Three touchdowns in less than one minute sealed Glenbard West's perfect regular season.
The Hilltoppers celebrated the return of quarterback Justice Odom and an undefeated regular season with a 49-7 romp of West Suburban Silver foe and host Downers Grove South on Friday evening.
"I've never seen anything like that before," Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said. "It looked like the exact same play. We have an opportunistic defense and there are guys always around the ball. When you get around the ball, good things will happen."
The three scores in 60 seconds happened in the third quarter after the Hilltoppers had already built a 21-0 lead. Following a 4-yard touchdown run by running back Joe Zito, which bumped the score to 28-0, the Hilltoppers defense capitalized on a Trojans fumble on the first play from scrimmage. Linebacker Joe Marconi scooped up the loose ball and scampered 20 yards for the touchdown.
Between the scoring plays, only eight seconds had lapsed. But the Hilltoppers defense wasn't done. On the second play of the next Trojans drive, junior Ruben Dunbar one-handed the forced fumble and rumbled 25 yards for the third score in just 53 seconds.
"The ball was there and I just made a play on it," Dunbar said. "It feels good knowing that we can score out there, too." "That put the game away for us," Hetlet said.
Interestingly, the Hilltoppers (9-0, 6-0) forced a third consecutive fumble on the first play of the next Downers Grove North drive, but alas, could not come up with the score.
Running back Kendall Johnson notched a 20-yard touchdown and running back Will Brewer uncorked a 42-yard touchdown run to up the score to 49-0. The Trojans (2-7, 1-5) only score came on a 97-yard kickoff return late in the fourth quarter. Odom's return to his first game since suffering a knee injury 3 weeks ago was also a boost for the Hilltoppers.
"I felt comfortable and it was great to get back into the swing of things," Odom said. "Justice did a fine job tonight running the offense and making adjustments at the line of scrimmage," Hetlet said.
With Odom back, the defense rolling, and an undefeated regular season, Glenbard West is ready for their playoff opener next week.
"We're going to take it week by week, and not get too excited and look too far down the road. " Odom said. "This got us pumped up for next week," Dunbar said. "We have to make it to state."