Glenbard West stretches out streak with win vs. Downers Grove South
Glenbard West did its first-round thing again.
In other words, total domination.
The Hilltoppers started the football playoffs like they almost always do, with a fierce wire-to-wire effort in Saturday's 48-2 Class 8A victory over Downers Grove South at Glen Ellyn's Duchon Field.
It's the 14th straight first-round victory for No. 2 Glenbard West (10-0), a stretch in which the Hilltoppers won those openers by an average of 28 points.
"It's all we've been thinking about all week, just coming out fast," said Glenbard West senior linebacker Greyson Metz. "We knew we could take it to them right away. That was our goal, especially on defense."
The road becomes significantly tougher for the second round against Saturday night's winner between No. 15 Maine South and No. 18 Loyola, the defending 8A champion. On Saturday Glenbard West looked more than ready for whatever challenge awaits.
The Hilltoppers scored on their first four possessions and added a fifth touchdown when Metz forced a fumble that was scooped and scored on by Brandon Nowinski. In the span of a little more than a minute, Glenbard West turned a 14-0 lead into 35-0 early in the second quarter after back-to-back fumbles by No. 31 Downers South (5-5).
"We asked our kids to come out and compete, and I thought they did," said Mustangs coach Mark Molinari. "We took a step. We wanted to get back to the playoffs and we did that. I think we're headed in the right direction."
As always, the Hilltoppers' ground game did the bulk of the damage behind a punishing offensive line. Nic Seifert, Jalen Moore, Samson Zander and Joey Richmond combined for 345 of the team's 374 rushing yards.
Each had at least one touchdown run while quarterback Braden Spiech kept the defense honest with a 38-yard pass to Metz and a 25-yarder to Sean Michel.
"Even greater than the four powerful running backs is our great offensive line," said Seifert, who had 124 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. "They do a lot for us. I'm just thankful. They let us get 5 to 6 yards and then it's our job to get the extra 4 by ourselves."
Downers South notched a safety when Anthony Becht blocked a punt through the end zone to narrow the halftime gap to 35-2.
"You never know until you're in the playoffs," said Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet. "When you're playing (regular-season) games you know you've got a next week. When you're playing playoff games you don't necessarily know that you have a next week."