Glenbard East gets the start it wanted
It was all a coach could ask for.
Glenbard East topped Upstate Eight Conference foe Elgin 47-6 on Friday night in Lombard. Last season the Rams started 0-5 before winning three of their last four.
"We're the best we can be right now, we're 1-0. Played one, got one," said Glenbard East coach John Walters. "Proud of the way the guys played, proud of the way they performed. After 50-some practices and running into each other it's nice to get out here and play a game."
Glenbard East quarterback Bret Bushka had a game, running for touchdowns of 51, 22 and 10 yards and passing for two more to his old pal Jeremy Johnson, a fellow three-year starter.
"Our coach always talks about how he hasn't really been able to throw and run equally. It's always been a throw-heavy team and now I think we've got it back to our running. That's a credit to the experience we have on our offensive line," Bushka said of an experienced unit including Ben Pham, Nick Andrews, Nolan Chambers, Jacob Spandiary and Dylan Marin.
In the first quarter Elgin quarterback Jordan West found Xavier Bonds on a 54-yard pass play down to Glenbard East's 7-yard line. Two plays later, Rams linebacker Jack Baka intercepted the ball back after Danny Hurtado came hard on a blitz. Glenbard East scored on its next six possessions plus Anthony Shockey's 89-yard interception return for touchdown.
"This is not the show that we wanted to put up. But we had shots that we just did not take advantage of," said Elgin coach Anthony Mason. "The reason they're a good team is because they hawked them down, didn't give up, fought hard and ended up getting two picks on those in the red zone."
The Maroons' touchdown, cutting their deficit to 27-6 with 4:44 left in the second quarter, came on Brandon Bridges' 80-yard scamper.
Then came Bushka's two touchdown passes to Johnson -- the first on an 18-yard flare to the left, the second as time expired in the first half for a 41-6 lead.
"To get that touchdown on the last play of the half, it really sets the game apart," said Bushka, whose 10-yard touchdown run at 8:38 of the third quarter started a running clock.
Bushka said he's known Johnson since first grade. Between Bushka scrambling for time and Johnson splitting two defenders for the grab it looked like a play they'd run for years in the backyard.
"When I walked up to the line of scrimmage I was talking to the people on the sidelines," Johnson said. "I told them, I'm making a play here. I kind of had a feeling he was going to throw it up and I made a play. It feels great to have that happen."