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The high-powered Willowbrook offense might not have started how it wanted, but by the end of the game it had once again lit up the scoreboard, beating Proviso East 48-28 Friday night in Villa Park.
The Warriors scored on their first drive of the game on a Brian Johnson touchdown pass, but the next four drives resulted in two punts, an interception and a missed field goal.
The offense seemed to find its groove with running back Jeremy Barnes. The senior scored a touchdown and slashed the Pirates defense all night for big gains. Although only 5-foot-8 Barnes ran through contact, something that he said is an important part of his game.
"My linemen were covering bodies and I was seeing wide-open holes," Barnes said. "I just took off when I could."
Willowbrook coach Nick Hildreth said the offense took what it was given and for the second game in a row that resulted in big plays on the ground. With the rushing attack working the passing game sprang up. Johnson threw for 6 touchdowns, 4 of which went to Hayden Adams.
When the Pirates (0-6, 0-3 West Suburban Gold) were forced to bring more pressure to try and slow down Barnes the downfield passing game opened up, Hildreth said.
The Warriors defense made plays early, but Hildreth said he was disappointed in their inability to completely close the door on Proviso East. The Pirates, who were down by 35 points in the fourth quarter, pulled to within three touchdowns by the end of the game. Hildreth said the team would need to watch game film to see what adjustments need to be made.
Like the Warriors (5-1, 3-0), much of Proviso East's offense came on the ground. Marcellous Brinkley scored three of the Pirates' touchdowns and ran for well more than 100 yards. After scoring his second touchdown, Hildreth was forced to put the starters back in the game to ice the victory.
Both Hildreth and Barnes said the team would be quick to move past Friday's homecoming victory and will focus quickly on next week's matchup with Downers Grove South.
"We go 12-hour rule, not even 24 hours," Hildreth said. "We will be back here (Saturday) morning and watch this film and then we will move on to Downers South."