VILLA PARK – The Willowbrook football team’s chances to win the West Suburban Gold conference title took a hit with a 47-14 loss to Downers Grove South on Oct. 11.
It was a matchup between two teams with unbeaten records in conference, and with the win, South moved into the driver’s seat to claim the conference title.
The Mustangs raced out to a 35-7 lead at the half, and the hosts were never able to recover.
The Warriors, who averaged 40.5 points per game through the first six games, were held to a season-low in points.
Willowbrook coach Nick Hildreth said the Mustangs were more physical than his team, particularly on the lines.
“You’re not going to win football games by doing that,” he said. “It happened quick and we weren’t able to recover.”
The Mustangs (4-3, 4-0) gained their big first-half lead through a balanced attack of three passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.
Wide receiver Javon Turner accounted for all three of the first-half receiving touchdowns, including a 65-yard score he broke free on that gave the Mustangs a 7-0 lead.
The Warriors tied up the game on the next possession, with wide receiver Hayden Adams catching an 11-yard touchdown, but after a failed onside kick by the Warriors, South scored on a drive that lasted five rushing plays.
The Mustangs’ offense didn’t let up, scoring touchdowns on their next three possessions.
Hildreth said South’s ball possession played a part in keeping the Warriors’ offense from getting in a flow.
“It’s huge in the sense that we couldn’t get anything moving,” he said. “They’re so good up front that they started churning that thing out and moving the chains. They could do whatever they wanted and kept the ball out of our hands.”
The Mustangs added two more touchdowns in the second half before putting in backups and running out the clock.
Warriors wide receiver Joe Catanese caught a 44-yard touchdown before the end of the third quarter for the Warriors’ only other score.
Downers Grove South 47, Willowbrook 14
Passing: Brian Johnson 13-for-28, 192 yards, 2 TDs
Rushing: Jeremy Barnes 10-23
Receiving: Joe Catanese 3-77, TD; Devin Childress 5-61; Barnes 2-35; Hayden Adams 2-14, TD
Week 8: Willowbrook at Leyden
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: 1000 N. Wolf Rd., Northlake
Records: Willowbrook 5-2 (3-1 WSG), Leyden 2-5 (2-3 WSG)
Outlook: After getting abused by Downers Grove South in what was arguably the biggest game of the season for Willowbrook, the Warriors will look to rebound against Leyden. A Willowbrook win will clinch a playoff spot for the Warriors. Leyden is coming off its second win of the season, 28-0 over Morton.