Glenbard East spoils Bartlett's big night
Bartlett raised the curtain on its new athletic complex Friday, but Glenbard East wide receiver Jeremy Johnson stole the show.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound senior led the Rams (2-0, 2-0) to a 38-15 Upstate Eight Conference victory by putting on a clinic. He caught 10 passes for a career-high 187 yards and 4 touchdowns, all from quarterback and pal since first grade Bret Bushka, who threw for 266 yards.
Johnson caught 2 touchdowns in each half. In three of those cases, he muscled his away around or over a well-positioned defender.
"Honestly, it's just see the ball, catch the ball," Johnson said. "I just go out there and play my hardest. I think the heart I put into and the work I put in just really sets apart the cornerbacks and myself."
"I have all the trust in the world (in him)," Bushka said. "I'd take him really over any cornerback we're going to play."
Glenbard East's defense, which planned to take away the seams and Bartlett's tight ends, was nearly as impressive as its offense. The Rams did not allow Bartlett (1-1, 1-1) to complete a pass in 15 attempts and junior safety Jason Torrevilles twice intercepted Hawks quarterback Jonah O'Brien.
"I was just in position for the ball and the ball came right to me," Torrevilles said. "I like how we fly around and play defense. Nothing could come past us."
Bartlett gained 162 yards rushing, 80 of which came from senior running back Nick Deckard on 15 carries.
Bartlett's only first-half points came in the second quarter. Trailing 7-0, senior Spencer Konstanzer burst through the line and raced 62 yards up the middle to forge a tie with 7:05 left in the opening period.
"That was just one of our bread-and-butter trap plays," Konstanzer said.
The Rams answered with a 25-yard field goal from Dominic Tenca to take a 10-7 lead. They widened the advantage to 17-7 on Johnson's 5-yard scoring catch in the corner of the end zone early in the second quarter.
Later in the period, Johnson converted a third down with a 9-yard fade over a receiver. Bushka found him with a 28-yard scoring strike on the next play to make it 24-7.
The game was halted due to lightning in the area with two minutes left in the half and was delayed 50 minutes. After halftime, it was more Bushka to Johnson. After the Glenbard East playmaker outfoxed a defensive back for a 20-yard touchdown catch, he was inextricably left wide open on the first play of the Rams' next series and waltzed into the end zone for a 38-yard touchdown.
"It was a little bit of a torment," Konstanzer, also a Bartlett linebacker, said. "You still have to fight through every play. It is what it is at the end of the day. Now, we're just going to have to learn from this."