Glenbard West remains focused
After running through the gauntlet of three consecutive undefeated opponents, Glenbard West's matchup with Proviso West on Saturday might have been a prime opportunity for a letdown.
But the Hilltoppers didn't skip a beat, jumping out to an early lead and utilizing their entire roster in a 42-0 blitz.
"We really wanted to get all of our players in the game; the first string, the second string and the third string," said senior linebacker Ross Andreasik, who had 2 of Glenbard West's 4 interceptions. "Everyone did a great job. It didn't seem like a big game, but it was for the seniors. We wanted to stay undefeated in conference and this was the last (West Suburban Silver) football game of our lives."
Indeed, with the win the Hilltoppers captured their seventh outright Silver title over the past eight years and extended their league winning streak to 30 games.
"That's awesome," Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said. "It's a credit to these kids who keep coming up and carrying the tradition on. It's a great conference, one of the best conferences in the state."
Sam Brodner put the home team on the scoreboard four minutes into the contest with a 3-yard run and later found the end zone on a 43-yard pass from Brian Cochrane. Sandwiched in between those scores was an unlikely touchdown; offensive lineman Darien Kaufmann lined up in the backfield and took a handoff 13 yards to paydirt.
"Darien works his tail off and I told him that if he did a really good job against Oak Park, that we'd get him in the backfield this week," Hetlet said. "That was fun."
The 260-pounder said he last carried the ball as a freshman, but it only went for 2 yards.
"It's such a different perspective," Kaufmann said. "But I saw a hole, made a cut and was off to the races. I was really shocked when I scored."
A 25-yard TD pass from Cochrane to Isaiah Skinner made the score 28-0 at halftime.
Cochrane, who finished 9 of 13 for 168 yards, connected with Chrystian Maciorowski for a 27-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter. Alex Pihistrom's 3-yard catch from Cole Brady rounded out the scoring in the fourth. Defensively, Kobe Easley and Mark Mattson also had interceptions.
"Our sophomore year we went 5-4," Kaufmann said, "so it is great being undefeated (in conference) as seniors, especially getting wins over teams we lost to then."
Glenbard West ends the regular season with a road matchup against Addison Trail.
"They will be fighting hard," Hetlet said. "They are always tough and well-coached. We have to bring it on the road."