GLEN ELLYN - Meeting in the playoffs for the fourth time since 2009, it wasn't trickery or secrets that decided Saturday's Class 7A semifinal between Glenbard West and Lake Zurich.
It was turnovers.
And in the end, the Hilltoppers couldn't overcome their five giveaways, dropping a 16-6 decision to the Bears. Lake Zurich advanced to the Class 7A title game while Glenbard West ended the 2013 season with an 11-2 mark.
"All the respect to the Lake Zurich program," Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said. "They outplayed us, they outhit us, they were more physical than us. It was a tough game."
Glenbard West actually took a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter on a 27-yard touchdown run by Devonte Toney. But a 19-yard field goal and a six-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter gave the visitors a 10-7 lead at halftime.
The score remained that way until 1:50 remained in the fourth quartet, when the Bears scored on a one-yard run.
In the Hilltoppers five possessions in the second half, they turned the ball over twice, punted twice and gave up the ball on downs once.
"Coach said we were the same type of teams," senior Hayden Carlson said. "Both have great defenses every year and both like to run the ball. We turned the ball over and we didn't get enough turnovers. They capitalized on the momentum and we let the game get away from us."