Glenbard West’s Tyquan Cox didn’t expect to get the chance to break open the game on Saturday against Hinsdale Central. Cox has a well-earned reputation as one of the area’s premier speedsters.
But the chance came. The Red Devils settled for a field goal on fourth-and-goal from the 3 late in the second half. Then they made a real mistake, they kicked the ball to Cox. He took it 88 yards for the crucial score in No. 7 Glenbard West’s 14-9 win against No. 18 Hinsdale Central.
“The coaches were telling me it was probably going to be a squib kick,” Cox said. “It got all the way back there, I looked up and it was a huge hole and I hit it really hard. I was just off to the races with the kicker and he couldn’t catch me. It was just a great return and great blocking by the wedge.”
It’s the second kick return touchdown of the season for Cox, he had one against Addison Trail. Cox seems to have a knack for breaking out the big returns in showcase games. He had an 82-yard kick return touchdown in the second round of the Class 8A state playoffs last year against Homewood-Flossmoor.
“Huge play, biggest play of the game, absolutely,” Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said. “He did a great job, turned the game over. I’m shocked that they kicked the ball deep to him. He made the most of it.”
Cox’s return ended the first half with the Hilltoppers ahead 14-3.
“I watch the weather,” Hetlet said. “Having a lead was going to be important, we knew the rain was coming in the second half. We thought it was going to be huge.”
The grass at Duchon Field was a muddy mess as it rained throughout the second half. Garrett Oakey had a 30-yard touchdown run with 7:39 to play in the third quarter for Hinsdale Central (5-2, 4-1 West Suburban Silver). That was the only significant play either offense managed in the last two quarters.
“It was super hard to run, the field was super muddy,” Cox said. “Every time you made a cut you’d slip. [Glenbard West running back Dre Thomas] just did a really good on pounding the ball play after play and the offensive live came through. Dre just got the hard yards for us.”
Thomas opened the scoring with a three-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter. Neither team was able to do much of anything in the passing game.
“It was a great defensive performance by both teams,” Hetlet said. “It was hard to run, especially in the second half. We come out and lay an egg on offense in the second half, but I’m really happy with how our defense played today in this battle.”
Glenbard West (6-1, 4-0) opened the season with a lofty ranking, but were thrashed 62-34 by Maine South in Week 1. The Hilltoppers haven’t lost since.
“We’re improving each week, we’re building and the sophomores and juniors are coming along,” Cox said. “The offense has been carrying the defense, but today the defense really helped out.”Tags: Glenbard West, Hinsdale Central