WESTMONT – The Westmont Wildcats youth football team played an important game Sept. 29, and it wasn't just the fact that it was homecoming weekend that made it important.
The Wildcats welcomed Bridgeport with first place in the Chicagoland Youth Football League blue division on the line. A dominant defensive effort helped Westmont put the cherry on top of homecoming weekend with a 27-0 victory.
Westmont was stopped on the opening drive of the game, but cornerback Daniel Janas made an extremely difficult interception and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown during Bridgeport’s first drive for a 6-0 lead.
On Bridgeport's second drive, defensive end Nicolas Gerbasi (3 1/2 tackles, 1 sack and 1 tackle for a loss of 7 yards), cornerback Joshua Lumpkin (6 tackles), linebacker Jonte Glanville (1 1/2 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss of 3 yards), defensive tackle Rahshon Murff (3 tackles) and nose guard Zach Gacek (3 tackles, 2 tackles for losses of 3 yards) shut the visitors down.
Westmont's offense added to the score as quarterback Mason Pardy threw a perfect pass to Janas for a 68-yard touchdown. Running back Eddie Mills (4 carries, 46 yards, 2 extra points) followed the blocking of Cameron VanHoegarden, Gabe Lischalk, Nicolas Gerbasi, and Zach Gacek and plowed through the Huskie defense for the extra point, giving Westmont a 13-0 lead.
Janas made a big play on Bridgeport's next drive as he shed a blocker, took on the running back, forced a fumble and recovered the ball, all on the same play. Pardy then connected with Janas on a 57-yard touchdown pass, Mills muscled in for the extra point and Westmont led 20-0 late in the second quarter.
Moments later, VanHoegarden recovered Chaz Hunter's onside kick, Pardy and Mills connected on a 45-yard touchdown pass, and Hunter added the extra point run to make it 27-0 at halftime.
Gerbasi earned the team's Tank Award as the best blocker in the game, and Janas was named the team’s Hitman as the best defender in the game.