Matt Rush-Nick Beaulieu connection helps Hinsdale Central soar past York

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Red Devils' QB throws for career-high five TDs in 35-13 win


Hinsdale Central's Matthew Rush passes the ball during their game against Downers Grove North Sept. 14.

HINSDALE – With star running back Luke Skokna sidelined since the opening week, Hinsdale Central needs other players to step up on offense.

On Saturday, a whole group came to the forefront.

Led by five touchdown passes from senior quarterback Matt Rush – three of which went to fellow senior Nick Beaulieu – the Red Devils improved to 4-1 with a 35-13 win over York on Homecoming.

“Everyone was clicking,” said Rush, who added that the five TD passes were a career high. “Everyone stepped up and brought it, whether it was the offensive line, the wide receivers or the running backs. Everyone played well.

“Luke is a great player and it really hurts not having him but Matt [Bobak] and Mark [Skokna] have been running the ball well.”

Luke Skokna injured his knee on a touchdown run against Naperville Central and is expected to miss the rest of the season.

“Luke did a lot of great things for us over the last two years,” Hinsdale Central coach Dan Hartman said. “At the beginning of the year, he had an outside chance to be our all-time leading rusher. But he is still here supporting us.

“I thought both running backs played very well today. Matt got us started in the first quarter and [Mark] Skokna came in and ran very well.”

Bobak finished with 108 yards on 22 carries while Skokna ran for 51 on 10 attempts. The offensive line of Brandon Gick, Roy Fuller, Brendon Passarelli, Michael Dunphy and Kiran Amegadjie dominated the line of scrimmage.

Beaulieu caught touchdowns passes of 24, 30 and 31 yards, the latter two in the third quarter to break open what was a 14-7 advantage for Hinsdale Central at half.

“There were some openings and Matt threw some great passes,” said Beaulieu, a senior wideout. “We’ve got a lot of good guys and everyone was making plays. We had to make some adjustments [after the opening week] and that is what we did. And now we have to keep figuring it out the next couple of weeks.”

Braden Contreras and Connor Kroeger also hauled in TD receptions while the defense forced five turnovers, four of which came in the second half. Owen Goss had a pair of interceptions with Charlie Lyne and Nick Franko also picking off passes. Lucas Schwartz recovered a fumble.

“Our defense has been playing great overall,” Hartman said. “I thought our offense started putting things together. This is the first time I’ve felt we played a full game as a team.”

As for York, the visiting Dukes only had two possessions in the first half, one of which resulted in a 14-play, 80-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a 5-yard run from Joe Javorek. The senior QB ran for 50 yards while running back KeVon Robinson gained 77 yards on 13 carries.

“We had a great week of practice,” Robinson said, “and we came in with our heads held high after the Glenbard West game. We just have to keep finishing. We are a young team right now and the main thing with this team is confidence. But we believe in our coaches and by the end of the season, we will be good.”

Daniel Dunn also found Scott Josiah for an 8-yard strike in the fourth quarter. The Dukes, who fell to 2-3, were held to 75 yards passing.

“We ran the ball really well,” York coach Mike Fitzgerald said. “We were just not efficient in the passing game. We have to be better in the passing game and that starts with me.

“We only got two possessions in the first half though that first drive was awesome. Once we started chasing points, we had to push the tempo a bit.”

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