BOLINGBROOK – In what could have been the most confrontational matchup of Valley View District rivals, Bolingbrook came away with a 55-6 nonconference victory over Romeoville on Friday night.
Bolingbrook (1-1) rushed for 277 yards and scored eight rushing touchdowns while the Spartans dropped to 0-2. The postgame handshakes were limited to captains and coaches.
“That’s embarrassing,” Bolingbrook coach John Ivlow said. “I’ve had one kid ejected in 14 years and to have two in one night is embarrassing. Now, I have to answer to that.”
Two separate incidents in the second half resulted in two Raiders being ejected from the game, which featured 13 accepted penalties and numerous offsetting personal fouls that did not make the final tally.
“We chewed them out about their behavior on the field,” Ivlow said of his postgame speech. “They got to us. It’s big Bolingbrook beating up little Romeoville. They dressed 25 players and we’re the bad guys.”
In the third quarter, a long punt return by Bolingbrook was called back when a Bolingbrook player was scuffling on top of a Romeoville player 60 yards behind the play.
“A kid threw a punch and our kid responded,” Romeoville coach Oliver Gibson said of the first major altercation. “They are kids and they have to learn. Tomorrow will come and they will have to answer for what they’ve done. That’s what we’ll do. But, you can never lose your cool.”
Early in the fourth quarter, both teams gathered for pushing and shoving after a play, resulting in another Bolingbrook player being ejected.
“That was not the way it was suppose to be,” Ivlow said. “It was supposed to be a friendly exhibition.”
Jeremiah Lebron ran for touchdown runs of 6, 34 and 24 yards to spearhead the Raiders. Jaylen Griffin ran for two touchdowns in the first half from 6 and 1 yards out. Lucas Warren (1-yard run), Michael Freeze (12-yard run) and Sammy Nasca (1-yard run) also reached paydirt.
Romeoville’s lone touchdown came on the final play of the first half. Jordan Nettles scooted through the Bolingbrook defense for a 70-yard touchdown run to make it 35-6 at halftime. The Spartans had four yards of offense and two first downs before Nettles’ scamper.
“I knew our first two games were going to be tough,” Gibson said of lopsided losses to a pair of teams ranked among the top 20 in the Chicagoland area. “Give a lot of credit to Bolingbrook. They are a good team and we knew that. We have to work at getting better and pay attention to detail. That’s what we haven’t done in our first two games.”
“We still have some competitions going for positions,” said Ivlow, who rotated two quarterbacks and featured four running backs with at least four carries each. “We are still trying to find ourselves. There are some good kids who haven’t seen the field a whole lot. It’s a nice luxury to have, especially our running backs and receivers.”