The Glenbard West football team has its eyes on a possible state championship after deep playoff runs the last two seasons.
The No. 2 Hilltoppers begin their 7A title campaign against No. 7 Plainfield North and its senior running back Kapri Bibbs 1 p.m. Saturday at Duchon Field.
The Hilltoppers (8-1, 5-1 West Suburban Conference Silver) lost the 2009 state championship 31-24 to Wheaton Warrenville South in double overtime. In 2008, they reached the semifinals, but fell 27-20 to East St. Louis.
The Tigers (7-2, 6-1 Southwest Prairie Conference) made the 2009 playoffs and were defeated 40-14 by St. Rita in the first round.
Bibbs will be the toughest challenge for the Hilltoppers' stout defense yet. The 5'10", 198- pound running back has rushed for 2,479 yards and 38 touchdowns.
Earlier this season against Oswego, Bibbs became the first Illinois high school player to rush for over 500 yards in a game, going 520 yards and having seven scores.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Bibbs also punched in 23 touchdowns his junior season and has a 4.4 second mark in the 40-yard dash.
Hilltoppers' head coach Chad Hetlet said his team's defensive strategy will be to contain and pursue Bibbs, who has verbally committed to Colorado State next year.
Tigers' senior linebacker Cody Lopez, who verbally committed to Central Michigan, leads Plainfield North's defense.
Glenbard West senior linebacker Justin Mesch said the Hilltoppers' defense was overmatched by the Lyons' offense during Oct. 23's 31-13 loss, and said they need to be tougher against Plainfield North.
"The defense needs to play with more aggressiveness like Lyons did today," Mesch said after last Saturday's game.
During Saturday's game, Glenbard West starting senior quarterback Mike Matthews was injured on a late hit at the end of the first half. Hetlet said Matthews' status against the Tigers is questionable.
In the Oct. 1 matchup against Addison Trail, Matthews suffered a concussion and a collapsed lung on a late hit that made him miss two contests.
Senior quarterback Daver Glawe could get the start if Matthews' is not able to go. Glawe had a solid 206-yard effort for two touchdowns Oct. 8 against York but struggled against Lyons with 2-of-11 passing and an interception.
Whoever is the starting quarterback, senior running back Nick Burrello said the offense has to do its job and score more than 13 points.
"We just need to be motivated," Burrello said after the game. "It will start with our seniors and it's just going to go down and domino effect with the juniors and sophomores. This is a wake-up call."
The winner will advance to Round 2 of the playoffs and will face the victor of the No. 3 Lincoln-Way East and No. 6 Thorton contest Friday, Nov. 5.