Where's Willowbrook's Tumilty? Opposing offenses need to know
Willowbrook quarterback Sam Tumilty has piled up nearly 2,000 yards of offense and 21 combined passing and rushing touchdowns.
Opposing football teams, however, find it just as difficult to game plan for the senior when he's playing defense.
"We're able to do so much with him on defense because his instincts are so good," said Willowbrook coach Nick Hildreth. "He never has one set of responsibilities because he's able to play just about anywhere."
Tumilty averages 17 passes and 11 carries on offense, but he still has the energy to be a full-time defensive player. He's listed as a defensive back, but his flexibility allows him to move up a level to linebacker.
It's nothing new for Tumilty, 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, who notched more than 100 tackles as a junior.
"He's good against the run and he can drop back in coverage," Hildreth said. "He appears to be playing three different positions because of the way he's able to read plays."
After both teams lost last week, Naperville Central and Waubonsie Valley find themselves in an uncomfortable position.
They both need to win their last three games to become playoff eligible, a stretch beginning with their showdown against each other on Friday.
"This is Week 1 of the playoffs, that's the reality," said Redhawks coach Mike Stine. "One of us is going to live to see another day, and one of us is going to be very upset at the end of Friday night."
Naperville Central (2-4, 2-1 DuPage Valley Conference) has its back against the wall after an 0-3 start. Waubonsie Valley (2-4, 0-3) started the season with wins over Oak Park and Libertyville but has since lost four straight.
"We're both 2-4 and neither of us expected to be here," said Warriors coach Paul Murphy. "Now what are we going to do about it?"
West Chicago was put behind the eight ball before the season began. Its coach from the 2018 season, Jack Rustman, took a position as offensive line coach with Concordia-Chicago on July 18, less than a month before the start of the season.
Longtime assistant Tyler Belding stepped up and in as Wildcats coach, and though West Chicago is winless, it's still battling.
"We're just trying to play better every week, we're still going to fight and try to win games," Belding said. "We still play only nine of these a year so they all matter even if you aren't going to make the playoffs. The games still matter."
The passing combination of quarterback Luke Krogh to receiver Mark Pinkevich, a first-year player, remains dynamic. Pinkevich, a 6-foot-4 receiver, has caught 30 passes for 550 yards and 5 touchdowns. Belding likes his junior class and is starting sophomores Dejon Davis, David Resendiz, Ethan Ross and Mason Wright.
"There's been challenges," Belding said, "but I think every program has challenges. We just address them and try to overcome them as they pop up."
Montini senior defensive lineman Patrick Peters is this season's recipient of the program's "Bumber's Corner Locker," a recently established honor named in memory of former Broncos football player Brad Bumber.
A 1989 graduate, Bumber passed away Sept. 26, 2015, of cancer. The award designated the use of a special locker at Montini to commemorate Bumber's "team-first" principles of work ethic, sportsmanship, commitment and loyalty on and off the football field. Peters is the second Bronco to receive the honor; in 2018 defensive back Ray Wojkovich was the inaugural honoree.
Bumber's Corner Locker is not the type of award necessarily granted to one of the team's best players. In Peters' case it was. The 6-foot-2, 275-pound senior is a two-year starter at defensive tackle. At this demanding position Peters ranks third on Montini with 39 tackles and leads the Broncos with 8 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.