South Elgin's big plays, defense too much for Glenbard East
Glenbard East coach John Walters referred to Friday night's Upstate Eight Conference football showdown with South Elgin as "a heavyweight matchup."
It was exactly that.
The Storm (2-0, 2-0) delivered an early jab when quarterback Jake Sullivan connected with senior Mason Montgomery for a 40-yard touchdown strike on the opening possession for an 8-0 lead.
Then, South Elgin delivered the late knockout on two more big plays -- a 47-yard TD pass from Sullivan to Montgomery with 15 seconds left in the third quarter -- and Jordan Green's 39-yard touchdown run up the middle with 4:45 remaining on the way to a 22-6 victory over the Rams (1-1, 1-1) in South Elgin.
Between the big-play scores, neither team was able to get on track offensively, as both defenses came ready to play.
The first half featured a goal-line stand from the Rams, just 3 combined first downs and 9 punts.
"I thought Glenbard East was physical and tough tonight," said Storm coach Dragan Teonic, whose team recorded its 16th consecutive conference victory and stretched its home winning streak to 15. "They're generally the most physical team that we face in our conference year in and year out, and that showed again tonight.
"The challenge for us was to match it. Our defense is pretty good, too."
Led by linebackers Michael Tringali (15 ½ tackles, including 3 sacks) and Christian Tecza, the Storm held the Rams in check for the much of the night until quarterback Dillon Williams' 31-yard TD pass to Gianbiagio Brusca with 2:24 remaining.
The touchdown was the first allowed by South Elgin this season.
"Michael (Stringali) is, bar none, the best defensive player in our conference," said Teonic, whose team added interceptions from Shawn Clausen and Frankie Melchiorre, and a fumble recovery by Isaiah Alejandre.
Montgomery, who caught 3 passes for 87 yards and a pair of scores, now has 7 touchdowns in 2 games -- 6 receiving TDs.
"We got punched in the mouth a little bit, so we knew we had to step it up," said Montgomery, who also played a role in the defensive secondary. "That's what we did.
"Their defense is tough -- probably the toughest I've played in high school. They have a physical front line."
Troy Cooper, Demontay Mack, Delmario Taylor, and Jordan Boykin (interception) paced the Rams' defense.
"Our defense did a real good job," said receiver Yassin Nabil, who caught a team-high 4 passes. "Our offense couldn't show its true potential because we were making little mistakes.
"We're going to bounce back next week and keep proving people wrong."