Naperville Central (4-2, 3-1 DuPage Valley Conference) obviously was disappointed by its 14-7 Week 5 loss at Wheaton Warrenville South, but Redhawks coach Mike Stine had a clear message to his team the next morning.
"All of our goals, all of our dreams, we still control," Stine said. "We don't have to rely on anybody."
The Redhawks beat previously-unbeaten Glenbard North (5-1, 3-1) 10-6 on Friday to pull the Panthers back into a four-way tie for second place in the DVC. Wheaton North (5-1, 4-0) sits alone atop the standings, but the Falcons still must play Naperville Central, Glenbard North and WW South.
That means four of the top five teams in the DVC control their own destiny. The fifth team, Naperville North, is still very much alive for the conference title, but the Huskies need help from someone else in beating Wheaton North.
For Naperville Central, losses in the past matter little as long as the Redhawks still have their goals in front of them.
"We can still be the conference champs," Stine said. "We can still get a good playoff seed. We can still be the state champs. We control all of that."