ELMHURST, Ill. – Glenbard West senior Daver Glawe should have felt sick -- maybe even needing to find a garbage can on the sidelines before Friday’s game.
At least, he could have sweated a bit and showed he had some kind of nerves before stepping foot on the field.
There were plenty of reasons for Glawe to be an emotional mess. It was his first career varsity quarterback start. He was facing unbeaten York with Glenbard West’s three-year conference undefeated streak on the line. He was also playing before a standing-room-only crowd with the majority of those fans rooting against him.
Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet was even nervous for him.
Not Glawe, though. He showed no hint that he was about to embark on anything significant. Displaying the calmness of a veteran, he completed 9-of-12 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns and led No. 3 Glenbard West to a 27-10 win over No. 20 York in the West Suburban Silver matchup.
Glawe was even relaxed enough to make a few jokes in the huddle and on the sidelines.
“He’s a jokester,” said Glenbard West senior wide receiver Mark Hiben, who was the recipient of four passes for 126 yards and a touchdown. “He was having fun. He was making everyone laugh. He really calms everyone down. It’s definitely not normal. That’s why he’s such a great kid.”
Hetlet was just as impressed.
“This is a varsity start,” Hetlet said. “It doesn’t get any bigger than this. They were loud. He was poised. He was more poised than I was.”
York (6-1, 4-1) gave Hetlet and the Hilltoppers plenty of reason to worry early. After Glenbard West fumbled away the ball on the game’s first play from scrimmage, York capitalized with a 37-yard field goal by Sean McDaid. Following another defensive stop, the Dukes went ahead 10-0 in the second quarter on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Jim Nudera to Jordan Preuss.
York’s fans began chanting, “Overrated.”
It was too soon, though. From there, it was all Glenbard West.
Glawe got the Hilltoppers (7-0, 4-0) going three plays after York’s touchdown when he connected with Hiben on a 68-yard score. Running back Nick Burrello scored the first of his two touchdowns at the end of the first half, and Glenbard West took a 13-10 lead into halftime.
In the second half, it was more of the same. The Hilltoppers’ offense kept rolling, and the defense contained York. Burrello scored again to put the Hilltoppers ahead 19-10, and Glawe later threw a five-yard touchdown to Kendall Johnson and then completed a pass to Nathan Marcus (three catches for 73 yards) for the two-point conversion for the final score.
“It’s something you dream of, definitely, coming in an environment like this,” Glawe said. “It’s just an awesome time. My O-line said, ‘Trust us, and we’ll give you the time. You’ll make the plays, and we have confidence.’ The coaches were saying all week, ‘We got confidence. It’s your time to shine.’ It’s definitely a big help when your coaches and your teammates give that little boost.”
The Hilltoppers dedicated the win to former player Pierre Washington Steele, who was killed in a car accident in February. After the win, Hetlet raised a memorial plaque for Steele over his head, and his players cheered.
“His number was No. 7, so this happened to be Week 7,” Hetlet said. “This is the game we dedicated to him. It was very emotional. I thought the kids played with a lot of heart. It was good to see how hard the kids came out and competed on a big stage.”