By Chuck Fieldman ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
September 3, 2011
The offense and special teams certainly did their jobs, putting up all of Hinsdale Central’s points in a 42-0 West Suburban crossover win Friday night at home against Leyden.
But it was the Red Devils’ defense that was the star of the show, putting up some numbers that make the shutout even more impressive.
Hinsdale Central (2-0, 0-0) allowed Leyden (0-2, 0-0) only 6 net yards rushing on 32 attempts and limited the Eagles to 40 yards through the air on 3-for-16 passing.
“We’ve really been working hard in practice,” said middle linebacker Mike Fikaris, Hinsdale Central’s defensive captain. “We were glad to win our first game (a 27-26 overtime win Aug. 26 over St. Charles North), but we
weren’t happy about the way we played. We gave up too much, so we were really focused for this game to do a better job. We knew Leyden likes to run the ball, so we wanted to shut them down early.”
Fikaris said early-game success against the Leyden offense resulted in the Red Devils’ defensive players getting more psyched up.
“It pumped everyone up,” he said. “We wanted to stay out there the whole time and not come off the field because we were having fun.”
After returning Leyden’s first punt of the game 40 yards, Nick Sellinger took the next punt by the Eagles 66 yards for a touchdown. With the PAT added by kicker Alex Georgelos, who was 6-for-6 on extra points in the game,
Hinsdale Central had a 7-0 lead with 5:03 left in the first quarter.
The Red Devils added two additional second-quarter touchdowns to post a 21-0 halftime advantage. The first came via a 2-yard TD pass from junior quarterback Brian Owens to Ricky Beuke with 6:41 remaining. Owens connected
with Ryan Kelleher for a 6-yard scoring strike with :53 to go until halftime.
Hinsdale Central didn’t waste any time adding to its lead in the third quarter. The Red Devils drove 45 yards on 5 plays on their first offensive possession of the period, scoring with 6:06 left on a 21-yard run by halfback Teddy Kwasigroch for a 28-0 lead.
A bad snap on a Leyden punt attempt resulted in a Hinsdale Central fumble recovery at the Eagles’ 3-yard line. From there, senior quarterback Danny Callahan ran 3 yards for a TD on the Red Devils’ third play from scrimmage
for a 35-0 advantage.
A 16-yard touchdown run by Callahan with 9:37 left in the game provided Hinsdale Central with a 42-0 and initiated a running clock the rest of the way.
“They were good, and we didn’t play our best,” Leyden coach Tom Cerasani said. “They just outplayed us up front, and we were never able to get anything going with our offense.”
Hinsdale Central coach Rich Tarka said he wasn’t really surprised with the strong effort from his team’s defense.
“We know this team can play defense,” he said. “They enjoy getting after it, and it’s definitely a good confidence boost to come up with a shutout.”
For the second consecutive game, Owens and Callahan split time at the quarterback position. Tarka said that is likely to be the case again when Hinsdale Central opens West Suburban Silver play at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Sept.
9) by hosting Proviso West.
“We’ll do it for one more game and see how it goes,” Tarka said.
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