Green Dragons hold off Lisle

Robert Blackford/Editor

The Aledo-Westmer Green Dragons held off the Lisle Lions Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008, in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs, 28-21. It was a back and forth struggle throughout.

"We knew it was going to be tough," said Aledo-Westmer head coach Cullen Welter after the game. They play in a conference with 4A schools. I'm just happy with the win. We are in new territory here in 3A. Any win period is good for us. My concern was that we stop their option which we did and their passing game which we didn't do so well."

Welter added, "It was incredibly frustrating. They kept staying with us. I don't think I felt comfortable even with just 10 seconds left."

Green Dragon Kyle Tompkins ran the opening kickoff 54 yards to the Lisle 33-yard line.

Green Dragon quarterback Brett Anderson completed a 32-yard touchdown pass to Colton Welch for the first touchdown of the game. Aledo-Westmer led 7-0 at the 10:36 mark.

"Their defense was confused," said Welch, "and our line blocked well." 

Lisle answered back with a 15-play drive that ended with Jake Kretmen's 11-yard touchdown run. Lisle quarterback John Surber completed four passes for 72 yards on the drive. The score was tied at 7-7 at the 4:16 mark.

Aledo-Westmer answered back immediately. Anderson hit Matt Dawson for a 75-yard touchdown pass and Aledo led 14-7 at the 3:21 mark.

"I looked off their safeties," said Anderson about the touchdown pass. "I thought the offense executed pretty well today," said Anderson after the game. "We made some changes on defense at the half and they worked."

Lisle's Ryan Liss returned the ensuing kickoff 53 yards to the Aledo-Westmer 21-yard line.

The Lions completed a seven play drive from there that ended with John Ventrella's two-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 14-14 with 11:53 remaining in the second quarter.

The Green Dragons mixed the run and the pass on the team's next drive. Aledo-Westmer completed the 13-play, 84-yard drive with an eight-yard touchdown run by Matt Dawson.

Anderson completed passes to Dawson and Mason Bush for 16 and 22 yards on the drive, as well running for 22 yards on his own to keep the drive alive. Aledo-Westmer led 21-14 with 6:45 remaining in the first half.

Lisle's next drive ended prematurely as Colton Welch intercepted a Lisle pass at the Lisle 28-yard line. "I broke on the ball for the first time all night," said Welch.

Aledo couldn't take advantage though, as Anderson threw an interception at the Lisle 10-yard line.

With 3:29 remaining Lisle drove the length of the field.

Green Dragon Colton Welch deflected a pass attempt in the endzone on the final play of the first half.

Lisle took the ball at the beginning of the second half but was forced to punt after Shaun Peterson broke up a pass on a third down and long play.

The ensuing punt pinned the Green Dragons at the Aledo-Westmer three-yard line.

The Green Dragons couldn't move the ball and were forced to punt giving Lisle good field position at the Aledo-Westmer 29-yard line.

The Lions took advantage and punched the ball into the endzone at the 3:01 mark to tie the game, 21-21.

Aledo-Westmer responded again. Anderson hooked up with Ethan Ball and Devon Bysinger for gains of 12 and 10 yards. Then Anderson found Welch over the middle for a 51-yard touchdown pass. Aledo-Westmer took a 28-21 lead with 40.3 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

"Brett threw a good ball on both plays," said Welch.

The Green Dragons nearly recovered an onside kick attempt but Lisle started its next drive at the 39-yard line. The Lions went on a 19-play drive that ended when Matt Dawson intercepted a Surber pass on fourth and goal from the Green Dragon 11-yard line. Lisle completed three third down conversion attempts during the drive and once on fourth down with 4:29 remaining in the game.

Dawson said, "We knew they were going to pass. The defensive backs had to step up today. I knew we had to come up with the play."

"The goal line stand was huge," said Derek King after the game. "They've got some real big boys. We knew they wouldn't be the typical matchup for an 8-1 team. They come out of a tough conference."

The Green Dragons couldn't pick up a first down though and they were forced to punt giving the ball to Lisle at the Green Dragon 47-yard line.

The Green Dragon defense held as Surber threw incomplete passes on third and fourth downs to turn the ball over to the Green Dragons.

"It went good today," said lineman Jordan Willits. "I'm looking forward to next week. It went pretty much how we wanted it to go and we got the 'W.'"

Anderson completed a 24-yard pass to Ball to give the Green Dragons some breathing room. An 11-yard run by Welch gave the Green Dragons another first down but they turned the ball over on downs at the Lisle 17-yard line with 15.3 seconds remaining.

Lisle couldn't cover the length of the field in the little time remaining and Aledo-Westmer held on for the victory.

Brett Anderson completed 13 of 20 pass attempts for 280 yards and three touchdowns.

Matt Dawson had 30 yards rushing on 13 attempts.

Colton Welch caught three passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Matt Dawson had two catches for 91 yards total and one touchdown.

Lisle's John Surber completed 21 of 37 pass attempts for 204 yards.

Cameron Wright caught 10 passes for 122 yards. Anthony Ventrella had 50 yards rushing.

Green Dragons Mason Bush and Ethan Ball had 13 tackles apiece, while Jordan Willits had 12 and Colton Welch, 10.

The Green Dragons will host Stillman Valley in the second round of the regionals on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 1:30 p.m.