Even on the hottest day of the football season, it's tough for Glenbard West not to be Glenbard West on a Saturday afternoon at Glen Ellyn's Duchon Field.
The Hilltoppers won their third straight game, and their second by a running clock during that stretch, with a 53-3 West Suburban Silver victory over visiting York.
As they near their most difficult stretch of the season, the Hilltoppers (3-1, 1-0) appear to be hitting their stride.
"The weather can never bother us," said Hilltoppers defensive lineman Aidan O'Keefe. "It's just another facet of the game you've got to overcome. We knew if we kept going 100 miles an hour, kept punching throughout the game, they'd slow down. As long as we kept our foot on the gas, then we'd come out on top for sure."
Glenbard West took a 27-3 lead to halftime, but the lead exploded quickly in the opening minutes of the third quarter when the Hilltoppers recovered fumbled returns by the Dukes (0-4, 0-2) on back-to-back kickoffs. Dre Thomas converted on both turnovers, scoring on runs of 10 and 1 yard.
When the Hilltoppers converted on 2-point conversions on both touchdowns, the running clock went into effect for the game's final 20 minutes.
"One we get ahold of them, we just keep pushing and we keep going nonstop," said Thomas, who had 82 yards and 3 scores on 14 carries. "We kept attacking them the whole game."
Glenbard West's Tyquan Cox, who rushed for 120 yards on 7 carries, scored on a 45-yard run on the game's fourth play from scrimmage, but York settled in for a while after that. Dukes kicker John Sopko narrowed the gap to 6-3 with a 36-yard field goal near the end of the first quarter.
The Dukes forced punts on two straight Glenbard West possessions, but then the Hilltoppers pulled away with 3 touchdowns to close the half.
"Obviously, we didn't move the ball well and we didn't play defense well," said Dukes coach Matt Monken. "We stalled on a couple drives and they kind of took over."
Alec Pierce was a huge factor in the Hilltoppers expanding the lead. He caught touchdown passes of 28 and 36 yards from quarterback Alex Hollensbe, and then set up Thomas' first touchdown run with an interception on defense.
Glenbard West outgained York 438-122 in total yardage. Dukes running back KeVon Robinson led his team with 10 carries for 46 yards.
"We just started doing our thing, running the ball hard and play-action passing," Pierce said. "That really set up our big scoring chances."
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