No. 3 Lincoln-Way East (9-2) could not beat the combination of Glenbard West senior quarterback Daver Glawe and senior wide receiver Mark Hiben Saturday.
The two combined for four touchdowns and 319 yards as the No. 2 Hilltoppers (10-1) won 42-28 to advance to the 7A state quarterfinals.
Hiben had 12 catches for 319 yards and four touchdowns. The 319 yards is a state record.
"You have to give Lincoln-Way East credit," Hiben said. "They stacked up the line and stopped our run, so it gave Daver and me an opportunity to throw the ball and we took advantage of it.
"We knew all week that it could be special from what we saw in the film, and our coaches did a great job exploiting their weaknesses."
Glawe was superb again in filling in for senior starting quarterback Mike Matthews, throwing 14-for-22 with 355 yards and five touchdowns.
"We've been playing together for a while and played together on the JV level last year to get to know each other," Glawe said. "We've had our timing down since last year. He's a great target with the best hands in the state. You know you have a sure catch with Mark Hiben."
Griffins' head coach Rob Zvonar said Hiben's performance did not surprise him.
"He's an all-stater," Zvonar said. "We knew that going in. The problem is they had a lot more than (Hiben). He's been doing that for them the last couple years. He is a great player."
Zvonar said he takes responsibility of not having Lincoln-Way East's defense 100 percent prepared to face Glenbard West's explosive offense.
Glenbard West's first play had senior running back Nick Burrello run for a 79-yard touchdown. However, the Hilltoppers had an illegal block in the back to negate the touchdown and reduce the run to a 30-yard gain and a 10-yard penalty.
Glawe hit Hiben for three first-down passes and sophomore running back Kendell Jackson punched in a 2-yard touchdown for a 7-0 Glenbard West lead.
Lincoln-Way East came on strong as senior running back Max Bayer had a 37-yard run as Hilltoppers' senior linebacker Andrew Garwood tackled Bayer to prevent a score. Then Griffins' junior quarterback Blake Winkler was sacked on consecutive plays by junior linebacker Tommy Alt and senior defensive end Zack Marshall. Lincoln-Way East junior kicker William Will hit a field goal to make it 7-3.
Glawe threw an open 84-yard touchdown pass to Hiben for a 14-3 edge. The Griffins' offense was held to a three-and-out, and Glawe quickly beamed a 41-yard score to Hiben for a 21-3 Hilltoppers' lead.
Lincoln-Way East junior running back Tyler Starke made 43-yard and 15-yard receptions to get the Griffins going. Senior defensive lineman Kevin Bayer punched in a rushing touchdown to close the gap, 21-10.
Offensively, Glenbard West struggled in a three-and-out. The Griffins proceeded to march down the field on three Hilltoppers' personal fouls.
Lincoln-Way East got to the Hilltoppers' 5-yard line, but junior linebacker Andrew Larkin made two key tackles and the Hilltoppers' defense held the Griffins to a field goal.
Glenbard West senior full back Beau Warden converted a key fourth down to prolong his team's offensive drive. Glawe rushed 25 yards on a play and had a 26-yard touchdown completion to Burrello for a 28-13 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, Winkler connected with senior wide receiver Kyle Buchbach for a 73-yard score even though the Hilltoppers' Marshall was being held.
"(Buchbach) just got open," Winkler said. "They blew some coverage and we took advantage of their mistakes. Buchbach ran a great route and the line held up awesome."
The Griffins tied the game at 28 when Starke ran 44 yards in and made the two-point conversion.
The Lincoln-Way East's defense forced Glawe to throw an incomplete pass and batted down another pass. But, the Glawe-Hiben battery tandem remained hot as the quarterback hit his favorite target in open field for a 72-yard touchdown and a 35-28 lead.
The Griffins botched a punt to bring the ball to their 1-yard line. Within two plays, the Hilltoppers appeared to break the end zone, but no score was called and the Griffins got a fumble recovery.
History was made when Hiben caught a 19-yard score, putting Glenbard West up 42-28 in the fourth quarter. The previous record was 317 receiving yards in a game.
Winkler said the Griffins had two more drives left in them, but Marshall, Warden and senior linebacker Justin Mesch all sacked.
"They were a great defense," he said. "They played an unbelievable game. They came prepared. We made a few adjustments at halftime, but then we fell short at the end."