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Raiders reach perfection ahead of postseason

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 2:54 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 3:03 p.m. CDT
Sarah Minor - sminor@shawmedia.com Glenbard South players listen to their coach's instructions on the sidelines during the Oct. 11 game against Fenton. The Raiders will carry the momentum of a 9-0 season into their playoff opener on Saturday.

CHICAGO HEIGHTS – With this his senior season, Zach Smith was looking to make the biggest impact he could for the Glenbard South football team.

Mission accomplished.

Finding the end zone on three occasions in Friday’s 29-13 victory over Bloom, the running back ran his 2013 total to 26 touchdowns as the Raiders put the final touches on the program’s first-ever undefeated regular season.

“I put my heart into it every week just like the rest of the team does,” Smith said. “My contribution is [the same as] their contribution and we are all doing it together.”

While the team ultimately has bigger goals, what Glenbard South has already accomplished this season isn’t lost on the players.

“It’s really special,” Smith said about the 9-0 mark. “Always going into a season, you want to be undefeated. But we took a different approach this year. Instead of thinking about going 9-0, we thought about going 1-0 every week.”

As for his individual success, Smith points to a specific factor.

“Teams can’t always key on me,” he said. “Every game, everyone on the offense touches the ball at least once or twice. I don’t think there’s been a game ... where everyone on the field in a skill position hasn’t touched the ball. With this offense, everyone can make their mark.”

Now with the postseason looming, the Raiders will once again have to prove themselves, especially to those who question their strength of schedule.

“People can take us however they want to take us,” Smith said. “What I know is the kind of team we have. We have a high powered offense, and defensively, we are physical and we fly around. You can’t pick your schedule. But we are ready for any challenge.”

Up first is a St. Francis team that has faced the win-or-go-home proposition for a couple of weeks. The Spartans won their final two games to qualify for the postseason at 5-4.

“They are a good football team,” Glenbard South coach Jeremy Cordell said. “Everybody is good now. We had a nice test last week and I thought we passed that with flying colors. We are excited. We have to play good team defense and keep doing what we’ve been doing on offense.”

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