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Lions maul Sentinels in rivalry clash

LISLE – Lisle didn’t need its starting quarterback to dismantle Westmont on Friday.

Instead, Alec VanVolkenburg made his first start of the season under center, replacing Griffin Huba, the senior quarterback who remains hobbled by a shoulder injury suffered during the Week 6 matchup against Wilmington.

Aided by a stout defense and a punishing run game, VanVolkenburg and the Lions picked up a 28-0 victory over the rival Sentinels.

Even with the win, Lisle head coach Dan Sanko pointed to a few areas that need work as the Lions continue on their quest to lock up a playoff berth in the final two weeks of the regular season.

“It was ugly,” Sanko said. “We had 10 penalties and two turnovers in the first half. We played like we were off school today – we were off from school today – but that’s no excuse. You have to play a little cleaner than that.

“But we were able clean things up in the second half, finish it and get a shutout. Our seniors led the way like they have been all year.”

Senior running backs Cliff Krause and Kevin Coppin accounted for 234 yards of offense on the ground and all four touchdowns while the defense stymied the uptempo Westmont offense – picking off quarterback Tim Doll three times in the first half and limiting the Sentinels to just 104 yards on offense.

A pair of seniors helped the Lions get on the board early in the first quarter.

Westmont received the ball first and three plays into the opening drive, Doll’s pass was intercepted by senior defensive back Kyle Hendzel on the Sentinels’ 31-yard line. Two plays later, Krause ran untouched into the end zone to give Lisle a 7-0 lead.

Two offensive series later, Krause gashed the Westmont defense, running 65 yards up the sideline and into the red zone. He finished off the drive with 1-yard touchdown run to make the score 14-0.

In the second half, Krause hauled in a 70-yard touchdown pass and Coppin ran in a 2-yard score to put the game out of reach.

“Kevin is a lot of fun to play with in the backfield,” Krause said. “We work well with each other and when we start running downhill, we have shown that we are tough to stop.”

The victory over the Sentinels gave the Lions the Old Plank Trophy, a traveling trophy that is awarded annually to the winner of the Westmont-Lisle rivalry game. The trophy is named after Old Plank Road, now Ogden Avenue, the main drag separating the two schools. Lisle now holds a 6-2 advantage in the series.

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