Glenbard West shuts out Addison Trail
There's been a lot of talk about COVID-19, the weirdness of playing football in the spring, the lack of spectators, no state series.
Forget all that. High school football -- heck, high school sports -- is about kids like Jimmy Zydlow.
Zydlow, a Glenbard West senior running back, was diagnosed with Stage 3A Hodgkin lymphoma last June. He went through 12 rounds of chemotherapy and was in remission by January.
On Friday, he scored the Hilltoppers' first touchdown of the season and played a key role in leading his team to a 56-0 victory over host Addison Trail.
"I never thought I'd be able to play football again after everything I went through, and to be able to get the first touchdown of the game ... super-special, it's just the best feeling in the world," Zydlow said. "It's just awesome. I can't believe it."
There was nobody prouder than his coach, Chad Hetlet.
"He had treatments all through the year," Hetlet said. "He kicked cancer's tail, he's got the heart of warrior. You talk about a story? Nothing more important than that story."
It took just three plays for Zydlow to score Friday. Following a 28-yard scamper by fellow senior back Jalen Moore, Zydlow took a handoff and rushed up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown with 10:01 left in the first quarter.
That was only the beginning for Glenbard West. The Hilltoppers ran just 8 offensive plays in the first half Friday, and scored on 5 of them. That included an 81-yard scoring run by Moore, a 29-yarder by senior Samson Zander, and then a 68-yard scoring pass from senior quarterback Braden Spiech to senior Shivam Patel. If that wasn't enough, the next time the Hilltoppers got the ball, Spiech connected for 67 yards with senior tight end Denin Limouris.
Usually Spiech can be found handing the ball off to his backs. Tonight, his offensive line gave him plenty of time to throw.
"To be honest, I wasn't really expecting us to go deep too much today, but the coaches surprised me and gave me a little love," Spiech said. "It's all because we were able to do that because of our O-line, you know."
It was a tough start to the 2021 spring season for the Blazers, but coach Chris Bazant kept things in perspective.
"I'm super excited our guys get to come out and play," he said. "I know our kids are excited and thrilled to be out there."
Senior running back Eric Reed rushed 14 times for 54 yards and was a key reason the Blazers nearly tied the score in the first quarter, driving the ball to the Glenbard West 5 before an interception ended that drive.