More than 600 yards later -- including 312 on the ground by junior running back Ryan Diver -- it's safe to say Glenbard West's football team got back on track on Saturday.
The Hilltoppers were relentless on offense and broke a two-game losing streak with a 56-39 West Suburban Silver victory over previously unbeaten Oak Park-River Forest at Glen Ellyn's Duchon Field.
Diver, who scored 3 touchdowns, was unstoppable as he piled up the bulk of Glenbard West's 444 rushing yards. With quarterback Cole Brady adding 187 passing yards and 4 touchdowns, there was little the Hilltoppers (5-2, 3-2) couldn't do against Oak Park's defense.
"We've got to have 11 guys being playmakers every play," Diver said. "Today it showed. All 11 guys on the field made plays."
Glenbard West never trailed after opening the game with Dionte Moorehead's 2-yard touchdown run and Brady's 24-yard scoring pass to Ben Reifel, whose 2 catches both went for touchdowns.
Three times Oak Park (6-1, 3-1) came within a score of the Hilltoppers behind quarterback Jeremy Hunt, who threw for 281 yards and rushed for 55. The Huskies, though, just couldn't stop Diver and Glenbard West's staggering offense.
"We really amped it up at practice this week and I think it showed," said Glenbard West's Will Farley, who enjoyed a dominant game with fellow offensive linemen John McDonnell, Riley Pieper, Sam Fenske and Connor Skryd. "After every play we were pushing the ball forward. We were pushing the pile."
Glenbard West emerges battered but strong from a three-game stretch of grueling Silver games against Lyons Twp. (6-1, 3-1), Hinsdale Central (7-0, 5-0) and the Huskies. The Hilltoppers are still trying to overcome injuries to running back D.J. Ficarella and linebacker Eric Samuta.
Alex Pihlstrom caught 2 touchdown passes and Dre Thomas rushed for 86 yards for Glenbard West while Alec Bong and Jack Campanella snared interceptions on defense.
"These guys are fighting through so many injuries this team has, and the next guy comes up and answers it," said Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet. "I'm proud of how everyone played."
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