Glenbard West dives past Hinsdale Central for OT win
First effort, second effort, third effort ... Nic Seifert was ready to put in 10 efforts to get the football over that goal line.
The Glenbard West senior running back's 1-yard touchdown dive in overtime sealed Saturday's 20-17 victory over Hinsdale Central at Glen Ellyn's Duchon Field.
Initially stuffed on third and goal at the 1, Seifert kept driving until he was finally brought down in the end zone by two defenders. With Seifert's arms raised in the air, his teammates soon jumped on top of him as a massive celebration ensued.
By winning the showdown between West Suburban Silver unbeatens, the Hilltoppers clinched at least a share of their 11th conference title in 12 years.
"It felt good to just end the game and say, 'That's that,'" said Seifert, who rushed for 173 yards and all 3 Glenbard West touchdowns. "Our offensive line and our running backs blocked really hard today and we were able to get those yards because of them."
After neither team scored in the fourth quarter, Hinsdale Central (7-1, 4-1) got the ball first in overtime with the score tied 14-14. Glenbard West's defense pushed back the Red Devils a yard after three plays, forcing Hinsdale Central to settle for Matt O'Neill's 28-yard field goal and a brief 17-14 lead.
Ten yards to victory, nothing was going to stop the Hilltoppers (8-0, 5-0). Joey Richmond started with 5 yards, then Seifert took the ball to the 1 to set up the game-winning burst.
"The short yardage, that's perfect for us," said Hilltoppers offensive lineman Chase Pierce. "Just pound the rock. We were feeling good. We knew we could pound it in. We knew if we had a chance to win the game, we were going to do it."
Glenbard West struck first with Seifert's 20-yard scoring run, but Hinsdale Central tied the game at 7-7 just before halftime on a 10-yard pass from Michael Brescia to Mark Skokna. Brescia completed 26 of 44 passes for 254 yards.
Seifert gave the Hilltoppers a 14-7 third-quarter lead with a 25-yard run, but Hinsdale Central answered with Brescia's 8-yard pop pass to Mac Quast for a touchdown.
Hinsdale Central twice failed to score in the red zone while Glenbard West fumbled the ball into the end zone for a touchback in the fourth quarter.
Red Devils receiver Braden Contreras snared 10 catches for 97 yards. Jalen Moore had 15 carries for 107 yards for Glenbard West.
"That's what a conference championship should look like, right?" said Red Devils coach Brian Griffin. "That's what you play for. Put yourself in a position to be in that game and fight. I'm really proud of the guys."