Maine South will do this to a lot of football teams, but that was little consolation to Glenbard West on Saturday.
A brilliant offensive effort powered the visiting Hawks to a 62-34 victory over Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn in a showdown between the defending Class 8A champions and a semifinalist from last year.
Maine South, led by quarterback John O'Sullivan's 13-of-13 passing effort for 169 yards, scored on every offensive possession except when it took a knee to end the first half and when the clock ran out to end the game. As if seven offensive touchdowns weren't enough, the Hawks added a defensive score on a 78-yard interception return by Rory Hayes.
"Yeah, I need to throw the ball more," O'Sullivan joked after his first varsity start. "It was easy. We just did what we were coached to do."
Even though Glenbard West couldn't stop the Hawks, the Hilltoppers had some hope going into halftime when Alex Hollensbe threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Sam Fenske and the 2-point conversion narrowed the gap to 42-22. Glenbard West got the ball to start the second half, but Maine South forced a three-and-out and scored seven plays later.
Hawks running back Fotis Kokosioulis rushed for 166 yards and 4 touchdowns. Maine South converted all six of its third-down attempts and one on fourth down.
"Their running back is really special," said Hilltoppers coach Chad Hetlet. "They execute extremely well and they're extremely disciplined. When you don't make a stop on defense, you're never going to win games."
Glenbard West's offense did its best to keep up the pace, but two turnovers and three defensive stops were enough to keep the margin comfortably wide for Maine South.
Hollensbe completed 11 of 19 passes for 194 yards, including 4 catches for 103 yards by Alec Pierce. The ground game churned for 227 yards as Ryan Diver, Dre Thomas and Tyquan Cox spread the wealth.
"The most important thing to take from it is it's a long year," Diver said. "Hat's off to them. That's a great football team. But you can't really let it define the rest of your year. The whole 'Hitter' mentality is all about bouncing back from adversity, so I'm sure the guys will stick with it."
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