If any playoff teams think they're getting Glenbard West at the right time, the Hilltoppers did their best Saturday to show otherwise.
With some key players getting healthy, the Hilltoppers finished the regular season with a 49-14 victory against Addison Trail in a West Suburban Conference crossover football game at Duchon Field in Glen Ellyn.
The game marked the return of senior linebacker Eric Samuta, who dislocated an elbow against Lyons Twp. in Week 5.
"It feels great," Samuta said. "I'm back on the field, being with my family. It's awesome."
The timing is good too, with the playoffs starting next week.
"This way I'm not rusty for the playoffs," he said. "I'm coming in hard."
With Samuta back roaming the field the Hilltoppers gave up only 2 first-half first downs, giving their offense great field position to work with. The Hilltoppers started five of its seven scoring drives in Addison Trail territory.
"Awesome for him," Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet said. "Awesome for us, but awesome for him because he's a great kid. He's one of our captains, one of our leaders.
"We didn't want to see his season end that early, so it's good to have him back, work through some game reps before we go play in the playoffs. I'm very happy for him. He's an awesome football player, a major impact for us."
The Hilltoppers (7-2) took advantage of the short fields the defense gave them to score on their first five offensive possessions, six if you don't count the kneel-down at the end of the first half.
Four Hilltoppers ran for touchdowns -- Tyquan Cox, Dre Thomas (twice), Ryan Diver and Jack Murphy -- and quarterback Cole Brady threw touchdown passes to Patrick Mackey and Alec Pierce.
"When you play a good football team like Glenbard, you know you have to capitalize on certain things, and we just didn't do that early in the game and we got ourselves behind the 8-ball," Blazers coach Paul Parpet Jr. said. "It's hard to battle back. You can't turn the ball over, can't give up big plays. All those things. But we battled till the end. That's all you can ask for."
Despite a running clock most of the second half, the Blazers kept plugging away. Nick D'Ambrose scampered 72 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown, and Darrion Conrad added a 45-yard TD run to end the game.
The defeat kept the Blazers (4-5) from becoming eligible for the playoffs.
"Hey, this was our playoff game," Parpet said.
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