Daily Herald's 2016 Season Coverage
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Willowbrook’s Freddie Clay (2) and Willowbrook’s Chris Diaz (21) celebrate a TD during the Glenbrook North at Willowbrook football, second-round playoff game Saturday.
Paul Michna | Staff
Willowbrook not done yet
Updated Nov 5, 2016 9:05 PM
Willowbrook could not have dreamed up a better start to Saturday’s Class 7A football second-round game.The Warriors played a nearly perfect first quarter and rolled past visiting Glenbrook North 49-21 in Villa Park and advance to the quarterfinals. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Willowbrook coach Nick Hildreth said. “We’ll take a little time, let it sink in. It’s a little hard to enjoy in the moment because we’re waiting to see what happens with East St. Louis and Glenbard North.”The No. 23-seeded Warriors (8-3) will continue the program’s best season since 1990 when they host No. 2 East St. Louis (11-0) at 2 p.m. next Saturday in the quarterfinals.“It’s a feeling that 26 classes before us haven’t felt, and it’s amazing,” said right tackle and co-captain Luke Halloran. “It’s something we worked for all year.”Willowbrook hit No. 7 Glenbrook North (9-2) hard from the start, figuratively and literally. The Warriors scored on their first five possessions, tearing through the Spartans’ defense with ease.“Every time we scored we got back to the sideline and we were just like, Oh, they can’t stop us. They can’t stop us,” said Halloran, confirming Saturday’s game as the best the Warriors have played this season. “And we just kept going. Never stopped, never quit.”“There’s a lot of times where as a coach you can’t sleep (after a game) because of scheme or calls or things like that,” Spartans coach Bob Pieper said. “This was just they were more physical than us. We didn’t tackle well. Too many three-and-outs on offense. It was kind of the perfect storm in a bad way.”The Warriors totaled 576 yards of offense even though they earned a running clock with 5:53 left in the third quarter when Chris Diaz ran for his second touchdown of the day for a 49-7 lead.“They knew what we were going to do, we knew what they were going to do and they executed better than us,” Pieper said. “They deserve all the credit. We’re not as bad as we played, they’re probably not as good as they played.” The Warriors were very good. Jack Jessen ran for 221 yards and 3 TDs on 28 carries. Diaz totaled 129 yards on 12 carries. “I would just block and turn around and (the running backs) would be 20 yards downfield,” Halloran said. Quarterback M.J. Ranieri completed 9 of 11 passes for 171 yards. Khalif Copeland intercepted two passes and Scott Tumilty picked off another.“They were more physical than us, and that’s really hard for a coach to say,” Pieper said.Follow Orrin on Twitter @Orrin_Schwarz
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