Willowbrook knocks off Leyden
Having reached the state quarterfinals in each of the past two years, the Willowbrook football program is about more than just individual game results.
So while the Warriors will gladly take Friday's 26-9 victory over Leyden to improve to 3-0 for the first time in years, they also know that improvements need to continue to be made.
"We are building a strong program here and we have to keep growing," said Warriors junior Deandre Holliday, who had a long touchdown reception while also nabbing an interception. "We are hoping this year to get past the quarterfinals, but we have to go week by week and focus on each opponent. If we play as a unit, we can be unstoppable. But this game we were just steady, we weren't at our high point. We were not where we could be and we have to fix that for next week."
Holliday took a screen pass 58 yards to the end zone on the second play of the second half to increase Willowbrook's lead to 19-0. But even that symbolized a bit of the Warriors' sloppiness -- the screen pass was supposed to go the other way with Holliday not the intended target.
"We definitely don't take wins for granted," Willowbrook coach Nick Hildreth said, "but I thought our energy was low and it was kind of sloppy. We will look at the film and see. The eye in the sky never lies. It is an opportunity to look at things and get better."
The Eagles battled back, getting on the scoreboard with a safety midway through the third quarter before Vincent Fredrickson scored on a 4-yard run to pull the visitors within 19-9.
But the Tumilty brothers put a quick end to that comeback attempt, with Sam finding Scott for a 19-yard touchdown early in the fourth. Sam also added a 2-yard rushing score in the first half, which was preceded by a 77-yard TD connection with C.J. Harris. That had kicked off the scoring eight minutes into the West Suburban Gold opener.
Sam Tumilty completed 12 of 18 passes for 238 yards while also running for 87 yards on 12 carries.
"It was great to get those two big plays," Sam Tumilty said. "The entire team stepped up -- the offensive line, the wide receivers -- and it was good to see those touchdowns. But as a group, we want to perform the best that we can with maximum effort. I thought as a team we underperformed as far as our potential and the level that we can play at. But it is good to learn from our mistakes and tonight we can learn from this win."
Holliday finished with 5 catches for 82 yards. Mohammad Ayesh also added an interception on defense.
For Leyden (0-3, 0-1), Fredrickson ran for 49 yards on 19 attempts. Joel Monarrez picked off a pass, Jason Kemp had a pair of sacks and Nicholas Motyka tallied a sack while rushing for 39 yards on 9 carries.
Willowbrook heads to district rival Addison Trail in Week 4, and the Eagles return home to face Proviso East.