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Warriors crush Proviso East to
move within one win of a conference title

A home win this Friday would give the Warriors
their first conference crown since 1982

By Chris Fox

The Willowbrook football team
earned its sixth straight win by
pounding Proviso East 57-12 in Friday’s
West Suburban Gold Conference
game in Villa Park.
The Warriors, who held a 44-0
halftime lead over the winless Pirates,
improved to 7-1 overall and
5-0 in conference play with one game
left in the regular season. If Willowbrook
beats Downers Grove South
(4-4 overall, 4-1 conference) in this
Friday’s conference game in Villa
Park, it will finish alone atop the
conference standings. The Warriors
have never won or shared the West
Suburban Gold Conference football
championship. The team has finished
second in the conference standings in
four of the last five seasons. The Willowbrook
program last won a conference
football title 35 years ago, when
it won the Des Plaines Valley League
crown in 1982.
“I think we were a little bit sloppy,”
said Willowbrook coach Nick
Hildreth after Friday’s victory.
“We’re always prepping for who
we’re playing, but we’re concentrating
on getting better and being sharp.
It wasn’t all bad. We did some things
well, but we have to do better.”
The Warriors drove 62 yards for
a touchdown on their first drive of
the night. Senior quarterback John
Taylor scored on a 10-yard run with
10:40 left in the first quarter. Senior
Betty-Ann Garrett, who made seven
of eight extra-point attempts on the
night, made the ensuing kick to give
Willowbrook a 7-0 lead.
The Warriors needed only one
play to score on their next drive.
Senior Chris Diaz busted a 66-yard
touchdown run down the sideline to
extend Willowbrook’s lead to 13-0
with 8:48 left in the first quarter. Later
in the period, Taylor connected
with junior Scott Tumilty on a 9-yard
touchdown pass. The Warriors held a
21-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The lead grew to 23-0 when the
Pirates (0-8 overall, 0-5 in the conference)
committed a holding penalty
in the end zone, which resulted
in a safety. Proviso East then punted
to the Warriors, who soon scored
their fourth touchdown of the night.
A 27-yard pass from Taylor to senior
Sikander Zafar moved the ball to the
Pirates’ 2-yard-line.
Senior Jack Jessen carried the ball
over the goal line two plays later.
Senior Christian Washington scored
the Warriors’ next touchdown on a
2-yard run with less than three minutes
to play in the first half. Taylor
fired a touchdown pass of about 50
yards to senior Martique Barksdale
with about one minute left in the half.
That touchdown increased the lead to
43-0 and set up a running clock for
the entire second half.
Junior D’Onte Gholston returned
a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown
to account for one of the Warriors’
second-half scores. Junior Franshun
Jordan scored Willowbrook’s eighth
and final touchdown on an interception
In addition to giving the Warriors
sole possession of the conference title,
a win over Downers Grove South
this Friday would improve the team’s
seeding in the upcoming playoffs.
“We really haven’t talked about
it much,” said Hildreth of the team’s
quest for a conference title. “Everything
will kind of take care of itself.
Our approach is the same every
week. We’re trying to get better.”

Glenbard East earns its second win, outscoring West Chicago 43-22

The Rams earned their second win in three games when they traveled to West Chicago and beat the Wildcats 43-22 in Friday’s Upstate Eight Valley Conference contest. Glenbard East improved to 2-6 overall and 2-2 in conference action. The Rams will complete the 2017 season with this Friday’s Upstate Eight Valley home game against Bartlett (also 2-6 overall and 2-2 in the conference).
Glenbard East trailed West Chicago (2-6, 1-4) 16-7 after one quarter, but the Rams proceeded to score 36 straight points to take a 43-16 lead. Glenbard East seized a 29-16 edge by halftime.
Junior quarterback Bret Bushka completed nine of 17 pass attempts for 235 yards and three touchdowns. Bushka also ran 13 times for 68 yards and a pair of scores.
Senior receiver Kenny Adams made five catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Adams scored the game’s opening touchdown on an 85-yard pass play in the first quarter. He scored the Rams’ next touchdown on a 46-yard reception from Bushka in the second quarter.
Bushka delivered a short touchdown run in the second quarter. He also fired a 17-yard scoring strike to junior Jeremy Johnson. The Rams’ offense continued to produce points in the second half. Johnson ran 31 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Bushka scored the team’s final touchdown on a 16-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Senior Jack Oberli matched Bushka as the team’s rushing leader; both Rams ran for 68 yards. Johnson gained 46 yards on five carries.
The Wildcats held a 16-15 lead and had the ball inside the Rams’ 10-yard line in the second quarter, but Glenbard East senior nose tackle KeShawn Spencer forced a fumble. Senior defensive end Patrick Lyons recovered the fumble. The Rams then put together a drive that ended with Bushka’s short touchdown run.
Junior linebacker Jack Baka of the Rams forced a fumble on West Chicago’s first possession of the second half.
Senior linebacker Patrick Leahy recovered the loose ball at midfield. Glenbard East then drove for a score—Johnson’s 17-yard reception from Bushka.