Tyquan Cox’s big return sparks Glenbard West

Glenbard West's Tyquan Cox (4) returns a kick for a touchdown against Hinsdale Central, October 7, 2017. Allen Cunningham / for the Sun-Times.

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.”

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  • Red Devil Resurgence

    I was at the Glenbard West/Hinsdale Central game. Its worth noting that Hinsdale Central’s starting QB was not playing (freak accident- he broke his jaw in gym class on Thursday). After experimenting with the backup QB in the first few series, Central resorted to wildcat snapping directly to the running backs the entire game (this actually worked well). Not sure if the outcome would’ve been different had HC qb been in the lineup. Also worth noting, prior to halftime, the referees mistakenly told the HC coaches that they were out of time-outs down near the goal line with 20 seconds on the clock (Central opted for the field goal). Central actually had 1 timeout left- likely would’ve resulted in a touchdown and tie game as Glenbard couldn’t stop the run at that point. Hinsdale’s fault- they should know how many time outs they have. All-in-all, it was another great battle between HC and Glenbard West at Duschon Field.

    • Rhino70

      Really??? Your really doing that? Wow. I guess we should list all the injuries GW had that would have resulted in a much more lopsided score. (top defensive lineman out, running back out, etc. etc.). I’m surprised you don’t blame the rain. See you next year…

    • Rhino70

      By the way, I was shocked at the low HC turnout at the game. At least you braved the rain.

    • Norm

      Uh, varsity athletes don’t participate in gym class. They have what’s called “Athletic Study Hall”

  • Ralphie

    John, I would love to play East St. Louis. We played them in the semifinals I think 8 years ago at GW and lost in the last play of the game. Terry Hawthornes team. They got beat by Evangel Christian this year. Who are they?

  • ralphie

    I can’t figure out my Glenbard West boys. I thought our offense was impossible to stop and our defense was suspect. Today was just the opposite. But it was win over a tough team .Ninth WSC championship in ten years. Wow

    • Rhino 70

      Not so surprising. Maine South did outplay the Hitters in game 1. But I think GW learned a lot from the loss. There’s a lot of good teams now. LWE. MS. ESL. LA. LZ to name a few. But I think GW has as much of a chance as any. You can never count out a Hetlet coached team. This team has come a long way since week 1.

    • John Reeves

      Ralphie…..you say that Glenbard West offense is impossible to stop. well….They havent played the No. 1 team in Class 7A —–> East St Louis . If Glenbard West has to play East St Louis in the Playoffs…..they better bring their track shoes because most of the East St Louis team are members of the 2017 State Champion Track team….so they are too fast for most of the teams in 7A. the last 2 games they have won by a score of 80 to 7 and 55 -0 I have been to all their games and they have plenty of speed to burn .

      • Rhino70

        West may not even be playing in 7A this year. They’re always a bubble team (7A or 8A). But assuming they do get to play each other, It would be a great game. I wouldn’t go so far as to say GW is impossible to stop, but they do have a way of neutralizing other teams strengths. Ask LWE’s QB from a few years back in the finals. Glad to see ESL is having great year again.

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