NAPERVILLE – Week 4 was one to learn from and forget for Glenbard East, but Week 5 isn’t going to be any easier.
The Rams traveled to Naperville Central on Sept. 20 and got smashed 55-0 in a game that was never close. Playing without starting quarterback Drake Pusateri and talented two-way athlete Javon York, the Rams fell, 21-0 in a matter of minutes, and trailed 42-0 after a quarter.
“We just kind of got in a 21-0 hole in three minutes,” East coach John Walters said. “Then the roof kind of caved in from there.”
The Redhawks (4-0) returned the opening kick off for a touchdown, then scored in quick succession as an interception in Rams’ territory to set up the second score and another interception was returned for a touchdown on East’s next drive.
Now the Rams (2-2) face Glenbard North, another team with big talent and ambitions.
The Panthers (3-1) were the Class 8A runner up last season and still feature running back Justin Jackson.
To say the Northwestern recruit gets his fair share of touches could be an understatement. The Rams know what’s coming.
“We’ve got our hands full trying to get him to the ground,” Walters said. “I think the week before he touched the ball on 43 of 58 plays, so we have a pretty good idea who’s going to get the ball. We just have to stop it.
“It’s very difficult to simulate the speed of [Jackson] and his elusiveness.”
Walters described the Panthers as an old school offense where they grind a few yards at a time and can break off a big play with one missed tackle.
“We have to come up with some ways to confuse the blocking scheme to maybe pop a guy free,” Walters said.
The Rams’ defense will look to show more of the quality from its Week 3 shutout at West Aurora than the 55 points it surrendered in the first half against Naperville Central. Walters expects York to be healthy to give the defense its best player back.
Pusateri also should be back to lead the offense.
“It looks like we’re going to be pretty healthy this week,” Walters said.
Naperville Central 55
Glenbard East 0
Passing: Alex Bojan 11-for-20, 96 yards
Rushing: Omar Ayesh 5-17; Dominic Wilberton 12-12
Receiving: Alex Ciszewski 2-42; Wilberton 3-17
Week 5: Glenbard East vs. Glenbard North
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: 1014 S. Main St., Lombard
Records: Glenbard East 2-2 (1-1 DVC), Naperville Central 4-0 (2-0 DVC)
Outlook: It doesn't get any easier for Glenbard East. After a heavy defeat to Naperville Central on Friday, the Rams take on another undefeated team, Glenbard North. The Panthers have prolific Northwestern-recruit Justin Jackson, who has already run for 1,059 and 14 rushing touchdowns.