Opposing teams take note: Don't try to run any screen plays up the middle against Glenbard West because standout defensive lineman Tommy Schutt is lurking.
Schutt came up with the first interception of the career late in Friday's West Suburban Silver showdown against Lyons Twp.
While the Penn State-bound senior didn't score on the pick, that athletic move to snare the quick pass was certainly one of the highlights of a dominating performance by the Hilltoppers, who cruised to a 31-3 rout of the host Lions in Western Springs. This win was especially sweet because it avenged a loss to Lyons Twp. from last year, one of only two losses Glenbard West suffered all season.
"This is one coach (Glenbard West coach Chad) Hetlet had circled for a long time," Schutt said of the 31-13 defeat in 2010. "One that he really asked us to do for him after last year, and I thought we came out and played well."
On his interception Schutt said: "A score would be nice with it, but I will take the interception. I got a couple of screen reads tonight. That was one where I really sniffed it out good and got a good look at (the Lions quarterback's) eyes and I read it from here."
The Hilltoppers (3-0, 1-0) defense dominated, holding the Lions (1-2, 0-1) to a mere 32 rushing yards. They neutralized running back Jaime Jones who had 160 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win last year. Jones had only 12 yards on 5 carries Friday. They also kept crafty Lions wide receiver Matthew Harris from getting any big gains on short passing plays.
Let's not forget the offense either led by a stellar game by running back Avery Balogh. The senior rushed for 193 yards on 11 carries. Three of those carries went for touchdowns runs of 41, 39 and 50 yards. His first two scores came in the first quarter as Glenbard West surged to a 14-0 lead.
"Offensively, we moved the ball real well," Hetlet said. "Avery is playing unreal. I am really proud of the way he is playing. He is tough and he is not going down with one guy taking him down."
Joe Zito also scored on 14-yard run up the middle in the fourth quarter as the team piled up 363 yards on the ground. Give the offensive line of JP MacRitchie, Nick Garland, Alex Gorski, Jake Brodner and Johnny Caspers lots of credit.
"Without the offensive line I would have none of my success," Balogh said.
"It's no mystery to what they do," said Lyons Twp. coach Kurt Weinberg of the Hilltoppers running game. "They run the ball down your throat. They are a great football team."
Hetlet was also impressed with his kicking game. In addition to making the extra point attempts, kicker Dan Cavazos nailed a 37-yard field goal, put kickoffs in the end zone for touchbacks and got good hang time on his punts, forcing Harris to call for fair catches.
The lone Lions score was a 22-yard field goal by Luke Nelson late in the second quarter.