Glenbard East's special season continues with romp vs. Streamwood
You know it's your night when a senior defensive tackle scoops up a fumble and rumbles in for a touchdown.
"Well, at first when I got the ball I just started running," senior Jesus Lopez III, the Rams defensive tackle who accomplished that feat, said after Glenbard East smashed Streamwood 63-2. "When I realized I wasn't touched, it was the greatest feeling ever. It was my first-ever touchdown in my whole life."
Lopez's date with the end zone raised the Rams advantage to 49-0 with 10:35 left in the third quarter. If maintaining their unblemished record was causing them any pressure, rushing out to a two-touchdown lead not even six minutes into the game took that pressure away. So did entering halftime with a 42-0 advantage.
"They are really laser focused on week-to-week, day-to-day," Rams coach John Walters said after the game. "We really don't hear much out of them about our record or where we are in the standings or anything like that. Get better, focus on the game plan, focus on your academics, and make sure you eat and hydrate right. I hate to say this, but it's a bit of a business-as-usual attitude."
Rams senior quarterback Bret Bushka certainly was laser focused. He connected with his favorite target senior Jeremy Johnson for touchdowns three times in the first half, including ones that went for 48 yards and 55 yards. He also tossed another passing touchdown to junior wideout Deon Cook while adding a 4-yard rushing touchdown of his own just for good measure.
The Lopez touchdown was an exclamation point on a night when the Glenbard East defense dominated. But Lopez wasn't the only one collecting fumbles on Friday night.
Senior defensive end Nick Andrews scooped up a Streamwood (1-6, 1-6) botched pitch late in the second quarter, landing on the ball at Streamwood's 1-yard line. Senior running back Jake Netchin cleaned it up on the next play with a 1-yard touchdown run.
"We watched film, we did our assignments, none of us got greedy," Lopez said when asked what was working so well for the defense on Friday night. "We did everything we were told to do and none of us got selfish. We just did our jobs."
In the first half the Rams forced three Sabres fumbles and surrendered just one first down, which came about because of a face-mask penalty. Streamwood ran 18 plays in the first half, and 10 of those resulted in either no gain or negative yards.
For the game Streamwood finished with 95 yards, although 50 of those came on an Alex Tannhauser run in the fourth quarter.
Glenbard East clinched its first playoff berth since 1999 last week after beating East Aurora. If the Rams can remain atop of the Upstate Eight Conference standings, they'll win their first conference title since 1965.
"It's unreal," Walters said. "As a coach, you want if for the kids, you want it for the school, and you want it for your community more than anything. To see our kids go out there and bust their tails for four years to get to this point with 32 seniors on the roster and 19 senior starters to get to this point, 7-0, it's pretty special."