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Glenbard West turned in a dominating defensive performance Friday night as it beat Willowbrook 49-7 to improve to 2-0 on the season.
The Hilltoppers' front line controlled the Warriors' running game, holding them to 24 yards rushing while sacking Willowbrook quarterback Brian Johnson seven times. The Hilltoppers allowed the Warriors only 115 yards of total offense and 7 first downs the entire game.
"Our defense played extremely well tonight," Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said. "Willowbrook has some very skilled players on offense, but our defensive front dominated their line."
After a scoreless first quarter, Glenbard West got into the end zone twice in a 2:28 span as Joe Zito had an 8-yard run and Scott Andrews had a 12 yard scoring play to get the rout going.
The Hilltoppers held a 21-0 advantage going into half and received the ball to start the half. On the first offensive play of the second half, Glenbard West fumbled the ball on its own 8-yard line, handcuffing the defense with a short field. That set up the only touchdown of the game for Willowbrook (1-1) as Devin Childress caught a 10-yard strike from Johnson.
"Even though our offense put our defense in a tight spot, we still have to stop them," Hetlet said. "Their quarterback throws a nice ball and they were able to score."
The defense put pressure on Johnson — who threw for 402 yards and three scores last week — and forced him into two interceptions as he completed 12 of 24 passes for 91 yards. Punter Dom Battaglia also was picked off during the game on a failed fake punt attempt.
"There were some things we could have done better today to make the outcome a little closer," Willowbrook coach Nick Hildreth said. "We gave them the short field too many times off of turnovers and they are too good of a team to do that with. Their defense is very good, and that is why they are one of the best teams in the state. We weren't able to move the chains and keep possession."
The Hilltoppers had a balanced offensive attack as Zito and Andrews combined to run for 193 yards on 17 carries while tight end Nathan Marcus had 7 grabs for 144 yards and two scores.
"Having so many offensive weapons really opens it up for everyone," Marcus said. "If you try to take one person away, we have other people that would be able to hurt you. It's a fun team to play on."