The legend of Glenbard West's defense grew again Friday night.
The Hilltoppers' stingy "Dark Side" played perhaps its best football of the season in a 14-0 nonconference win at Addison Trail in a showdown between unbeatens.
Scoreless at halftime, Glenbard West (7-0) finally made it into the end zone late in the third quarter and added a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to pad the lead.
That was more than enough margin for Glenbard West, whose defense was simply amazing thanks to pressure up front from Penn State-bound Tommy Schutt, Ruben Dunbar and Kendall Kimble.
The Hilltoppers allowed 33 total yards to the Blazers (6-1), 28 coming on their final drive. Two of Addison Trail's 3 first downs also came on the final drive.
"This defense is a very special unit," Schutt said. "I've been on a couple of good defenses the past couple of years and this is a very fast, very physical defense."
Addison Trail's defense also played great, especially in crucial moments. The Blazers held Glenbard West three times on fourth down and Vince Beltrano snared an interception in the end zone to keep the deficit at 7-0 early in the fourth quarter.
"They fought and fought and fought," Addison Trail coach Paul Parpet said of his team. "We can't hang our heads. We just played the No. 2 team in the state tooth and nail. Our kids played hard and they played tough."
The offense, however, couldn't budge Glenbard West in the battle for field position. Other than its first drive and its final drive, Addison Trail never made it into Hilltoppers territory.
The Blazers, who reached as deep as Glenbard West's 39, punted six times inside their 24-yard line.
"It stings, we played hard," said Blazers linebacker Mike Imperiale. "Every single play was unbelievable. Everyone was flying to the ball. We had a real good game plan but it was tough."
Glenbard West quarterback Henry Haeffner, playing for injured starter Justice Odom, broke the scoreless tie with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Marcus. A tipped punt by the Hilltoppers' Matt Marston led to a short field and Joey Zito's 1-yard dive to make it 14-0.
The Hilltoppers managed 202 rushing yards on 53 carries. Avery Balogh and Zito combined for 134 yards as Glenbard West moved the chains 17 times to maintain the key advantage in field position.
Michael Marston's third-quarter interception added to a big night from Glenbard West's defense.
"We're playing really well defensively," said Glenbard West coach Chad Hetlet. "Is this the best we've played? It's got to rank right up there.
"They literally couldn't move the ball against us," he said. "The defense is a great unit. They're really close."