The momentum swung Glenbard West's way to start the second half Friday night at Addison Trail. Tyquan Cox made sure of it.
The Hilltoppers junior took the second-half kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to give Glenbard West the lead for good. The Hilltoppers then pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 35-10 West Suburban Conference crossover football win.
"That was huge," Hilltoppers senior defensive lineman Aidan O'Keefe said. "When you have TQ back there, you know you're going to take one back eventually."
The teams went to halftime tied at 7-7, but Addison Trail was looking good, having dominated time of possession while keeping the Hilltoppers to 3 first-half first downs and picking up 10 of its own.
"Going to halftime 7-7 and come out in the second half and give away the opening kickoff, in these types of games, you can't do that," Blazers coach Paul Parpet Jr. said. "The whole momentum of the game just totally switched. We weren't able to battle out of it. We tried. We had a couple of drives there. We kicked a field goal. But we just didn't finish."
The Blazers (2-1) narrowed their deficit to 14-10 on Jacob Grygo's 27-yard field goal in the third quarter, but it was all Glenbard West (2-1) from there.
Running back Dre Thomas gave the Hilltoppers a little breathing room with a 7-yard touchdown run to make the score 21-10 two plays into the fourth quarter. Ryan Diver, doing double duty on offense and defense, somehow found the legs for TD runs of 24 and 64 yards to put the game out of reach.
"We played a heck of a football game for three quarters," Parpet said. "And then we lost our composure, lost our toughness. We lost just everything in that fourth quarter."
The Glenbard West win overshadowed 206 yards rushing on 31 carries by Blazers running back Nick D'Ambrose.
"He was tough. He could hit hard. He ran hard," said O'Keefe, who also played a little offense.
It was an important victory for the Hilltoppers, who were missing six starters due to injury.
"They're undefeated and a really good squad," Hilltoppers coach Chad Hetlet said of the Blazers. "And we're banged up, really banged up. ... We had three sophomores on defense and four juniors, and I thought they played extremely well. I couldn't be more proud of how the defense played."