Glenbard South shakes off slow start to rout Bartlett
Glenbard South has a tradition of naming an "Honorary Raider" each year at the homecoming game.
This season's recipient was Juan Alcantara, the school's building foreman.
"He's a great team player, and an amazing guy to work with," said Raiders assistant athletic director Julie Fonda. "You ask him anything, and he responds immediately. He's completely unselfish and wants the best for our school.
"It's great to have a guy who gets it, and understands how special our school is. Juan has put in the energy that deserves this recognition."
Alcantara, who said he has been at Glenbard South for 19 years, has a simple mantra that has led to his success.
"I love the school," he said, "I do the best I can, and I try to keep everybody happy."
Alcantara mentioned that he was going to enjoy the game Friday night as Bartlett invaded Glen Ellyn, and he definitely brought the Raiders luck despite an anxious first quarter.
Glenbard South won 63-21 in the Upstate Eight contest, but watched Bartlett do exactly what they wanted to do in the initial period.
The Hawks had possession of the ball for 10 and a half minutes, keeping the high-powered Raiders offense off the field, and they converted three fourth downs on their opening drive.
The visitors' offensive line was creating space for the running game, and that led to Bartlett scoring the first touchdown of the game when QB Vincent Yario connected with Nick Carlos on a 44-yard dime.
"That first drive was awesome," said Hawks coach Milan Vuckovich. "The game plan was to run the ball in the middle and then try to hit them with a play-action pass."
The Hawks just made one mistake in the first, but it completely changed the momentum and led to a Glenbard South onslaught.
Bartlett (2-3, 2-3) was driving for another score but fumbled, and Ari Ioannou of the Raiders recovered the loose ball.
That led to a Glenbard South TD at the end of first quarter to tie the game 7-7, as Raiders quarterback Michael Champagne ran 28 yards around the right end for the score.
Then the home team exploded for 42 points in the second stanza.
Senior running back Carter London scored from 2 yards out after an interception by classmate Justin Jones. Champagne then threw a 22-yard strike to Anthony Colby, and Jones returned another interception 25 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-7.
"I was patient and read my man," said Jones of his defensive touchdown, "and I made sure I took the underneath away."
The Raiders at that point were far from done as they kept lighting up the scoreboard.
Still before halftime, Glenbard South tacked on a 94 yard run by Devontae Clark, a 76-yard pass from Champagne to Cam Williams, and a 25-yard fumble recovery and return for a touchdown by Thomas Burke.
That made it 49-7 at intermission.
"What's been tough for us," said Raiders coach Ryan Crissey, "is that in the last two games we've given up scores on the opening drive. Teams that run a non-spread formation against us, it's sometimes difficult to see the speed and tightness of the plays.
"But the kids overcame it and capitalized on Bartlett's mistakes. We won the line of scrimmage and the rest took care of itself."
Glenbard South (5-0, 5-0) scored twice more in the second half.
Champagne ran 54 yards to tally another TD on the second play of the quarter.
Then in the fourth, Tawain Davis had a 27-yard scoring run.
"You've just got to keep pushing," added Jones. "If we don't know how to push through games, we're not going to be a successful team."
"That's something we've got to keep working on."
Bartlett showed plenty of fight in the second half, going on two long scoring drives.
Filip Szeszko had a 14-yard touchdown run, and Nicholas Barton scored from 8 yards out.
"We had that fumble," said Vuckovich of the first quarter miscue and the Raiders rally. "And we've got a young guy (Yario, a sophomore) playing quarterback, and they (Glenbard South) have some pretty athletic DBs."