Don't think that Wheaton Warrenville South was looking past Glenbard East to next week's big cross-town battle against Wheaton North that concludes the regular season.
And even if the Tigers were, the Rams made it clear during the first half of their senior night game Friday night that they wouldn't let that happen.
Glenbard East (1-7, 0-6) led 13-7 early in the second quarter and trailed just 21-13 halftime. However, the Tigers scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to win 41-20 for their fourth straight victory.
WW South stands at 5-3 and 5-1 in the DuPage Valley Conference and in sole possession of second place. Wheaton North's 27-17 win over Glenbard North keeps it in first at 6-0, and a win next Friday at WW South makes it conference champion outright. A loss to WW South and it's an all-Wheaton conference title celebration.
"Keeping it in Wheaton will be a lot of fun," Tigers coach Ron Muhitch said of the looming DVC title showdown.
But his postgame thoughts were mostly on the challenge Glenbard East presented and the fact that the victory made WW South playoff eligible.
"This was a big game for us. There were many people that doubted that when the Tigers were 1-3 that they would recover from that start," Muhitch said.
The game started like a possible rout as the Rams fumbled on the second play of the game. That put the ball on the Rams' 3-yard line, and Patrick Garner took a pitchout on the very first play of the new drive from the 3 to put his team on the board, just 37 seconds into the game.
Muhitch said he made some lineup changes due to some injuries and his desire to get some other players playing time. Running back Dan Vitale did not play Friday night to rest a hip pointer, and the Tigers coach said he'll be ready against the Falcons.
Muhitch praised the efforts of Garner, who finished with 179 yards on 28 carries.
Glenbard East's next drive went nine plays and took 4:30. off the clock, but it stalled. However, Rams kicker Frank Loconti smashed a 43-yard field goal to give his team its first points.
A bad snap on a WW South punt attempt put Glenbard East on the Tigers 20 with 3:34 left in the first quarter. Add to that, a roughing-the-passer penalty by the Tigers and it all eventually led to Malysha Flanders' 10-yard run to help make it 10-7 Rams at the end of the first 12 minutes.
Loconti kicked a 32-yard field goal early in the second quarter to put the Rams up by 6.
What turned out to be the winning touchdown came from Garner, a 10-yard run with 5:29 until halftime.
WW South gained big momentum by scoring again with just 47.4 left on the clock as Thaddeus Armstorng found Brady Banda for a 6-yard touchdown pass and the Tigers were ahead 21-13.
Glenbard East coach John Walters said the first half showed what the Rams could be if they would learn to be play with consistency.
"We competed tonight in the first half. It was kind of a snapshot of what we're capable of, but we need to play a solid four quarters," he said. "I told them after the game that I was proud of them. They competed tonight and that's not something we've done consistently on a regular basis."
The Rams try to avoid going winless in the DVC next Friday at West Aurora.