The Glenbard West defense made one big play after another Friday night in its West Suburban Conference football crossover with Hinsdale South.
But none was bigger than the one Eric Samuta produced with five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
The senior blocked a potential game-tying extra point and the visiting Hilltoppers (2-0) went on the beat the Hornets 14-6 in a defensive showdown that was scoreless through three quarters.
Samuta's block came after D.J. Anderson returned a fumble 95 yards for the home team's first points.
"We talk about it in the locker room, don't stop fighting," Samuta said. "I knew it as soon as they scored, that it was my time to shine. We were discussing it, watch for the fake and let's block this. It was all heart at that point, and it turned out to be a game-changing play."
The visitors had opened the scoring early in the final quarter on a 3-yard run by D.J. Ficarella. The senior running back finished with 139 yards on 22 carries, with 93 of those yards coming after halftime.
Dre Thomas added a 26-yard jaunt to the end zone with two minutes left, tallying 86 yards on 13 attempts.
"Their defense is really good," Ficarella said. "They are really good upfront. But in the second half we were able to establish the edge and we cut some stuff up. We put together some good drives."
Glenbard West's defense stopped Hinsdale South on a trio of short fourth-down attempts. Matt Scruggs added an interception and Jackson Goleash recovered a fumble.
"First of all, Hinsdale South did a great job," Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said. "A lot of credit goes to those guys, they are a great program. For us, it was a good defensive effort. But we were really stagnant on offense. We aren't going to be a very good team if we play like that on offense."
The Hornets (0-2) were led by the 83 receiving yards of Destin Talbert. Quarterback Brian Rudolph threw for 111 yards, completing 9 of 18 pass attempts. "If you like defensive football, that was a great game to watch," Hinsdale South coach Mike Barry said. "It really came down to a play here and a play there. Glenbard West is a great team; we feel pretty good with where we are at even though it was a loss. We gained a little respect and it really reveals to us moving forward the football team we can be."