A look at Friday's Class 3A playoff football between Dwight and Lisle

For the first time since 2006, Dwight will be playing a Week 10 football game. The Trojans will be on the road as they travel to Lisle in a Class 3A battle of former Interstate Eight Conference rivals.
    The game is schedule for 7 p.m. on Friday at Lisle High School.
    Lisle (8-1) has a long history of making the playoffs, but have not won a postseason game since 2003. The Trojans haven’t won a playoff game since 1983.
    This contest will be a battle of lines. The Lions are prone to running the ball, but can throw with success.
    “Lisle’s biggest strength is their offensive line,” first-year DTHS head coach Luke Standiford said. “They will pull two lineman almost every time they run the ball and it can be any of them.
    “They do a great job of kicking and wrapping on their pulls and their backs are good at being patient and letting the play develop. It is clear that they are very well coached.”
    The main weapon is the quarterback, Jay McGrath. He is a decision-maker who isn’t afraid to call his own number. McGrath is the second-leading rusher with 90 carries for 315 yards and 8 touchdowns. He has thrown for 1,083 yards and 8 TDs on 66 of 116 passing. He has also been intercepted four times.
    “Their best player is their quarterback,” Standiford said. “He is the main run threat and has the ability to air it out to a great receiving corps.
    “He does a great job moving the chains with his feet and he spreads the ball around to all four receivers.”
    Five receivers have at least seven catches and 100-plus yards. Six-foot-five Jakub Kowal leads the group with 24 catches for 335 yards and 3 TDs. Demetrius Kellie has 282 yards and 2 touchdowns on 11 receptions.
    Lisle has six different backs with more than 100 yards rushing this season, though the leader of the group is Dylan Laue with 337 yards and 5 touchdowns on 53 carries.
    “As always, our linebackers will need to read their keys and fill the alleys and our defensive line will need to stay disciplined,” Standiford said. “The biggest thing for our defense is to eliminate the big plays.”
    Dwight (6-3) got in thanks to a big win at Paxton-Buckley-Loda last week. DTHS would not have had enough points otherwise. The Trojans, however, feel they are better than their record by at least one win. Losses to unbeaten Ottawa (Marquette) and Clifton are accepted, but the loss to Seneca early in the season is one they want back.
    Still, Dwight will look run the ball as it has all season. Logan Graham is the main back with Carson Crouch providing a solid counter. But it will be the play up front that will dictate what the Trojans can do with the ball.
    “Lisle’s defensive line will be the best we’ve seen all year. In order to continue having success with our run game, our offensive line will need to fly off the line and stay on their blocks,” Standiford said. “In order for us to sustain drives, we’ll need to connect with our receivers in tight windows.
    “Our objective is to control the clock and limit the other team’s possessions. In order to do that, we will need to take care of the football and sustain long drives. That is something we have been very good at and a big reason why we have won five straight ball games.”