Lyons’ heads spinning after Glenbard West pounding
Lyons Township's Matthew Harris looks to somehow escape Glenbard West defenders Hayden Carlson (8), Contrell Silmon (5), and Joe Marconi (2). | Patrick Gleason ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 18, 2012 2:25PM
GLEN ELLYN — Glenbard West came into the football season looking like the team to beat in Class 7A.
Three weeks and two signature wins into the year, nothing has happened to change that perception.
The Hilltoppers had big plays on offense, defense and special teams en route to a surprisingly dominant 49-7 win over visiting Lyons on Saturday in a West Suburban Silver opener.
Glenbard West opened with an efficient 28-7 win over 2011 Class 7A runner-up Wheaton Warrenville South. The Hilltoppers’ 49-7 Week 2 win over Willowbrook looks better after the Warriors knocked off York Friday night to go to 2-1.
Glenbard West kept the pressure up Saturday against Lyons. Barely a minute into the game, Nathan Marcus blocked a Lyons punt and teammate Nick Garland recovered it in the end zone for an early 7-0 lead. Scott Andrews’ 67-yard kickoff return after Lyons’ only score set up the points that put the Hilltoppers ahead to stay later in the first quarter.
Still in the first quarter, West’s defense lived up to the team’s alternate nickname — the Hitters — by forcing and recovering Lyons fumbles on consecutive offensive plays. And in the second period, the Hitters twice stopped Lyons drives deep in Glenbard West territory — once getting the ball back on downs and another time on Garland’s fumble recovery.
The Glenbard West offense? It pulled its weight, too. Andrews (8 carries, 54 yards, 2 TDs) and Joe Zito (14 carries, 72 yards, 2 TDs) were typically productive as ball carriers. But perhaps more worrying for the rest of the West Suburban Silver was the way the Hilltoppers threw the ball.
Henry Haeffner completed 9-of-10 passes for 165 yards, with seven of his throws going for 10 yards or more. His last series before leaving the game included a 45-yarder down the right sideline to Marcus and a 32-yarder the other way to Deon Dumas.
“I love our diversity on offense,” said Garland, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound senior who plays on both lines. “There are weapons all over the place. ... I’ve been out for three years and this is the fastest offense I’ve seen.”
“I think Henry’s done a great job,” Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said. “He’s been very consistent with what we’re doing, what we ask of him. Everybody knows we’re going to run the all first then we’re going to play-action (passes).”
Lyons also had success throwing the ball — Zach Mahoney was 21-of-28 for 265 yards with an interception and a touchdown — but the turnovers and missed chances were too much to overcome.
“I don’t know what we’re going to take out of this other than a butt-kicking,” Lyons coach Kurt Weinberg said.
Also worrying: Northwestern-bound Matt Harris (106 combined yards rushing and receiving) left the game early in the third quarter after taking a hard, clean hit.
“Obviously something’s not right (with Harris),” Weinberg said. “We’ll find out how he is (later Saturday).”