Glenbard South sure was happy to finally play a conference football game again.
After a year as an independent and a tough nonconference schedule to start this season, Glenbard South won the first Metro Suburban Conference game in school history, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter to defeat Elmwood Park 35-21 Friday night in Glen Ellyn.
"It's nice to play a conference game," Raiders coach Jeremy Cordell said. "It's nice to be in a conference, it's nice to play a conference game, it's nice to win the first one ever in this conference.
"We did everything we said we were going to try to do this first conference game. It wasn't pretty all the time, but if we can come out and play the 10-12 minutes we played in the fourth quarter there, we can be a pretty good football team."
Elmwood Park (2-3, 0-2) took a 21-14 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter, but the rest of the period belonged to the Raiders (2-3, 1-0). The Tigers kicked off to Wesley Sanders, who returned the football 82 yards for a touchdown, quickly tying the game again.
"That was really the turning point of the game," junior running back Matt Loos said. "Once that happened the momentum shifted straight to us. I can't even describe how we were feeling. Going into that people's heads were down."
"Wesley's kickoff was a big swing there, and Wesley's a player," Cordell said. "He's a competitor. He's done that all year, and he's going to continue to be."
Three plays later sophomore defensive back Ayman Blan returned an interception to the Elmwood Park 29-yard line. The Raiders needed just four plays to score, sophomore running back Zach Smith carrying the ball in from 4 yards out and a 28-21 Raiders lead.
Glenbard South got the ball back again with 5:12 remaining in the game and heeded Loos' request for the ball. Loos rumbled 76 yards for a touchdown to seal the victory.
"Loos' play was a big play," Cordell said. "... Loos is a kid who when he gets a crease, he can make something happen. It was nice to see him step up tonight to kind of complement Wesley."
"Going into halftime our coaches gave us a challenge to step up and get the 'W,'" Loos said. "We executed in the second half, and as coach says, we grabbed it by the ears. We took hold of that ball, pounded it down the field. The defense stepped up, did their thing."