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Boys Volleyball: Glenbard East Shuts Down DGS To Claim Regional Title

Glenbard East poses with its regional championship plaque.

Glenbard East’s play at the net was so dominating during Wednesday’s West Aurora regional final against Downers Grove South, it was as if Joey Farrell, Matt Ploke and Tim Shenkin formed a brick wall over the net.

Farrell had 12 kills and two blocks, Ploke had eight kills and two blocks and Shenkin added three kills and four blocks as the Rams knocked off the Mustangs 25-14, 25-17.

“I thought our blocking was absolutely fantastic. It was just lights out and so was our defense,” Glenbard East coach Marci Maier said. “We were firing on multiple cylinders and we always like to see that in the postseason.”

Glenbard East, the No. 2 seed in the Wheaton Warrenville South sectional, moves on to face sixth-seeded Benet at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a sectional semifinal.

The Rams came out of the gate strong, taking a 5-1 lead in Game 1 and never looking back. Glenbard East ended the game on a 7-1 run that featured three kills from Farrell. The junior outside hitter tallied eight kills in Game 1.

“We lost to DGS in our tournament earlier this year. We really wanted to send a message and let them know that we really wanted to win regionals,” Farrell said. “They’re a great team, but we came out with a lot of energy and we came out on top today.”

Downers South (25-11) held its only leads of the match early in Game 2, going ahead 1-0 and 2-1. But the Rams took over from there, going on a 7-2 run powered by two kills and a block from Ploke to take an 8-4 lead. Glenbard East (32-6) would never lose its advantage, going on the win Game 2 25-17.

The Mustangs were unable to win more than two points in row during the match.

“They looked pretty impressive tonight. We couldn’t shut them down, we couldn’t get touches on the ball. At times, we played alright with them, but they had it tonight,” Downers South coach Kurt Steuer said. “Glenbard East is a high energy team. You can’t measure chemistry and they’ve got that on the court.”

Outside hitter Greg Garro had seven kills to lead the Mustangs. Libero David DeMarco had 11 digs and setter C.J. Blaha added 10 assists.

Farrell believes the Rams are playing with the right intensity heading into Friday’s semifinal match against Benet.

“I feel like its going to be a great match, but if we play as good as we did tonight, we’ll come out on top.”

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times and yourseason.com. It appears here.

Downers South lines up for the National Anthem before Wednesday’s game.

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Boys Volleyball: Glenbard East Blows Past Oswego, Into Regional Final

The two teams meet at midcourt before Tuesday’s regional semifinal.

Glenbard East was just too much to handle for Oswego on Tuesday night.

The Rams never trailed as they defeated the Panthers 25-13, 25-16 in a semifinal game of the West Aurora regional.

Glenbard East (31-6), the No. 2 seed in the Wheaton Warrenville South sectional, moves on to face seventh-seeded Downers Grove South on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the regional title game.

“We were outmatched,” Oswego coach Amie West said. “They run a really fast offense and we haven’t seen anything like that. Glenbard East is a great school, they run a great program.”

In Game 1, the Rams used a 7-0 run to take a commanding 13-3 lead, and never looked back, winning the game 25-13. Glenbard East outside hitter Joey Farrell helped set the tone early, tallying eight kills in Game 1.

“I thought they came out well. We had good energy, as we should in a regional game. Joe was on top of his game,” Glenbard East coach Marci Maier said.

The second game didn’t go much better for the Panthers. Glenbard East shot out to 5-0 lead, as outside hitter Ben Haimann and middle hitter Tim Shenkin each provided two kills and two blocks. The Rams stretched their lead to 12 as they won Game 2 25-16.

Middle hitter Freddy Miller led the Panthers with seven kills and three blocks in their final game of the season.

“We are a really good team. They had a ton of potential and they had heart,” West said. “They knew it was going to be difficult, but they had heart, they played with pride, and that’s all I can ask from these boys.”

Maier is hoping her Rams can get some revenge in Wednesday night’s regional final.

“Downers Grove South beat us in our home tournament, so we’re hoping the outcome is different this time,” Maier said.

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Aurora Beacon and yourseason.com. It appears here.

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Wheaton North Flies Past Glenbard East, 56-12

Wheaton North quarterback John Peltz

Wheaton North 56 Glenbard East 12

Quarterback John Peltz ran for four touchdowns and threw for one more as the high-flying Falcons of Wheaton North defeated Glenbard East 56-12 Friday night in Wheaton.

The five touchdown outburst was another strong overall performance from the Falcons’ junior quarterback.

“Johnny Peltz has done a great job for us,” said Wheaton North (4-1, 3-0) coach Joe Wardynski. “When we’ve asked him to carry the ball, he’s a tough kid and gets positive yards for us, and he’s making good decisions with the ball, we’re not turning it over with him back there right now.”

Wheaton North faced an early 6-0 deficit after Glenbard East (1-4, 0-3) quarterback Joe Kotch threw an 85 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Fahey on the Rams’s third snap of the game.

“It was frustrating because we know they like to run that route, we practiced it all week and we still had a kid bite on a slant route right there, which was unfortunate,” said Wardynski.

However, the Falcons struck back in resounding fashion with 56 unanswered points.

Quarterback John Peltz’s one yard touchdown run capped off a long drive on the Falcons’ first possession of the game. Kicker Marcin Gawlak’s point after gave the Falcons a 7-6 lead.

