Glenbard South knew it had an improved football team. The Raiders were hoping Prairie Ridge hadn't kept pace since their Week 1 meeting.
No such luck.
Prairie Ridge eliminated Glenbard South from the Class 6A playoffs with a 55-7 second-round victory Saturday night in Glen Ellyn.
"They didn't really do anything new," Raiders senior Wesley Sanders said of the bigger Wolves. "They just pounded the ball. They didn't change anything. They just did what they do. They outsized us."
"We've improved quite a bit," Wolves coach Chris Schremp said. "It's amazing. You look back at the first game, and our kids actually said, Wow, look how slow we're running our offense. That showed me a lot, that our kids really wanted to come out and get better."
Prairie Ridge (10-1) which defeated the Raiders 55-12 in the season opener scored on its first possession, but Glenbard South (7-4) roared back to tie the game 7-7 on a Zach Smith 2-yard touchdown run, capping off a drive that started with a 68-yard Smith scamper.
"They've got some good athletes, obviously," Schremp said. "We just had to control them, especially Sanders. We couldn't give him too much room because he'll score."
"They chewed some clock on that first series, they scored, but we responded," Raiders coach Jeremy Cordell said. "We felt real good. We expected that. We didn't expect 55-7. We thought it was going to be a lot tighter ballgame than it was. But they've got some hosses. There were just times where we schemed it up the right way and just couldn't make plays, couldn't get them blocked. They're just bigger and stronger. There's not much you can do when that happens."
The Wolves led 21-7 by the end of the first quarter, 42-7 at halftime. On their first play from scrimmage in the second half, quarterback Nick Nissen hit Sean Valentine with a 40-yard touchdown pass, and the running clock was set in motion.
"We made great strides this year as a program," Cordell said. "We played our best football at the end of the year. We just ran into a buzzsaw here at the end."