Lockport knocks Glenbard West out of the playoffs
One first-quarter play turned around Lockport's season -- and Glenbard West's.
It was the 14th play of the Hilltoppers' drive deep into Lockport territory. Glenbard West fumbled at the Porters' 8-yard line and saw Lockport's Troy Mutz fall on it.
Lockport didn't score on the ensuring drive, but it scored often enough to post a 34-0 victory in the Class 8A second-round game. The senior-dominated Porters (10-1) visit Glenbard North (7-4) in next weekend's quarterfinal game.
Glenbard West barely threatened again, never getting closer than the Lockport 32. It was a stunning turn of events.
"Who knows what happens if they score," Lockport coach George Czart said. "They're a tough team. I felt blessed. We had no answer for them at the time."
The Hilltoppers' bigger offensive line was overwhelming the Porters' defensive line, until it didn't. And the turnaround was decisive.
"We lost a lot of momentum," Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said of the fumble after a series of tear-filled hugs with his players. "In playoff games you've got to catch the momentum and take advantage of it early."
Missing 1,000-yard rusher Joey Pope, injured last week, hurt more as the game went on. Glenbard West gained 129 yards on 41 rushes but could convert only six third downs.
"It's all teamwork, confidence and hard work," Lockport defensive end Paul Rasp said. "This isn't a four-month season, this is year-round."
The Porters, meanwhile, controlled the air on Hayden Timosciek's three-touchdown night, which included a 71-yard clinching bomb to Ryan Little, his second scoring reception. Ethan Gallagher also caught a Timosciek TD pass.
"We've been waiting to show that we're not just a defensive team," Timosciek said. "This is like the 2019 (Kansas City) Chiefs' offense."
Lockport's Ty Schultz gained 68 of his 87 rushing yards in the second half, 50 on a play that moved the ball to the Hilltoppers' 2. He punched it in from there for his second touchdown and a 34-0 lead. His first score had made it 7-0 and was the first of three Lockport touchdowns in 4:44.
The Hilltoppers (8-3) couldn't recover from that onslaught.
"At 21-0 we knew it was going to be an uphill battle," Hetlet said. "If we don't cash in on opportunities, at that point, it's light out."
Little caught his 71-yard scoring pass at midfield. A Hilltopper made a desperate lunge for the ball and missed it by inches. A turnover there could have turned into a pick-6 and helped swing the momentum back to the visitors. Instead, it was 27-0 with 7:56 left in the third.
"That's playoffs," Hetlet said.