After 32 straight wins grinding through one of the state's toughest football conferences, Glenbard West's streak was bound to end eventually.
Lyons Twp. -- the last West Suburban Silver team to beat the Hilltoppers in the 2010 regular-season finale -- did it again with Saturday's 28-14 victory in a showdown between league unbeatens at Glen Ellyn's Duchon Field.
While Glenbard West's 30-game regular-season winning streak also comes to an end, of bigger concern were first-quarter injuries suffered by running back D.J. Ficarella and linebacker Eric Samuta. Neither returned, which hampered the Hilltoppers (4-1, 2-1) on both sides of the ball.
"Two captains, two guys who did everything in the offseason 100 percent," said Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet. "Hopefully it's not a bad prognosis for them. It's very sad for them, and for us as a football family it's discouraging.
"You've got to give all the credit to LT," he said. "Great coaching, great effort. They just really did a good job of coming here and taking care of business."
Lions junior quarterback Ben Bryant, who holds offers from Wisconsin and Central Michigan, played well despite dislocating fingers on both hands early in the game. He completed 13 of 17 passes for 160 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Lyons Twp. (5-0, 2-0) took a 7-0 second-quarter lead on Bryant's 18-yard pass to Howard Willis and extended the lead to 14-0 in the third quarter on Reggie Terrell's 5-yard scoring run.
"It wasn't that bad, I just iced it and moved it around a lot," Bryant said of his injured fingers. "We put a chip on our shoulder and played really hard. We didn't want to lose."
Glenbard West quarterback Cole Brady, who completed 21 of 39 passes for 204 yards, narrowed the deficit to 14-7 with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Alex Pihlstrom, but the Lions responded with a pair of scores -- the first on Terrell's 3-yard run and the second on Bryant's 40-yard pass to Brandon Fischer.
Hilltoppers linebacker Luke Favia returned a fumble recovery 2 yards for a touchdown that pulled Glenbard West within 28-14 with 2:29 left in the game, but that's where the margin stayed. Glenbard West turned the ball over three times in the fourth quarter as Lyons Twp.'s defense kept holding.
"Ultimately it's a great feather in our cap to beat a great team like that at their place," said Lions coach Kurt Weinberg.
A frustrating day for the Hilltoppers included a 411-244 advantage in total yards, with Dre Thomas carrying the ball 15 times for 111 yards. Glenbard West had 2 touchdowns called back on penalties on consecutive plays at the end of the first half. The Lions also had a touchdown negated by a penalty.
Glenbard West faces another Silver unbeaten next Saturday when it travels to play Hinsdale Central (5-0, 3-0).
"There's so much fight in our kids," Hetlet said. "I'm truly happy with the way we played. LT had our number today."
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