LPI Game Visit Recap: #2 Glenbard West @ #18 Bolingbrook

Here is my game recap of #2 Glenbard West vs #18 Bolingbrook including who stood out in this game.

Please let me know on Twitter @lemminginsider if you guys like this format or if I should change it up for next time. I really appreciate any thoughts.

1st Quarter

Both teams did not look in sync early on as there were lots of flags and timeouts taken by both teams. First quarter of the first game so that is expected, but it was a trend that would continue throughout the game. Early on both defenses looked very stingy not allowing much in terms of yardage. Towards the end of the first quarter Glenbard West started to drive into Bolingbrook territory. They had a 40 yard screen pass for a touchdown called back because of a penalty. The Hitters had to eventually settle for a field goal on that drive (3-0 Glenbard West). Glenbard West’s starting SB/RB DJ Ficarella was someone who surprised me today. Good speed, quick feet, very shifty and can cut on a dime. He carried the load for the Hitters today and looks to be their go to guy on offense this year. Bolingbrook struggled to consistently get things going in the first quarter. However, they mixed in the speedy Jazontae Howard with the downhill running Jeremiah LeBron well and had some decent gains on the ground in the first quarter. Also, Glenbard West’s standout cornerback Justice Bradley did not suit up because of injury.

After 1 Quarter: 3-0 Glenbard West

2nd Quarter

Dionte Moorehead was getting to the quarterback with semi-regularity up until early in the second quarter when it seemed like he was always in the backfield. It’s only one game, but I really think Dionte Moorhead has a chance to play D1. He has good hand placement, the size, speed, athletic ability, motor and a high football IQ that is important at the D1 level. The timeouts and flags kept coming early in the second for both teams. The Hitter’s O-Line was getting good push against Bolingbrook’s Izayah Green-May, Dashaun Mallory and the rest of the Raider D-Line most of the game and especially so on their drive midway through the second quarter. Green-May went down with an injury midway through the second quarter and did not return the rest of the game. A couple plays after Green-May left the game the Hitters pounded the ball in with a 1 yard TD run by DJ Ficarella (10-0 Glenbard West). On the following drive Bolingbrook showed signs of life with I’Shawn Stewart displaying his great hands by making a very impressive catch. Unfortunately the Raiders were flagged on the play and the catch was nullified. A few plays later Bolingbrook started to move the ball a bit and Stewart made yet again another nice catch for the Raiders. Stewart is receiving looks from D1 schools and I think it is deservedly so with his great hands, and even better route running ability. Unfortunately Bolingbrook did not come away with points this drive as the mental mistakes continued with penalties and the team trying to call a timeout when they had no timeouts left. Glenbard West took over the ball and continued their running ways, playing conservative football, controlling the clock and taking what the defense gave them.

Anthony Vespo, Bolingbrook’s QB, isn’t the fastest guy, but is very mobile in the pocket and is adept at keeping the play alive showing that on multiple occasions in this game. Bolingbrook OL John Ivlow also played well keeping Hitter DT’s out of the backfield most of the game.

After 2 Quarters: 10-0 Glenbard West

3rd Quarter

Bolingbrook received the 2nd half kickoff and started to roll a bit on offense making short high percentage passes and picking up a few first downs. The drive ultimately stalled and the Raiders had to punt, but it was an encouraging sign to see them start to click. Glenbard West continued to play very conservative football managing the clock on offense and even so on special teams by not putting a return man on a couple of Bolingbrook punts. Midway through the 3rd quarter Moorehead went down for Glenbard West and did not return the rest of the game. Bolingbrook offense started to build off its momentum from the previous drive moving the ball down the field. However, the Raiders were ultimately stuffed on 4th and short by the stingy Glenbard West defense. On the following drive Dashaun Mallory and the rest of the Bolingbrook front seven routinely got pressure on the Hitter QB Cole Brady and ball carrier Ficarella. Glenbard West mixed it up with a few play actions plays that turned into big gains and helped them march down the field by the end of the quarter.

Hitter’s QB Cole Brady did very well as a game manager this game, not forcing many throws, but making them when they counted. Brady hit big TE Alex Pihlstrom (6’5″ 220lbs) on a few 3rd and longs to convert for first downs. Pihlstrom made an impressive full extension diving catch on a 3rd and 12 to give the Hitters a first down that would eventually lead to a Glenbard West touchdown. Glenbard West is a run first team, but Pihlstrom is a big body that I would suggest college coaches keep an eye on this season.

After 3 Quarters: 10-0 Glenbard West

4th Quarter

A few plays into the 4th quarter the Hitters capped their drive with another short TD run by DJ Ficarella (17-0 Glenbard West). At this point you could almost feel the Bolingbrook fans deflate as their energy level was noticeably lower compared to earlier in the game. However, the next drive Bolingbrook got back at it moving the ball, picking up 15 yards on a face mask penalty followed by a 20+ yard end around run by Stewart. The Raiders were rolling and finished the drive off with a 4 yard touchdown run from Illini recruit Kendall Smith (17-7 Glenbard West). Kendall Smith didn’t make any spectacular plays this game, but did exactly what he was supposed to do and played well overall. By about midway through the 3rd quarter both teams seemed to have rid themselves of their penalty issues and both offenses seemed to be in sync. Glenbard West then went 3 and out following Smith’s touchdown for Bolingbrook. At this point the momentum was shifting back to Bolingbrook, but unfortunately time was running out for the Raiders. The Raider offense ran a few screen passes to Kendall Smith on their next drive for nominal games and eventually stalled out by turning the ball over on downs to the Hitters. Glenbard West then did what they do best and that is run the ball to control the clock. Bolingbrook eventually got the ball back, but there was not enough time to mount a comeback.

Overall, it was a fun game to watch. Bolingbrook flashed its offensive upside a few plays this game, but couldn’t consistently get their offense going against the tough Hitter defense. Watch out for this Bolingbrook team because once they click on offense they will be a tough team to stop. The Hitters were very well coached and disciplined all around and are going to be a tough team to beat this season as well.

Final: 17-7 Glenbard West