CN100 Sports Football Preview: Week 5 - Lyons Township vs. Glenbard West

Jerry Bennett
CN100 Game of the Week: Lyons Township vs. Glenbard West

IHSA Football Week 5 – Lyons Township vs. Glenbard West

– Ever since Chad Hetlet took over Glenbard West 10 years ago, the Hilltoppers have not only been the toast of the West Suburban Silver, but a consistent state title contender.

This year appears no different, as Glenbard West has gotten off to a 4-0 start, as has its opponent Saturday, Lyons. But the Hilltoppers’ dominance has not been lost on Lyons coach Kurt Weinberg.

"Glenbard West has been at the top of our conference for quite some time," Weinberg said. "They are and have been the team to beat. Coach Hetlet and his staff prepare their players very well and they always play extremely hard. To have a chance to beat them, you must prepare to play 48 minutes of excellent football."

The battle of undefeated teams can be seen on CN100, The Comcast Network, at Noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25, and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27. You can also watch it anytime in HD with Xfinity On Demand by clicking Get Local and CN100. X1 users, look for Get Local under the Xfinity Services tab.

Glenbard West (4-0, 2-0) is doing it with its traditional formula of running the football and stout defense. Senior DJ Ficarella leads the way with 368 yards and three touchdowns in 63 carries. Ficarella has also caught seven passes for 41 yards. Junior Dre Thomas starts alongside him. He’s gained 172 yards and a touchdown in 39 carries.

Junior Ryan Diver adds another wrinkle with 209 yards and three touchdowns on the ground and five receptions for 46 yards.

Senior quarterback Cole Brady hasn’t been the most efficient quarterback around, 32-for-74 for 483 yards and five touchdowns without throwing an interception. As has been the case many times in the Hetlet era, a tight end is the leading receiver. Senior Alex Philstrom paces the team with nine catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Juniors Alec Pierce and Ben Reifel start at receiver.

Defensively, the Hilltoppers feature a traditional 3-4 front and have allowed only 20 points through four games. Seniors Dionte Moorehead and Matt Scruggs man the defensive end slots with sophomore Marky Winters at nose tackle.

The outside linebackers are senior Chris Langan and junior Nate Sheller with seniors Luke Favia and Eric Samuta inside. Seniors Justice Bradley and Jackson Goleash and junior Jack Campanella are in the mix in the secondary.

The Hilltoppers are coming off a perfect 14-0 Class 7A state championship season, the third in school history and second under Hetlet. After finishing 6-5 his first season, Glenbard West has gone 100-8 the past eight-plus seasons.

Lyons (4-0, 1-0) finished 5-5 in each of the past three seasons but jumped out to a hot start this season. Junior Ben Bryant leads the pass-heavy offense completing 71 percent of his passes for 745 yards and eight touchdowns. Seniors Hasahn Austin and Riley Kloes and juniors Brandon Fischer and Nate Rusk all start at receiver. Each has at least six catches and a touchdown through four weeks. The lone back is senior Reggie Terrell.

Defensively, the Lions go 3-5-3 with their alignment. Senior Ryan Buhle and juniors Mickey Brown and Andrew Ezell are up front. Seniors Joe Koszut, Matt Phillipp and Jack Walton are the anchors at linebacker, with seniors Grady Davis and Thomas Jackson on the outside.

In the secondary, a pair of brothers, senior Howard Willis and sophomore Hareson Willis, are joined by Austin.

"We’re playing well," Weinberg said. "We have been executing well and improving week-to-week. There are still some areas of improvement to be sure, but improvement has been steady and I am happy with where we are going."


- Paul Johnson, CN100 Sports Correspondent


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