Glenbard West used a fast start to put a quick end to Schaumburg's fine season on Saturday afternoon.
The Hilltoppers scored on the first play from scrimmage and the first three times they had the ball as Glenbard West rolled past the Saxons 42-21 in the quarterfinals of the Class 7A playoffs in Schaumburg.
After two consecutive road games, Glenbard West (11-1), the defending state champion in 7A, will host the winner of Saturday night's Wheaton North/Lake Zurich game in the semifinals next weekend.
"When you can get that lead early, it is a big deal," said Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet, whose team ran only 14 plays in the first half and scored on 3 of them. "We can be explosive, too."
On their first play from scrimmage, Glenbard West showed some of that explosiveness.
After a play-action fake to Scott Andrews, Hilltopper quarterback Drew Vogg threw a percet strike to a streaking Jermon Kindle Joyner for a 48-yard touchdown.
"We wanted to start off fast," Joyner said. "We thought we could get them deep on the first play. It was amazing."
On their next possession, Devonte Toney, who finished with 99 yards on 14 carries, had a 25-yard burst for a touchdown and the Hilltoppers led 14-0 with 5:00 left in the first half.
Schaumburg (10-2), which was stymied on its first two possessions, went to work from there.
The Saxons put together their best drive of the season, going 80 yards in 22 plays, using up exactly nine minutes. Even more impressive was that the Saxons faced a fourth down situation on four occasions and converted on each of them. The last one turned into a Justice-Macneal-Young 13-yard touchdown run to close to 14-7.
"It was a little lift that we really needed," Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling said. "They scored on their first two drives and got us on our heels. Then they came out in their Wildcat stuff."
Running out of that Wildcat formation, with Scotty Andrews taking a direct snap, Glenbard West moved right down the field. Andrews busted off a 23-yard run to make it 21-7.
"We ran the ball really well again today," said Andrews, who finished with 172 yards on 21 carries. "We have three different styles of running backs, and teams don't know what to do with us."
Glenbard West used that momentum heading into the second half. With Joe Leland, Ted Clauss, Will Demos, Jack Kane, Eric Shute and Connor Schrauth Blocking up front, Glenbard West rushed for 350 yards and had 404 yards of total offense.
"The O-line did a a great job," Hetlet said. "We controlled the clock and kept (Schaumburg quarterback) Stacey Smith on the sidelines. They got off the ball quick and we played a physical style of football."
Glenbard West had 3 long scoring drives in the second half, running on each of the 34 plays.
Glenbard West opened the second half with a 13-play 72-yard drive capped by Andrews' 3-yard run to make it 28-7.
Two plays later, Smith, who had 70 yards rushing to that point on 16 carries, doubled his total on one play. After faking a handoff, Smith broke a tackle and then ran to his left, scampering past the Glenbard West defenders for a 71-yard touchdown that made it 28-14 with 6:49 left in the third quarter.
The Hilltoppers defense led by Hayden Carlson, Jordan Hassan, Dan Rustemeyer, Nate Orrison, Brugh, Ben Marcus, Declan Ryan and Dillon Bong was mostly able to keep Smith contained. But The MSL West offensive player of the year still found ways to break free, finishing with 193 yards on 19 carries.
"I was trying on every down," said Smith, who finished with 1,963 rushing yards for the season. "I told my team I would fight for them until it was over. We tried to do what we could, but they stopped us."
Carlson said that stopping Smith was the main focus for the defense.
"Stacey is a special player," Carlson said. "We knew if we could contain him, we would have a shot at winning. A couple plays got away from us, but overall we slowed him up enough to get a victory."
"Every time he touches the ball you have to hold your breath," Hetlet said. "He is probably the most electrifying kid in the state."
Hetlet's team just played keep-away from Smith and the Saxons as Glenbard West put together two long scoring drives, eating up the clock. Toney ended one drive with a 3-yard touchdown run and Kindle Joyner scored on a 7-yard run to end another drive to make it 42-14.
Smith and Schaumburg put together one last drive. Smith had a 28-yard run and a 37-yard pass to Ricky Loureiro before MacNeal-Smith scored on a 1-yard run to close out the scoring.
"They are an excellent team and they got us on our heels early," Stilling said. "I am extremely proud of our kids and what they accomplished this year. It was an outstanding group of seniors and I couldn't be prouder of them."