BARTLETT – Bartlett’s defense came up with a big interception in the second quarter to put the Hawks on the scoreboard Saturday in their Upstate Eight Conference opener against Glenbard South at Millennium Field.
The defense continued to make critical plays the rest of the way to preserve Bartlett’s 10-7 win over the Raiders.
In addition to two interceptions, the Hawks defense stopped the Raiders at Bartlett’s 1-yard line and stalled another drive at its own 22-yard line.
Bartlett coach Matt Erlenbaugh was pleased with his squad’s defensive play but expects even more in the coming games.
“The goal-line stand and the fourth down stand were huge for us, plus the pick-six and another takeaway. All in all I’m happy but not satisfied,” Erlenbaugh said.
With 8:18 left in the first half, Glenbard South (0-1) was threatening to break the scoreless deadlock. On fourth-and-goal from Bartlett’s 13-yard line, Anthony Mape picked off Glenbard South quarterback Cade Hardtke’s pass and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown.
Glenbard South’s Trevor Burnett, who rushed for 95 yards on 13 carries, caught a 6-yard TD pass from Hardtke as the Raiders tied it 7-7 at half.
Glenbard South threatened again on its first drive of the third quarter. The Raiders drove 54 yards in five plays to Bartlett’s 2-yard line for a first down. However, they were only able to advance one more yard before turning the ball over on downs.
A leaping Alex Palella intercepted a Hardtke pass to stop South’s next possession.
“Our coaches told us to watch for a screen and I was in a perfect position,” Palella said. “I just jumped up and snagged it right out of the air. It was an awesome play.”
Bartlett (1-0) pulled back in front at the 10:51 mark of the fourth quarter on Xander Salyers’ 21-yard field goal.
The Raiders made one more attempt to pull ahead. The drive stalled when the Hawks secondary broke up three successive Hardtke passes.
Glenbard South coach Ryan Crissey sees the need for fine tuning his squad.
“The kids had a lot of energy, gave a ton of effort and I am really proud of them,” Crissey said. “The effort was there, the energy was there, but the execution was not there. There are some things we’ve really got to clean up especially on the offensive side.”
Both Hardtke and Bartlett’s Jacob Scearce made their first starts under center. Hardtke completed 15 of 30 passes for 142 yards while Scearce connected on 11 of 15 attempts for 46 yards.
James Knight led Bartlett’s ground game with 9 carries for 40 yards.