Glenbard East clinches first league title since 1965
The football rivalry between Glenbard East and Glenbard South resumed Friday night, and after a night of hard hits and a fumble recovery, Glenbard East linebacker Anthony Shockey was all fired up.
"Sophomore year they got us, but this year it was all about revenge," said the three-year starter, wearing the ceremonial turnover chain. "So we took it out on the field and all of our anger turned into a 'W.'"
The Rams improved to 13-7 overall against host Glenbard South with a 38-7 Upstate Eight Conference victory in Glen Ellyn. Shockey, Dan Hurtado, Jack Baka, Jesus Lopez and the gang held Glenbard South inside the 50-yard line until the Raiders' last possession.
Glenbard East (8-0, 8-0) also earned at least a share of its first conference title since 1965, in the old Des Plaines Valley Conference.
"Fifty-three years or whatever it's been, obviously it's pretty special to be in that position eight games into the season," said Rams coach John Walters. "I think our guys really are hungry to drop that 'share' part of it and bring that trophy home to Glenbard."
Despite the final outcome and gaining only 3 first-half first downs, Glenbard South (4-4, 4-4) held relatively firm in the first half, down 17-0.
Deon Cook took an inside handoff and swept 5 yards for the Rams' first touchdown. Quarterback Bret Bushka sprinted in from 20 yards and Dominic Tenca booted a 28-yard field goal.
"Our defense gave incredible effort," said Raiders coach Ryan Crissey, particularly impressed by Jordan Bolivar, Tajuan McKinnie, Mark Wilson and Connor Murphy.
"As I said to the kids, it's not about the effort, it's about execution. And when you have some pretty dynamic athletes like they do, you really have to gang tackle. So there were some times when we didn't play as sound as we should have on certain plays and that's where you had those big plays."
"Their quarterback's a really good athlete, heck of a player," Bolivar added. "He has the handles, he knows how to get around us. We knew they were going to be a tough team. We came out and played as hard as we could."
Walters said at halftime the staff "ironed some things out." Glenbard East scored on its first three possessions -- Jake Netchin's 8-yard run, Bushka's second score on a 1-yard run and Jeremy Johnson's circus catch on his back from 8 yards out.
Glenbard South, lacking injured ace receiver Tavion Keith, scored with 1:45 left to play. Nick Plaso completions to Antonio Carter, Cade Hardtke and Yazan Blan set up Plaso's 10-yard scoring strike to Hardtke. Spencer Pyle added the extra point.
Netchin ran for 79 yards and Glenbard South's Kylen Henderson ran for 52.
"We didn't start out as we wanted to," said Bushka, 47 yards on the ground, 117 through the air. "In the second half we started pushing the line of scrimmage, our offensive line (Ben Pham, Nick Andrews, Nolan Chambers, Connor Peterson, Dylan Marin) started firing out and I don't think we did that in the first half."