Watson, Lisle reach their numbers
Lisle junior Tyrese Watson set a goal for himself of 240 yards rushing before Friday night's football game against visiting Peotone.
It might have seemed an overly ambitious number at first, but it turned out to be pretty accurate. Watson ran for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns.
"I have 640 (yards entering the game), I think, and I'm trying to get 1,000 yards this year," Watson said. "I want to thank my linemen first. They helped the run game, and with the run game set up the passing. So I want to thank the linemen. That's what gave me the drive to keep going."
More importantly, Watson's big numbers helped the Lions secure their playoff-clinching sixth victory of the season, 28-14.
Watson set the tone for the game just a couple of minutes in, going 50 yards to give Lisle (6-3, 4-3) a 6-0 lead. When he scored again from 9 yards out with 41.2 seconds left in the first quarter, then added a 2-point conversion, Lisle led 14-0.
"He's got great vision, and nobody's catching him," said Lisle assistant coach Lee Maciejewski. "So as soon as he can see an open lane he takes it, and boy, he's tough. And fun to watch."
Peotone (5-4, 3-4) fought back, tying the game at 14 midway through the second on a 65-yard pass to Derek Knauer from T.J. Chenoweth.
Lisle took the lead for good with 5:09 left in the third period when senior Gabe Quinones briefly stole the spotlight from Watson with an 81-yard touchdown run.
"Quinones does what he does," Watson said. "10-4, that's our jersey numbers and the play number. They've got to watch it. He's trying to catch up with me."
The two packed a powerful 1-2 punch.
"Tyrese is a little more punishing, but they still have the same vision, they still get to the right spots, and the thing that's nice about them both (Watson and Quinones) is they both block very well for each other," Maciejewski said. "They've been quite a blessing to coach, and they're great kids. The thing is they don't have an ego. They care about their teammates, they care about each other, so that's pretty neat."
Watson added his third touchdown with 8:54 left in the fourth quarter, scoring on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line.
Meanwhile, the Lisle defense stifled Peotone, shutting out the Blue Devils in the second half.
"The defense stepped up, came through," said Watson, who came through with a crucial fourth-quarter pass breakup.
The win means the Lions can watch Saturday night's playoff pairings show without having to worry about if they're going to the playoffs, just who they're going to play.
"We feel great. We want to make a playoff run. That's our goal to do," Watson said.