It had been six weeks since Glenbard West (7-0, 4-0 West Suburban Silver Conference) played a close game.
The Hilltoppers were itching for a challenge, and they got one in Friday's trip to Addison Trail (6-1) in a showdown between unbeaten teams.
Glenbard West overcame a scoreless first half to pull out a 14-0 win. It's the same margin as the Hilltoppers' 21-7 opening win at Wheaton Warrenville South.
In the five games in between, Glenbard West beat its opponents by an average margin of 36 points. Hilltoppers coach Chad Hetlet believes his team needed a tough game to gear up for the next several weeks.
"I think it's important," Hetlet said. "When you get in a game where someone punches you in the mouth, how do you respond? I think our kids responded well, and that's how you get better week to week."
Glenbard West faces another challenge in Saturday's Silver game against York (5-2, 3-1) in Glen Ellyn. A Hilltoppers victory would wrap up the outright conference title, the program's fourth straight championship.