Glenbard South's playoff run ends early at Boylan
Playing in disparate, 10-team leagues without nonconference games much less common opponents, it was uncertain exactly how Glenbard South and Rockford Boylan would match up on the football field.
On this Saturday, at least, the seeds played out. No. 3 seed Rockford Boylan won the first-round Class 5A playoff game 42-0 over the 14th-seeded Raiders in Rockford. The Titans (9-1) advanced to the second round and will host No. 6 St. Francis (8-2) next weekend.
"That's a team I expect to be in the quarterfinals if not the semifinals," Raiders coach Ryan Crissey said of Boylan. "They tell you exactly what they're going to do and they're just trying to say, stop us. They do such a good job running the ball and playing physical defense, and they're sound. It's just hard to stop."
Boylan's rotating quarterbacks Jake Bergstrom and John Starck attempted 7 total passes -- "just trying to throw it a little bit more today," said Titans coach John Cacciatore -- but Boylan ran 45 times for 345 yards and 5 touchdowns.
"When the run's working, you know, why put the ball in the air?" asked Titans offensive tackle and defensive end Brady Wright, who recorded 2 of Boylan's 5 sacks of Raiders quarterback Nick Plaso.
Glenbard South (5-5) started strong, the up-tempo, no-huddle offense clicking for a 20-yard pass to Tavion Keith on the first play from scrimmage and earning 4 first downs before stalling at the Boylan 25-yard line.
The Titans adjusted to slow the vertical dimension of Glenbard South -- which lost left guard Damari Harrod to injury on its third possession -- and scored on all three first-half possessions and five consecutive overall.
"They had the guy pressing me and then a guy over the top and it was really hard to try to get open, find space," said Keith, who caught 3 passes for 54 yards with Trevor Burnett adding 4 catches for 63 yards late in the game. "And then their linebackers were flying to the ball really quickly so we really didn't have the ground game going that well."
Four plays after Boylan went up 7-0 on Bergstrom's 8-yard run, linebacker Caleb Henderson intercepted a pass and returned it 58 yards for a 14-0 first-quarter lead.
"I think at that point now you can start to relax and now you can start to dig your feet in and operate from that position," said Cacciatore, who repeatedly praised Crissey and the Raiders as "a class act."
Boylan ground out scoring drives of 14 and 8 plays to lead 28-0 at halftime and struck twice in the first 1:55 of the third quarter to establish a running clock.
Plaso completed 12 of 24 passes for 141 yards; safety Gavin Fitzpatrick made a team-high 9.5 tackles. Boylan's Bergstrom ran for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns.
"We didn't think they had the best competition, their (regular) season, so we didn't really know how we sized up against them. It wasn't too great," said Glenbard South linebacker Mark Wilson. "I mean, we played the best game we could for the most part, everybody put all their effort into this game. It just didn't turn out the way we wanted it to."