Glenbard West overpowers Bartlett
The Glenbard West offensive line wanted to leave a lasting impression in Friday's Class 8A playoff opener in Bartlett.
The unit of seniors Hank Knez, Connor Foley and Joseph Peraino, juniors Andrew Johnson and Chase Pierce and sophomore tight end Denin Limouris opened holes throughout No. 18 Glenbard West's 49-20 victory over No. 15 Bartlett.
The Hilltoppers scored on their first four possessions of each half, powered by 377 rushing yards.
"Our goal for tonight was just to finish every block and make them remember who we are because they've never seen anyone as physical as us," said Knez, also a defensive end.
"Our offensive line was outstanding," Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said. "They got off the ball."
Running back Tyquan Cox demonstrated why he was named West Suburban Silver MVP. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior scored a single-game high 6 touchdowns and rushed for 195 yards on 22 carries.
"Running behind this line is awesome," said Cox, who scored Glenbard West's first 6 touchdowns on runs of 5, 27, 5, 2, 2 and 25 yards. "They do everything that we ask them to do. I tell them every week if they do their job, then I'll do mine."
Glenbard West (8-2) will host No. 2 Lincoln-Way East (10-0) next week. The defending Class 8A champion Griffins defeated St. Charles East 49-0.
Bartlett (7-3) couldn't gain much traction against the Glenbard West defense in its first on-campus playoff game. The Hawks were limited to 44 first-half rushing yards and they didn't dent the scoreboard until late in the second quarter, when Jonah O'Brien connected with junior Matthew Young on a 28-yard pass one play after the Hilltoppers fumbled.
The Hawks trailed 49-6 before running back Nick Deckard broke free for a 71-yard touchdown. The senior finished with 146 rushing yards in 16 attempts, but that was one of the few bright spots. The Hilltoppers held them to 142 passing yards, 45 of which came on a late 45-yard pass from O'Brien to Nick Mansk.
"We were just rushing three a lot of the time and we were getting pressure on them," Hetlet said. "That secondary behind them didn't give up any big plays. That's a great quarterback and a couple of little receivers who threw the ball well all year. I thought we did a good job defending their passing game."
Bartlett's first playoff appearance in three seasons didn't go as hoped, but the Hawks enjoyed a successful season under first-year coach Matt Erlenbaugh. The players worked out on their own in the off-season until Erlenbaugh and staff were hired in June.
"The coaches really helped us out a lot this season," Bartlett senior linebacker Spencer Konstanzer said. "And it was really our entire self program with a couple of leaders on the team like myself, Nick Deckard, Jonah O'Brien and Jason Schuberth before he got injured. It was just us coming together. That was really it."