The Bartlett football team may have come up a win or two short of the playoffs this season, but one thing the Hawks were never short on was effort.
That was especially the case for the seniors. Their hard work paid off on Friday night and they will at least go out on a winning note after a 34-28 victory over visiting Glenbard East at Millennium Field in Upstate Eight Valley Division action.
Senior running back Vanshon Lindsey certainly saved his best game for last, rushing for a career high 243 yards on 29 carries and 3 touchdowns.
"Our seniors have worked hard since the very first day of practice in the summer," Bartlett coach Eric IIich said. "They have shown great character and handled themselves with class. They grasped the concept that they are part of something bigger than themselves. I couldn't be prouder of them. They deserved to go out as winners."
Lindsey had a touchdown run of 58 yards in the first half and added scores on 6 and 3 yard runs in the second half.
"I am going to remember this game forever," Lindsey said. "It's tough to be leaving. I want to come back. I love this game. But it feels great to go out like this. I certainly wasn't alone out there. I got some great blocking from my line."
The game was tied at 14-14 at halftime before the Hawks took advantage of the Rams' second turnover of the night to take the lead for good in the third quarter. Cameron Montbriand recovered a fumble at the Glenbard East 27-yard line and 8 plays later quarterback Joeseph Daum found Chris Sanft in the end zone on a 7-yard touchdown pass to put the Hawks up 21-14.
Bartlett (4-5, 3-2) extended the lead to 28-14 early in the fourth again taking advantage of great starting field position at the Glenbard East 34. Lindsey finished the short drive with a 6-yard run.
After the Rams (2-7, 2-3) pulled to within 28-21, Lindsey added another score with a 3-yard run that followed a long 48-yard run down the near sideline to extend the Hawks' lead to 34-31. Bartlett then held off a late Glenbard East rally to hold on for the win.
"(Lindsey) just runs hard all the time," IIich said. "He just got tougher and tougher as the weeks went on. We are sure going to miss him. What he was able to do tonight was also a testament of our guys up front. We have four seniors on the line, Erik Cook, David Schneider, Nick Dawson, and Nic Kirstein, who have really done a great job for us."
Glenbard East was led by sophomore quarterback Bret Bushka who completed 19-of-31 passes for 197 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also ran for the Rams' other score.
"We played our hearts out again tonight like we have all season," East coach John Walters said. "That's all you can ask for. We were able to generate some offense these last couple weeks with 9 touchdowns in our last 2 games and we started 15 underclassmen, so that's a lot to build on for next season."