Red Devils lose football playoffs to Blue Devils

4 minute read

Rachel Wagner


The Hinsdale Central varsity football team (8-2) traveled to Gurnee, Ill. to take on the Warren High School Blue Devils (9-1) on Saturday, Nov. 3. The game was the second round of the IHSA 8A Playoffs, and the Red Devils lost 14-17.

Warren’s featured back, Martin Walker Jr., carried their team with over 1200 yards rushing 15 touchdowns and over 120 yards per game rushing yards going into the game.

As the teams lined up for the kickoff, temperatures were chilly, windy 40 degrees with a 10 mph wind coming from the north. It would be a hard fought battle between the Red Devils and the Blue Devils.

After a flagged out-of-bounds kick by Warren, Andrew Novatany, junior running back, took a pitch on the opening play from scrimmage and flew down the sideline for a 27 yard gain. Central’s opening drive would later stall on the Warren 37.

Central elected to punt with Zach Dresser, senior kicker, getting the ball down to the five-yard line, wedging in Warren. From there, Walker forced the Red Devil defense to work in groups of three or four to tackle him.

After three rushing plays, Warren punted from their own 11-yard line into the wind. Nick Beaulieu, senior running back, returned the punt to the Warren 37 yard line.

The battle between both sides remained throughout the rest of the first quarter, where both Devils were tied 0-0.

On the first play of the second quarter, Walker ran a huge gain along the right sideline, until Novatney ran him down at the Central 35.

Warren inched their way closer to the five-yard line after a first down completion pass, with the help of Walker, who finished the game with 31 carries for 151 yards.

On the next play, the Central defense looked like they had the ball stopped at the two-yard line, but Warren’s offensive line pushed Malachi McNeal across the goal line, the Blue Devils took the lead at 7-0 with 8:24 left in the second quarter.

Hinsdale responded quickly, when Braden Contreras, junior wide receiver, caught the kickoff at the three-yard line and returned the ball to the 24 but was hit out-of-bounds to advance to the 39.

Later another personal foul call on Warren made of it first and 10 at the Warren 41 with 7:29 left in the half. That’s when Rush hit Nick Franko, junior linebacker, and a penalty on Warren made it first and 10 on the 15.

A couple Central false starts pushed the ball back to the 25 and an incomplete pass on the second down. But on the second down, Rush dropped back and floated a pass towards the right side end zone to where Contreras elevated with a Warren defender glued to him and came down for the touchdown. Dresser added the extra point for a 7-7 tie with 5:59 remaining in the quarter.

Warren started the next series with the ball on their own 22. They worked their way to their own 40 when on third and 8, Warren’s quarterback completed a pass over the middle which the receiver caught, but took a hit and appeared to fumble with Central recovering.

The referee, however, ruled the receiver down. Warren worked the ball down to the Central 11 when on third and 6, the Warren quarterback lofted a pass to their receiver Juan DelaCruz for a touchdown. It was now 14-7, with Warren in the lead.

After the half, Warren received the third quarter kickoff and began with possession at their own 27. They played a 14 play drive over seven minutes that resulted in a 29 yard field goal on fourth and five. Now, it was 17-7, Warren.

Later, after an exchange of possessions, Central had the ball at their own 29 with 2:22 left in the third quarter. Matt Bobak, senior running back had three carries, and Rush threw for a first down on third and 10 to Contreras to place the ball on the 48.

On the next play, Bobak took a draw, and went up the middle, bounced off the defender, and dashed to the end zone for a 51-yard touchdown, closing the third quarter with 17-14, Warren.

Later in the fourth quarter when Central had control of the ball, with around two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Rush pitched the ball left to the running back, who lost control of the ball. It looked like he regained it, but the ball ends up on the turf and the Blue Devils grab possession of the ball for the rest of the game. The final score was 17-14.

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