GLEN ELLYN – Considering the heat and humidity, it was a difficult night to play “gladiator,” but Glenbard South senior Connor Murphy loved every minute of it.
With Murphy playing in his usual spots on the offensive and defensive lines, and making his debut at punter, the Raiders opened the season with a 28-0 Upstate Eight Conference victory against Bartlett in Glen Ellyn.
“I didn’t have my backup in so I was playing ‘gladiator,’ wasn’t really able to get any breaks on offense,” Murphy said. “So I was going both ways plus punting this year. It really drained me out a little bit.”
Murphy and his fellow offensive linemen put in the work in front of running back Trevor Burnett, who carried 28 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns.
“We’re putting all of our eggs in the basket of our offensive line and defensive line and we feel like this is one of the stronger lines on both sides of the ball that we’ve had in a long time,” Raiders coach Ryan Crissey said. “To go against a really strong team like Bartlett, a physical team and be able to move the ball the way we did and stop the run game says a lot about our boys.”
On defense the Raiders held Bartlett to just 65 yards total offense, all of it on the ground. Murphy added a sack.
“The defense played absolutely lights out,” Crissey said.
“We never really got it clicking,” Hawks coach Matt Erlenbaugh added. " ... Things just weren’t going our way tonight.”
The Raiders’ first touchdown came on the second play of the second quarter. Sophomore quarterback Michael Champagne found wide receiver Cam Williams for a 17-yard TD pass.
On their next possession the Raiders went 32 yards in six plays, ending with Burnett’s first TD, from 6 yards out.
Glenbard South opened the third quarter with an 80-play drive capped by Champagne’s second TD pass, 31 yards to Nathan Plaso on a third-and-1 call.
Burnett added another TD late in the fourth on an 8-yard run.
Starting the season with a win against a good team like Bartlett means a lot to seniors like Murphy.
“I think this is the first time beating them in three or four times playing them,” Murphy said. “I remember freshman year and sophomore year they were dogging us and we didn’t really stand a chance at that point. We couldn’t get anything going. Last year we would get to the red zone, couldn’t make anything. And this year we’re coming out and our running game is working. We’re sealing off blocks. Trevor Burnett obviously is able to pop for runs that are 20, 30, 40 yards.”