Glenbard West wins to set up Mt. Carmel matchup

  • Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.com ¬ Sam Brodner of Glenbard West football.

    Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.com ¬ Sam Brodner of Glenbard West football.

 
 
Updated 10/31/2015 6:44 PM

Perhaps having to play a state playoff game a few miles down the road at an alternate home field is a good omen for Glenbard West's football team.

Senior tailback Sam Brodner scored a personal-high 6 touchdowns and rushed for 166 yards on 16 carries. He lifted the top-seeded Hilltoppers (10-0) to a 49-10 victory over Moline (5-5) during Saturday's waterlogged Class 7A first-round postseason clash in Glen Ellyn.

 

Originally scheduled to be played on natural grass at Duchon Field, the game was moved earlier in the week to Glenbard South's turf field due to a rainy forecast.

Three years ago, Glenbard West defeated Lake Zurich in a state semifinal clash at Glenbard South on its way to capturing the Class 7A championship.

Against Moline the Hilltoppers began the game in impressive fashion, using a short field to grab a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Special teams also contributed in a big way. Adam Zybko blocked a punt to help set up the Hilltoppers' first touchdown -- a 2-yard run by Brodner just two minutes into the game.

After forcing a three-and-out series on Moline's next possession, Glenbard West marched 45 yards in 6 plays, capped by Brodner's 11-yard TD run to make it 14-0.

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"The defense helped us out and our special teams were getting punt blocks left and right to give us that good field position," Brodner said.

Moline also capitalized on special teams, scoring a safety when the Hilltoppers' punter stepped on the end line to cut the deficit to 14-2.

"The punting game was bad on both ends," said Hilltoppers coach Chad Hetlet. "You just have to overcome those types of things in this type of weather."

The 5-11, 215-pound Brodner certainly had no problems with the slick footing.

The Vanderbilt-bound recruit scored 3 touchdowns and added a 2-point conversion within a span of 4:12 in the second quarter to help provide his team a commanding 35-2 halftime advantage.

That included an electrifying 60-yard TD jaunt and a highlight-reel 37-yard TD run where he took a pitch from quarterback Brian Cochrane to the right and cut back left all the way across the field into the far left corner of the end zone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"He's a special player," Hetlet said of Brodner. "He has good vision and he ran the ball hard. The offensive line obviously gave him some gaping holes, but yeah, he's a special player out in the open field."

After scoring his sixth touchdown on a 27-yard run with 10:48 left in the third quarter, the Hilltoppers stretched their lead to 42-2 -- and kicked off a running clock for the rest of the afternoon while Brodner received a well-deserved rest.

"They did the most to make it look like our field," Brodner said of playing the game at Glenbard South. "There wasn't a lake or a hill, but they're getting closer and closer to getting it."

George Mugnani closed out the Hilltoppers' scoring on his 5-yard TD run with 11:50 remaining.

Held to just 23 total yards in the first half and 1 first down through three quarters, the Maroons finally broke through on a 16-yard TD pass from Noah Mosher to Mike Hanley with 3:48 left.

Glenbard West now prepares for a first-time meeting with perennial state power Mt. Carmel in second-round action next weekend. The Hilltoppers will host, hopefully back at Duchon Field.

"It'll be an interesting matchup," Hetlet said.

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