If there was any doubt going into Friday about which is the dominant football team in the West Suburban Silver, Glenbard West ended the evening by leaving none.
The Hilltoppers drilled host Lyons Township 35-3 by rolling up 541 total yards, 468 of which came on the ground thanks to the efforts of junior back Tyquan Cox (223 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns) and senior Dre Thomas (121 yards on 19 carries and one score). Senior Ryan Diver chipped in 28 yards on 7 rushes.
Throw in a 65-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run on a reverse by senior Alec Pierce, a 17-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter, and an interception on defense, and it added up to a lopsided final score.
Defensively, the Hitters held Lyons senior quarterback Ben Bryant, a Cincinnati recruit, to 107 yards on 12-for-22 passing. The defensive line, anchored by junior Marky Winters and senior Aidan O'Keefe, limited the Lions to just 37 yards rushing and sacked Bryant three times.
It might have even looked like the perfect performance from an outsider's point of view, but for West coach Chad Hetlet? Well …
"We had a ton of penalties, so absolutely we could have played better," Hetlet said with a straight face, before relenting just a little.
"Our kids are starting to get better and better every week," he said. "We've found the right pieces of the puzzle on defense, and it's three of the best running backs you're going to see. The offensive line was dominant.
"I couldn't be more proud of our kids than I am now."
It didn't look so good early for West. Down 3-0, Glenbard West senior quarterback Alex Hollensbe got picked off on the Hitters' first possession. Lyons got all the way to the West 24 on its ensuing possession before that drive stalled after a failed fourth-and-3.
On the very next play, Cox took a handoff up the middle, cut left into the secondary and was off to the races, a 76-yard touchdown run. He added a 15-yard scoring run in the third quarter.
And then there was Pierce, who did just about everything on both sides of the ball. He finished a 15-play, 96-yard second-quarter drive with a 17-yard touchdown catch. That drive ate up 6:10 and gave West a 14-3 halftime lead.
He wasn't done. Lyons once again got to the West 24 before Pierce killed that drive by intercepting Bryant.
That gave Glenbard West the ball with 4:33 left in the third, and Hollensbe went to work, driving his team from its 5 to its 35 early in the fourth. Then came the razzle-dazzle, as Pierce took a reverse handoff, cut to the West sideline and outraced a defender to the end zone.
"I think we just kind of rose up," Pierce said. "That's our motto, rise up. We rose up to the occasion."