LISLE – History repeats itself on the gridiron, too.
Following a 28-14 loss to Interstate Eight Conference foe Peotone, the Lisle football team sits in the same situation it was in last last year – with a 4-4 record and needing a victory in the final week to become playoff eligible.
If history is any indication of things to come, the team’s chances of making the playoffs with a 5-4 record are slim. Lisle finished 5-4 last fall and missed the postseason.
“I think inconsistency has really cost us up to this point,” head coach Dan Sanko said. “There have been games when we have not shown signs of being ready to play, ready to compete. Mental lapses cost us again in the loss to Peotone.”
Visiting Peotone had an early 14-0 advantage when Lisle answered with a scoring drive that was finished off by a 12-yard touchdown run from running back Kevin Coppin early in the second quarter.
Driving for the potential tying score late in the second quarter after the defense forced a turnover, the Lions just missed scoring on a pass to the end zone.
Moments later, Lisle fumbled and gave the ball back to Peotone.
On third-and-5 from its own 10-yard line, Peotone receiver Joey Janutis collected a screen pass, broke several tackles and scampered 90 yards into the end zone. The back-breaking play marked the third touchdown in the first two quarters for Janutis, who reeled in three catches for 235 yards before halftime.
“Complacency on the defensive side killed us,” Sanko said. “You need to tackle, you need to finish plays, you need to play to the whistle.”
In the second half, Lions’ quarterback Griffin Huba ran in a 5-yard touchdown, but the late surge was not enough, and Lisle now faces a must win situation on Friday at Sandwich in order to become playoff eligible.
“We will not stop fighting,” Sanko said.
“Our team plays hard and they have shown some resiliency this season. Hopefully we will come out ready and fight for our playoff lives on Friday.”