Peltz added three more touchdown runs, including an 80 yard scamper to the end zone in the third quarter. Peltz also connected with wide receiver Johnny Daniels on a 32 yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

Running back Mikey Sammer, who is filling in for injured starter Patrick Sharp, had 16 carries for 113 yards and one touchdown. His 43-yard touchdown run in the second quarter put the Falcons up 14-6.

The Wheaton North defense dominated after giving up the early touchdown. The Falcons picked off Kotch three times, including interceptions by Falcons cornerback Jaylen Howze on back-to-back drives. Kotch has thrown three interceptions in each of his last two games.

Howze returned his second interception of the night 20 yards for a touchdown, putting the Falcons up 28-6 in the second quarter.

“The touchdown was huge, any pick for the defense is huge, and it was because of my team,” said Howze. “There was good coverage over the top which allowed me to have the interception.”

The blowout loss was Glenbard East’s third consecutive loss by more than 40 points.

SCORING PLAYS

FIRST QUARTER

[10:36] GE Joe Kotch 85 yard pass to Mike Fahey (PAT no good) – 6-0 GE

[7:54] WN John Peltz 1 yard run (PAT good) – 7-6 WN

[2:44] WN Mikey Sammer 43 yard run (PAT good) – 14-6 WN

[0:44] WN John Peltz 2 yard run (PAT good) – 21-6 WN

[0:03] WN Jaylen Howze 20 yard interception return (PAT good) – 28-6 WN

SECOND QUARTER

[9:09] WN John Peltz 32 yard pass to Johnny Daniels (PAT good) – 35-6 WN

[4:01] WN John Peltz 4 yard run (PAT good) – 42-6 WN

THIRD QUARTER

[11:38] WN John Peltz 80 yard run (PAT good) – 49-6 WN

[8:40] WN Colton Hrgich 10 yard run (PAT good) – 56-6 WN

FOURTH QUARTER

[10:19] GE Joe Kotch 5 yard run (2-pt attempt no good) – 56-12 WN

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times. It also appears on yourseason.com

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Glenbard North Scores Five Second Quarter Touchdowns In 49-0 Rout of Glenbard East

Glenbard North QB Brian Murphy Photo By: Stacia Timonere for the Sun-Times

Glenbard North 49 Glenbard East 0

Glenbard North exploded for 35 second quarter points en route to a 49-0 victory over Glenbard East Friday night in Lombard.

The Panthers pride themselves on being a run-oriented team, but it was the passing game that sparked the Panthers’ five touchdown outburst in the second quarter.

“I think we got a little stubborn in the first quarter, we tried to run, tried to run, tried to run, and we were attacking walled cities,” said Glenbard North head coach Ryan Wilkens. “We just decided that we would try to loosen up a little bit and go to the air. Brian had a good night, he threw 10 times in the first half, that’s a lot for us.”

Quarterback Brian Murphy completed 8 of his 10 first half pass attempts for 229 yards and two touchdowns. His second touchdown of the night was a 79-yard bomb to wide receiver Trevor Hackett that put the Panthers up 3-0.

Murphy also connected with wide receiver Solomon Oquendo for a 12-yard touchdown.

“I thought his timing was very good, he sat back there in the pocket, he had pretty decent time, but his accuracy and his timing was pretty good,” said Wilkens about his junior quarterback. “Overall for a team that is more of a run-oriented team, I thought he did a very, very good job tonight.”

The Panthers (4-0, 2-0) recovered a Glenbard East muffed punt at the Rams’ 15 yard line on the first play of the second quarter. The Panthers capitalized on the subsequent play when running back Phil Jackson ran 15 yards for his second touchdown on the game, putting Glenbard North ahead 14-0.

The senior running back finished the game with 75 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.

Back-up running back Justin Jackson scored the second Panthers touchdown of the quarter on a 34-yard run down the right sideline. Jackson, who also starts at safety on defense, blocked a punt on the Panthers’ next defensive possession.

The Panthers fifth and final touchdown of the second quarter was scored by running back Tremel Smith on a one yard run. Glenbard North led 42-0 at halftime.

Quarterback Joe Kotch and the Glenbard East (1-3, 0-2) offense was unable to get anything going the entire game. The Rams only managed to gain 79 yards and four first downs, and turned the ball over five times. Kotch completed 3 of his 18 pass attempts for 23 yards and threw three interceptions.

“We didn’t do a whole lot right in every phase,” said Glenbard East head coach John Walters. “We need to make sure that we’re transferring our practice skill out here to the football field on Friday night, and that’s exactly what’s not happened for us.”

The Rams have lost three straight games since winning their home opener.

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times. It appears online at yourseason.com.

SCORING PLAYS

FIRST QUARTER

[5:30] GN Phil Jackson 1 yard run (PAT good) – 7-0 GN

SECOND QUARTER

[11:14] GN Phil Jackson 15 yard run (PAT good) – 14-0 GN

[6:59] GN Justin Jackson 34 yard run (PAT good) – 21-0 GN

[5:15] GN Brian Murphy 12 yard pass to Solomon Oquendo (PAT good) – 28-0 GN

[2:30] GN Brian Murphy 79 yard pass to Trevor Hackett (PAT good) – 35-0 GN

[0:11] GN Tremel Smith 1 yard run (PAT good) – 42-0 GN

FOURTH QUARTER

[8:35] GN Vincent Sherrod 37 yard run (PAT good) – 49-0 GN

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