Defense puts exclamation point on perfect season for Glenbard West
|Glenbard West celebrates after winning the Class 7A state title Saturday. (by Sarah Minor)|
After falling in double overtime in the 2009 state championship game, Glenbard West talked all week about not coming home with the runner-up trophy.
Backed by a defense that shutdown All-State quarterback Tom Fuessel, the Hilltoppers knocked off Lincoln-Way East 10-8 to capture the Class 7A championship Saturday and finish the 2012 season with a perfect 14-0 record.
The title is the second in the program's history, equaling the achievements of the 1983 team.
"I can't sum it up in words," said Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet. "It's been a long road for us. We were here in 2009 and lost in double overtime. Now it's a different feeling."
The Hilltoppers led 10-0 at halftime with the only touchdown scored on a 25-yard pass from Henry Haeffner to Nathan Marcus in the first quarter. Hayden Lekacz added a 27-yard field goal with under a minute remaining before intermission.
The defense did the rest in the opening half as Contrell Simon and Tyler Dayton each had sacks and Joe Marconi recovered a fumble. Glenbard West also stuffed an attempted fake punt by the Griffins.
The deficit was sliced to 10-6 with 2:47 remaining in the third quarter on a 35-yard run by Justin Corbett. Lincoln-Way East then had a chance to take the lead in the closing minutes of the contest but Fuessel was stopped just short on fourth down deep in HIlltoppers territory.
Glenbard West took a safety in the closing seconds to account for the final margin.
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