Bolingbrook Ousts Downers Grove South From Playoffs, Advances to Semifinals

Bolingbrook quarterback Aaron Bailey ran for five touchdowns and the Raiders defense shutdown a potent Mustangs offense for an IHSA 8A quarterfinals win.

For the second time in this year's playoffs, Bolingbrook wins without having a single passing yard.

The Raiders (11-1) beat Downers Grove South 47-19 as junior quarterback Aaron Bailey pounded the Mustangs defense for 214 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

Bolingbrook now advances to the state semifinals for the first time since 2001 and will face Naperville Central (9-3).

Bolingbrook defeated Neuqua Valley without a completed pass in the first round of the IHSA 8A playoffs, where the Raiders rushed for 433 yards. This week, the Raiders upped the ante.

“We were kind of messing up on the first series, but once we got focused and figured out what we’re doing, we were able to make some big holes,” said Bailey, whose team rushed for 494 yards. “I thank God and my offensive line for their help.”

The Mustangs (10-2) came out firing on the game’s first play. Senior quarterback A.J. Simoncelli did a flea-flicker to senior running back Josh Williams, who threw a 31-yard completion to junior wide receiver Kaylon Miller. The play set up a 32-yard field goal from Downers South senior kicker Anthony Farinella to give the Mustangs an early lead.

“They’re a good football team,” Downers Grove South head coach John Belskis said. “We didn’t play as well as we needed to tonight. We didn’t stop their offense. We had a couple opportunities to score in the first half and we didn’t do it.”

Bailey had runs of 30- and 29-yards the following drive wound up scoring on a 1-yard run to give Bolingbrook a 7-3 edge.

To start the second quarter, Downers South went three-and-out. Bailey and senior running back D.J. Pruitt had 18- and 17-yard runs, respectively, with Bailey running it in from 8-yards out for a 13-3 advantage.

Later in the quarter, Bolingbrook would score on a 95-yard drive to take a 21-3 halftime lead.

Downers Grove South senior running back Josh Williams, who averages more than 200 yards rushing per game, was held to just 32 yards in the first three quarters.

“You need to have a team to win a game, both offense and defense,” Bolingbrook head coach John Ivlow said. “We’re really quick on our linemen, linebackers and safeties. We can’t match Josh Williams with his speed, but we could get him going side to side, we’ll take those angels.”

Bolingbrook’s defense dominated in the third quarter by forcing three straight three-and-outs, three sacks and three turnovers. 

Bailey rushed for two more scores and junior running back Omar Stover had a 26- and 10-yard touchdown run to blow the game open 47-3.

After the Raiders put the second stringers in, the Mustangs scored two touchdowns—a 40-yard pass to Miller and a 21-yard run by Williams.

“I told my offense ‘Let’s go out in style,'” said Simoncelli, who was 7-of-16 for 111 yards.  “We wanted to prove something. We didn’t want to just have three points on the board because we know we are a better offense than that. We wanted to end on a good note.”

Belskis said he was proud of his team.

“Our kids fought and it was a great year,” Belskis said. “They are a great group of kids and it’s one of my favorite teams coaching. It was a pleasure coaching them.”

For the Raiders, they will face a Naperville Central team that defeated Minooka, Belleville East and Homewood-Flossmoor.

“Central is an excellent team and is a well coached group like these guys are,” Ivlow said. 

Dani November 13, 2011 at 02:09 PM
Mustangs, we are so proud of you! Been a pleasure watching you this season! Best of luck to you all in your future plans, whatever they may be!!!!!
Mark Thoman November 13, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Kudos for a great and entertaining football season Mustangs!
Beth November 13, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Way to go Raiders in showing your dominance over DGS...you deserved every point you scored...way to go Raiders! On to the semi-finals!
Michaela November 14, 2011 at 05:38 PM
Way to go Raiders! One question about something that has bothered me about BHS games for years though. Why does the band leave at halftime? C'mon guys, support your school and your team!
Steve November 15, 2011 at 06:44 PM
Did anybody bother to think that maybe they've been instructed to go back to the school building after halftime? Do you actually think that, if 100 kids in uniform are marching away in formation, that it's really because all 100 hate the football team? Be real.
Michaela November 15, 2011 at 10:19 PM
I get what you're saying Steve, I am sure they are not just leaving on their own. Why would they be instructed to leave though? All I'm saying is the band can help stir up the crowd, and I guess my issue is with the director or whomever is instructing the band to leave, rather than the kids who are no doubt doing what they are told. It looked pretty bad when the visiting team DGS had a small pep band stay longer than the home team's band....
Steve November 15, 2011 at 10:51 PM
You have a good point there. I went to HS at a Chicago Catholic League football powerhouse years ago and the band was regularly in the stands during both halves, playing along with the cheering section and cheerleaders, making noise during kickoffs, etc. The atmosphere was electric.
mray November 15, 2011 at 11:15 PM
I think it's more of a matter of getting all the band equiment and student's instruments and uniforms put away.
Chad D. Walz November 15, 2011 at 11:35 PM
Or maybe "the Brook" as they are called, do not value the band like Downers Grove does. That is thier loss. They have a good football team...good for them and I wish them well.
Michaela November 16, 2011 at 02:18 AM
Sorry...I'm just not buying that. I have yet to see another school's band call it a night after halftime. They all have equipment and uniforms to put away.
Michaela November 16, 2011 at 02:21 AM
Agreed Chad...and it's a shame. Best to the DGS football program in the future. They have a great powerhouse program...they'll be back.
Susan Carroll November 16, 2011 at 12:58 PM
Michaela, are you a Bolingbrook parent of a band student? Because when my daughter is in marching band (she's only in 6th grade now, but I plan ahead) my husband and I will joyfully attend every game she plays at. I would be sad and disappointed to see her have to pack up her things at halftime for convenience's sake. Maybe parents need to put pressure on the school?
Susan Carroll November 16, 2011 at 12:59 PM
Oh, I almost forgot: Bolingbrook, please beat Naperville Central for us. Thank you.
Cristobal November 16, 2011 at 01:03 PM
Michaela November 16, 2011 at 02:48 PM
Susan, I used to be. Youngest graduated several years ago, but hubby and I still attend a fair chunk of the games. The band used to stay for the entire game, play tunes during the breaks in the game, and the drums would set up on the track and play almost continually. It was fun, and yes they managed to get all their stuff put away afterward. So I am really not sure why this changed, my memory is a bit fuzzy but I'm guessing within the last 3-4 years.


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