The Blackshirts had a tough weekend. While Wisconsin rolled past Nebraska (Cornhuskers’ defense nicknamed the blackshirts), Glenbard South also earned a 39-21 win over Riverside-Brookfield (Bulldogs wore black jerseys first-time ever).
Riverside-Brookfield appeared dressed for success early as quarterback Dylan Beketic (9-for-23, 157 yards) threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Alex Huffhines and then scored on a 2-yard quarterback keeper to give the Bulldogs a 14-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Wide receivers Huffhines (4 catches, 67 yards) and Joe Odeh (4 catches, 83 yards) fueled the Bulldogs’ impressive early scoring drives.
“We were just trying to get a spark with [the black jerseys],” RB coach Jason Rech said. “The kids deserve it and they earned it. It’s something special for them. I think it gave us a little edge early, but we have to do a better job of sustaining that level of play.”
Similar to the Bulldogs’ previous game when Ridgewood ran off 19 points, Glenbard South scored 26 unanswered points to seize a 32-14 lead after three quarters. Capitalizing on a dip in play and two turnovers by RB, Glenbard South quarterback Tyler Padera tossed three touchdown passes and Wesley Sanders added a 10-yard scoring run during the offensive flurry.
The Bulldogs stayed within striking distance briefly when Nick Callahan scored on a three-yard run to pull within 32-21 at the 10:25 mark of the fourth quarter. Three plays later, however, Sanders broke free for a 71-yard scamper into the end zone, extending the Raiders’ advantage to 39-21.
“We had the momentum in the second half,” Sanders said. “We pounded the ball, made our blocks and our defensive players did their assignments.”
The explosive Sanders rushed for 193 yards and scored three touchdowns on the night.
“I give him props, he ran hard,” RB linebacker Andy Suzuki said. “In the second half, we didn’t put our foot on their throats. We had it but just didn’t take advantage of the situation.”
The Bulldogs, who are mired in a 1-5 overall record, have three big games remaining against Elmwood Park, homecoming versus area rival Nazareth, and a season-ending clash with Fenton highlighted by the return of former longtime RB head coach Otto Zeman (current Bison offensive coordinator).
“There’s still a lot of football left to play,” Rech said. “Our players’ attitude and effort have been good. We have to be more consistent with the things we do well on the football field.”
Along with playmakers on both sides of the ball like Callahan, Huffhines, Odeh, Suzuki, Brad Bednar, Justin Agne, Mark Swift, and Tyler Floros, Rech is encouraged by the recent work of the Bulldogs’ offensive line, featuring Tim Potts, Myrian Jefferson, Will Potts, Lou Grigoletti and Chris Duplancich.
Riverside-Brookfield visits Elmwood Park this Friday (7 p.m.).
“We’re playing for pride now,” Huffhines said. “Obviously we can’t make the playoffs, but we have to keep our heads up and fight strong the rest of the season.”