Glenbard South handles St. Francis
Glenbard South's football team insists on taking the season one week -- one win -- at a time.
Ten weeks later the Raiders find themselves with the most wins in program history.
Glenbard South stayed unbeaten with a 47-28 victory over St. Francis in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs Saturday in Glen Ellyn.
The third-seeded Raiders, 10-game winners for the first time, face No. 6 Lincoln-Way West (9-1), a 48-8 winner over Urban Prep-Bronzeville, in a second-round game also scheduled to take place in Glen Ellyn.
While jumping out to a 21-0 second-quarter lead, Glenbard South held the Spartans (5-5) -- playing without injured standout running back James Butler -- without a first down until late in the second quarter.
Even though St. Francis narrowed the halftime gap to 21-7 on Zach Prociuk's 22-yard touchdown pass to Nate Zito, it didn't take long for the Raiders to seize command in the third quarter. Alex Jeske, who completed 18 of 23 passes for 292 yards and 4 touchdowns, first found Tyler Scott for a 76-yard touchdown. On the Spartans' next possession, Jack Curtis snared the first of his 3 interceptions and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown.
Less than three minutes into the second half Glenbard South saw its lead soar to 34-7.
"We ran into some tough times in the second half but we knew they were a good team," Curtis said. "We knew they could come back so we kept putting the pedal to the metal."
Despite missing Butler and running back Steven Fassnacht, who suffered a second-quarter ankle injury, St. Francis still managed to put together three scoring drives. Curtis thwarted another red-zone attempt with an interception just outside the end zone.
Spartans quarterback Zach Prociuk completed 11 of 25 passes for 129 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tom Gitchell closed the scoring with a 34-yard run.
"They shut us down early and that really hurt us," said St. Francis coach Greg Purnell, "but we didn't play very good defense either."
Zach Smith scored the first 3 touchdowns for the Raiders, including a 2-yard run to start the scoring. Connor Willis returned an onside kick 52 yards for a touchdown, increasing Glenbard South's lead to 47-21 midway through the fourth quarter.
"It's real important to get off to a good start and from there the momentum just keeps building," Jeske said. "We always want to get off to a fast start and finish from there."
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