Nothing like a little wakeup call to jump start a team. Glenbard West sure experienced that in Friday's football game against Lyons Twp.
On the Lions' first play from scrimmage after the kickoff had sailed into the end zone for a touchback, running back Leonard Ross raced up the field for a 80-yard touchdown run to stun the Hilltoppers, the defending Class 7A champion. Glenbard West, however, responded in a big way, scoring 44 unanswered points en route to a 44-7 victory over the host Lions in West Suburban Silver action in Western Springs.
"I wish I could say that I said something to them or changed a scheme," said Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet. "We just started to play football. That was a wakeup call."
The Hilltoppers defense clamped down on Ross and the offense got rolling, especially tailback Scott Andrews. The senior rushed for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns on 19 carries. His longest run of the game came in the third quarter from 55 yards out. He bounced off numerous tackles to hit paydirt in the end zone.
"The holes were huge," Andrews said. "I just followed my blockers."
Devonte Toney and Tristan Brewer also scored rushing touchdowns. Glenbard West (3-1, 2-0) showed an effective passing attack as well. One of the Hilltoppers' most impressive drives of the game came late in the first half.
With 52.5 seconds to play before halftime and the ball on the Lions' 34-yard line, Glenbard West quarterback Drew Vogg executed the two-minute drill like a pro. Vogg marched the team up the field with a combination of running and passing plays, including back-to-back strikes on rollout plays to Andrews. He finally linked up with tight end Connor Schrauth in the end zone on a 11-yard touchdown pass with 7.6 seconds left.
"Putting up another touchdown at the end of the half was big," Vogg said. "It was nice to have that mindset going into halftime. We always practice the two-minute drill on Thursday or Friday. It was fun for us to do that in a game."
"Drew threw the ball really well for us," Hetlet added.
On the other side of the ball, the Hilltoppers defense held Ross to only 3 additional yards the rest of the game. Players such as defensive linemen Trevor Hamilton and Dan Rustemeyer as well as linebacker Austin Warden got in the backfield. Schrauth, who also plays on the defensive line, got a sack too. Linebacker Ben Marcus came up with a fumble recovery.
"We couldn't get any offensive rhythm rolling," said Lions coach Kurt Weinberg, whose squad fell to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in conference. "(The Hilltoppers) are a big physical fast team and wore us down."