Weather can't stop Glenbard West's fun
Friday's football game at Downers Grove North marked a couple of firsts for Glenbard West.
It was the Hilltoppers' first road game of the season.
"We've been at home three straight weeks playing on kind of a sloppy field," Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said.
After playing on the sod of Duchon Field, It was Hilltoppers' first game on turf.
"This is a treat for us, even playing on wet turf," Glenbard West running back Sam Brodner said. "We're excited to play on it during the weeks to come and see how fast we are on turf."
And for the first time, Brodner returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
"They usually kicked the ball to Isaiah (Skinner) and he returns them and scores," Brodner said. "It's nice to finally get the first one."
Brodner scored on runs of 16, 36, 5 and 8 yards and returned the second-half kickoff 78 yards as Glenbard West (4-0, 2-0) overcame Downers North, a 45-minute lightning delay and a steady second-half downpour to defeat the Trojans 41-0 in the West Suburban Silver.
Downers North (2-2, 0-2) took the opening kickoff and promptly fumbled on its first play from scrimmage.
"They're too good a football team to do that," Downers North coach John Wander said. "We really have to look at ourselves for not being able to tackle that young man (Brodner) and we got our butts kicked."
Two plays later and just 40 seconds into the game, Brodner scored from the 16-yard line.
"We haven't started fast all season," Hetlet said. "That's something we talked about this week. The defense did a good job and the offense followed up by putting the ball in the end zone quick."
The Trojans' next possession resulted in a 15-play, 43-yard drive that ate nearly 7:30 off the clock before stalling at the Glenbard West 37.
"We wanted to keep the ball away from them," Wander said. "That was our plan, but we couldn't finish when we needed to."
Glenbard West needed just three plays, including a 52-yard pass from Brian Cochrane to Skinner, to extend the lead to 14-0 on a Brodner's 36-yard gallop.
Six minutes later, the game was delayed by lightning with Glenbard West driving at the Downers North 10-yard line. When play resumed, Brodner finished the drive from 5 yards out.
The Vanderbilt recruit added an 8-yard TD run before the half and Skinner capped the scoring with an 8-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter.
"This was a great experience," Hetlet said. "You play in the rain and it's a great opportunity for us to be able to hold on to the ball and focus and all those kinds of things. All in all, a good night. I'm proud of the way we started and things are starting to come together for us."