Football loses conference championship against Glenbard West
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The varsity football team lost its conference championship contest to the Glenbard West Hilltoppers 21-7 on Friday, Oct. 5 when they played at home.
The game was set for Friday but was delayed due to thunderstorms shortly after the second half begun, so the game resumed on Saturday, Oct. 6.
Glenbard West brought their predictable offense with a standout running back in Tyquan Cox. Central looked up to the task with a strong defense.
On offense, Matt Bobak, senior, carried the load in the first half having 12 carries rushing for 56 yards.
With 2:32 remaining in the first quarter, Glenbard West got the ball at their own 20 after a touchback on a punt. The Hilltoppers started an 80-yard drive. The big play, a 25 yard gain came on a reverse on third down on their own 48-yard line, which moved the ball to the Central 27 yard line.
From there, Cox led the way, eventually closing out the drive with a one-yard plunge for the go-ahead touchdown. After the kick, the score indicated, 7-0 for West.
The following kickoff, Braden Contreras, junior, had a big return getting the ball to the Central 44 yard line. Bobak again took over running the ball. On a big third down with twelve yards to go, Bobak ran up the middle to get a key first down.
Central worked the ball down to the 10-yard line with around five minutes remaining in the half. Central decided to kick for the extra points but the ball sailed wide left and Central came up with no points.
Glenbard West then took over on their own 20 with 4:45 remaining in the half.
The Glenbard West quarterback had a big gain on a run up the middle and a few plays later, he delivered a huge completion on a third and 8 hitting the tight end on a crossing route.
Once again, Tyquan Cox worked the ball down to the 2-yard line. Nick Seifert closed out the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run. The first half closed out with Glenbard West in the lead 14-0.
At 10:24 of the third quarter Glenbard West had the ball on their own 29-yard line with a fourth down and less than 1 yard to go. But nearby lightning stopped the game and the heavy rain came down.
Both teams would return to the field Saturday morning at 9 a.m ready to finish the battle for the title.
They lined up for the 4th down and Glenbard West once again got the crucial first down. West would end up punting on the drive, but they had eaten up 4 minutes of clock.
Central got the ball back on their own 18, but on third and 18, Central quarterback Matt Rush, senior rolled out left got pressured and threw right downfield, where a Hilltopper defender intercepted the ball.
“They had a solid defense and we were just focusing on executing our plays and playing to the best of our abilities,” Rush said.
West now had the ball on the Central 43 yard line with 5:05 left in the third. The Central defense held tough holding Seifert to no gain on first down and getting a sack on second down by Jack McCarty, senior center back.
The defense had 64 total tackles including Aidan Cruickshank, senior linebacker, with 14, Vincent Zelisko, senior middle linebacker, with 12, and Guy Henry Goss, junior free safety, with 12.
“We knew [Cox] was one of their best offensive threats, so we had eyes on him the whole game,” Zelisko said. “As far as setup, we had our normal responsibilities but just keyed on him a bit extra. I don’t think our defense played bad, there were just a few plays where we missed some big tackles and minor things we need to get better at.”
After a missed field goal kick that went far right, the ball returned to Central, but Glenbard West ate up five minutes of clock in the third quarter.
Later in the game with around five minutes left, West efficiently worked its way down to the one-yard line where Bleker keyed on Cox for a touchdown pass where the score remained 21-0 after the extra point.
When Central got the ball back, it came time to execute a play with four minutes left.
Rush timed and threw the ball to Nick Franko, junior, for the touchdown putting the Red Devils on the board after the final kick 21-7 with 2:19 left.
With a running clock, Glenbard West would close out the game with the final score 21-7.
The Red Devil offense had 136 rushing yards on offense, including 63 Saturday, while the Hilltoppers rushed with 247 rushing yards, including 140 by Tyquan Cox and 48 by Nick Seifert.
The Red Devils stand at 5-2, but they know where they stand and what they have to do to improve.
“The kids learned out of this game if they don’t execute it doesn’t really matter who they’re playing but if you can’t execute play in and play out against a great team you’re going to find yourself in a very similar situation,” Coach Dan Hartman said.
The next game is another rivalry game with Lyons Township on Friday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the Lyons Township South Campus.