After starting the season 0-6, West Chicago gave its fans something to cheer about on a homecoming Friday night.
Not only did the Wildcats earn their first win of the season against Glenbard East, they gave them an offensive outburst.
West Chicago had combined to score 29 points in its first six games of the season. They nearly equaled that output with a 28-21 win over the Rams.
"Our guys really executed tonight," said West Chicago coach Paul Reinke. "We put together a tremendous gameplan and executed it to perfection tonight. We had lots of motivation and played with a purpose."
That gameplan boiled down to running the ball and controlling the clock. In the first half alone, the Wildcats (1-6) had two drives of at least 11 plays and ran off over five minutes of clock on both of their scoring drives.
Wildcats running back Nick Sanzeri had a busy evening carrying the football. He scored the game's first touchdown on a 3-yard run with just over five minutes left in the first quarter and that score gave the momentum to West Chicago, which never trailed.
Sanzeri finished with 81 yards on 17 carries and 3 touchdowns. Quarterback Matt Green also chipped in with 79 yards on the ground while Brian Baids had 43 yards rushing.
The other touchdown West Chicago had was a 59-yard pass play from Green to wide receiver Zach Doell on a fly pattern that made the score 21-7. After the game, Green talked about what the key to the victory was.
"We did a great job running the ball and finding holes," Green said. "We had a great run-and-block game tonight. Everyone should be proud of this performance. On that long pass play, that was set -up with how well he ran the ball. We knew the fans were going to be here and we wanted to put on a show for them. I think we did."
The Rams made it somewhat interesting in the fourth as they scored on a Joe Kotch quarterback keeper with just over three minutes to play, cutting the West Chicago lead to 7. But the Rams weren't able to convert the onside kick and the Wildcats were able to get a first down and run out the clock.
Glenbard East (1-6) had many chances to convert first downs throughout the game, but had either drops or missed passes.
"It is never fun to let teammates down," Kotch said. "But at the end of the day, we are all friends. We are like a family. We will move on from here and learn from this experience."