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Glenbard West takes command in second half at Lyons Township

Joey Pope scores three TDs, Pat Shadid and Hilltoppers’ ‘D’ dominant in 35-3 win

LA GRANGE – The Glenbard West football team was explosive Friday at Lyons Township as junior Joey Pope had a 46-yard touchdown run on just the second play from scrimmage.

Then the Hilltoppers were simply impressive.

“I think we played the best second half – of our careers,” said senior linebacker Pat Shadid after the Hilltoppers’ 35-3 West Suburban Conference Silver victory.

“I believe we’re really coming together and just going 1-0 every week. I really loved our defense today. That’s the best we’ve ever played all year, together as a team. And our offense got it together in the end. We’re playing a tough four quarters of football.”

Glenbard West (7-1, 4-1 in Silver) took command behind three touchdowns on three possessions in the third quarter after only leading 7-3 at halftime. Pope scored the first three TDs en route to breaking 1,000 rushing yards on the season while the defense allowed just 70 net yards in the second half.

The Hilltoppers now can earn a share of the Silver title if they can beat spring conference champion Hinsdale Central (7-1, 5-0) in the regular-season finale Oct. 23 in Glen Ellyn.

“Our eyes are not on the conference title. Our eyes are on winning at home,” Shadid said. “Last time we were at home we lost to York (12-10) and that really hit us hard and that was a wake-up call. Our prize is tradition and never losing back-to-back at home because we’ve never done that under (coach) Chad Hetlet.”

Pope rushed 16 times for 170 yards and also was the recipient of 80 of quarterback Korey Tai’s 99 passing yards.

With another great defensive effort, the Hilltoppers have allowed just 65 points all season.

“It was Glenbard West football. We played really good defense. Our offense just kept moving the chains and then we had some big plays,” Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said.

“I was really excited about how we played. Last week, we turned the ball over, had a ton of penalties. The week before, same thing. You can’t beat a team that’s solid if you do those things and we didn’t do those things in the second half. It’s a big step for us, even though it’s Week 8. We’re still growing.”

Pope increased his scoring total to 17 TDs this season, 13 of them rushing. Pope needed 118 rushing yards Friday to reach 1,000 for the season.

“I didn’t even know that. That’s great to hear but I don’t care too much about accolades for myself, I just want to win as a team,” Pope said.

“That was the best half of football we’ve ever played. It was nice to have a dominating win against a good team like LT. It’s a good feeling for our team.”

The defense set up the second-half scoring on Egan Foley’s interception return to the LT 43. Pope bounced off a tackler and turned a short-yardage gain for first down into a 35-yard TD run.

Tai then found Pope for a 43-yard TD pass and scored on a 26-yard run after Pope converted a fourth-and-1 run. Jack Oberhofer, a linebacker like Shadid, scored on a 21-yard run in the fourth quarter, dragging the last defender with him into the end zone.

About the only setback was Pope being helped off the field in the fourth quarter after an 18-yard gain.

“Just cramped up. Both calves. It was pretty rough,” Pope said.

The Lions (4-4, 2-3) need to win their regular-season finale at Downers Grove North to be in contention for their first playoff berth since 2017.

“We just need to put together two good halves,” said LT senior defensive back and tri-captain Owen Cherry.

“I think in the position we’re in, we can’t want it more than we want it now. A good week of practice, get back at it, fix some stuff.”

LT senior all-conference quarterback Joey Antonietti moved to running back and receiver in Week 6 and alternated between the three positions Friday. On his first snap at quarterback in the first quarter, he had a 65-yard run to the 31 and the drive advanced to the 13 after a fourth-down personal foul penalty. David Waight kicked a 25-yard field goal.