Big play comes Glenbard East's way just in time to beat Glenbard South
Better late than never.
The Glenbard East football team endured nearly 47 minutes of bad luck Friday in its cross-district showdown with Glenbard South, turning the ball over four times.
But the Rams got the big play when they needed it, on a 62-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Dillon Williams to senior wideout Yassin Nabil with 1:07 to go.
Moments later, it was game over, Glenbard East prevailing 7-6.
"Coach called a great play," Williams said of Glenbard East coach John Walters. "He knew that safety was going to creep over to the strong side. My boy Yassin was in the back side. He knew he was going to beat that guy. (Walters) said, Go ahead, step up in the pocket and launch it, and my boy caught it."
For Nabil, it was simply being in the right place at the right time, and good thing, too -- with the win, the Rams improved to 7-1 overall and in the Upstate Eight Conference and took a step toward a home playoff game.
What of making the biggest catch of the season, so far, anyway?
"I knew Dillon was going to make that throw," Nabil said. "It's the chemistry off the field. We've been working since our freshman year and there was no doubt in my mind he was going to make that play. It was just a matter of believing in ourselves."
That merely tied the game, though. Consider that the pressure suddenly fell on the shoulders of junior kicker Ryan Snell to seize the lead. But he fought through any nerves to make the extra point and set the final score.
"Every day at practice, us kickers are known for sitting on the sidelines drinking water, but no one wants to be us when the game is on the line," Snell said.
Across the field, the loss was a gut punch for Glenbard South (6-2, 6-2), which controlled the vast majority of the contest, taking advantage of those four Glenbard East turnovers, along with a 180-yard rushing performance by senior running back Jalen Brown. Half of his yards came on a 90-yard touchdown run with 5:57 to go before halftime.
But it just wasn't mean to be.
"It's unfortunate that the game comes down to that one play," Raiders coach Ryan Crissey said. "But the defense played pretty stinkin' well all game long. It was hard to establish our normal rhythm in our offense, it was hard to stay balanced, because their line is so physical. Hats off to coach Walters and the Rams defense."