LOMBARD – Glenbard East football hasn’t had a lot to cheer in recent years, but after a season opening win over rival Willowbrook there is optimism around the program.
Junior quarterback Drake Pusateri had an impressive varsity debut to lead the Rams to a 28-21 win over the visiting Warriors Saturday night.
The game got rescheduled twice due to weather before finally settling on a 7 p.m. start, which meant the game was played under the lights and provided a proper stage for Pusateri.
“I went home last night in pure anger because we could not play under the lights,” Pusateri said. “As soon as they rescheduled this game to Saturday I knew that I had to do everything I could because I’m never going to get the chance to beat Willowbrook on my field again under the lights.”
With the score tied at 14-14 at halftime, Pusateri came out and passed for 146 yards and ran for 70 yards more in the second half alone.
He ran for a one-yard score with 8:08 left in the third quarter to give the Rams (1-0) a 21-14 lead. On the second play of the fourth quarter he connected with Alex Ciszewski for a 20-yard touchdown to double the lead.
Brian Johnson scored on a 7-yard run on the ensuing Willowbrook drive, but the Warriors fumbled the ball inside Glenbard East territory on each of its final two possessions.
“It’s a thrill any time you win a high school football game,” said Glenbard East coach John Walters. “When you’ve worked as hard as our guys have it’s awesome, but we’re not looking into the past. We’re looking more towards the future and that’s what we have going on at Glenbard East. We played a good game tonight, but we have a ways to go to get better.”
The Rams will play at Oswego East, which beat Woodstock 43-35, next week. Willowbrook (0-1) will travel to Lyons Township.
“Defensively a bunch of third downs, missed assignments and lack of execution and that’s what happens,” said Willowbrook coach Nick Hildreth. “Offensively we don’t finish drives early and we turn the ball over late you’re not going to beat anybody doing that.”