Glenbard East blanks Bartlett, enters playoffs on a roll
Glenbard East's defense dominated Friday as the Rams closed out the regular season with a 41-0 win over Upstate Eight Conference rival Bartlett.
The Hawks were held to a total of 30 yards and garnered only two first downs. Glenbard East forced three fumbles and had a pick-six.
Although the Rams only rolled up 154 yards on offensive, they benefited from good field position throughout the night. Seven of the team's nine drives started on Bartlett's side of the field.
Playoff bound Glenbard East notched its fifth shutout of the year.
"Our defense has been pretty good all year. We've only given up a total of 42 points all year, 28 by our first unit defense," said Rams coach John Walters. "When they are able to drastically shorten field, it makes it a little bit easier on our offense."
First-year Bartlett coach Milan Vuckovich was also impressed with the Rams' defensive unit.
"Their defensive line was awesome. That's the best defensive line I have seen," he said. "From where you saw them week one on film to where we saw them in person, that's going to be a team that's going to compete in the 8A playoffs."
The loss knocked the Hawks (4-5, 4-5) out of contention for a playoff berth.
The Bartlett Senior Night festivities were dampened by an injury to punter Emilio Duenez. The junior was hurt colliding with a Glenbard East defender after a punt early in the first quarter. He left the game in an ambulance after paramedics attended to him for 15 minutes.
"It hurts when you see your guy go down," Vuckovich said. "But I think the kids rallied together and they fought for him."
Glenbard East (8-1, 8-1) scored its first points before the offensive unit got on the gridiron. On the second play of the game, the Rams' Raul Garcia picked off a Giovanni Nguyen pass returned it 30 yards for a touchdown.
The Rams, who score an average of 30 points a game, made it 13-0 with 6:14 left in the first quarter on Matthew Larson's 12-yard run.
Glenbard East widened its lead to 20-0 at the 8:50 mark of the second quarter on Anthony Heidkamp's 2-yard scamper.
The Rams' next two TDs, both scored by Dimitir Hirtz, were set up by Bartlett turnovers. Glenbard East recovered the ball on the Hawks' 27-yard line. Hirtz finished the drive with a 13-yard run. After the next fumble, the Rams started on the Hawks' 1-yard line. The senior's 1-yard plunge put his team up 34-0 with 4:08 left to play in the half.
Glenbard East ended its scoring on 26-yard TD strike from Dillion William to Yassin Nabil.