Glenbard East makes its point at South Elgin
Glenbard East gladly flew into the eye of the Storm.
South Elgin hadn't allowed a point in four games. The Rams snapped that streak seven minutes into Saturday's game and kept churning to a 35-7 Upstate Eight Conference victory in South Elgin.
Undefeated after five weeks for the first time since 1971 and seeking its first playoff berth since 1999, it's conceivable Glenbard East (5-0, 5-0) could go 9-0.
"They know what's on the table and they know what we have to do coming into Monday to get ourself ready for next week," said Rams coach John Walters.
"You keep the talk quiet and you keep it focused on the team and we keep things rolling the way we've done the first five weeks," he said.
In a game marred by nonstop penalties, Glenbard East quarterback Bret Bushka completed 20 of 27 passes for 248 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Rams piled on 232 yards rushing with touchdowns by Bushka and 2 from Jake Netchin, who ran for 157 yards with touchdowns of 4 and 36 yards.
South Elgin (4-1, 4-1) totaled 197 yards, headed by quarterback Azxavier Salinas on the ground for 48 and through the air for 95 with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Noworol.
"Special team-wise, I thought we did OK, defensively we couldn't stop them, offensively we couldn't move the ball consistently and part of that is on us and part of that is just how good they are. You don't want to take anything from them, they whipped us," said Storm coach Dragan Teonic.
South Elgin linebacker Vince Clinite recovered a fumble on the Rams' first possession, but after that it was mainly all Glenbard East. Dominic Tenca booted a 23-yard field goal at 5:07 of the first quarter, the first of five straight scoring possessions.
As it has all season, Glenbard East blended run and pass to lead 16-0 by 7:16 of the second quarter with Netchin's two touchdown runs.
"We know all the teams want to get at (Bushka)," said Netchin, whose late 60-yard run set up the Rams' victory formation. "He's fast, he's athletic, you know? So once he gives it to me, they're not expecting (it)."
Salinas got good protection from linemen Rafael Manjarrez, Dylan Bernal, Sam Minnifield, Michael Roath and Vincent Tringali to find Noworol and cut the deficit to 16-7 with 3:04 left in the second quarter. Glenbard East was undeterred.
The Rams answered on Jeremy Johnson's 24-yard, falling, one-handed grab for a 22-7 halftime lead. They started the third quarter with Bushka hitting Johnson for a 13-yard touchdown pass. The receiver finished with 8 catches for 100 yards.
A pounding defense featuring linebackers Anthony Shockey, Jack Baka and Josh Landolina -- who intercepted 2 passes and made 3 tackles for loss -- had difficulty containing itself on the eve of the game.
"We went out, watched a couple games around on Friday and that's all we could talk about, is how we're going to come out and put this school in history," Landolina said.