Connor Cerkas throws four TDs, Glenbard East breaks open game at Elgin with big second quarter

ELGIN – A big second quarter was all Glenbard East needed.

The Rams’ 23 second-quarter points broke open a previously scoreless game and provided all the offense they needed in defeating Elgin 37-6 Friday in an Upstate Eight contest at Memorial Field.

Connor Cerkas threw four touchdown passes, three of them to Tyrese Buffkin.

The Rams (2-0) scored 16 points in less than four minutes to break open the game. On the second play of the second quarter, Cerkas found Buffkin in the end zone from eight yards out.

On the ensuing possession, the Rams sacked Elgin quarterback James Syrek on back-to-back plays. On the second Demontay Mack dropped him in the end zone for a safety.

Following the free kick, Cerkas found Dailen Zollicoffer for 36 yards to the 8-yard line. Zollicoffer ran it in on the next play.

Cerkas found Buffkin again late in the half to make it 23-0 at the break.

The Rams were solid in all three phases. The defense limited the Maroons to 29 yards and came up with four turnovers and three sacks.

“Playing 3 phases [was key],” said Glenbard East coach John Walters. “That was kind of a big deal for us, being able to score the ball on offense 5 times. I thought we played really well and were more physical than they were, trying to attack them offensively. And the special teams were big for us tonight.”

Offensively, the Rams spread the ball around. Two quarterbacks threw to seven different receivers, and three running backs — Nick Kostov, Dimitri Hritz, and John Seybold — ran for at least 40 yards.

Elgin (0-2) struggled to get going on offense in the first half, but Clem McCullough gave the Maroons a spark after the break. He took over at quarterback and led Elgin’s lone scoring drive. He completed 2 passes to Dawayne Evans for 39 yards on the drive before taking it to the end zone himself on a pass from Syrek.

For the game, McCullough completed four passes for 40 yards, caught three for 18 yards, ran five times for 31 yards, and returned 6 kickoffs for 123 yards.

Elgin forced a punt on Glenbard East’s first possession, then drove into Rams territory only to have the drive end on an interception by Alonso Perkins. The Maroons couldn’t sustain the early success.

“It’s almost like we were shocked,” said Elgin coach Anthony Mason. “We were shocked in the first quarter that we were playing so well, playing decently. With the inexperience, it makes us not be used to what we have tried to make this program used to: doing things well, doing things at an elite level and giving ourselves a chance to win.”