Glenbard South can't match St. Rita

Glenbard South knew the challenge it faced after drawing a red-hot St. Rita team in the opening round of the Class 5A football playoffs.

Not able to match the Mustangs' size and speed, the Raiders tried to combat that with their passing game but ultimately fell short in a 49-14 loss Friday in Chicago.

"Athletically and physically, we knew it would be a huge challenge," said Glenbard South coach Ryan Crissey, whose program was appearing in the postseason for the ninth straight year. "They play top-tier talent all season long. Now we saw that we could exploit them on offense with the pass and we moved the ball, we just couldn't finish a few of our drives.

"The kids had that no-quit attitude, it is just disappointing we couldn't pull one out."

Playing in his final high school game, quarterback Nick Plaso threw for 345 yards, with Trevor Burnett and Brian Winkler both going over the century mark.

Burnett's 4-yard touchdown run gave the visitors a short-lived 7-0 lead on the first possession of the game.

"Obviously, they are a very talented football team," Plaso said. "We knew coming in that it would be tough to run the ball so we would have to throw it. As you can see, it worked out well, we just didn't execute when we got inside the 20-yard line. But I'm proud of my teammates and this was a great way to end my career here."

The Raiders (6-4) had no answer for St. Rita sophomore running back Kaleb Brown, who rushed for 227 yards and 4 touchdowns on just 7 carries in the first half.

In the meantime Glenbard South got stopped at the Mustangs' 1-yard line on four attempts in the second quarter and also turned it over on downs another time inside the 20 a few minutes later.

A 70-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the third quarter by Isiah Bragg put the contest out of reach. Plaso did find Yazan Blan for a 20-yard score over the middle late in the fourth.

The Raiders could return as many as 18 starters a year from now.

"We have established a winning program," Crissey said, "where the kids have a winning attitude and they know how to prepare. Some things are out of our control like the physical size of our O-line and D-line. They certainly controlled the line of scrimmage all night. Hats off to St. Rita."

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