throwing hand. Andy Eckard played quarterback in the Lions' final offensive series.
Wilmington's sideline, possibly remembering last year's loss to Lisle, sounded more fired up than on Friday.
"We got here (Friday) and no one was talking, no motivation," Shaw said. "Then we stepped it up in Saturday for practice and we came out here ready to play today."
In a game pitting two Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductees in Lisle's Paul Parpet Sr. and Wilmington's Jeff Reents, Shaw's 41-yard touchdown run up the gut on fourth-and-1 gave Wilmington a 17-6 halftime lead.
Richards' 37-yard field goal gave the Wildcats a 20-6 lead at 10:28 of the fourth quarter. Lisle's Brett Weber, Walker and Lombardo drove the Lions to Wilmington's 22-yard line when a long snap didn't connect. Two plays later Rodawold intercepted.
"Against a team like that, when you're getting your manhood tested it's easy just to fold," Parpet said. "And we didn't fold, and that's what I'm proud of. And I also thought we did some nice things in the run game."
"I think we played with a lot more intensity tonight than we did on Friday," Reents said. "We were able to get our running game going, which we haven't done against Lisle in a couple years."