Glenbard West football coach Chad Hetlet has a standard figure in mind for every running play his team runs.
"Coach says '5 yards a pop,' " senior running back Scott Andrews said. "And with the way our O-line blocked for all of us backs, we were able to do that."
Actually, the Hilltoppers ended up exceeding Hetlet's yards-per-rush goal. Glenbard West averaged just over 8 yards on its 53 rushing plays Saturday in rolling past Conant 34-7 in the second round of the Class 7A playoffs.
Glenbard West (10-1) will play another Mid-Suburban West foe next Saturday as Schaumburg will host their quarterfinal matchup. The Saxons advanced by beating St. Patrick 42-24 Saturday afternoon at Hanson Stadium in Chicago.
With the trio of Andrews, Devonte Tony and Jermon Kindle Joyner combining for 5 touchdowns, the Hilltoppers dominated play.
"I thought our offensive line played physical," Hetlet said. "We have some special running backs as well. We just played solid football today."
With the blocking up front by Joe Leland, Ted Clauss, Will Demos, Jack Kane, Eric Shute and Connor Schrauth, the Hilltoppers piled up 281 yards on the ground in the first half and 435 for the game.
Glenbard West (10-1) established that ground attack on the first series of the game. The Hilltoppers went 74 yards on 9 plays with Jermon Kindle Joyner scoring on a 33-yard burst to make it 7-0.
On their next possession, the Hilltoppers put together a 73-yard scoring drive that was highlighted by two big plays. Drew Vogg completed a 13-yard pass to Luke Damask to convert on a key third-and-6 play. Then Toney ran 41 yards on a trap play to the Conant 9, and Andrews (24 carries, 147 yards) scored to make it 14-0.
Conant (7-4) threatened to get back in the game following a blocked punt by Chris Shintaku at the Glenbard West 30. 0n the next play, Cougars quarterback Danny Modelski connected with Bryson Brown for an apparent touchdown. But the officials called Conant for holding to end that scoring opportunity.
Glenbard West tallied again late in the first half. Toney bullied his way in from the 11-yard line to make it 21-0 with 2:44 left.
Conant again had a chance to pick up a score, but Glenbard West's Griffin Brugge intercepted a pass in the end zone just before the end of the half.
Glenbard West's defense stymied Conant all afternoon. Led by Jordan Hassan, Dan Rustemeyer, Nate Orrison, Brugh, Ben Marcus, Declan Ryan and Dillon Bong, the Hilltoppers forced 3 turnovers, had 4 sacks and hurried Modelski the whole game.
"They did a great job of giving us different looks," Danny Modelski said. "I had a hard time picking their coverages at times."
Hassan said that was the plan from the start.
"That was a big emphasis this week," said Hassan, who had 2 sacks. "We wanted to move around slot and give them lots of different looks and disguise our coverages well."
Hetlet thought his defense made big plays when needed.
"This is one of the best passing teams we faced all year," Hetlet said. "But I thought our guys did a great job executing our game plan."
That type of defensive play set up Glenbard West's next score. Hassan had one of his sacks and Bong recovered a fumble at the Conant 19. Two plays later, Andrews scored on a 12-yard run to make it 27-0.
Glenbard West added another rushing touchdown when Toney (16 carries, 177 yards) scored on 20-yard run to make it 34-0.
Conant, which got a big game from Mike Kos (7 receptions, 74 yards) finally broke through with less than three minutes to play. Modelski (17-of-40 passing, 160 yards) connected with Dante Marski on an 11-yard touchdown pass.
"They are a a very good team," Conant coach Bill Modelski said. "There were certain things that needed to happen. We needed to win the turnover battle and we needed to convert when we had opportunities.
"I am proud of our kids. This is the second year in a row we have gone this far. We need to find a way to push on further."