Adrian Guerrero’s big plays in all three phases help Willowbrook hold off Hinsdale South

Willowbrook senior Adrian Guerrero

VILLA PARK – Adrian Guerrero showed off nearly every facet of his multidimensional game Oct. 8.

The Willowbrook senior even tossed in a new wrinkle against Hinsdale South – a touchdown pass.

Guerrero had an impactful performance in all three phases of the game, leading the Warriors to a 21-14 victory over the Hornets in West Suburban Gold action.

Guerrero, one of the leading stars in the victory for the Warriors (4-3, 4-1), tossed a 47-yard touchdown pass to KJ Rhodes, caught a touchdown, intercepted a pass, recovered an onside kick late in the fourth quarter and made three point-after attempts.

Although the 5-foot-10, 215-pound Guerrero made plays all over the field, especially in the final three quarters, he said his double pass touchdown to Rhodes on the first play of the second quarter that gave the Warriors a 7-0 lead was his favorite.

“We practiced it all week and I knew we were going to score on it because they bite down and he would be wide open, and he was,” Guerrero said. “I love throwing the ball. It felt great. As soon as I let it go, I knew he scored because he’s the fastest player on the field. I’m tired a little bit, but I’m ready to play against York.”

Guerrero’s all-around play stole the spotlight from the diminutive Rhodes, who caught two touchdown passes. Guerrero snatched a 23-yard touchdown pass from Arthur Palicki to increase the lead to 21-7 late in the fourth quarter. After Hinsdale South (2-5, 2-2) cut the deficit to 14-7 when Nathaniel Fundator hauled in a 19-yard TD pass with 3:26 left, Guerrero recovered the onside kick to ice the victory.

Guerrero’s interception in the second quarter was one of two by the Warriors’ defense in the game.

“Adrian has been a really great leader for us,” Willowbrook coach Nick Hildreth said. ”He’s all over the place, playing inside linebacker for us, plays in the slot and kickoffs and punts. He does a little bit of everything for us. He’s really been a guy who when some of our other guys have gone down, he’s stepped up in a leadership role and done a good job keeping the group together. He’s a good athlete.”

Listed at 5-foot-7 and 160 pounds, Rhodes plays a lot bigger than his size. He played both ways, making key tackles and extending drives. Four minutes after catching the TD bomb from Guerrero, Rhodes snared a 9-yard scoring toss from Palicki to push the lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter.

“When I got the first touchdown, I knew I had to keep focusing, grinding and keep pushing myself to keep going harder,” Rhodes said. “I knew the game was ours. We just had to come take it.”

Hinsdale South nearly pulled off the comeback, led by a number of big-play athletes. Sam Schuyler broke free for an electric 53-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and Anthony Montez was a threat in the run and passing games.

But Willowbrook prevailed with a solid defensive performance and a few big plays on offense.