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Raiders not caught up in hype

Erica Benson -
Glenbard South's Dylan Brambora (middle) hands the ball off to Zach Smith during the Raiders' homecoming win over Elmwood Park on Friday.
Erica Benson - Glenbard South's Dylan Brambora (middle) hands the ball off to Zach Smith during the Raiders' homecoming win over Elmwood Park on Friday.

GLEN ELLYN – As the weeks go by and the wins pile up, the noise surrounding the Glenbard South football program no doubt is increasing.

But don’t think for a second that the Raiders’ are going to get caught up in the hype.

After a 48-0 win over Elmwood Park pushed Glenbard South’s record to a perfect 5-0, the focus quickly was shifting to this week’s matchup against Riverside Brookfield.

“Everyone in the hallways is saying ‘you guys are undefeated and are doing so well,’” said senior wide receiver Clark Gary, “but we are just trying to focus on being 1-0 each week. We are trying not to jinx ourselves. It’s not hard [to block out talk about being undefeated] as long as you stay focused.”

But before switching their thoughts to a winless Bulldogs team, the Raiders did savor their victory over Elmwood Park, that team that denied Glenbard South the Metro Suburban Conference title in 2012.

“It was 378 long days since we lost to Elmwood Park,” Gary said. “This game has been on the calender since last year and it was awesome to make a statement.”

Glenbard South coach Jeremy Cordell agreed that this one had a little extra meaning.

“No question about it,” he said. “Last year hurt, it hurt a lot. For whatever reason, and that’s on me, we didn’t get it done. We wanted to make sure we were the best team we could be this week.

“The kids were focused, they had a great week of practice and they came out and played hard.”

As has been the case in each game this fall, the Raiders jumped out in front early. Quarterback Alex Jeske threw touchdown passes to Gary, Jake Duffy and Jimmy Ebbole while running backs Zach Smith and Jake Straza combined for three touchdowns on the ground.

“It’s a lot of fun to be a part of this offense,” Gary said. “It can be tiring but when we are practicing, we are always going full speed and trying to get as many reps as possible.

“Everyone gets a lot of touches and I think everyone on the starting offense has scored at least one touchdown.”

Andrew Wrona rounded out the scoring with a 48-yard interception return late in the second quarter. As a whole, Glenbard South allowed Elmwood Park to total just 49 yards of offense in the first two quarters.

“The kids are flying around and are really physical,” Cordell said. “And every week, they are trying to improve their fundamentals.”

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