The Riverside-Brookfield High School football team found itself in the same position after six games in 2021.
Riding another 5-1 start, the Bulldogs look to accelerate the momentum following their 55-0 victory at Westmont on Sept. 30.
They’re playoff eligible with five victories, but tough regular-season matchups remain with IC Catholic Prep (5-1), St. Francis (6-0) and Bishop McNamara (3-3).
The same three Week 7 to 9 opponents left last year’s Bulldogs 5-4 heading into the IHSA Class 7A playoffs.
“We know these next three opponents are going to give us the best look at what the playoffs are going to be looking like,” first-year RBHS head coach Sam Styler said.
“We were in the same spot last year, the same record. We know that the new season sort of starts right now. We want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to prepare for these last three weeks.”
Numerous players excelled against Westmont, opening a 35-0 lead after one quarter and 49-0 halftime advantage and holding the Sentinels (2-2) to 17 yards of offense.
The Bulldogs posted their first shutout after allowing just seven points each the previous three games.
Chris Brown had two sacks, Dillon Coen had three tackles for loss, Drew Swiatek recovered a fumble and Ryan Novak had a team-high four total tackles. Jackson Ramos and Anthony Grossi had sacks and other tackles for loss came from Giovanny Gonzalez (two), Devontae Givens, Luke Kumskis, Joe Midona, Jakub Buksa and David Ledesma.
Quarterback Diego Gutierrez scored the first touchdown on a 5-yard run and was 6-for-6 passing for 142 yards, including a 45-yard strike to Luke Kumskis for a 14-0 advantage.
The first-quarter scoring continued with a pick-six interception by Jack Grivetti and touchdown runs by Ryan Novak of 1 yard and Muhammed Salem of 15 yards.
Nate Padilla and John Super had 6- and 5-yard touchdown runs in the second quarter. Max Almeida had an 8-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
“Obviously we came out fast, a great team win,” Styler said.
LTHS breezes past Proviso West
Lyons Township High School junior quarterback Ryan Jackson surpassed his previous strong performances Sept. 30 at Proviso West.
Jackson threw for a varsity personal-best five touchdowns on just nine completions as the Lions rolled to a 51-6 West Suburban Conference Silver victory.
With their fifth victory, the Lions (5-1, 3-1) are eligible for their second consecutive playoff berth.
Jackson was 9-for-11 passing for 184 yards to six receivers — four of them collecting touchdowns in Travis Stamm (two), Graham Smith, Noah Pfafflin and Jack McQueeney.
The Lions stormed to a 37-0 lead after the first quarter with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Smith, Dylan Rickman’s 10-yard run, a safety and consecutive touchdown passes to Stamm for 33 yards, Pfafflin for 25 and McQueeney for 39.
Jackson found Stamm again for an 8-yard scoring strike in the second quarter. Luke Allegretti scored on a 19-yard run for a 51-0 halftime lead.
Leading tacklers were Thomas Townsend, who had a 5-yard tackle for loss, Jack Falls, Danny Pasko, Patrick Cramer, Quinn Magee and Danny Zarco. The Panthers (2-4, 0-4) were limited to one yard rushing.