DARIEN – Stopping the Willowbrook offense now may seem like an unthinkable task.
The Warriors have put up big numbers the past two weeks and are showing no signs of slowing down.
Brian Johnson followed up his record-setting 675 passing yards in Week 2 with 372 more in a 35-28 win at Hinsdale South on Sept. 13 in the West Suburban Gold opener for both teams.
Hinsdale South’s option offense meant the Willowbrook offense wasn’t going to see much of the ball, but that didn’t matter.
“They controlled the ball for a lot of the game so we were trying to make every possession count,” Johnson said.
“We were just trying to move the ball as best as we could. In the beginning of the game it wasn’t working out so well, but in the end we got into our groove.”
The Warriors broke away from a halftime tie and the defense forced three turnovers. Hayden Adams and Micah Williams each had an interception and Paul Yacoub had a fumble recovery.
Entering the game, Willowbrook was fired up to beat a Hinsdale South team that was picked by some to win the conference. The 2-1 Warriors, the only Gold team with more than one win, could be the favorite after their victory dropped the Hornets to 0-3.
“It feels good because they were predicted to win conference,” Adams said. “I knew our offense was going to be really good. Our defense is stepping it up a lot more. Our offense is just taking control of the game.”
Adams averaged over 30 yards per catch on five receptions. Devin Childress had another big day with 166 yards receiving and a touchdown. Throw in running back Jeremy Barnes contributing 93 all purpose yards and the Warriors are excelling at using each of their weapons.
“We’re moving the ball around and spreading the ball out to each player,” Adams said. “Each offensive player has been contributing a lot.”
Johnson added that the chemistry between the senior skill players has been key. Adams, Barnes and Childress were key weapons for Johnson on last year’s playoff team.
They likely will need another big day against 2-1 York, which also plays a run-heavy offense.
“We always get pumped up for this game because it’s a rival,” Childress said. “We look at it as a really big game. Coming in as freshmen we were taught not to like York.”
Hinsdale South 28
Passing: Brian Johnson 15-24, 372 yards, 2 TDs
Rushing: Jeremy Barnes 13-78, TD; Johnson 7-42, 2 TDs
Receiving: Devin Childress 7-166, TD; Hayden Adams 5-163; Joe Catanese 2-28, TD
Week 4: Willowbrook vs. York
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: John A. Fischer Field, 1250 S. Ardmore Ave., Villa Park
Records: Willowbrook 2-1, York 2-1
Outlook: York and Willowbrook enter this game with opposing momentum. The Dukes' run-heavy offense was limited in a 30-7 loss to Hinsdale Central, their first of the season. The Warriors are riding a high after a second impressive win in a row, this time over Hinsdale South 35-28 to open conference play. Last season the Warriors beat York 42-41.